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Types of allergic reactions to food in children

Types of allergic reactions to food in children


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According to data collected by the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, in Spain, 8 percent of children suffer from some type of food allergy. It is estimated that in Europe, the prevalence of food allergy among children is between 0.3 and 7.5 percent and among those with atopic dermatitis, the incidence of food allergy is 10 percent.

In general, a food allergy occurs in children with families that have or also have food allergies, however, it is not always inherited. The most allergic foods, responsible for up to 90 percent of all allergic reactions, are eight: proteins from cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, fish, shellfish and walnuts. But the most important thing to keep in mind to prevent allergic reactions in children is that some of them may be hidden in the food, due to its preparation process, for example, even though it is not visible.

The chronology of allergic reactions to food is not always the same and varies depending on the mechanism involved in the immune reaction causing the reaction.

1. Immediate reaction: it occurs, in general, in less than 30 minutes of eating the food. Therefore, the cause-effect relationship is usually very evident. This is the case, for example, of the 'oral allergy syndrome', or of the reactions produced by the ingestion of peaches. The immediate reaction of food allergy is usually caused by IgE antibodies, and with some frequency, they can be serious reactions. Some of the most common symptoms of this type of reaction are: urticaria and / or angioedema, vomiting, cough / asthma and anaphylaxis.

2. Delayed reaction: This food reaction usually begins after digestion, that is, 2 hours after ingestion of the food and, sometimes, it can appear after 24 or 48 hours. In general, these types of reactions produce only digestive symptoms (diarrhea), and are usually reactions in which IgE antibodies are not involved. This is the case of the so-called 'protein sensitive enteropathy'.

3. Late: they can appear several days after ingestion of the food. The most common symptom, in this case, is atopic dermatitis. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include vomiting and diarrhea, feelings of dizziness, shortness of breath, strong sneezing, anxiety, and stomach cramps. In severe cases, children may experience a drop in blood pressure, capable of causing loss of consciousness and shock. Without immediate treatment, this anaphylactic shock can endanger the child's life.

Marisol New. Editor of our site

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