The most important part of treating food
allergies, obviously, is to identify- and then avoid-the foods that are
causing your child's reaction. There are two techniques, the elimination
diet and the rotation diet, that enable you to do this (see Elimination Diet
and Rotation Diet. Once you have identified the foods or classes of foods that cause symptoms in your child, remember to read the labels on all the processed food products you buy. Many food products will contain one or more of the substances you have identified as the source of your child's allergy.
In cases of severe multiple food allergies, oral cromolyn sodium (Gastrocrom) may be prescribed as a preventive measure. This is the same drug that is used in inhaled form to prevent asthma attacks.
If your child suffers from recurrent allergic reactions, an antihistamine may be recommended.
Use an elimination diet to determine which foods are causing your child's symptoms. Some of the foods that most commonly cause a reaction are dairy products, wheat, citrus fruits, nuts (including peanut butter), corn, soy products, cane sugar, and eggs. You may wish to try eliminating these first.
Always read product labels and be aware of the ingredients in manufactured food products, especially additives such as artificial flavorings and colorings. Processed foods often contain a surprising array of ingredients and additives. It's better to base your child's diet on whole foods that you prepare yourself.
For age-appropriate dosages of nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Herbs and Nutritional Supplements.
Calcium and magnesium help to reduce sensitivity and nervousness associated with allergies. Give your child a combination liquid containing 250 milligrams of calcium and 125 milligrams of magnesium, twice a day, for two to three months.
Give your child 50 to 100 milligrams of pantothenic acid, twice daily, at least one hour away from food, for one month to support adrenal function.
The B vitamins help support adrenal function. Give your child a vitamin-B complex supplement, twice a day, for two to three months.
Vitamin C helps to stimulate immune function. Give your child one dose of vitamin C, in mineral ascorbate form with bioflavonoids, twice a day, for two to three months.
Use an elimination or rotation diet to identify the food or foods that are causing your child's allergic response.
Because allergic reactions can take a wide variety of forms, from headaches to bedwetting, you may want to consult other entries in this book that correspond to your child's symptoms.