Food Protein Induced Enteropathy

I am a stay at home mom to two wonderful, adorable spunky little ones, Hannah (3) and Colin (3 months).    Our life is not terribly exciting  to the outside observer but my hope is that if I can help one other family out there with this blog then I am happy I shared our story.

Our son, Colin has been diagnosed with Food Protein Induced Enteropathy at three months old.  It has been challenging and a huge learning experience so far and we are just getting started.

It has been hard finding information on this, even our doctor got the medical book out to read it to us, but here is what we think we know so far:

Food Protein Induced Enteropathy is a food allergy that affects the intestines but is different from regular allergies.  It is a non-IgE-mediated disorder so unlike a peanut allergy for instance, skin prick testing most people are familiar with would show up as negative.  It is more like celiac disease.  It usually shows up in the first months of life with diarrhea, vomiting, and/or failure to thrive. Most commonly is is caused by reactions to milk and soy but egg, wheat, rice, chicken and fish can also be triggers. Colin seems to have some other foods that bother him as well, so not sure how that fits.  Children with this can grow out of it, usually by age two or three.  It is similar to but less severe than Food Protein Induced Entercolitis  (FPIES).  Children with Food Protein Enteropahty usually have less vomiting, no bloody diarrhea and less severe reactions to the problem foods.

Diagnosing:  There is no one magic test to diagnosis this.  Most commonly it is discovered when the symptoms appear, other causes are ruled out and the elimination of trigger foods alleviate the symptoms.

Treatment:  For us the treatment involves discovering the trigger foods and trying to eliminate them from my diet since I am breastfeeding.  Since Colin is growing so well our doctor believes breastmilk is doing him a lot of good and is a better choice than the specialized formula he would need if I stop breastfeeding.   In 6 months or so we might try to re-introduce foods or “challenge” them by feeding small amounts and then increasing the dose while watching for reactions.