How to Recognize Allergic Colitis in Infants

Allergic Colitis: Getting a Diagnosis

It’s important for your baby to be diagnosed as early as possible to prevent too much irritation to the colon and severe ulcers in the colon’s lining. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on the baby’s short history, a physical examination, a stool culture, and a blood count.

“What we do is empirically remove what the most likely sources of the allergy are,” says Eitan Rubinstein, MD, a staff physician and instructor in pediatrics in the department of gastroenterology and nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital. “In the majority of infants, the allergy is to milk, and sometimes to soy and eggs — any protein can be the trigger.” He said most cases are easy to treat once the diagnosis has been made.

Allergic Colitis: Getting Treatment

Treatment for allergic colitis involves eliminating the offending proteins from your baby’s system. If you’re breastfeeding, the doctor will put you on a protein-free diet, and if your baby continues to thrive and gain weight, you’ll be able to continue to breastfeed. If you’re feeding your infant with formula, you’ll need to switch to one that’s hypoallergenic.

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