Anxious young girl

Is There a Link between Food Allergies and Childhood Anxiety?

Nowadays, more and more children are dealing with food allergies at a young age. These rising numbers have sparked the curiosity of doctors and researchers to study the various developments associated with food allergies and an increase in holistic allergy treatment in Arlington Heights, IL. One particular area of interest is the connection between food allergies and childhood anxiety. A recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that children who suffer from food allergies are indeed experiencing more anxiety than children who don’t have food allergies. The study involved 80 pediatric patient-participants ranging from ages 4 to 12 that either have or don’t have a food allergy. Researchers found that 57% of children with a food allergy suffered from some form of anxiety. In this post, we’ll look at the highlights from this study.

Socioeconomic Status Can Increase Anxiety

If you or your child is dealing with a food allergy, then you probably already know that working around the allergy can be expensive. Shopping for specific foods, food preparation, meal planning, and medications—which can expire—can all lead to feelings of anxiety and tension within the family. Even very young children can pick up on the extra pressure that’s placed on parents who are trying to deal with a food allergy. Most of society understands that food allergies can present a number of problems, but most forget that added expenses are a major cause of concern for parents and caregivers of children who deal with food allergies. Children with fewer financial resources are specifically the ones who suffer from higher levels of anxiety.

Social Anxiety as a Factor

The study also concluded that children with food allergies are more likely to experience social anxiety, fear of rejection, and humiliation. This finding makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider a child who is starting school and going into a classroom as one of the only students with life-threatening food allergy. Many of these children are too young to manage their food allergy on their own, so they have to put a lot of trust into caregivers, teachers, and other school administrators to help them deal with their allergy. In settings where a student is unfamiliar with a new teacher or classroom, it’s easy for them to become more anxious than a student without a food allergy.

Children eating in cafeteria

What We Can Do about It

While these findings are concerning, it’s important to remember that research like this is helpful. It shines a light on the unique experience that children with food allergies face. It’s our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for our children. This means educating our schools and communities about food allergies, providing comfort and care to kids with food allergies, and utilizing better holistic allergy treatment in Arlington Heights, IL. It’s possible to control food allergies and reduce anxiety in an all-natural way. If you’d like to know more about food allergies in children, contact a representative from the Midwest Allergy Relief Center. Our experts can provide you with everything you need to know to help your child deal with his or her food allergy in a safe, holistic, and positive way!