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What are the most common food allergens?

· health,nutrition,Lifestyle

Over the years, parents with children diagnosed with ADHD, have often complained about their child’s allergies. They have often asked whether the two have anything to do with each other?

A study conducted in 2013, provided evidence of an association between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and allergic diseases.

This study provides emerging evidence that childhood ADHD is associated with atopic diseases and impetigo. The atopic diseases are… asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.

These three atopic diseases have a common pathway in the development of the disease and are driven by the immune system protein called IgE. They are frequently present together in the same individual and family.

So, what exactly is an allergic reaction?

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to something in the environment and produces proteins called IgE antibodies.


Triggers can be to proteins found in food, dust mites, pollen, animal hair and moulds.

A small amount of the offending food can cause an immediate reaction, which can be very severe and even life-threatening.

Typical symptoms are cramping, vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea.

The most life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis involves severe reactions in the skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.

If your child is that allergic you probably already know this and you must call emergency and if you have an EpiPen (i.e. adrenaline autoinjector) you must use it immediately.

According to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, the most common food allergens are:-

  • Peanuts and other nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Seafood
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Sesame

The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital website has excellent fact sheets that you can download for free, on each of the foods listed above.

If your child is allergic to wheat they may also react to barley and rye. These children tend to do better with non-gluten grains such as… rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa and buckwheat. Occasionally, these children can also tolerate small quantities of gluten-free oats and rye.

If your child is allergic to cow’s milk, you may like to try… coconut, almond, hazelnut, oat or rice milk.

Some children may tolerate A2 cow’s milk, goats milk or sheep’s milk.

Always check with your child’s Paediatrician and work with a good nutritionist.

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