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Golisano Children's Hospital / Pediatric Allergy/Immunology / Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis FPIES

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis (FPIES)

Food protein-induced enterocolitis (FPIES) is a delayed-type food allergic reaction in the gastrointestinal system, which typically presents in the first year of life. Reactions are delayed and begin 2-4 hours after ingesting a “trigger” food. The reactions are characterized by profuse vomiting and diarrhea. In about 20% of cases the child will have such an extreme reaction to a food that they will become dehydrated and need to be taken to the ER for immediate treatment. The most common triggers are milk and soy, but any foods (even those thought to be hypoallergenic such as rice or oat) can cause an FPIES reaction.

At this time few doctors recognize FPIES although awareness is increasing.

Due to the major lack of awareness, many families are repeatedly being told that their child has reflux, a viral infection, or the stomach flu. The treatment of FPIES includes infants being taken off offending foods and being exclusively breast fed or given an elemental medical formula.