Children’s Allergies & Reactions – What’s the Difference


We are constantly exposed to foreign bodies from the environment, with the respiratory system, digestive system and skin all providing a barrier to protect us from the outside world. Ordinarily, the immune system does an amazing job detecting these foreign bodies and neutralising them so that they do not cause harm to our body.

However, for some kids, their immune system has an abnormal response that causes unwanted symptoms. When this happens we refer to these substances as ‘allergens’. Fortunately, with targeted treatment, the allergic process can be modified, helping your child to become less reactive to substances they have always found problematic. Allergies are considered one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in Australia.




An allergy or reactivity is an inappropriate immune response to what should be a harmless substance in the environment. This could be pollen, a food item and/or a natural or synthetic chemical or product. Allergy and reactivity symptom severity varies significantly from child to child, ranging from serious anaphylaxis (e.g. an allergic response requiring EpiPen® use) to milder symptoms such as ongoing headaches.


Allergies and reactivity can affect more than one bodily system and often run in families, and usually affect the same system across generations. Not every child with an allergy has an anaphylactic response, but may instead experience other allergic conditions such as hay fever, allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis (skin rashes) or food allergies (e.g. coeliac disease).


Allergies often involve the release of histamine, a chemical signal secreted by specific cells when you r child is exposed to an allergen. It is a combination of an abnormal immune response, and the subsequent release of histamine, that results in a diverse range of physical reactions that may include the following:

  • ✅ Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sneezing, sinus pain, red itchy nose)
  • ✅ Gut symptoms (e.g. bloating, flatulence, cramping)
  • ✅ Skin symptoms (e.g. red itchy rash, hives), amongst others.




Importantly, reactivity is not the same as allergy. Reactivity is also sometimes referred to as an intolerance or hypersensitivity.

Food intolerances can be the result of an absence of a specific ‘enzyme’ or chemical needed to digest a food substance (e.g. kids who are lactose intolerant do not have enough of the enzyme ‘lactase’ to digest the lactose properly).

Reactivity may also occur in response to natural chemicals in foods such as naturally occurring histamine, or due to added chemicals (e.g. food additives found in processed and packaged foods).

Intolerances tend to be more chronic and have less obvious systemic symptoms, making it harder to directly associate what your child has eaten as a cause of the symptoms. For example, chronic headaches, sinus congestion, variable bowel motions, skin rashes, poor concentration, mood changes and energy slumps may all be due to reacting to something in the environment.


  • Naturopathy Can Help With the Following Childhood Conditions

    Fiona provides tailored health plans based on a multitude of factors relevant to your child’s symptomology (how they are feeling), pathology (how their body is responding), plus dietary and lifestyle factors.

    • ✅ Digestive complaints – constipation, diarrhoea, loose stools, pain or bloating
    • ✅ Allergies and allergic conditions – such as asthma, eczema or hayfever
    • ✅ Poor Immunity – recurring colds or ear infections
    • ✅ Skin Conditions – rashes, eczema, acne, pimples or allergic reactions
    • ✅ Moods – anxiety, depression or mood swings
    • ✅ Food Intolerances – identifying food reactions
    • ✅ Food Allergies – identifying food reactions
    • ✅ Growth and development issues – fussy eaters or nutritional malabsorption
    • ✅ Behavioural challenges – ADHD or others
    • ✅ Energy – poor energy or chronic fatigue
    • ✅ Picky Eaters – fussy eaters
    • ✅ Sleep – trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

    What happens in a children’s nutritionist consultation

    During your consultation, Fiona will seek information about your pregnancy, birth and post birth experiences. This will provide an integrated view to give a full picture of the foundations of your child’s health status. You can expect to leave your consultation with a thorough understanding of the potential contributing factors of the presenting symptoms. Fiona will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates possible herbal/nutritional medicine, dietary/lifestyle recommendations, recipes and handouts. Plus an overview of the consultation so you feel empowered to care for your child’s wellbeing with Fiona’s guidance. At The Children’s Naturopath, Fiona Stock an expert in childhood health, she understands children’s needs and considers working with kids and teens to be an absolute joy. She finds that children typically respond to naturopathic treatment very well – bouncing back to good health in no time.  And she treasures the opportunity she has to teach kids about their bodies and engage them in their health journey, setting them up with strong foundations and knowledge for life.

    Meet Children’s Nutritionist – Fiona Stock

    Fiona is skilled at getting to the heart of childhood health challenges – helping to initiate lasting change.

    Fiona Stock is a respected Paediatric Naturopath & Children’s Nutritionist with a career spanning over 23 years. Armed with an abundance of experience and a true desire to transform your child’s health, she’ll listen closely to understand the underlying causes of their troubling condition. Fiona gets to the heart of your child’s presenting symptoms by deciphering what their body is trying to tell you. She will suggest simple and specific changes as well as herbal or nutritional medicine where required to nurture and restore your child, so they can enjoy the good health they deserve. Deeply compassionate and highly skilled, either of the Naturopathic Consultation Options with Fiona is a wonderful investment in your child’s health. If you’ve tried everything and are yet to find solutions to your child’s health challenges – this could well be the path to take.

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    • ✅Poor Immunity
    • ✅Poor Focus & Concentration
    • ✅ Behavioural Problems
    • ✅ ADHD
    • ✅ Depression
    • ✅ Anxiety
    • ✅ Food Allergies
    • ✅ Food Intolerances
    • ✅ Constipation
    • ✅ Diarrhoea
    • ✅ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    • ✅ Tummy Pain
    • ✅ Eczema
    • ✅ Asthma
    • ✅ Obesity
    • ✅ Auto-Immune Disease
    • ✅ Recurring Infections
    • ✅ Fussy Eaters
    • ✅ Sleep Issues
    • ✅ Plus many more…

    Online Learning | Children’s Health | Children’s Nutritionist

    Would you like a consultation with me at a fraction of the cost? My online learning classes are jam packed with more advice than I provide in a face-to-face appointment. It’s evidence-based naturopathic wisdom coupled with the latest scientific research on kids health I’ve successfully shared with clients over my 20+ year career.

    I’ve also included cheatsheets, checklists, nourishing recipes and 25 page book of class notes.

    You will learn:

    • ✅ Understand the cause if common childhood conditions (eczema, poor immunity, food allergies, food intolerances, poor focus & concentration, ADHD, behavioural problems).
    • ✅. Supporting immune function to help support allergic conditions.
    • ✅. Support optimal brain function.
    • ✅. Healthy Eating Plan – including portion size for each age-group.
    • ✅. Natural medicine recommendations,
    • ✅. Plus much more…

    Brisbane Child Naturopath | Children’s Naturopath Brisbane

    Adelaide Child Naturopath | Children’s Naturopath Adelaide

    Sydney Child Naturopath | Children’s Naturopath Sydney

    Perth Child Naturopath | Children’s Naturopath Perth

    Kids Nutritionist | Children’s Nutritionist | Baby Nutritionist