Is FPIES the Same as Other Food Allergies?

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Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome, or FPIES, is a kind of food allergies that affects the gastrointestinal tract. FPIES can be similar to a severe stomach bug for children, but the symptoms continue. Typically, FPIES reactions show up in the first weeks or months of a newborn’s life. Signs of FPIES can show up withing two hours of eating the triggering food. It can also develop at an older age for babies that are exclusively breastfed child. The reactions start upon introduction of solid foods that are made of soy or dairy. Unfortunately, there is no blood or skin tests available to diagnose FPIES. Majority of children outgrow FPIES by 3 or 4 years old.

Symptoms

  • Lack of Energy

  • Dehydration

  • Weight Loss

  • Diarrhea (occasionally bloody)

  • Severe Vomiting

Common Triggers

  • Soy

  • Cow’s Milk / Dairy

  • Rice

  • Oat

  • Barley

  • Peas

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

Not all the food’s listed above can cause FPIES reactions and if one causes a reaction, the others may not. Any food can cause a FPIES reaction, even trace amounts of food.

Babies that have FPIES can be at risk for going into shock, due to dehydration. Shock is a life threatening condition. It occurs when the body cannot get enough blood to the vital organs. The signs of shock are: weakness, cool skin, weak/fast pulse, low blood pressure, extreme thirst/nausea/vomiting, confusion.

If your baby is showing signs of FPIES, take them to the hospital immediately. FPIES is often misdiagnosed, due to the symptoms and triggers being similar to other allergies. Treatment for FPIES depends on the the specific reactions. If the infant reacted to dairy/soy formulas, they will be placed on a hypoallergenic formula. Some children just need to avoid the triggering foods. Babies with FPIES may need to use EpiPens, but it is perscribed in specific cases only.

 

Have you heard of FPIES before? Is/Was your infant diagnosed with FPIES? Comment below and share your stories with us!

Stef PenrodComment