— For 5 months, we went around 7 pediatricians, a dermatologist, a gastroenterologist, a virologist. Loss tons of tests, unsuccessfully "treated" for dysbiosis, lactase deficiency, atopic dermatitis, pyoderma, staphylococcus — this story can often be heard from the mother of a little allergic.
Finding out how to help a little person with such features is not easy. Parents, disoriented by a huge amount of conflicting information, seek support and reliable information, but often remain one-on-one with their problem, they miss time, and it does not bring health benefits.
Therefore, if you think that superheroes are only in the movies or in the pictures, then you are mistaken, they are among us.
Allergy sufferers really have superpowers, and here are just a few of them:
They know how to survive on 5 products.
They do wet cleaning at home 4 times a day.
They can not always go to the garden and work, but must spend a year at the seaside.
They sit at home for months with the windows closed.
That is why parental and patient schools, which are practically absent in Russia, are so important. In many countries, it is in such communities that one can get reliable information on one’s illness, support and attention.
— Together with the eldest son, we went around dozens of doctors in an attempt to understand how to help the child, but nothing helped. Over the six months, we visited a total of more than 20 doctors, receiving 20 different diagnoses and appointments, ”says Daria Nashchekina, co-founder of the Allergomama patient community @allergomoms. — But a good doctor carefully unravels each case like a tangle, because every little allergic person has his own individual history.
Allergy Immunity — How Poorly Trained Dog
— Is allergy a superpower or a mechanism “conceived” by nature? Why does one child react to a product and the other does not?
— Allergy is a protective mechanism of the body against the aggressive effects of the environment. Why is one child allergic to the most banal thing, and the other is not?
Without a doubt, our potential allergic sensitivity is a consequence of genetic predisposition. It can be assumed that a child whose one parent is allergic may be prone to allergies in 40-70% of cases, if both parents are allergic, the prognosis may be about 80-85%. But predisposition to allergic reactions in general is inherited, and not an allergy to a particular product or, for example, pollen.
There is also a hygienic theory: if a child is grown clean, sterile, parents wipe with antiseptic solutions every millimeter of everything a child can come in contact with, his immune system cannot resist something external, the power of immunity is transferred to internal factors.
It turns out that before we were surrounded by our lovely, trained bacteria, to which we are accustomed throughout the evolutionary path, and now we have come up with tools that kill the actually tamed flora, to which people have already adapted quite well. This place is occupied by various unexplored "monsters" with whom we have never met.
There is also an opinion that all people are more or less susceptible to allergies, but not everyone has met their allergen. And indeed, many people, as more and more new substances are invented, which they have never encountered before, can react to them.
Triggers for the development of allergies — this is a sharp deterioration in the environment, the uncontrolled use of medicines, antibiotics.
Breastmilk is being used less and less for feeding babies. And more and more often in children we encounter reactions to cow's milk protein due to the fact that it is used in milk formulas at the age when the child could not yet naturally receive this protein. Sensitization occurs even in the early stages in the maternity hospital, when the nurses out of kindness tell young mothers that “the child is hungry, he is not fed”. So there is a risk of reaction to cow's milk protein, which is in the mixture, or to milk protein in the diet of the nursing mother.
Medicine comes up with new drugs, substances, methods designed to save patients. But these are two sides of the same coin.
— There is an opinion that allergy sufferers are children with stronger immunity. And sometimes they say that their immunity works "incorrectly." How really?
— Allergy immunity can be compared to a poorly trained dog: there is a clever dog that sits with its clever eyes, looks at its owner and fulfills all of its commands. And the other is exactly the same dog — quite flighty, biting everyone, including the owners. None of the dogs is stronger: simply the aggression of the second dog for various reasons is directed in the wrong direction.
Of course, in allergy sufferers immunity is not worse than in children who are not prone to allergic effects, immunity, in principle, cannot be assessed in this way.
— Is it possible to prevent the development of allergy at the planning stage, pregnancy or a newly born child?
— We are not omnipotent. In utero, the child is firmly protected, "hidden" from many substances that could theoretically cause an anaphylactic reaction in the mother herself — nature is mudra. There are cases when future mothers, while in intensive care, received a lot of serious drugs, but there was no intoxication in children in utero. Therefore, limiting yourself in harmless products makes no sense, of course.
On the contrary, it is better to adapt the child to new products for him through a varied healthy diet of a nursing mother, because this is how the process is conceived by nature itself. Regional peculiarities of nutrition and the preferences of the family itself, in which a new person appeared, are also important.
But if we know that, for example, the mother is allergic, and her older brother or sister has an allergy, then, of course, the approach to the introduction of complementary foods and the selection of mixtures for such a child should take this into account.
In the case when it is really necessary, you should choose a mixture with hydrolyzed milk protein. With the introduction of cow and goat milk with the introduction of complementary foods you need to be careful, because most often all the whole-animal dairy products react in a coupling. So we are preparing for the possible manifestations of allergy in a child.
"Diet without red" and other myths about allergies
— Allergy is sometimes called a disease of our time. Do allergic children become more?
— We ourselves have now become more alert to allergic diseases and are paying them more comprehensive attention: both doctors and parents. It used to be that a child simply “outgrow” an allergy to, for example, cow's milk.
Now we pay more attention to other manifestations: gastrointestinal, respiratory and others. We know more, improved diagnostic capabilities. We observe how the child grows further, what conditions he experiences, and we understand that many uncharacteristic symptoms may be manifestations, another “mask” of intolerance to the product. Gastroreflux disease, constipation, and even joint pain can sometimes be viewed from this angle.
“Different okolomeditsinsky sources often write about the connection between neurology, the gastrointestinal tract, the microbiome and allergies: allegedly the gastrointestinal tract is our“ second brain ”and it is the cause of all diseases. Is it so?
— Our “residents” are, of course, involved in all the processes in which we ourselves participate. From what point of view do we look at the human body? If we are anthropocentric, then we assume that the brain dominates, which controls all processes, including the microbiota.
If we believe that a person is created to feed the population of the gastrointestinal tract, then, accordingly, they control our actions. Although the relationship, of course, is present. And we can say that enzymes and hormone-like substances that are produced in the intestines, including with the participation of our microbiota, indirectly affect the brain.
It is impossible to safely assert that this influence prevails. Although there are many conditions, such as diabetes, when certain levels of insulin force a person to perform completely thoughtless actions, so everything in the human body is certainly interconnected. We can not say that we can do without something.
Of course, if the intestinal wall is irritated and the person is allergic, then the composition of its flora is changing for the worse, as is the production of many hormone-like substances. But if everything was so simple — a man would have won in one fell swoop all diseases.
Many misconceptions about medical theories are very dangerous: directly, only through, for example, prosaic methods of detoxification and general fashionable “healing” diets, it is impossible to influence a delicate and complex, but very fragile children's organism: it is much more sensible and more complex.
It is impossible to absorb dietary supplements in the hope that they will get stuck together if the intestines cannot absorb them for more systemic reasons.
— There are many myths around the topic of allergy: “diets without red”, “dysbacteriosis” — can this knowledge help an allergic person to be cured? And is it even possible to cure allergies?
— Myths and legends have always been close to medicine. In fact, the reason is not in color, but in the product itself and in which protein it contains, whether the product is a provocateur of allergic reactions or not. Individual intolerance to any product may be, but it is not necessary that every child will have it.
Dysbacteriosis — just a distant consequence of many conditions, including irritated intestinal walls, is absolutely impossible, eating a huge amount of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, to solve this problem, the reason is always more difficult. There are products that are not perceived by the body, and those that are "under the distribution", reinforce the reaction of the first.
The task of the doctor is to identify significant allergens, then it is likely that some foods can later be included in the diet again.
It is impossible to completely cure allergies, although it is often said that during periods of hormonal alterations, the allergy itself transforms and becomes less pronounced. Nevertheless, this state is for life, it is important to understand how it will look under other “masks” during life. With allergies, you can learn to live quite comfortably. This is the general task of the doctor and the patient — improving the quality of life of each child!
Our parent school “Smart Mom” @ deti.ckb brings together professional and patient audiences, conveys honest and high-quality information to parents. In partnership with the Allergomama patient community, we hold free meetings for parents with the best doctors.
See also: How to save a child from pollinosis: the advice of an immunologist.
Chief editor of the blog — Felix.