10/14/2014 (press release: Giguere) // Sherri Lyn Giguere
FPIES, or Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome, is an extremely rare food allergy, which mainly affects infants and young children as a non-IgE mediated immune reaction to one or more specific foods. Less than .5% of the population worldwide has FPIES. This makes diagnosing and treating the disease a challenge for both doctors and parents.
The most common FPIES food triggers are cow’s milk, soy, rice and oats, but any food can cause FPIES symptoms – even a mother’s breast milk. Some children, like Dylan Austin of Saint Cloud, Florida, are allergic to every food tried to date. These foods do not simply cause mild digestional discomfort but full blown reactions that include severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, changes in blood pressure and body temperature, and lethargy. These are that can symptoms last weeks and land FPIES infants like 10-month old Dylan in the hospital should he accidently come in contact with something as basic as an apple.
FPIES has no known cure and parents’ only options are to treat its symptoms. Side effects of FPIES range from other medical conditions, like acid reflux, to a failure to thrive in developmental milestones.
Today, October 14th, 2014, marks the First Global FPIES Awareness Day. Together the FPIES Foundation and International FPIES Association have dedicated this day to the children and their families who are affected by the disease. It is only through ongoing research and public education that one day there may be a cure for this dire medical condition.
Sherri Lyn Giguere
*Author disclosure: Dylan Austin is the nephew of writer Sherri Lyn Giguere. All funds raised for Dylan will go directly towards his medical bills and treatment.