If your child has a true food allergy, such as to strawberries or peanuts, you will know immediately because he or she might break out in hives or have trouble breathing after eating these foods. But if your child has a food sensitivity—which can result in more vague symptoms such as gas, bloating, rashes, joint pain and fatigue—you can have a hard time pinpointing the sensitivity. Lake Health naturopathic provider Jacob Wolf, ND, LAc, Dipl OM, explains how to uncover the culprit and what to do about it:
Food sensitivities in children
If your child is struggling with uncomfortable or painful digestive symptoms, you need to do some detective work to determine the cause. Some children have a combination of sensitivities, which requires deeper investigation.
Jacob recommends starting with the most common culprits:
Eliminate all of these from your child’s diet for a few weeks until symptoms are reduced. If these eliminations don’t help, ask your health care provider to investigate your child’s digestive problems.
Healing digestive tract damage
To help with digestive healing, incorporate fermented foods or probiotics into your child’s diet and use foods and herbs high in mucilage such as those listed below to coat and soothe the tissue:
- Aloe gel, available as a prepared drink in most health food stores
- Marshmallow root, available in powder form in most health food stores
You can also try supplements that help heal the gastrointestinal lining. These include glutamine and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DLG). Jacob offers both products in his office, or you can get them at most health food stores.
When symptoms are resolved and digestion is back to normal, your health care provider can help you begin reintroducing foods in a specific way or contact Jacob to guide you in this process.