Your child is born with no idea they have food intolerances or sensitivities. Unless the symptom is very clear or your child is allergic, these sensitivities quite often go undetected even though your child, may still be suffering.
I often see many parents frustrated and not sure where to turn to find answers for their childs’ unexplained symptoms including digestive upsets, irritability and skin irritations such as eczema.
Parents will often visit their local doctor looking for advice on food allergy testing hoping to find an answer for their child, only to be left feeling a little disappointed when the tests returns negative for what was once thought to be a possible food allergy.
Food sensitivity is often given a low priority in the investigation of symptoms.
If your child’s food allergy test has returned negative for what you first thought was causing all the trouble, this doesn’t mean your child isn’t intolerant to this food. You know your child best, if you feel certain foods are contributing towards your child’s behaviour, asthma, eczema or irritability, I would listen to your mother’s intution and continue investigating by eliminating one food group at a time, for 21 days before reintroducing again.
Remember, food allergies are very different to food sensitivities and may still be creating a lot of discomfort for your child.
Here are some symptoms that your child may experience with a food intolerance:
1) Irritable after breastfeeding if you have eaten particular foods.
If your baby is allergic or intolerant to traces of foods being consumed in your diet, then he may have adverse reactions/symptoms.
2) Stomach bloating, cramps or nausea
Bloating may create a feeling of fullness without the consumption of a large amount of food. A delayed feeling of cramps or nausea may also be experience with food sensitivities.
I had a child visit my clinic once, he was suffering car sickness in the mornings on the way to school. We soon discovered the consumption of morning breakfast cereal with a spash of milk was causing his nausea.
3) Irritable bowel syndrome
Also known as IBS, this is a syndrome and is classified when your child presents with a few of the well known symptoms such as flatulence, tummy pains, nausea and changes in bowel habits including smells.
4) Loose or soft poo
If you find your child can suffer from constipation and complains of stomach pains one day and then the following week they have loose bowel motions, this is a great sign to start a food diary and investigate with a practitioner further.
5) Irritability/mood swings/poor behaviour
Terrible two’s, three’s, four’s. Consumption of certain food groups, may play a big role in the emotional rollercoasters of children. It’s very well known certain additives and preservatives create behaviour problems and the same thing goes with common food sensitivities such as dairy, sugar or gluten.
A life threatening condition for some children but quite often children may experience some wheezing without the asthma attack.
7) Skin conditions including eczema
Food Sensitivies can create inflammation in your child’s bowel, also referred to as “Leaky Gut.” Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema can flare up and create long term skin problems, particulary when the food is consumed on a regular basis.
Everyone can have food sensitivities, keep in mind that our digestive system and our tolerance to certain foods can be quite limited in the case where intestinal permability AKA “Leaky gut” may be present.
Do you have a child with food intolerances? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com