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True food allergy or not, baby tummies still hurt

True food allergy or not, baby tummies still hurt

 Uppercase terms for longer names of ailments are very common. The ones mentioned here are the two most common mimics of true food allergy in infants.

Symptoms of FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome) are vomiting/reflux with diarrhea, and of FPIAP (food protein-induced allergic proctocolitis), colic and diarrhea. Blood (either visible or microscopic) in the stool is common with both.

FPIAP tends to occur at younger ages, often in the first two weeks of life, and occurs in infants who are exclusively breast-fed and those receiving formula. FPIES emerges later at around 5-8 months.

The allergic antibody IgE, which is the driving force for traditional food allergy and other allergic conditions, apparently isn’t involved.

The leading cause for both conditions is cow milk protein, accounting for 71% of FPIAP, and 79% of FPIES. The next most common cause is soy. This is especially problematic when the infant is bottle-fed as the next common protein base for infant formula (after cow milk) is soy. Much less common causes include eggs, lentils, grains, fish, meat and nuts.

Diagnosis confirmation can be obtained in a clinical setting by doing an oral food challenge where the suspected food is purposefully given after a period of avoidance, and then observing for the symptoms.

For a mother who is exclusively breastfeeding her baby, removing the food from the mother’s diet cures the problem.

Some good news is that more than 90% of children outgrow these problems by age 2. Unfortunately, about 20% of these afflicted children will go on to develop traditional food allergies.


Cow milk allergy research: Mixed results, but vaccine testing provides some hope

Cow milk allergy research: Mixed results, but vaccine testing provides some hope

 Cow milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies and can lead to a variety of clinical symptoms affecting the respiratory, GI, GU, and dermatologic systems. It can even occur in infants who are exclusively nursed if their mothers are ingesting cow milk.

Because of the frequency and potential severity of the allergy there has been great effort to find a vaccine for cow milk allergy. Recently, researches at Johns Hopkins University publicized the results of their work on a milk vaccine for children. They studied sublingual (under the tongue), and oral (swallowed) vaccines.

Just as is the case with allergy shots, the procedure uses a regimen of gradually increasing doses of the allergic item (allergen). The maintenance dose was different for the two methods; 7 mg. for the sublingual vaccine and 2,000 mg. for the oral vaccine.

The oral vaccine was more effective, with 50 percent of the children being desensitized; compared to only 10 percent in the sublingual group.

However, there were more allergic side effects during the build-up of the oral vaccine than with the sublingual vaccine.

The children that were successfully desensitized were able to safely consume cow milk without their original allergy response. Unfortunately, if the vaccine was stopped, the allergic condition quickly returned, which was a source for mild pessimism by the Johns Hopkins researchers.