Food allergy may present with obvious immediate reactions such as hives or swelling immediately after eating the problem food but this is not always the case. Allergy, particularly in smaller children, may present with a wide variety of different problems including colic, reflux, poor weight gain and constipation
A careful, detailed clinical history taken by an experienced physician coupled with allergy tests such as Skin Prick Testing or Specific IgE blood testing, together with provocation challenges remains the most reliable way to reach a diagnosis or exclude allergy as the cause of the problems.
Successful identification and removal of the allergen from the diet may lead to significant improvements in symptoms but this is not the whole story. Patients and their parents need to replace essential nutrients that the allergen (eg milk) may have provided and need advice on what substitutes are suitable. As a practicing consultant in paediatric allergy I can quickly diagnose acute allergies that may cause rapid reactions and give you a personalized management plan for your child. I am able to recommend suitable alternatives and empower you to recognise and deal with accidental reactions.