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Food Allergies and the Aware Parent

Food allergies are quite common; in North America over 2 million children and an estimated 12 million adults are allergic to one food item or another. It could be that you or your children are among them.


What are Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when the immune system over reacts to a food that the body has mistaken as harmful; when this happens, it creates specific antibodies to fight what it has determined is dangerous. The next time your child eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, in order to protect the body. These chemicals then trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system.

A typical immune system reaction occurs when the body creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to the food. When these antibodies react with the food, histamine and other chemicals cause hives, asthma, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Although a child can develop an allergy to anything, there are certain foods that account for 90% of all food-induced allergic reactions:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanut and other tree nuts (walnut, cashew, etc.)
  • Seafood (particularly shellfish)
  • Soy
  • Wheat

What is an Allergic Reaction?

The excess histamine in the body can cause a wide variety of noticeable symptoms:

  • Tingling sensation in the mouth
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat
  • Difficult breating
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps or diarrhea
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • In extreme cases, even death

There are also the less noticeable symptoms, such as:

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin discoloration

Symptoms from an allergic reaction will normally appear within minutes of your child ingesting the food to which he or she is allergic.

The Biggest Culprit

Food Allergies Wake Forest NC“Got Milk?” This catchy phrase replaced what was once a popular media campaign: “Milk, it does a body good.”

“Many childhood disorders are, if not induced, aggravated by an increased intake of dairy products.”

It could be that the advertisers, which came up with the “Got Milk?” campaign, were concerned about truth in advertising. The harsh reality is that milk doesn’t “do a body good”; the fact is, it may be quite the opposite.

Dr. Robert Kradjian, Breast Surgery Chief of California’s Seton Medical Center, reviewed archives of medical and scientific journals and found that milk is not the “perfect food” it is reported to be.

Dr. Kradjian found that many common childhood disorders were, if not induced, certainly aggravated by an increased intake of dairy products, including but not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Ear and tonsil infections
  • Bedwetting
  • Asthma
  • Intestinal bleeding (lesions)
  • Colic
  • Childhood diabetes

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents not to give their children dairy milk before their first birthday. Dr. Frank Oski, former Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and the author of Don’t Drink Your Milk, believes that milk should not be given to children to drink, ever. Since milk has been associated with iron deficiency anemia, occult gastrointestinal bleeding and various manifestations of food allergies, he believes it would be prudent to recommend that milk not be consumed at all.

Eggs, Soy and Wheat

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report stating that children should be breastfed exclusively for the first 12 months of their life. Tell this to the mother that is getting up with her 4-month-old every two hours to nurse and she’ll tell you that her pediatrician said to supplement. Herein lies the biggest cause of food allergies in infants and toddlers.

A breastfed baby’s routine will be to eat every two to three hours, which means that this child will not sleep through the night. Since many parents want to get a good night’s rest, the pediatrician may urge them to supplement, but introducing baby cereal and formula into your baby’s diet can lead to an early development of food allergies to wheat and soy.

As your child grows older these allergies can worsen and lead to further complications, such as asthma and respiratory difficulties.

The Chiropractic Factor

Since a food allergy is caused by the immune system mistaking a common food as a harmful substance, the first step to a cure would be a properly functioning immune system.

Your child’s immune system is part of their central nervous system and the most important part of the central nervous system is the spine. As you know, the Doctor of Chiropractic is the only healthcare professional dedicated to the detection and correction of Vertebral Subluxation, which interferes with the body’s central nervous system.

While there is no cure for food allergies, except to avoid certain foods or to follow prevention recommendations, many parents have reported that their children have found relief with regular Chiropractic adjustments.

So, take a moment today to ask your Family Wellness Chiropractor for information regarding the benefit your child can receive from regular Chiropractic adjustments and pediatric Chiropractic care.


{© 2007 Written by: Dr. Sherri Raley and Dr. Katie Chenkus}