Thursday, September 23, 2010

Think Thursday! Is it really an allergy?

I know a lot of moms out there who are always very quick to determine that their kids have food allergies. It seems nowadays, everyone has to have an illness or allergy! I found this small article in the September 2010 issue of Parenting magazine. Maybe it can clear up confusion for some.

Is it really an allergy?

May people who think they have a food allergy--or believe their child does--actually suffer from a food intolerance. Unlike an allergic reaction, an intolerance doesn't involve the immune system and can have several causes. People with lactose intolerance, for example, lack or have less of a digestive enzyme needed to properly break down dairy products. Here, some ways to tell the difference:

Signs your child likely has a food intolerance:

1. She can eat small amounts of the worrisome food without a problem.
2. Symptoms usually include nausea, belly pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
3. The reaction causes temporary discomfort.

Sign she may have a true allergy:

1. Often, even a small amount of the food can cause a reaction.
2. Symptoms include hives, swelling of the lips and face, difficulty breathing, and a severe drop in blood pressure.
3. The reaction can progress rapidly and be life-threatening.

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