It is no secret that children are constantly having tummy aches and problems. If you have a dollar every time your child said they had a tummy ache you’d probably be rich! Now these tummy aches can literally be caused from anything. Maybe they ate something that just didn’t taste quite right. But if you often notice that they’re feeling sick after eating? This means that there’s most likely another underlying issue. One possibility is that they could have a food allergy or intolerance.

Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?

It is much more common for your child to have a food intolerances than a food allergy, but a food allergy can be more dangerous. The types of symptoms that come with allergies will vary, ranging from mild to severe.

If your child has a food intolerance, then they will most likely experience some gastrointestinal discomfort after consuming the problem food.

Symptoms most commonly include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/Vomiting

Signs of a food allergy may include the above listed above symptoms, as well as the following:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Hives, itching or eczema
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

With food intolerances, your child might be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without a reaction or with only very mild symptoms. If they have a food allergy, then the problem food should be avoided completely because it may cause serious or even life-threatening reactions.

Common Food Allergies and Intolerances

Almost any type of food may cause a reaction, but here are the most common food intolerances:

  • Lactose: This common food intolerance affects 1 in 10 people. If your body doesn’t produce enough lactase, which breaks down a type of sugar in dairy products, the digestive system reacts. Common symptoms include bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea.
  • Gluten: If you feel tired, nauseous or bloated after eating foods containing wheat, barley or rye, you may have a gluten intolerance. Gluten is in lots of foods and drinks and even some medications. A gluten intolerance will not cause permanent damage to your body but symptoms may be similar to celiac disease.
  • Eggs: Egg whites or yolks are also a common food intolerance. Symptoms are typically more digestive in nature and may include bloating, nausea, cramps or diarrhea. Eggs can be hidden in many foods, including mayonnaise, ice cream, meatballs and canned soups.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you experience gastrointestinal distress after eating particular foods, see a doctor to determine if you have a food allergy and to narrow down what food is causing these symptoms to occur.

Not positive which foods are causing the symptoms? Consider starting a food diary to pinpoint what your child has eaten when you notice them having a reaction. An elimination diet may be recommended to see if their symptoms go away after avoiding suspect foods. Your doctor may also suggest an allergy test to determine if you have an actual allergy to a particular food. This test is done in a controlled environment in case you have a severe allergic reaction.

If you are diagnosed with a food allergy, the best course of action is to avoid that food altogether. Even if you only have a food intolerance, not eating the suspect food can help reduce uncomfortable symptoms. Be especially careful with processed foods or meals prepared outside the home. Read food labels carefully to make sure the culprit food isn’t contained anywhere on the label (it may be listed with an unfamiliar name).

Contact Us:

If you have been searching Google for a gastroenterologist near me, gastroenterologist for children near me or children’s gastroenterologist near me, look no further then Gainesville Pediatric GI. Schedule a consultation online at