Allergies cause physical problems, and they can be a significant piece of learning problems and emotional issues. At least 40% of the children I see have allergies as well as dyslexia or other learning and behavior problems.
Having allergies often complicates dyslexia treatment, because it’s hard to tell which emotional or physical symptoms stem from the allergy and which are part of the dyslexia or another learning or behavior problem. You may be surprised to know that yelling, screaming, crying, and pouting can be allergic reactions.
The list of physical and emotional symptoms of allergies below may surprise you, but I see them every day. Contact your family doctor, naturopath, or chiropractor if you notice any of these symptoms in your child.
Physical symptoms experienced by allergic patients:
- Severe energy fluctuations in varying degrees, extreme fatigue, excessive sleepiness, or insomnia, unusual restlessness, general body ache.
- Pain of any kind, especially anything described as shooting, dull, pinprick sensation, or tightness in the chest.
- Abdominal symptoms such as bloating, hiccups, or bowel problems such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Respiratory distress, including the sensation of dust in the lungs, post-nasal drip, or excessive or unusual sneezing, coughing, or tearing.
- Heart irregularities such as increased blood pressure, erratic heart rates, or congestion.
Emotional symptoms experienced by allergic patients:
- Anxious symptoms such as nervousness, butterflies in the stomach, mood swings, crying spells, or laughing spells.
- Facial tics or blurred vision, facial numbness, throat constriction, or sensations of hairs in the eye.
- Itching in the private areas of the body, impotency, or low libido.
- Obsession, lashing out, rage, or suicidal thoughts.
- Odd cravings for salty, sugary, spicy, or sour foods.
- Cravings for distinctive odors such as coffee, popcorn, perfumes, chemicals, etc.
Because allergies can mimic so many other problems, getting to the bottom of them should be part of any dyslexia treatment. Allergies are relatively simple to alleviate once they’re identified, and improvement is typically rapid. However, some allergies are more difficult to deal with than others. For children, sugar, wheat, and dairy allergies are challenging to deal with.
In the next blog, we’ll dive into one of the most common allergies: wheat.