A baffling form of allergy has left physicians scratching their heads with regard to its nature, ABC News’ Susan James reports. A recent case involved a six-year-old first-grader from St. James, N.Y., who was found to be allergic to almost all types of food apart from peanut butter, milk, and a handful of others. Experts advise the public to be on the lookout for this strange allergy, as it has a high risk of death. Some rare allergies in Phoenix and the rest of Arizona may fall under the category of this specific allergy.
Known in the field of medicine as food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), experts don’t know exactly how many children suffer from it. The International Association for Food Protein Enterocolitis (IAFFPE) defines it as a unique allergy, normally kicking in at least two hours after ingesting the causative food. It’s also estimated that a fifth of FPIES cases involve the person entering a state of shock, thereby requiring immediate medical attention.
It was noted in the report that the child was allergic to almost any kind of food, even those that do not typically trigger an allergic reaction. Chicken, sweet potatoes, bananas, and even his mother’s breast milk were confirmed to have caused his allergies in the past. The IAFFPE believes that FPIES should go away after the first three years of a person’s life, but the case of the six-year-old New Yorker shows that FPIES can persist for years.
A typical reaction had the child throwing up, with some blood in the vomit, and suffering from diarrhea. The loss of blood makes the allergy more severe, as FPIES can force the body to enter a state of hypovolemic shock if it loses a fifth of the normal amount of blood. The body will grow weaker the more blood it loses, making FPIES a deadly allergy.
If any of the aforementioned symptoms appear, it’s imperative that you pay a visit to your doctor or a Phoenix allergy testing center like Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C. As of this writing, a cure has yet to be developed, but acute cases can be treated with intravenous hydration. FPIES can also be outgrown like any other allergy. In fact, the boy in the report is said to have outgrown his allergies to some foods such as wheat and corn.
The medical field is scrambling to develop a cure for increasingly life-threatening but elusive allergies, but they require the help of the public to gain more knowledge about the new strains. A visit to an allergist or doctor will help both the patient and the healer to come up with the best treatment plan. Not much is known about FPIES at the moment, but experts hope to find out more through studies involving sufferers like the subject of the report.