Children’s Allergies – Health and Food Intolerances

In Australia today, 40% of children have an allergy of some kind and unfortunately this figure is on the rise.  Here in Perth there has been a steady increase in allergic diseases such as asthma, food intolerances, dermatitis and other skin conditions such as eczema.

Some of these allergies stem from

    • A genetic predisposition
    • Introduction of solid foods too early
    • Food allergies
    • Environmental triggers – pollens, animal dander, peanuts, milk and eggs
    • An immature immune/gut system ( ceasarean birth )

Research over this last 10 years has indicated that the processes which lead to Children’s Allergies – Health and Food Intolerances, are initiated very early on in life – possibly even before babies are born.

The Child Health Research Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, has been conducting research into the use of specific probiotic strains with children suffering with allergies, skin rashes, eczema and hives.  The outcome was children who were given the probiotic strains showed a more significant improvement in their symptoms then children who were given placebo.

In other studies conducted, research has shown that giving good quality pure fish oils both in preconception/pregnancy care and when the child is born has built tolerance in their immune system function which has lead to a very positive influence in decreasing inflammation and the lessening of symptoms in infants and children with allergies.

Pre-conception and Pregnancy Care Program

As Naturopaths and Nutritionists, we at Perth Allergy Clinic believe in the value of a thorough pre-conception and pregnancy care program which includes the vital nutrients of activated folic acid, good quality pure fish oils and specific probiotic strains, will assist in decreasing inflammation and build tolerance to allergies.

Looking after infants and children with the use of probiotics (1,2) we believe, plays a very important role in the development and enhancement of a child’s immune system and so may reduce the chances of them developing allergies. At Perth Allergy Clinic we use practitioner only products which are evidence based and scientifically backed by clinical trials.

Our Nutritionist and Allergy Advisor, Jennifer Gallanagh, offers dietary advice and can assist with even the most ‘fussy’ eaters with a food/meal plan based on low allergenic food types.

Combined with Jennifer’s nutritional support, our Naturopaths Rachel and Susan have some 24 years experience between them. A child’s gastrointestinal system does not fully mature until they reach three years old so it is of the utmost importantance to support your child’s gut and immune function as it develops. A healthy gut and immune system may help protect your child from common immunological conditions such as:-

    • Eczema
    • Allergy, hay fever, sinusitis
    • Ear infections
    • Skin conditions
    • Coughs and colds

Toddlers and Infants

At Perth Allergy Clinic we look after many babies and toddlers who suffer with allergies.  We would like to share with you some very important things we have learned from clinical experience that we can pass onto you about your babies’ microbiome.

An infant’s microbiome is very immature for the first few years therefore it is vulnerable especially if there is a family history of allergies and/or an illness which has required antibiotic therapy.  Both of these can make the already permeable gastro intestinal tract (git)lining even more permeable.  This permeability may induce an immune response which may manifest in symptoms of eczema, skin rashes, hives.  It is therefore, very important to support your child’s microbiome with immune strain specific probiotics.  The more you look after your child’s microbiome in the formative years the healthier your child will be.  At three years of age the microbiome stabilises and whatever condition the microbiome is in at that stage is what your child has to live with moving forward in life.

If there is a family history of allergies especially on the mother’s side then we encourage the mother to have a test to check for food intolerances and or sensitivities.

The best time to test is either in the pre-conception care period or in the early stages of pregnancy. This way we can identify the foods causing inflammation and minimise them with an elimination and rotational diet which will decrease the inflammation for the mother and reduce the risk for the unborn child.

Mum needs care too

We have well qualified Naturopaths and Nutritionists who are experienced in assisting with dietary information, rotation diets and reintroduction of foods. They will be working with the food intolerance test report and advising you of the inflammatory foods to avoid.  This not only gives you, the mother, a benefit but also decreases the inflammatory effect on your unborn child.

Another important aspect we consider whilst adopting the elimination, rotation and reintroduction programme, is that the nutritional status of the food plans are balanced to give you the maximum vitamin and minerals within your diet.

We also encourage the health of a mother’s microbiome whilst pregnant as this helps to determine the health of her baby’s microbiome, and it’s subsequent immune and digestive health.

Several probiotic strains have been shown to improve the mother’s microbiome, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12®). In clinical trials they have been shown to lower the incidence of infant eczema and infections.  Additionally, Bifidobacterium breve (M-16v) and Bifidobacterium longum (BB563) may help to reduce the risk of allergy in infants.

The right probiotics in pregnancy are therefore important to support the health of both mother and baby.

References for Children’s Allergies – Health and Food Intolerances

    • Niers L, Martin R, Rijkers G, et al. The effects of selected probiotic strains on the development of eczema (the PandA study). Allergy. 2009;64(9):1349-1358.
    • West CE, Hammarström M-L, Hernell O. Probiotics during weaning reduce the incidence of eczema. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2009; 20:430-437.

If there is a “take home”  advice here then it is…

if you suffer with food sensitivities and allergies then please get tested early to avoid your child suffering with discomfort.  There is so much that we can do in the pre-conception/pregnancy time frame.

If however, your child does suffer with allergies, itchy skin, eczema or hives the good news is we have a whole infant /toddler protocol for these conditions and we are here to help you.

We can test children from the age of 6 months and work with the food intolerance report so as to introduce the solids that your child is not allergic to, build up their microbiome and then rotate the food groups so your child has a healthy balanced diet.

We are here to help we can offer Telehealth consultations or face to face.

Our clinic complies with the Covid-19 health regulations.

We are here for you

One certainty is that doing nothing will achieve nothing !

These issues can be very frustrating; we know as we see many patients a week who have put up with irritating allergy / food intolerance symptoms for long periods of time.

We would be pleased to offer our experience to help you. We will ask you to complete a comprehensive on-line questionnaire. Once we have analysed your Health Analysis Questionnaire responses and you have spoken at length to one of our Practitioners you and your Practitioner will come up with a way forward to address any frustrating symptoms that you have had to deal with.

Our reception phone is manned from 08:00 through to 19:00 seven days a week.

You will also find the physical clinic opening hours further down this page. So please contact us