What is Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome or FPIES?
This very problematic immune system response involves an overreaction of the body to a specific food protein that happens typically 1 to 4 hours after consuming it. This condition develops in babies within the first few weeks of life after being born and sometimes lingers until adolescence or even adulthood. Thankfully, FPIES is commonly cured for most children so you can look forward to your child seeing relief from this bothersome allergic condition.
Symptoms of FPIES include vomiting, diarrhea, and acidification of the blood. However, these are the most noteworthy and visible symptoms and individuals will experience unique reactions differently from person-to-person. Other characteristics of suffering from this conditions that can help identify it in your baby include:
- Bloody diarrhea or stools
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Abdominal distension (Belly sticking out)
- Cyanosis or blue discoloration of the skin (From lack of proper circulation)
- Decreased body temperature or hypothermia
- High numbers of blood cell and platelet counts
- Low blood pressure
- Hypovolemic shock (Severe symptoms from rapid fluid loss that requires immediate hospitalization)
- Weight loss
- Failure to grow or gain weight
- Development of atopic dermatitis, or an allergic inflammatory skin disorder
- Environmental allergies leading to asthma or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- In addition to the most common vomiting, diarrhea, and acidosis
Is there an FPIES cause?
Right now, there is not a definitive cause of FPIES that researchers can declare without a reasonable doubt. However, there are some ideas that get thrown around and considered as acceptable hypotheses.
This condition can arise due to an inappropriate response of the immune system to the proteins in particular foods. When the specific food passes through the stomach and into the small intestine, the undigested protein causes localized inflammation in the digestive tract.
It has been determined that the inflammation that is caused lets your bodily fluids leak through the intestinal wall to be excreted out as diarrhea. In addition, small food particles and nutrients may also pass through the small intestinal wall and be removed through waste along with essential cellular water. This is particularly dangerous when you think about it because the body’s cells need water and nutrients to function properly.
FPIES Food List to Avoid
The most common food triggers for causing an FPIES reaction are soy and cow’s milk. In young babies, this is what they consume 40% of the time for their initial reaction.
What generally causes the symptoms is a liquid form of food, like formula or breastmilk. Usually, babies are fed formula with cow’s milk and soy ingredients. Feeding a baby a particular formula that causes the reaction in a child usually gives it away that they have FPIES.
Solid foods have also been shown to cause FPIES symptoms directly, but foods that are generally not known to be allergenic are also not of concern. The most common solid foods that are frequently associated with these reactions are:
- Rice, wheat, turkey, fish, chicken, gluten grains, eggs, peanuts, and potatoes
Recently, some parents are insisting that their baby’s consumption of fruit also causes the same immune system reaction. In adults with FPIES, the most common cause of the condition is the ingestion of shellfish.
FPIES Safe Foods List to Consume
It’s not medically safe to say that there are foods that will certainly not cause an allergic reaction because, for any unique individual, any type of food allergies are possible. With some knowledge of chemistry, you could consider the vast amount of compounds present in one particular food and all of these compounds have some potential to set off your immune system.
However, there are some foods that parents on the internet have agreed to have worked very well for their children who suffer from FPIES. It seems that babies respond best to fruits like apples and bananas as one of their first foods, especially if you suspect that there is an allergy potential or if your older children have allergies as well. If you already know your child suffers from this allergic condition, mashing up fruits like apples, pears, berries, and peaches could benefit them greatly.
For vegetables, a more healthy option, you could try to mash up carrots, which seem to be the least likely to cause an FPIES reaction while being very edible for young children. One very popular mom who has many children with FPIES recommends that you mash or blend spinach, carrots, or leafy greens so that you can provide an adequate serving of vegetables to your child, which is essential for proper nutrition and bodily function. A common mistake that many parents make is only feeding their child fruit. Despite fruit being a great source of nutrition, it is also very high in sugar and should only be consumed in moderation, especially for children and babies.
Is FPIES Hereditary or Genetic?
Yes, Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome is passed down hereditarily through your genes to your children. Evidence of this being true can be seen in mothers who have multiple children with FPIES and other types of allergies and allergic conditions.
For many different types of allergies and conditions, the root cause lies in genetics. Even though parents may not obviously display the allergy or presence of it being in your genetic code, it can still be passed down to children by chance.
Will My Baby Outgrow FPIES?
Fortunately, Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome is not usually a condition that you must suffer with for your entire life. Babies and children typically outgrow FPIES by age 4 at the latest. Sometimes, it will even be resolved by age 2.
If you know that you have a child with FPIES, then you should be visiting a doctor regularly to get their opinion, referrals, and resources that you need to help treat them. Once the professional notices that your child’s allergy is improving, they could recommend that you slowly start to reintroduce the offending foods back into your child’s diet. This will help them obtain the proper nutrition that they need for better cellular function. The more diversity that an individual has in their diet, the better their nutrition should be by theory.
Parents who are frantically asking “Does FPIES go away for children?” should be reassured that it does. The best treatment for a child that already has FPIES would be to completely eliminate the offending foods in the first place so that healing can start, free from unnecessary inflammation.
FPIES and Breastfeeding Connection
For some parents, they may find that breastfeeding their baby can cause symptoms of FPIES in their child as well. This is relatively uncommon but could make a lot of sense because food is chemically similar when it is used to make breast milk to provide for your baby’s nutrition. Basically, the food protein is transferred through your breastmilk and into your baby, so this can cause an FPIES reaction in babies as well.
The best FPIES breastfeeding diet would be one that takes into account all the possibilities for allergenicity for your baby. You would need to avoid the same foods that your baby reacts to because it can be transmitted to them through breastmilk.
Generally, the best diet to consume while you are breastfeeding them would be a healthy diet filled with foods that are gentle and nutritious, like the fruits and vegetables your baby is not allergic to. In addition, healthy protein foods like fish and eggs should benefit the quality of your breast milk as well. Gluten-free grains like rice and tree nuts should not bother an FPIES baby, but should help them obtain the healthy nutrients that they need to heal and develop free from systemic inflammation.
How Common is FPIES?
Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome is a newly-developing condition that researchers aren’t too sure about at the moment. It is considered a rare disease for young children, and even more rare in adults.
However, it seems that instances of FPIES cases are increasing with each year. In 2013, only about 60 babies in the United States were reported to suffer from this condition while in 2017 there are about 3,000 recorded instances.
Is there Natural Treatment Available?
If you suspect that your child has FPIES, then you should not be relieved by these numbers because the scientific uncertainty surrounding this allergic condition is still unraveling. If you have even come this far to research the possibility of your child having a severe allergic reaction that could lead to death in some cases, you should definitely see a professional for their opinion and network of medical connections that your child can benefit from. An immunologist or allergist may be able to provide excellent advice and information because they have extensively studied conditions like these and did homework about it and stuff like that for years.
If you are a more organic, holistic parent then you could consider your child’s nutrition to speed up the recovery process of their body so that they can outgrow the illness. Many parents love formula because it is easy and convenient while supplying many types of nourishment to their baby’s body. Some infant formulas on the market now boast surprisingly advanced and effective, with much more of a benefit for a child than older formulas.
For a child with FPIES or with any allergies whatsoever, this PurAmino Hypoallergenic Amino Acid Based Infant Formula Powder does an amazing job at providing bio-absorbable vitamins and minerals, but also essential fats like DHA and ARA found in fresh-caught salmon and algae. This formula is very impressive and can benefit any child’s nutrition and development greatly.
Consider Sulfur Deficiency as an Emerging Problem for New Generations
I personally like to consider how possible nutrient deficiencies could be affecting my health without me knowing it. A few years ago, I had found out that a sulfur deficiency was affecting my immunity and worsened my allergies intensely.
It seems that sources of this stuff in our foods is deficient because of the way civilization has abused fertile soils in agriculture over the decades of industry expansion. Simply, keeping up with having to feed billions of people, and counting, doesn’t allow enough time for soil to naturally replenish sulfur through geological decomposition processes. We are just constantly leaching the soil of its minerals and we aren’t putting them back with fertilizer.
The benefits of obtaining enough sulfur in our diet are immense. It’s necessary for proper functioning of the brain, the immune system, and digestive system. Chemicals involved in preventing allergic reactions require sulfur, so this may explain the visible rise in allergies amongst newborns. Doesn’t it seem like they are getting severe and more prevalent? Like every mom is turning into a Pinterest allergy mom with a story about their child’s struggle with a bothersome severe allergy.
Thankfully, a bioavailable source of cellular sulfur is available on the market known as organic MSM crystals made of natural sulfur. Perhaps you could benefit your baby’s health by supplementing small amounts of this sulfur supplement in their water. It is tasteless and offers the body’s cells an immediate source of natural sulfur because the chemical form of natural sulfur in your cells is literally MSM itself. Do some research on it if you don’t believe me because it has done wonders for my health, well-being and allergies.
If you have a question or something to add about Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis, then please leave me a comment below!
Talk to you soon,