How to identify food intolerance in children: common symptoms

Although in reality a food allergy is not the same as an intolerance, in most cases both problems tend to be considered as synonyms, when in fact they are completely different. The main reason why both problems are confused can derive especially in the symptoms that appear, which are usually quite similar.

We can differentiate them by explaining their distinctions clearly by example: a food intolerance can make a person feel bad when drinking milk with lactose (if he suffers from lactose intolerance) or if he eats foods with gluten (if he suffers from celiac disease) . However, in the case of a food allergy, there are fatal risk reactions, in addition to the fact that the person feels equally bad.

In the case of food allergies, these occur when the immune system of our body interprets certain foods as invaders. This causes a disproportionate response in which the body releases chemical substances to fight against the invader.

While, in the case of food intolerance, it is usual that the person can not digest food correctly, and that in turn that breath can irritate the digestive system, resulting in various symptoms such as gas, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache ... But an allergic reaction never occurs.

In the case of children the diagnosis of a food intolerance is fundamental, being even more important early diagnostic, not only because those intolerances diagnosed in the first years of life can be cured, but also because some can cause not only digestive symptoms and skin level, but stunted growth.

Food intolerances in the smallest

Food intolerance is tremendously frequent when children are small, at early ages, since the digestive tract is not yet fully prepared to tolerate certain foods. Put another way, with each food your small digestive tube is "learning" to tolerate those foods.

On the other hand, both viral and infectious processes (so common during the early years of childhood) tend to alter intestinal permeability, causing food to be absorbed in turn abnormally.

In this sense, a food intolerance can occur a few months after birth, especially when babies leave breastfeeding and begins with the administration of solid foods.

How to identify them? What are the symptoms of food intolerance in children?

If the baby drinks breast milk it is quite likely that the food intolerance does not appear clearly until it starts with solid feeding (that is, until the baby starts with the first baby formula and the first formulas, and with the first fruits and vegetables).

Thus, from the moment you start with solid food you can begin to observe certain symptoms if the child suffers from food intolerance to any food.

The most common symptoms are usually:

  • Heavy and slow digestions.
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Gases and flatulence.
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Atopic skin.

As the child grows, other common symptoms or signs also appear, such as:

  • Stomachache.
  • Headache.
  • Leg pain.
  • Delay in growth, weight and height.

These last symptoms are those that can make the pediatrician suspect the existence of a possible food intolerance, so that he will inquire about whether there is a history of intolerance in the family (especially in parents and older siblings), and ask to go to a doctor. allergist or immunologist specialized in food pathologies.

This specialist will carry out certain analytical studies that will confirm what type of food intolerance the child presents.

How is food intolerance treated in the child?

The fundamental treatment consists of monitoring a diet in which food is excluded, until such time as it can be reintroduced with some security.

The most common is that most intolerances tend to be overcome within months or years. For example, in the case of milk intolerance or egg allergy the most common is that they are overcome before the age of six. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician. ThemesFood intolerances

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