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Is baby gas or colic a sign of food allergy?

Hi, I'm Dr. Dave Stukus. I'm a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, a Board-Certified Allergist and Immunologist, and I'm also a member of the Medical and Scientific Council for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

There are many misconceptions in regards to allergic conditions and asthma and food allergies. And we're going to address several of those to try to help give good evidence-based information and combat the misinformation that's out there.

Is baby gas or colic a sign of food allergy?

Usually not. Most babies experience gassiness or colicky behavior in the first few months of life. This is a normal transition from a very quiet, serene environment inside the womb. They just spent nine months or so in a very peaceful state, and they come out in the world where it’s very bright and cold and noisy, and they have to learn how to eat for the first time. And that can be hard to do. Sometimes it's just hard to coordinate, you know, sucking and swallowing and not getting a lot of air in the belly and stuff like that.

So this is more often than not a normal behavior for infants that naturally improves over time and it's self resolved. So we don't typically get concerned about food allergies as a cause of gassiness or colicky behavior.

If there are other symptoms that are occurring, such as acute onset hives or swelling or rashes or blood in the stool, please discuss with your pediatrician or allergist. But I would not recommend thinking that there's food allergy as a cause of what is otherwise typically normal behavior in babies.

Food Allergy, Symptoms
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David Stukus, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Director of the Food Allergy Treatment Center, and Associate Director of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is board certified in allergy/immunology and pediatrics.

Dr. Stukus has devoted his career to communicating evidence-based medicine and best clinical practice to colleagues, medical professionals of all backgrounds, patients, and the general public. In addition to providing clinical care for children with all types of allergic conditions, he participates in clinical research, quality improvement, patient advocacy, and medical education.

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