5 Signs Your Baby has a Food Allergy or Intolerance

Cow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) appears to be on the increase, but it's not the only allergy affecting our children. 

Our culture, our modern society and our modern medicine have stopped us paying attention to what is in front of us - the most obvious of signs and symptoms of food allergies and intolerances, including CMPA. 

We have become accustomed to thinking that there are certain sufferings in life that we must accept and put up with.

We have decided, as western cultures, that convenience and FUN in food are far more important than health.  

We have changed our fundamental values and beliefs so that immediate gratification and joy are far more important than long term health. 

And when it comes to your own health, that is fine.  That is your decision.  The consequences of that decision are on your head.

But our children?

You are the guardian and custodian of your child's health. Be educated. 

So how do you know if your child or baby might be harbouring a hidden allergy or intolerance to a food they are eating?  These are my top 5 signs of food allergies and/or intolerances:

  1. Dark rings under your child's eyes

    Prolonged ones.  A few nights of poor sleep will also cause dark patches under a child's eyes, which will substantially reduce with just one good night's sleep.  

    Dark lines, dark circles or marks that are just "there" for kids, are a true sign of a disturbance in the digestive system.  This is underpinned by Chinese medicine as the Stomach Meridian (energy pathway) starts just in the base of the eye socket.
     

  2. Reflux 

    Yes.  Reflux is a symptom of something else other than the 'reflux' symptoms themselves (Read more on the causes of reflux here).  In only a very, very small number of children is acid production the actual problem.  In babies, regurgitation is a normal part of development.  Reflux that causes pain is a problem in lots of babies, but is often caused by something else.  See this post on tongue tie and latch causing increased air intake which presents as reflux.  

    Plus, how many babies are diagnosed with reflux who actually have Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)?  And cow's milk is not the only food substance that has the propensity to cause reflux.  Other food allergies can present the same way, with similar symptoms.

    Abdominal Pain, Bloating, Wind, can all be subsets of reflux...

    If they are features of a child's life early on and constantly, and cause discomfort and pain, then chances are there is something going on for your baby or child that is causing this discomfort in their digestive system.  Intolerances to foods early on give us all sorts of signs and signals that something is not right.  We should pay more attention.
     

  3. A cold that lasts longer than it should

    Yes.  Runny nose, sneezing, coughing.  All classic signs of an allergy or intolerance.  If a cold does not start to improve after 7 days from "catching" it, ask questions if indeed there is something else at play. 

  4. Breathing Problems (Enlarged Adenoids)

    I was told my youngest daughter had a cold for 5 months by the GP (with monthly visits).  Then I figured it out. She was actually having a reaction to something in her diet! Eggs was first, then the biggest one we discovered was sulphites.  But with a 30 week wait time for an official allergy/intolerance diagnosis, I'm very glad I used my own skills to track down and identify all her allergens so that now she sleeps perfectly every night! Breathing easily, breathing happily, and breathing constantly.
     

  5. Behavioural Patterns (Crankiness, violence, whiny, aggression)

    In children and babies we typically put these behavioural characteristics down to tiredness, development milestones or emotional disturbances.  And yes, all of these can be the very cause of behavioural upsets.

    However, constant mood swings and inexplicable 'bad' behaviour is not how our children are designed.  They are actually predisposed to be happy and pleasant. No child is hard-wired to have poor behaviour.

    So next time you observe a child having a behavioural episode, especially the type that make you, as a parent, want to have a "what is going on with you? What have I done today to cause this? All I did was clean up after you, make sure you had 15 choices of food, clean your clothes and plan a fun day out"?  type of reaction.  Then ask yourself what has your child eaten earlier in the day?  

    I had to do this myself a year or so ago when my 3 yo was lashing out at my 18 month old every few afternoons, always around 5pm.  And it turns out that these were the days she was having a fruit smoothie as treat!  She isn't allergic to the fruit, she isn't intolerant to the fruit.  Her body was reacting to the blood sugar spike and drop! Yes! From a pure fruit drink.

    Similar reactions can be caused from allergies and intolerances directly

Babies who have CMPA or any food allergies or intolerances have a more sensitive naturally immature digestive system than other babies. And so this makes them more susceptible to intolerances when introducing foods. 

If you're a parent of a baby struggling with reflux and food allergies and intolerances (or what you think might be) then I've created various resources to help you work through the minefield of feeding your child and out the other side to a reflux free child! 

Take you pick below:

- The Baby Reflux Lady's Survival Guide - a great starting point for less than the cost of lunch out. I've learned a lot more since writing it but however this will still give you practical tips to overcome reflux caused by allergies.

- The Reflux Free Baby Workshop - created to take you from reflux hell to conquering reflux for good. This is the best place for the fastest results outside of 1-1 support, whatever stage your baby is at.

- The Reflux Free Baby Weaning Course - designed to support you through the process of safely weaning a baby with reflux (so it can be enjoyable!)

Áine x

 


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