Food Intolerance Symptoms in Toddlers and Adults
This picture of chocolate would look yummy to most people but for those suffering from food reactions, especially those who have a food reaction to amines, this is the last thing they would want to eat.
The body is an amazing machine that is capable of telling us when something is not right by displaying symptoms or allergies and sometimes disease (dis-ease). When you have a problem with a certain food or drink the reaction can be immediate or days later, thereby making it difficult to diagnose the exact food or drink causing the problem in the first place. The symptoms in toddlers are not that much different from that in adults, as you will see from the food list below. The only difference is based more on the individual reaction and its severity rather the age of the person.
It should also be noted that food intolerance is different to food allergy which is in my opinion, more immediately life threatening. It is important not to discount the fact the food intolerance symptoms along with environmental sensitivities can be extremely debilitating.
Causes of food reactions
Some of the other culprits that cause food symptoms are natural colors and natural flavors in food and drinks. Many people believe that if the food or drink ingredients list natural colors then it is safe, which is not the case. Here’s a good example. Annatto is a natural color and yet some people react to this and I believe my daughter is one of these people as she tends to get quite irritable after having a food that contains Annatto. This additive is often used in ice-cream and certain cheeses for example but also many other foods.
Glutamates are also a problem for many people. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) or 621 is added to many foods as a flavor enhancer and it is naturally occurring in tomatoes, grapes, plums, prunes, broccoli, English Spinach to name just a few.
When we talk about naturally occurring chemicals in foods, what we mean is that it is part of the make up of that plant and is not a man made additive. You can find out more about glutamates and other food through this wonderful food intolerance book. Keep in mind that fragrances, fabric additives, new carpets, paints, detergents, fabric softeners and pollutants can be the cause of health problems.
This next piece of information is only really discovered through your own research or with the assistance of such people as a dietitian or naturopath who has an understanding of the impact of food chemicals on the body.
When you mention naturally occurring chemicals in food, most people conjure up an image of a chemical that has been added to food by a food manufacturer. In actual fact, naturally occurring chemicals are in fruit and vegetables and these can be a major problem for those who cannot tolerate the natural chemicals in food, even if it is healthy. They are called naturally occurring because the plant naturally contains them as its own protective mechanism. These natural chemicals are called amines and salicylates. While a larger number of people are more prone to a salicylate reaction, there are others that have amine reactions. I am one of those people that used to react quite strongly to amines. We used what I believe is one of the best food intolerance books, which I reviewed here called Friendly Food which is produced by the Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Unit in Sydney Australia (RPA). It was a food intolerance bible in our house for many years whilst in the process of healing our bodies until we were able to accept a wider variety of foods.
How To Reduce Food Intolerance Symptoms
Sometimes you can feel healthier by merely removing the food additives and preservatives from your diet. This change alone can bring about an improvement in your health or that of your family’s health. You may also need to look at whether leaky gut syndrome is a problem. The process of eliminating food causing your health issues can seem overwhelming so my suggestion is that you go through the process slowly.
- Make a list of alternatives for healthy snacks then increase your list to include meals so you eventually replace the culprit foods in your pantry
- Introduce a new recipe every fortnight and use that new recipe at least 3 times in that fortnight so that you become comfortable with cooking it. Visualize yourself making that recipe before you make it and plan ahead so you have all the ingredients on hand to make it and time to make it without being stressed
- Buy a good book on food additives so that you can take a wallet size card to the supermarket when you shop
- Research products at your grocer based on what food additives to avoid. Check the food labels.
- Ignore what the in-laws, family or friends have to say and keep in mind that a strict diet is a temporary thing until you can work at healing your body. If it helps, just don’t even share with them your food issues and your steps to heal your body. People who don’t know your situation will be very quick to judge.
- Removal of food additives and preservatives should be a lifestyle choice not a temporary choice.
To take the steps necessary to reduce your symptoms, we recommend a book that we have found to be very useful for understanding additives in food is called Additive Alert written by Julie Eady, an Australian author. It is an extremely comprehensive guide to food colours, food additives, food preservatives, additive numbers correlated with additive names and the symptoms and dangers associated with each additive. It also includes a handy additive card that you can pop in your purse and pull it out to hold up against the ingredient list of a product when grocery shopping. A great book to have on your shelf so you can pull it out as needed.
Once you learn about the impact of food preservatives and additives, you will want to change what you buy. The benefit is that you will notice a change in the way you feel, your energy and health. It is also extremely beneficial for children who suffer behavioural problems. It makes life so much easier when you are not dealing with a child whose behaviour is a result of food intolerance or leaky gut syndrome.
Food intolerance symptoms in children and adults
Some common food intolerance symptoms are listed below and separated out for children and adults.
Food intolerance symptoms of Children:
- Trouble concentrating
- Skin rashes
- Soiling problems (even encopresis)
- Makes silly noises
- Jumps around
- cannot sit still
- tantrums over anything that can last up to 1 hour or be as little as 5 minutes
- unable to settle to sleep at night
- bed wetting
- stomach aches
- irritable bowel or IBS
- Autistic characteristics
- Trouble hearing
- regular ear aches
- regular ear infections
- low immunity
- oppositional defiance (ODD)
- emotional or teary
- sensitive hearing
Food intolerance symptoms of Adults:
- Tantrums 🙂
- Chronic headaches
- Mood swings
- Skin conditions or skin rashes
- feeling unwell after eating
- feeling generally unwell
- IBS – irritable bowel syndrome
- No energy
- Trouble getting to sleep
- not sleeping well / sleep apnea
- constantly tired
- Heart Palpitations
- Stomach aches
- Heart burn
This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you a guide to the types of symptoms typical of someone with food problems. If you have some other food intolerance symptoms you would like to share then please contact me and I will add them to the list.
To finish, I would like to add an important point. That when you make dietary changes to reduce the problems with food, you can sometimes expect worse behavior from children for up to two weeks. Adults can feel worse for a short time as the body rids itself of some of the chemicals it has been tolerating for so long. You will often see children who react to certain foods get worse before they again sprout their little angel wings that you knew existed all along. Stick with it, make changes in your diet and environment and you will feel better.Your News On Food brought to you by Eileen Baudinette Food and Health Commentator. © 2009 – 2015 www.thenewsonfood.com ———————–
I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.
———————-Food Intolerance Symptoms by Eileen