What is an allergy and how does it occur?

An allergy is hypersensitivity to a certain allergen. Allergen are substances that trigger allergy. These substances are found in dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, moulds, foods and some medicines. When a person who is allergic to a particular allergen comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs. This begins when the allergen (for example, some food eg eggs) enters the body, triggering an antibody response. The antibodies attach themselves to special cells, called mast cells. When the egg comes into contact with the antibodies, the mast cells respond by releasing certain substances, one of which is called histamine. When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting swelling and inflammation is extremely irritating and uncomfortable.

What is the difference between intolerant and allergic?

The difference between a food allergy and sensitivity is the body’s response. When you have a food allergy, your immune system causes the reaction. If you have a food sensitivity or intolerance, the reaction is triggered by the digestive system. I hope you are able to differentiate this. Symptoms of food intolerance include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and nausea. Symptoms of food allergy include hives, swelling, itching, anaphylaxis, and dizziness. For instance, my baby is lactose intolerant. Her digestive system is not able to break down the milk maybe due to lack of some enzymes. She always diarrhea every time I give her milk.  She also allergic to animal proteins, so every time she eats red meat or eggs, her whole body develops red rashes that are very itchy. We will look into details about the differences in the next post.

Symptom of allergies

When your baby is allergic to some food, her skin may appear: red, itchy, scaly, bumpy, and swollen. When the allergy affect the respiratory system, some of the symptoms include: sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, red, itchy, or watery eyes, a feeling of pressure in their face, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath

How do you know that your baby is allergic to some food?

If you have been reading my posts, I have always emphasized on the need for observing the three days rules especially when you start weaning. This is where you ensure that serve foods with similar ingredients for three days. Incase your baby shows any of the above symptom, then it’s a clear indication that they are allergic to it and you need to stop and supplement with something else. Also, you can consult your doctor. There are allergy experts who will help you identify the specific food that your baby could be allergic to.

How do you treat allergy?

I know this is the part you were waiting for. Are you ready for it? Good. So, there is no known cure for allergy. The only way to avoid allergy is to avoid at all cost any contact with any substance with allergen that your baby is allergic to. For my baby, she does not take any milk, red meat and eggs. Since I know the nutritional value that comes with these foods, I supplement with other foods. So for eggs and meat, I give plant proteins, while for milk, I only give natural yoghurt. That one she can easily digest.  And I can tell you for sure that the allergy is a thing of the past.

This doesn’t mean that there are no medicine to reduce the allergic reaction. Depending on the type, your doctor will prescribe antihistamines that could reduce the itching especially on the skin. There is also another syrup (Allerlief) that also relieves the discomfort that comes with allergy.

How can you prevent allergy?

Prevention is better than cure. The best way to fight a food allergy and avoid both mild and severe reactions is to know what you’re eating and to avoid those foods or substances that you’re allergic to. Here are some more tips that could help;

  • Read labels of all products that you buy and ask people what’s in food before you indulge and give your baby
  • Make sure people around you know about the allergy, so if an emergency occurs, they are prepared to help.
  • Though the severity of some food allergies lessens over time, don’t test the waters by trying even a little bit of potentially dangerous food.

 There you have guys. What are some of those foods that your baby is allergic to? How did you know and how are you managing it? I would like to know. Share it in the comments below. For such amazing and educative post, like and follow my page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by clicking on their respective icons below. Share it with other moms. CIAO!