Allergy to Food and Food Additives

This problem is frequently seen in our office with adults and children. Food allergy is of special importance in infants and children and is seen after introducing infant formulas or when introducing solid foods, and usually presents as colic, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes. Frequent change of baby formulas and solid feeding can only delay the correct diagnosis of the problem.

Sufferers from allergies to food or food additives may have one or more of the following complaints:

  • Itchy skin, hives, angioedema (giant hives), eczema and other skin rashes
  • Itching in the mouth and throat  
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Poor appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Frequent nausea or vomiting
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Hyperacidity or pain in the stomach area
  • Uncontrolled symptoms of stomach acid reflux disease (GERD) in spite of GERD medications
  • Frequent or excessive belching and bloating  
  • Vague pain in the abdomen or chronic constipation.
  • Frequent diarrheas
  • Abundant amounts of mucus, blood, or fat in the stool
  • Failure to thrive, and anemia  
  • Confusion with hyperactive bowel or ulcerative colitis
  • Confusion with Chron’s or Celiac diseases
  • Confusion with malabsorption diseases
  • Many visits to physicians, clinics, or hospitals for irregular GI symptoms
  • Periods of no or minimal symptoms
  • Migraine headaches and even seizures have been reported
  • Anaphylaxis or (allergy shock)

Children Sufferers of GI allergies may present as one or more of the following:

  • Colicky babies
  • Vomiting after introducing formula feeding
  • Difficulty in introducing new foods or drinks
  • Frequent change of formula and/or solid foods
  • Improvement with non dairy or amino acid formulas
  • Improper food digestion and absorption 
  • Failure to thrive, and anemia  
  • Allergy in the ears, nose, and throat.
  • Spasms of the larynx and croup
  • Asthma
  • Chronic cough 
  • Shortness of breath

Allergy skin test for foods is the preferred method for diagnosis of food allergy. RAST test to foods (blood test), although can be useful in certain cases, its accuracy does not equal that of the skin test.  Pinpointing the food responsible for the allergy symptoms is important to guard against needless food restrictions & nutritional deficiencies, especially in children.

Ask us for more information about food allergy.