We call adverse food allergy to a clinically abnormal response which appears after eating certain foods or additives.
This type of abnormal response is divided into two types: Food Allergy and Food Intolerance.
The difference between them is that one of them (Food Allergy) is mediated by the immune system and the other (Intolerance) is not.
The foods most frequently associated with food allergy in the case of children are cow milk, eggs, fish, peanuts and nuts; in the case of adults, sea food.
The clinical manifestation of these reactions may go from vomits, abdominal colics, lip inflammation (edema) and urticaria, to fatal results.
The treatment is the complete avoidance of the food or product which causes the problem.
Watch out for sweets containing milk, peanuts, nuts; desserts prepared with eggs or milk, etc.
Remember that between 25 and 40% of the people who are allergic to cow milk may also be allergic to soya milk.
As feeding and prophylaxis guidelines, we (pediatricians) recommend breast milk at least for the first six months, beginning with the first baby food after that period.
If the child cannot be breastfed during the above mentioned period and being likely to have food allergies (positive family background), milk with hydrolysate of casein will be indicated.
Within this area of Pediatrics there are a lot of myths and it is very easy to mistake reactions to food with allergies. The person in charge of the diagnosis is the family pediatrician. There are no studies that manage to diagnose allergy; some clinical signs and a thorough medical record can help.