FPIES - the food allergy you've probably never heard of

FPIES causes and treatments

What causes FPIES?

We don't know exactly, but we do know that the immune system forms a reaction to specific food proteins. Eating the offending food causes localised inflammation within the gut.

What are the high-risk foods?

The major foods which commonly cause reactions include milk, soya, rice, oats, chicken, legumes, such as peas and beans, and sweet potato. Beef and wheat are relatively common offenders as well. Interestingly, a number of high-risk FPIES foods are often those considered to be at low-risk for causing other forms of allergy.

How do we treat FPIES?

Treatment of FPIES involves strict avoidance of the offending food, and slow cautious introduction of new foods. This is a painstaking process as each trial needs to last several days, and after reactions the gut needs time to settle.

Parents also face the huge challenge of keeping their child safe from accidental exposures to the offending foods. An example of this is soya, which is usually found in art materials such as crayons and chalk. It really can be a big challenge for parents, especially if your child is a toddler, to keep them safe as they explore the world.

What is the prognosis for a child with FPIES?

The prognosis for children with FPIES and no other coexisting problems is pretty good. The majority of children outgrow their acute triggers by the time they are five years old.

However, in a few cases, the condition persists into a child's teenage years and beyond. FPIES to fish and seafood commonly persists into adulthood.

For further FPIES information and support the charity FPIESUK is an excellent resource.


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