Food Allergy

Food Allergy occurs when a person immune system reacts to a particular protein within the food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhoea. It some cases, people can experience life-threatening reaction such as Anaphylaxis.

Below are the most common foods that children react to:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts

Majority of allergic reactions occur in early childhood and some children will grow out of the allergy as they get older.

There are two categories of Food Allergies which are IgE mediated and Non -IgE mediated. In an IgE-mediated allergy, the child will experience symptoms within minutes or up to two hours after eating a particular food. Whereas, in a Non-IgE mediated allergy the child will experience symptoms after two hours or up to a few days after eating anything that particular food.


Parents often get confused between a Food allergy and Food Intolerance. Food intolerance is simply when the body cannot properly digest the food and irritates the digestive system causing various symptoms such as nausea, bloating, loose stools, tiredness e.t.c. Whereas, in the case of a Food Allergy the body’s immune system attacks the food causing histamine to be released in the body. The reactions can lead to various symptoms such as hives, itching, eczema, throat tightness, abdominal pain, vomiting e.t.c.


To book to see a Paediatric Consultant Allergist please visit the Paediatric Diagnostics Clinic.