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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Failure to Thrive and Food Allergies

"Failure to thrive" is a general diagnosis characterized by a failure to gain weight as expected and is often accompanied by poor height and growth. Anyone who's had a child with a diagnosis of "failure to thrive" knows that finding causes and effective treatment to reverse the condition is imperative.

Kosher with Food Allergies Interview Series
Interview #3- Food Allergies and Failure to Thrive , Dr. Amy DeFelice

What is the link between food allergies and failure to thrive?
There are many different causes of Failure to Thrive and food allergies could be one of the causes

Do food intolerances play a role in failure to thrive as well?
Food intolerances can play a role in Failure to Thrive. For example, a child who has undiagnosed lactose intolerance  could have vomiting and diarrhea and not gain weight or grow well until the intolerance is diagnosed

What is malabsorption?
Malabsorption is what happens when food and other nutrients are not  absorbed normally across the gastrointestinal tract

What treatment options are available for a baby that's been diagnosed with failure to thrive and food allergies?
Every case must be taken individually. There are high calorie hypoallergenic formulas on the market like Neocate and Elecare which often do the trick in treating Failure to Thrive secondary to allergies. Sometimes however, we need to use nasogastric or gastric tube feeds to get in the proper nutrition if the child will not drink enough or eat enough by mouth. A good nutritionist knowledgeable in food allergies is very important to get the child back on the road to health




Amy R. DeFelice, MD





Director of Nutrition Support Service, Babies Hospital
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University

Dr. DeFelice is the Director of the Babies Hospital Nutrition Support Service, and serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University, where she specializes in pediatric gastroenterology. She is an active participant in education at her institution, where she has lectured to numerous groups on the gastrointestinal manifestations of cystic fibrosis, nutrition in childhood diseases, and a host of other topics.
Dr. DeFelice also served as an author and editor of the Babies Hospital Nutrition Support Service Manual of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition. She has published articles on a range of topics within the field of pediatric gastroenterology, including diseases of the liver and biliary tract, and inflammatory bowel disease. She recently collaborated with other members of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University on a study investigating the effect of breast-feeding on the presentation of celiac disease in children

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