A Natural Approach To Health
Living With FPIES
I had a question the other day about FPIES.
Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of food allergy affecting your gastrointestinal tract.
According to the FPIES Foundation, classic symptoms of FPIES include profound vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
These symptoms can lead to severe lethargy, change in body temperature and blood pressure.
Unlike typical food allergies, symptoms may not be immediate and don’t show up on standard allergy tests.
And, a negative allergy evaluation may delay diagnosis and take the focus off the causative food.
But, FPIES can present with severe symptoms after eating a food trigger.
There are 2 ways infants or children with FPIES might come to medical attention.
- The classic pattern of an FPIES reaction is when a healthy infant or child develops symptoms shortly after eating a food. There’s a characteristic delay of 2-3 hours before onset of severe vomiting and eventually diarrhea. The child may appear very ill and sleepy, and may become pale or blue. He/she may be found to have low blood pressure, seem dehydrated, and have blood tests mimicking infection.
- The second way happens when infants who are eating a problem food (usually milk or soy-based formula or proteins in breast milk) as a consistent part of their diet experience increasingly severe vomiting, diarrhea, and poor growth.
In the first months of life, FPIES reactions are most often caused by cow’s milk protein formula, and sometimes by soy.
Proteins in breast milk may also cause symptoms in some infants.
For infants experiencing FPIES with solid foods, rice and oats are the most common triggers.
Other common triggers are milk, soy, barley, poultry, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and squash.
But any food protein can be a trigger and some infants may be sensitive to other foods as well.
And, some children may react to one or two foods whereas others may experience reactions to multiple foods.
FPIES reactions can be severe.
It’s important to get to prompt medical attention to help stabilize blood pressure and treat dehydration in order to avoid sepsis-like shock.
The main therapy is to get intravenous fluids.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple test for FPIES.
The main test is a medically supervised oral food challenge with the trigger food.
The good news is FPIES usually resolves with time.
Your child will need to be closely followed to discuss what foods are safe to eat and when it may be time to determine if FPIES has resolved.
With proper medical attention and a personalized dietary plan to ensure proper nutrition, children with FPIES can grow and thrive.
For more information visit http://www.thefpiesfoundation.org.
To support your medical treatment of FPIES it’s beneficial to:
*Try not to chew with your mouth open, talk while chewing, or eat too fast. This causes you to swallow too much air, which can aggravate symptoms.
*Drink fluids after rather than during meals.
*Avoid late-night eating.
*Try to relax after meals.
*Avoid spicy foods.
*Keep a food diary to help identify foods causing symptoms.
*Eat small meals so your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard or as long.
*Avoid foods and beverages containing caffeine.
*If stress is a trigger, learn methods to reduce stress.
*Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments because they compress your stomach, which can cause the contents to enter your esophagus.
*Don’t exercise with a full stomach.
*Don’t lie down right after eating.
*Wait at least 2 hours after your last meal of the day before you go to bed.
*Raise the head of your bed so your head and chest are higher than your feet.
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush your system.
*Eat lots of life-giving, enzyme and nutrient-rich, fresh, raw fruits and veggies daily (organic whenever possible).
*Consider peppermint, anise, fennel, chamomile, and/or ginger teas.
*Try fresh pineapple or papaya because they’re rich in digestive enzymes.
*Decrease or eliminate acid-forming foods and drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, sugar, processed foods, white flour products).