Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome

Also known as: FPIES.

What is food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome?

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome occurs in a small percentage of infants after ingestion of an offending food, causing repetitive vomiting sometimes with diarrhea leading to dehydration and possibly shock.

What causes food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome?

We do not know exactly what the mechanism is that causes this reaction to occur. We know that it is not like a true food allergy (IgE mediated). Cow’s milk, soy, and grains are the most common triggers, although other foods can also cause the reaction to occur.

What are the symptoms of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome?

Symptoms generally occur hours after ingesting the offending food, and cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy and pale or blue skin.

This is opposed to a true food allergy, which causes hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and/or diarrhea shortly after ingestion.

What are food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome care options?

In many cases, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome can be severe and require emergency medical attention. Fluids into the vein to treat dehydration and blood pressure problems may be needed. Identifying and avoiding the trigger food is the best way to prevent a food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome reaction.

Reviewed by: Amy S Feldman, MD

This page was last updated on: May 05, 2021 04:58 PM

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