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Child’s anxiety may be linked to food allergy

IANS | New York |

Is your kid suffering from an anxiety disorder? Beware, a food allergy might be the reason, a research has claimed.

The findings showed that children with a food allergy had a significantly higher prevalence of childhood anxiety.

Food allergy is particularly linked to elevated social anxiety and fear of social rejection and humiliation, the researchers said. 

"Management of a potentially life-threatening condition may be anxiety provoking, and some children may experience increased social anxiety about being different from other children depending on their age and how food allergy is managed by adults in a particular setting," said lead author Renee Goodwin, from the Columbia University in New York, US. 

For the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the team analysed 80 pediatric patients aged 4-12 years, with and without food allergy and their caregivers from predominantly low socioeconomic status.

Among the children with a food allergy, 57 per cent reported having symptoms of anxiety compared to 48 per cent of children without a food allergy. 

Food allergies were not associated with symptoms of childhood depression or with symptoms of anxiety or depression among their caregivers. 

The researcher next plan to examine these relationships among older adolescents and young adults with food allergy who are at the peak of risk for depression onset, especially because early anxiety is associated with increased risk for subsequent onset of depression.