What is food intolerance in children?

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Food intolerance in children is one of the most common causes for the appearance of diarrhea at a growing age.

Food intolerance in children is a somewhat familiar situation today, determined by many circumstances that we must know. In most cases, the enigma can be solved with early diagnosis and conventional treatment.

Babies’ digestive and immune systems must go through a maturation method as they grow. Adaptation to new foods, the production of bacterial flora, and various infections in these ages, impact this whole process.

The digestive system of children

The digestive ability of a baby increases from 10 ml on the first day of life to 200 ml after the first year, as the digestive system develops. We must keep in mind that digestion in a child is slower than that of an adult.

As is well known, breastfeeding provides a more proper digestion process for the newborn’s obligations. Though, for parents who cannot produce physiological breastfeeding for their children, formula milk also gives the basic requirements.

But the digestive system not only works for the intake of nutrients and secretion, but it also affects the defenses, immune system, and coordination of hormones. Its maturation starts from gestation and functionality is full around 5 years.

What is food intolerance?

Food intolerance is considered an unfavorable reaction to food. Unfavorable reactions to foods are normally regular episodes in the general population.  The most usual are allergic processes and food intolerances.

But, food intolerances are 5-10 times more usual than allergies. We are going to probe into them to get to know them better.

Food intolerance in children is linked to the deficiency of enzymes that assist the digestion of specific nutrients. Due to this, the metabolization of food and its right intake and elimination is impossible.

How does food intolerance appear in children?

Food intolerance can be assumed when a child has any of these indications:

Diarrhea or constipation: Both symptoms may appear mutually.

Abdominal pain or swelling: In the newborn baby it is more tricky to assess because it is linked with crying.

Gases: Constant expulsions of intestinal gas and belching are well-known.

Vomiting: They can appear rough or milder. It is vital to separate them from regurgitation.

Reactions on the skin: Small skin reactions tend to appear, leading to suspicion of atopic dermatitis.

The most common food intolerances in children

Among the most frequent food intolerances are:

Lactose intolerance: It is a disease provoked by a lack of lactase, responsible for breaking down lactose. Its diagnosis is made by asking the denial of all dairy products from the child and assessing its status.

Gluten intolerance: This alteration is better understood by the name of celiac disease. Gluten is found in usually consumed cereals such as barley, rye, wheat, or oats. To diagnose this disease, a blood test can be done.

In the case of premature babies, it is essential to be very careful and monitor the introduction of food and the potential indications that these can cause.

Intolerance and food allergy: Are the same?

The signs of food intolerance in children can be messy, in particular situations, with that of a food allergy.

Digestive symptoms also appear in food allergy pictures. Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea are the most common, but they are also followed by affectations in other organs. Among the most affected organs is the cutaneous system, with the presence of urticaria.

Among the signs to watch out for are those linked with the respiratory system, such as:

Wheeze: These happen due to a reduction of the airways.

Rhinitis: It attacks the nasal mucosa and causes itching, sneezing, obstruction, nasal secretions, and, sometimes, a loss of smell.

Throat swelling: Keep in mind that the signs associated with food allergies are quick to develop. The union of numerous symptoms that affect different organs should be a cause to go to an emergency service.

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