Rice Is a Common and Severe Allergen

It can induce enterocolitis reactions more severe than those caused by cow's milk and soy
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Despite its reputation as a hypoallergenic food, rice is emerging as a common trigger of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Sam Mehr, of the University of Sydney in Australia and colleagues conducted a study of 14 children who had 26 episodes of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome and compared their cases with those of 17 children who experienced 30 episodes of cow's milk or soy food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome.

Whereas cow's milk and soy caused a median of two episodes before a correct diagnosis was made, rice caused a median of four episodes, the study showed. Rice also triggered more severe reactions, with 42 percent requiring intravenous fluid resuscitation, while only 17 percent of reactions to cow's milk or soy required it. Children with rice food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome had a 36 percent chance of enterocolitis induced by other foods, a phenomenon which did not occur among the cow's milk/soy group, the authors found.

"In conclusion, this study highlights the emerging importance of rice as a significant trigger of FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome). Awareness of the entity is fundamental, as the clinical presentation is often confused with an intra-abdominal surgical emergency or sepsis," the authors write. " Early diagnosis would eliminate repeated reactions and unnecessary investigations."

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