यह लेख हिन्दी में पढ़ें।
In many cases, new parents find it hard to figure out that why their baby gets sick after consuming any particular food. Something similar happens with me as well. My baby’s food allergy remained a secret for me for a long time. And, trust me, I cursed myself a lot, when I was told about it.
What is a food allergy?
Before starting anything, let us first learn what are these food allergies? Here is the best possible definition for this. When our immune system reacts in a harmless manner to the protein found in any food and makes us sick; we are allergic to that food or we can say that we are born with a food allergy for that particular product.
Usually, these food allergies are genetic and in many cases, it has been observed that you might be suffering from a food allergy because someone in your family had the same sort of allergy; it is in your genes. But, as since last few decades many new forms of these allergies came into existence, so that genetic theory is not one hundred percent right. In simpler terms, having a family history of the same allergy is no longer a mandatory reason. Even if none of your family member shown any symptoms, yet you can expect these sort of food allergies in your kids.
What are the types of food allergies
My pediatrician told me that there is a correlation between geographical locations and these food allergies. Like in west people are more allergic to nuts like walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews. But in India, cases of allergies with this food are rare. However, cow milk is the only allergy that is worldwide. Besides, in India cases of allergies with eggs, soya, fish, and chicken, rice, wheat are also very common.
In my kid’s case, it was cow milk. Every time I served my daughter with cow milk or any dish made with cow milk, my kid cried of rashes, itching, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. And, sometimes, I have seen my kid not been able to sleep. Seeing her crying of pain used to nearly kill me. How can someone see an infant crying of pain?
And, the worst part was, it took me a few months before I realized that the main culprit behind her pain was not her digestive system, but was the milk allergy. I was wrongly trying to improve her digestive system by giving her herbals and all, but the problem was milk. It was my pediatrician, who told me about this and advised a food allergy test.
How this food allergy test is done
To start with, let me tell you that there are two ways of conducting these tests. One is skin pricking and the second one is a blood test. Do not let the private test organizer and fake laboratories to loot you. They are only after your money and they have done their master degrees in fooling innocents.
Skin pricking test
In this test, the liquid form of the food (allergic food) is pricked on the skin using a lancet. And, if you are allergic to that food, an allergic bump of nearly 3MM will appear on your skin within the next 10 minutes. In case you see such reaction, it is clear indication that your kid is allergic to that food.
In this test, as clear from the name, a blood sample is taken. And, that sample is crossed-checked with the antibodies that your body must be producing right after coming into the connection with allergic food. Finally, you come to know whether your kid is suffering from any special kind of food allergy or not?
Do keep in mind, these food allergy tests can only tell whether you are allergic or not. These tests are not capable of diagnosing the level of harm that these food allergies can cause to your body.
Is my kid going to live with that allergy throughout his life and is there any solution available?
My pediatrician told me that in many cases, kids with some food allergies (especially the one with eggs, cow milk, and soya) get automatically treated over the time. But in certain cases (only 4%), these allergies stay for the lifetime and sometimes turns out into asthma-like other problems.
In my kid’s cases, my doctor told me not to worry about. Although my daughter is of four now, yet, I completely refrain cow milk and milk products in her case; no milk, butter, cheese like dairy products and not even ice-cream. Sad, But I had to do it for the betterment of my angel.p
My pediatrician also told me that parents need to learn the difference between food allergy and food intolerance. He said, food allergy is something to do with your immune system and food intolerance is directly linked with the digestive system. In case your kid gets upset after consuming certain food and you notice symptoms like colic, tummy pain, swelling, gas, or diarrhea; chance is there that your kid might be suffering from food intolerance and not the food allergy.
Therefore, before you take your kid for an allergy test, it is better to consult an expert pediatrician. Only after his recommendation, go for a food allergy test.