Food allergy may be defined as normal tissue reactions that may occur in some individuals after consuming a particular food or groups of food. Food allergens consist mostly of proteins like milk and eggs and also include tomato, brinjal, orange, potato and chocolate. The signs and symptoms of food allergy include:
1.Skin lesions such as rashes and eczema.
2.Nausea, vomiting and diarrohea
3.Headache, cold and asthma.
4. Redness, swelling, burning and itching of the eyes.
5. Irritation of the nasal mucous membrane.
The procedures adopted for the diagnosis are history of the consumption of foods and skin tests. Elimination diets (i.e) exclusion of certain foods or food groups in the diet for some time are used in the treatment of food allergy. Drugs like antihistamines and corticosteroids are also given to treat allergy.
If With Fevers
Fever is an elevation in body temperature above the normal. Fever are of three types:
Short duration fever (eg) typhoid, influenza,
Chronic fever (eg) tuberculosis
Intermittent fever (eg) malaria.
General Dietary Considerations
Energy: A high calorie diet is prescribed because there is increase in the metabolic rate. Around 2500 - 3000 calories is prescribed.
Protein: About 80 - 100g of protein is prescribed. High protein beverages may be used as supplements to the regular meals.
Fats: Fried foods and highly concentrated foods are avoided because it cannot be digested easily.
Vitamins: Fevers apparently increase the requirement for Vitamin A, B Complex vitamins and Vitamin C.
Fluid: The fluid intake must be liberal to compensate for the losses from the sweat. 2500 - 5000ml is necessary, including soups, fruit juices and water.
Bland, readily digested food and soft foods should be given to facilitate digestion and rapid absorption. Small quantities of food at regular intervals of 2 - 3 hours will permit adequate nutrition without overtaxing the digestive system at any time.
Foods to be Included: Fruit juices with glucose, coconut water, barley water, custards and cereal gruels.
Foods to be Avoided: Oily foods, ghee, spices, fried foods and rich pastries.