Allergic Digestive Diseases
Food intolerances and allergies, whether mild or severe, can affect the daily life of a child and their family. If your child has symptoms such as vomiting, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or blood in the stool, food intolerance or allergy may be the culprit. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our pediatric gastroenterologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating children of all ages with allergy-related digestive diseases. We customize an effective plan of treatment for your child and teach you and your child about which foods to avoid while ensuring good nutrition. Through knowledge and everyday steps, you and your child can work together to improve the quality of life of your entire family.
About Our Program
At NewYork-Presbyterian’s two renowned children’s hospitals, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, multidisciplinary teams of specialists provide advanced and comprehensive care to children with allergic digestive diseases. Your child's team includes pediatric gastroenterologists with expertise in food allergies and intolerances and expert dietitians. Together, our team diagnoses the disorder and customizes an effective plan of treatment for your child.
Allergic digestive disease can exist individually or in the context of multiple other health issues. At NewYork-Presbyterian, you have access to all of the specialists your child may need. Our team approach ensures that your child's entire well-being — not just the food allergy — receives attention and care from an integrated, multidisciplinary team of experts.
Our comprehensive care includes educating you and your child about why your child reacts to certain foods, what to do if symptoms are triggered, and how to change your family's lifestyle to adapt to a new diagnosis. As your child gets older, we provide transitional care to teach them how to advocate for themselves as they go on to receive care from adult care providers.
Conditions We Treat
Our team of specialists treats a wide range of allergic digestive diseases in children, including:
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an allergic condition causing inflammation of the esophagus, which can cause difficulty swallowing, vomiting, food impaction, chest pain, and other symptoms.
- Eosinophilic Gastritis (EG), an allergic disorder causing inflammation in the stomach that can lead to abdominal pain and malabsorption.
- Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EGE) and Eosinophilic Enteritis: Can lead to chronic diarrhea, nutrient malabsorption, and abdominal pain.
- Eosinophilic Colitis (EG), inflammation in the colon that can lead to chronic diarrhea.
- Milk protein allergy, which causes inflammation of the colon, and typically affects infants after the first few weeks of life.
- Food protein-induced enterocolitis, a severe reaction to a food protein that can cause vomiting and diarrhea and sometimes progresses to dehydration and low blood pressure
- Food allergy in the context of multiple allergic symptoms, including asthma, hay fever, and abnormal blood levels found in allergy-related tests such as eosinophils and high immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.
- Genetic conditions that lead to allergic digestive disease
Symptoms of Allergic Digestive Disease
Symptoms of allergic digestive disease include:
- difficulty swallowing
- abdominal pain
- blood in the stool
- poor weight gain
- chest pain
How We Diagnose Allergic Digestive Diseases
Food allergies and intolerances can range from mild to severe, and determining the cause can often be challenging. Our pediatric gastroenterologists specializing in food allergies and intolerances work with a multidisciplinary team of experts who help diagnose young patients and customize a treatment plan for each child. Some of the tests we may use to diagnose allergic digestive diseases and determine disease extent and severity include:
- Laboratory Studies, including blood and stool tests
- Upper endoscopy, Colonoscopyand Capsule Endoscopy
- Imaging studies, such as magnetic resonance enterography
How We Treat Allergic Digestive Disease
We believe that treatment for an allergic digestive disease works best when our patients and their families become our partners in care. Once an allergic digestive disease is identified treatment may include medications or the elimination of certain foods from the diet. Care is coordinated with our pediatric allergists and nutritionists. For nutritional interventions, our team will help you learn to read labels, make food substitutions, and eat healthy, well-balanced meals that avoid allergens.
Our Approach to Care
Holistic and Comprehensive Care
We recognize that every child with a digestive disorder such as an allergic digestive disease has a unique set of symptoms, circumstances, and needs. We take a holistic approach to care that considers the entire patient, including physical, emotional, and social factors. We strive to partner with patients and their parents in shared decision-making, empowering them with knowledge, support, and the most effective treatment options to achieve the best possible outcome for every child.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Care
Treatment of allergic gastrointestinal diseases requires a multidisciplinary approach that addresses the whole child. Our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric gastroenterologists and expert dietitians who collaborate to manage the comprehensive needs of patients with an allergic digestive disease. If your child has other allergic diseases such as eczema and asthma, we will refer them to our pediatric allergy and immunology specialists. Some children also benefit from psychological counseling to help them cope with chronic illness.
Continuity of Care throughout the Lifespan of the Child
At NewYork-Presbyterian, a vital aspect of our digestive disease program is continuity of care. Children who have a lifelong need for specialized care, such as those diagnosed with an allergic digestive disease, are embraced by our care teams. We understand the continuous needs of patients regardless of age and are vested in making certain that the transition from childhood to adulthood is simplified by not needing to change care teams. Our integrated care team seamlessly transitions patients from childhood through the teen years and early adulthood.
Parents As Team Members
As a parent, only you can provide important information about your child, especially how they were before becoming ill, and how they are feeling now. You can also help other team members shape your child's personalized treatment program based on your child's physical, emotional, and practical needs. Your input is critical for making final decisions regarding your child's care and our multidisciplinary team is here to work alongside you and your family to achieve the greatest possible outcomes for your child.
Why Choose Us
Nationally Ranked Children’s Hospitals
Both NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital are among the nation's leading centers for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood digestive diseases. They are both major referral centers for complex and rare digestive disorders in infants, children, and adolescents.
State-of-the-Art Endoscopic Services
Endoscopy is a key component in the diagnosis and treatment of an allergic digestive disease. At the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Laura Rothenberg Bronchoscopy and Endoscopy Center and at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, pediatric gastroenterologists perform hundreds of endoscopic procedures a year, including upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and video capsule endoscopy.
At NewYork-Presbyterian, nutritional counseling by registered dietitians can help reduce disease recurrence and alleviate patients' symptoms. Our pediatric gastroenterologists conduct a thorough assessment of any pediatric patients at risk for poor nutrition, looking carefully at vitamin and nutrient levels and caloric intake. Since many digestive diseases often occur before or during adolescence, we focus on correcting nutritional deficiencies early to support normal growth and development. Our nutrition team helps guide patients toward a sound diet and appropriate nutritional therapies to prevent and treat digestive disorders.
Access to World-Class Pediatric Specialists
Your child's healthcare team has access to all of the various pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists who practice at NewYork-Presbyterian, ensuring that all of your child's medical needs can be addressed.
Access to Latest Research and Clinical Trials
Our patients have access to the most current research and treatments through food allergy clinical trials supervised by our food allergy specialists.