Food Allergy Symptoms: Do you know what they are?

The Journey To Itch & Scratch Free

Food Allergy Symptoms: Do you know what they are?

Food Allergy Symptoms

Guest Post by Lindsey Steffensen of Frugal Food Allergies When you think of food allergy symptoms you probably think of swollen, puffy faces and throats, hives, and the like.

Did you know that food allergies can show themselves in other ways as well?


Chronic red, itchy, dry, and irritated skin, otherwise known as eczema, can be a food allergy symptom.
For example: my daughter had terrible eczema as an infant and toddler. We tried cream after cream, eventually bleaching her skin in her elbows and behind her knees from the steroids.

A food allergy never crossed my mind until we had her tested for other reasons and soy popped up as an allergy. We eliminated the soy milk she’d been drinking and the eczema cleared right up.

She still has eczema but it’s much easier to control with soy out of the picture.


Babies spit up.

Some spit up a lot.

If your child is projectile spitting up multiple times a day, to the point where you bring at least one or two complete changes of clothes for both of you everywhere you go, and doctor recommendations and reflux medications are not helping; you may be looking right at a food allergy.

Also, reflux that is not helped by medications like Nexium and Zantac points right towards an allergic condition known as Eosinophilic Esophagitus (EE).

Spontaneous Hives


Before my daughter’s pediatrician ever suggested food allergies my daughter would seemingly randomly break out from head to toe in hives.

Our pediatrician told us that some children just break out in hives like that and to bathe her in a baby oil bath and give her Benadryl to clear it up.

Friends, that is most definitely an allergic reaction to something. If your pediatrician ever suggests it isn’t, please find a new one.* We were lucky enough to find a different pediatrician who is absolutely amazing and understands food allergies and we all adore her.

Fussy, Gassy, Rash

While breastfeeding my youngest (this was after we received my daughters food allergy diagnosis and I was rapidly learning about food allergies) I noticed that he was extremely fussy, gassy, and had a nasty diaper rash any time I had any dairy.

After eliminating dairy from my diet his symptoms resolved. This could be lactose intolerance in some cases but for my son it turned out to be pretty intense dairy allergy.

Now let’s talk about acute onsets of food allergy symptoms.

Mild Skin

We’ll begin with mild skin symptoms. This includes mild, itchy red bumps (hives) on the skin that appear after touching or eating a food. While alarming, this kind of reaction can usually be taken care of simply by using the procedure your allergist outlines in your emergency action plan.


Major Skin

Major skin symptoms would be things like head to toe hives, swelling face, or even swelling eyes. Yes, that happens, I’ve witnessed it myself and while very scary, you can treat it yourself. Your emergency action plan will tell you what to do in that situation.


Anything but skin

Anything at all other than skin is an epi plus 911 emergency situation.

Hoarseness, itchy and/or swelling throat and tongue, intense abdominal pain and vomiting, feelings of doom, breathing trouble and loss of consciousness all fall under this category.

This is known as anaphylaxis.

This is the big bad scary reaction that we all work so hard to avoid. Anaphylaxis is immediately life threatening and every second counts during this type of reaction.

Please keep in mind the mildest skin reaction can progress to anaphylaxis without warning so it is very important to keep a very close eye on your child and follow the steps in your emergency action plan.

I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that I keep going back to the emergency action plan. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have one and know it through and through.

If you suspect that your child may have a food allergy, it’s a good idea to ask your pediatrician about seeing an allergist. An allergist can test your child for foods that could be allergic and set up an emergency action plan for you so you will know what to do in any reaction from mild to severe.

The sooner you take action, the better your child will feel.

*The experiences with our former pediatrician that I have mentioned are just that, our experiences. We were seeing a small town doctor who simply didn’t have experience dealing with all that my daughter had going on. She now sees a team of highly specialized doctors all working together that our new   pediatrician put together to best care for her.


About Lindsey, Frugal Food Allergies

Lindsey is “a mom that is absolutely convinced that it does not have to cost a fortune to cook with food allergies.”  She is the mother of 3 kids, 2 of which have various food allergies. Read more about her story! She’s a firm believer that no matter what your budget is, you can create great meals with her ever growing list of recipes! Frugal Food Allergies is a place of learning, encouragement, and hope.

Thank you Lindsey for posting with us on SMN Eczema 360!

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