Child care

Food Allergies in Children Causing Behavior Problems

An allergic reaction to food may not only cause hives and swelling. These dietary problems can also lead to behavior problems. Identifying problem foods can go a long way toward remedying problematic behavior.

Food allergies in children causing behavior problems
Any allergy – whether as a result of food, pharmaceuticals or other irritant – can be bound to a variety of problems, including behavior disturbances. Studies have demonstrated that individuals with allergic immune response to certain foods have a higher tendency toward behavioral issues.

How behavior changes occur due to food allergens in children
Food allergies can be related to behavior problems that range from misbehaving to learning and memory impairments.
The basic signs and symptoms of disordered behavior as result of a food allergy can be observed shortly after the food in question is eaten. A child may become aggressive, start screaming, throw tantrums or appear to be hyperactive.

Identification of behavior changes due to food allergies in children
Food allergies have the potential to affect the feelings and emotions of a child. If your child swings from content to quarrelsome after meals, it may be an indication that food allergens are at play. Your child’s doctor can help you determine what is causing the problem and help you eliminate it.

Do food allergens or additives exhibit ADHD behavior?
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), most or the studies that demonstrate the absence of an association between diet and ADHD were poorly designed and executed. CSPI, a non-profit group of scientists, issued a 1999 report that reviewed about 25 years of studies. They conclude that ADHD can be caused by food additives and food allergens.

Individuals more likely to react to a food additives or allergens

  • Allergic individuals (stuffy nose, asthma, eczema)
  • Kids who are depressed or who often don’t feel well
  • Children with dark circles beneath the eyes (“allergy shiners”)
  • Kids with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome, who look happy at one moment and suddenly become a nasty wildebeest without any provocation
  • Children with chronic chronic sleeping problems
  • Babies who were colicky even after the four months of age
  • Kids with recurrent infections

Behavior responses observed in kids

  • Hyperactivity
  • Tantrums, screaming, aggressive behavior
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Crying, whining, not feeling well
  • Very tiny handwriting
  • Poor handwriting
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Headaches
  • Itchy or runny nose, wheezing, coughing, scratchy eyes
  • Digestive upset (gas, vomiting, nausea, constipation, gagging, belching, bloating)
  • Dyslexics may do “mirror” writing, or reverse letters during a reaction
  • Non-stop, senseless speech or talk
  • Red patches on cheeks, bright red earlobes
  • Bags, wrinkles or dark circles under the eyes
  • Recurrent infections: sinus, chest, ear
  • Rashes, hives, eczema

Always consult your doctor before beginning a new diet or exercise regimen.

References

Jacobson, M.F., Ph.D., Schardt, D., M.S.; Diet, ADHD & Behavior: A Quarter-Century Review; 1999; http://afcansw.asn.au/doc/ADHDDiet.pdf

Cormier, E. and Harrson Elder, J.; Diet and Child Behavior Problems: Fact of Fiction?; Pediatric Nursing; March 2007;
http://ecs.ovec.org/documents/lowincidence/Autism/Resource%20Binder/4%20Dietary/Diet%20and%20Child%20Behavior%20Problems.pdf

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