INVESTIGATE & MANAGE
Food allergy (IgE-mediated) is mainly a problem of infants, toddlers and young children. Over 90% of cases are associated with eczema (an intensely itchy, chronic skin rash) and there is usually a family history of allergic conditions, such as asthma, hayfever and eczema. In Australia the most common food allergies are egg, milk, peanut and tree nuts, soy, seafoods and wheat. Fortunately most children outgrow these allergies to food, although nut and seafood allergies can be life-long.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range from mild to severe. Mild reactions include facial hives, itchy mouth, swelling of the lips, eyes and ears and often there is vomiting or explosive diarrhoea. Severe reactions involve breathing problems, swelling of the throat and even collapse and loss of consciousness.
ALLERGY APPOINTMENT works in association with paediatric allergy specialist Dr Elizabeth Pickford www.paediatrix.com.au If you think you or your child might be allergic to food you should ask for a Skin Prick Test. This is a gentle procedure that can be done from about 6 months of age. Our standard panel tests for common foods and environmental allergens.
If your child has food allergy they should be assessed by the paediatrician to provided an Action Plan for accidental exposures. Ask the secretary to organise your appointment for skin prick testing, the paediatrician (requires a referral) and dietitian for dietary management.
The picture of food allergy has increasingly become more complex. The word “allergy” is also used to describe conditions like Cow’s Milk Protein Enteropathy (mucous and possibly blood in stools) Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and Eosinophilic Oesophagitis (EoE) even though skin prick testing generally has no investigative value.
It is important to know that food allergy IgE-mediated can co-exist with Food Intolerance culprits like food additives and food chemicals (salicylates, amines, glutamates). It is our experience that the above problems often respond well when food intolerance is addressed.