A recent discussion with a mom in our office lead me to think about food allergies. Why does it seem like every child has an allergy to something these days. Whether it be dairy, peanuts or some other commonly consumed food. Thinking back I could not name a single child in my grade school classes that had to have a special snack on birthdays. I also recently toured daycares in which two were sure to point out that they were peanut free schools. When did this happen? What has changed in our recent generation? I went looking for answers
First let’s define a food allergy. A food allergy is an aggressive response from the human immune system to a perceived threat. In layman’s terms it is like the FBI, CIA and National Guard responding to a school yard dispute. I would call this an over reaction to a normally helpful system. This over response in the human body is called inflammation. There are different degrees of this inflammatory response which determines the severity of the allergy. The most drastic response is called anaphylaxis this is when the whole body begins to repond and the throat will swell making breathing difficult.
Now we should discuss the signs of an allergic reaction. Many parents think of only anaphylaxis as an allergic reaction but really there are many signs. below is a list for you to watch for when introducing your child to new foods:
- itchiness, rashes, or hives
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal cramping with or without nausea/vomitting
- Low blood pressure
- Elevated pulse
- Any out of the ordinary behavior or signs, especially in children
There are about 8 high allergy foods or foods that commonly cause the above symptoms. The 8 most common are milk (or milk products such as butter) eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, eggs shellfish, soy and wheat. Less common but still significant causes are MSG, food dyes and additives.
So, why the sudden rise in food allergies? I researched and found a couple of probable causes. It is likely caused by the fact that almost every food that our children come in contact with has been exposed to pesticides or food additives. Also, many of the foods we consume today are genetically modified These changes in how our foods are raised and processed has not been tested as to its full affects on the human body. Therefore, these changes in health could be attributed to the changes in how our food is raised and processed. It was said best by Ann Wigmore “the food you eat can either be the best most powerful for of medicine or the slowest form of poison”
Now you may be thinking if my child has an allergy what do I do? The best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergy all together.
Don’t know if your child is reacting to a certain food? Eliminate the food from their diet for three weeks. After three weeks the substance should be eliminating from their bodies. Re-introduce the food or substance to your child and watch for any sign of physical or emotion change.
How do I prevent allergies? Eating organic eliminates many genetically modified and pesticide filled foods. Also getting regular chiropractic adjustments help boost the immune system. Also, reading labels and educating yourself on the substances in foods will help you determine if a food is safe for your family.
We here at Connected Family Chiropractic strive to keep your families healthy and keep you informed on up to date research and knowledge from the health profession. If you aren’t under chiropractic care and wish to start cal us today! 770-518-0990