FPIES Dictionary

A –B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z
  • Adrenaline: A hormone produced in the body that is part of the body’s “flight or fight” reaction; it causes increased heart rate and stronger heart contractions as well as opens up the lungs
  • Allergic Reaction: A negative immune system response to an allergen/trigger— food, environmental, or chemical. More
  • Allergist/Immunologist: A medical doctor who has recieved additional training in the areas of allergy and/or immunology. An allergist can help to rule out IgE allergies and other allergic conditions, as well as review the child’s medical history to help determine whether or not an FPIES diagnosis may be warranted.  Read more…
  • Amino Acid: Commonly referred to as the “building blocks” of protein, combined together they make up an intact protein structure. More
  • Amino Acid Formula: see Elemental Formula
  • Anaphylaxis: A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction involving two or more bodily systems (i.e. lung (respiratory) with symptoms of wheezing and /or difficulty breathing, skin (cutaneous) with hives and/or swelling, stomach (gastrointestinal) with vomiting, etc). If such a reaction is suspected, immediate medical attention is required.  More
  • APT:  An acronym that stands for Atopy Patch Test; a diagnostic tool used by some allergists to test reactivity for Non-IgE allergies by applying small disks with the food allergen placed under it on the surface of the skin (often the back). Please see section of the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States for more details on patch testing in allergies.  More
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  • Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in the arteries. Blood pressure is one of the vital signs typically assessed during an ER visit. Low blood pressure (Hypotension) can be a symptom of an acute FPIES reaction. High blood pressure (Hypertension) can also signify medical problems. A diagnosis of hypertension or hypotension may warrant further medical assessment.
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  • CBC: CBC is the acronym for the medical term: Complete Blood Count. This test measures specific components in the blood and its results can help a physician to rule in/rule out various medical conditions.
  • Carbohydrate:  A carbohydrate is used to make energy by providing the body with glucose for the body’s cells.
  • Clinical Diagnosis: A clinical diagnosis is determined on the basis of the patients symptoms and medical history. Other diagnosis, potentially by means of various tests, may need to be ruled out in order to determine the final clinical diagnosis. FPIES diagnosis is commonly considered a clinical diagnosis.
  • Colic: Colic is a non-medical term is used to describe a pattern of excessive crying in an infant (3+hrs/day, for 3+days/week); although the causes of colic are not yet clearly defined.
  • Colonoscopy:  A procedure performed by a gastroenterologist to exam the lower colon; this may be  ordered to rule in/rule out specific medical conditions. More


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  • Dehydration: Dehydration is a medical condition that occurs because an individual’s body is not taking in enough fluids, either due to diet, or due to losing more fluids than he/she is taking in (due to illness, such as diarrhea and/or vomiting). This condition presents with symptoms including thirst, dry mouth and eyes, few to no tears, reduced urination, “dry mouth.” When dehydration becomes severe, dry pasty skin, poor blood circulation, and skin that does not snap back after a pinch may be seen. In order to combat severe dehydration or in cases where there is worry of dehydration progressing further due to inability to take in enough fluids, fluids given by vein at the emergency room may be necessary. It is important to remember that infants and small children can become dehydrated very quickly because they weigh less and their bodies turn over water and electrolytes more quickly and due to age and stage, infants and small children are typically unable to communicate some of the earlier symptoms (i.e. “dry mouth”). Read more… 
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  • EGID:  An acronym that stands for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders. These are severe and complex disorders characterized by a higher than normal level of eosinophils present in one or more specific areas of the digestive system. More


  • Elemental Formula: A hypoallergenic formula that contains proteins broken down into single amino-acid components, designed for infants and children with severe dietary restrictions who are unable to tolerate an extensively hydrolyzed formula. Examples of brand names include Neocate, Elecare, and Nutramigen AA.  Elemental formulas are different than those typically found on store shelves, and can usually only be purchased via pharmacy or medical supply companies.  Hydrolyzed formulas (sometimes also termed ‘hypoallergenic’) found at stores may NOT be the same as elementals.
  • Elemental Diet: Sometimes an allergist prescribes a trial of an “elemental diet”, meaning the use of a formula with all of the needed nutrients but without allergens, an amino acid-based formula.
  • Elimination Diet: When an Allergist or Gastroenterologist prescribes removal of a food from the diet for diagnostic purposes (e.g., to see if a chronic symptom such as daily vomiting resolves), the term “elimination diet” is often used, or the description “trial of an elimination diet”. The Allergist/Gastroenterologist might be suggesting removal of one or several foods from the diet, or might prescribe eating just several foods that provide enough nutrition, hopefully resulting in symptom resolution


  • Endoscopy: A procedure performed by a gastroenterologist to exam the upper gastrointestinal tract with a small scope: esophagus, stomach, upper small intestines; this may ordered to rule in/rule out specific medical conditions.  More


  • Enterocolitis: Referring to inflammation throughout the entire colon: small intestines and large intestine. More


  • Eosinophil: A white blood cell that is part of the immune system. In some individuals, high numbers of these cells can be an indication of food or environmental allergies. More


  • Epinephrine: Commonly recognized in the form of an Epi-pen/Epi Jr auto-injector, this is a prescription adrenaline medication given to a patient when he/she is believed to be suffering from an anaphylactic reaction.


  • Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula: A type of hypoallergenic formula for infants and children that is made with extensively broken down food proteins to enable tolerance by most infants and children with food allergies/intolerances that cause them to be unable to tolerate standard milk/soy protein formula. Examples of brand names include Alimentum, Nutramigen, and Pregestimil
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  • Food Allergen: The food or substance that causes the allergic reaction. An excellent further definition for “food allergens” can be found in section 2.1.1 of the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United StatesMore

  • Food allergy: According to the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States, this is defined as, “an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food.” More
  • Food trial: A food trial is a term used to refer to the process of offering a specific single-ingredient food to an infant/child for the first time. Generally, the food is given for a set period of days (i.e. for a full week, etc.) and in increasingly larger amounts with each day of the trial. The goal is to offer a full, age-appropriate serving of the food on the final day of the trial. If the infant/child does not appear symptomatic in relation to the food by the end of the trial, the food is generally considered safe. An infant/child’s doctor can help parents to determine an appropriate food trial length for him/her based on his/her age and reaction history.
  • FPIES: Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome, a food allergy of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Please see “About FPIES”.
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  • Gastroenteritis: Gastroenteritis refers to inflammation of the stomach and of the intestines. It may have a variety of causes, such as infection, and may present with vomiting, nausea and/or diarrhea.

  • Gastroenterologist: A medical doctor who has recieved additional training in the area of gastroenterology, the study of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. A gastroenterologist can determine whether or not an FPIES diagnosis may be warranted, as well as rule in/rule out other related conditions through testing and review of the child’s medical history.  Read More…
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  • Hydrolyzed protein – Proteins have been broken down from their original complex structure to a less complex, or simple, structure, making them easier for the body to process and potentially less allergenic. Also see Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula or Partially Hydrolyzed Formula.
  • Hypoallergenic formula: A formula that has undergone additional processing of the proteins (milk/soy) to make them less allergenic. A hypoallergenic formula can be extensively hydrolyzed or elemental formula. See also Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula or Elemental Formula. More
  • Hypotension: Hypotension is a medical term for low blood pressure; when there is not enough pressure to pump blood to the heart, brain and other parts of the body.
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  • IgE Food Allergy: A negative health effect due to an immediate (0min-2hrs) immune system response to a food allergen that produces IgE antibodies. For further information table of possible symptoms, please see Table 1, Section 4 of the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United StatesMore
  • Intravenous fluids: Intravenous (IV) fluids  is the quickest way to deliver fluids and medications into the body, given directly into the vein with the insertion of a needle placed catheter. These are often given during an acute FPIES reaction to prevent or help counteract dehydration.. Read more… 
  • Intussusception: Intussusception is typically only affects children/infants; a prolapse of the intestine with an immediately adjacent part of the intestine, decreasing the blood flow to this part of the intestine. This may often result in intestinal obstruction.


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  • Lethargy: A state of extreme drowsiness. It may be characterized by overall lack of energy, extreme sleepiness, and inability to rouse easily. This can be a symptom of an FPIES reaction. Read more…
  • Lipids: Lipids is a term for dietary fats.  Fats provide the body with energy and have a role in many other essential functions.
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  • MSPI:  An acronym that stands for Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance, a term often used to describe a condition occurring when an infant/child has symptoms of abdominal discomfort, colic, vomiting, loose stools, or visible blood in the stool due to the intolerance of milk and soy.  Though this term is not considered to be a medical term, there are some practitioners that will use “MSPI” to describe these symptoms. More
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  • Necrotizing enterocolitis:  (NEC) is a medical/surgical emergency where a portion of the intestines has been damaged, possibly leading to full necrosis (death of the tissue).  The cause is unknown but occurs more commonly in neonates rather than term or near term babies, though it can occur in any infant. Read more…

  • Non IgE Food Allergy: A delayed cell-mediated response of the immune system, not involving IgE antibody production. More
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  • Oral Food Challenge (OFC): A test, to be completed under medical supervision, to find out if a food is tolerated to either: a) confirm presence of allergy to suspected food; or b) to assess if allergy has been outgrown. More
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  • Partially Hydrolyzed Formula: Formulas designed for easier digestion where proteins used (milk and/or soy) are partially broken down through additional processing. Although these formulas may be better tolerated for spit up/colic-type symptoms, they are not currently considered hypoallergenic and are not suitable for treating allergies to milk and soy. An example of a partially hydrolyzed formula is Nestle Good Start.
  • Poor Blood Circulation: Poor blood circulation is a condition that can occur due to dehydration and can present with faster heart rates, weakness, dizziness, weak pulse, and/or low blood pressure.
  • Protein:   A protein is the primary component of all living things, and is the part of food responsible for the majority of food allergic reactions. More

  • Protein Intolerance– A term developed to include IgE and/or Non-IgE based negative reactions (involving gastrointestinal, skin, and respiratory) to food proteins, regardless of the origin.  Read more….
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  • RAST: An acronym that stands for radioallergosorbent test (also known as the Allergenspecific IgE antibody test), this is a blood test done to evaluate IgE antibody responses in the blood in regards to specific allergens. A detailed description can be found in section of the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. More
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  • Scope– see Endoscopy
  • Sepsis: Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition resulting from an infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis occurs when, “chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation creates microscopic blood clots that can block nutrients and oxygen from reaching organs, causing them to fail.”
  • Shock: This severe condition requires emergency medical care, due to rapid fluid loss (in FPIES reactions, this is thought to be hypovelmic shock from profuse and rapid vomiting and/or diarrhea) and/or blood loss causing the heart to be unable to pump enough blood to the body’s organs. Shock in children may present differently than adults.  More
  • Sigmoidoscopy: Procedure performed by a gastroenterologist to exam the lower colon; this may be  ordered to rule in/rule out specific medical conditions. More
  • SPT: An acronym that stands for Skin Prick Test. A test performed in the allergist’s office to aid in detecting IgE allergies. A description of this test can be found in section of the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. More
  • Steroids: A steroid is a medication that may be utilized to suppress the immune system response and to potentially help a child recover from an acute FPIES reaction. Steroids are not always used in the treatment of an acute FPIES reaction but are one form of treatment that may be considered by the consulting physican.
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  • Trigger Food: A trigger food is a term referring to a food or substance that causes an allergic response or an FPIES reaction in an individual. Some may refer to these foods/substances as “allergens” rather than “triggers”see also Food Allergen
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  • Upper GI Series: A test ordered by a doctor to rule out anatomical abnormalities in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) system that may be contributing to symptoms.  The patient ingests a barium solution and undergoes a series of x-rays to exam various components of the upper GI system. More
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Published on June 18, 2012. Last update: August 25, 2015. Copyright © 2012, The FPIES Foundation