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healthykids


Action Plan for Parents Seven Signs of


Food Sensitivities by Pamela Bond I


n recent years, Pediatrician William Sears has seen many more cases of asthma and eczema in his San Clemente, California, office. Dairy and wheat remain the biggest culprits, but experts believe new factors may be contributing to the rise in food sensitiv- ities, including synthetic additives like partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors and sweeteners, plus genetically modified ingredients. Often undiagnosed and untreated, food intolerances can cause long-term tissue damage, warns Sears, author of The NDD Book, which addresses what he calls nutrient deficit disorder without resorting to drugs. Increasingly, kids are developing formerly adult-on- set diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease and acid reflux, he says. If it seems that a child is having a dietary reaction, first look for clues. “A lot of parents already suspect the answer,” says Kelly Dorfman, a licensed nutritionist dietitian and author of What’s Eating Your Child? Become a “nutrition detective”, she suggests. Here’s how to assess conditions and find solutions.


Spitting Up Suspects: Intolerance to casein— a protein prevalent in dairy cow milk different from its form in breast milk that can get into moth- ers’ milk or formula—tends to irritate an infant’s gut lining, causing


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gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and then chronic ear infections or con- stipation, says Dorfman.


Action: Remove dairy from the baby’s and nursing mom’s diet for at least a week. For formula feeding, choose a brand made with predigested casein or whey. To heal baby’s damaged intestinal lining, give 10 billion CFU (colony form- ing units) daily of probiotic bacteria, mixed in a bottle or sprinkled on food.


Chronic Diarrhea Suspects: Intolerance to gluten (a protein in wheat and other grains) or lactose (dairy sugar). Diarrhea, the gastrointestinal tract’s way of eliminat- ing problematic substances, plus gas and bloating, often accompany these intolerances. Lactose intolerance is usually a root cause and is present in nearly everyone that’s gluten intoler- ant, Dorfman says.


Action: Get a blood test to check for celiac disease, then eliminate gluten for at least a month. Although the diarrhea could end within a week, “You need a few weeks to see a trend,” counsels Dorfman. Consume fer- mented dairy products like cheese and yogurt, which have low lactose levels; cream dairy products may also test OK.


Chronic Ear Infections Suspects: Dairy intolerance and for many, soy sensitivity. Some research has shown that 90 percent of kids with recurring ear infections or ear fluid have food reactions, corroborated by Dorfman’s patients.


Action: Quit dairy and soy for several months to verify a correlation. Dorfman recommends eliminating soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, adding that ultrasensitive individuals may need to avoid processed foods that contain soy byproducts.


Itchy Skin Suspects: Reaction to gluten, casein (in dairy products) and eggs plus oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, straw- berries and pineapple.


Action: Because itchiness can suggest a histamine response, ask an allergist for an IgE radioallergosorbent (RAST) blood test to detect food sensitivities.


Hyperactivity Suspects: Sensitivity to artificial colors or sugar. According to Sears, children’s underdeveloped blood-brain barrier increases vulnerability to the neurotox- ic effects of chemical food additives, including artificial colors and monoso- dium glutamate (MSG).


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