식 품단백유발성소장결장염 증후군(food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, FPIES)은 보통 우유와 두유, 고기 등 특정 음식에 알러지가 있는 아동에게 나타나며 섭취 2시간 내에 설사나 구토 증세가 나타난다.
호 주 웨스트미드 어린이병원 연구팀에 따르면 쌀에 알러지가 있는 신생아의 경우에도 FPIES가 나타나는 것으로 밝혀졌다. 또한 다른 식품으로 인한 알러지보다 쌀 알러지로 인해 유발되는 FPIES는 증세가 더욱 심각한 것으로 나타났다.
연구팀은 조사 기간 동안 FPIES증세로 병원을 찾은 신생아 가운데 우유나 두유 알러지를 가진 아이는 17명(30회)이었으며, 쌀 알러지를 가진 아이는 14명(26회)이었다고 밝혔다.
문제는 우유,두유는 알러지 유발 가능 식품으로 널리 인식되어 있는데 반해, 쌀은 막연히 안전한 식품으로 여겨진다는 데 있다.
전문가들은 "일반적으로 쌀은 알러지를 유발하지 않은 건강식품으로 알려져 신생아들이 처음으로 섭취하는 음식이 되기도 한다"며 "부모들은 아이가 쌀에 알러지를 가졌을 가능성에 대해서도 고려할 필요가 있다"고 지적했다.
심지어 의사들도 쌀을 알러지 원인으로 생각하지 않아 FPIES를 오진하는 경우가 발생한다.
Rice can trigger severe gut reaction in infants
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Although rice is considered to have a low potential for causing allergic reactions, it can trigger a severe form of gut inflammation in some infants, new study findings confirm.
The reaction is known as "food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome," or FPIES -- an inflammatory response of the digestive system to certain food proteins, including those in cow's milk, soy, meat and grains. Infants with FPIES usually suffer vomiting and diarrhea within roughly 2 hours of eating the culprit food.
While FPIES is similar to a standard food allergy, it does not involve a response from immune system antibodies. And unlike a true food allergy, FPIES usually causes only gastrointestinal symptoms.
Rice, because of its low potential for triggering an allergic response, is generally recommended as the first solid food for infants. However, the grain is increasingly being recognized as a cause of FPIES.
In the new study, Australian researchers found that over 16 years, 14 children came to their hospital with 26 episodes of rice-related FPIES. During the same period, FPIES caused by cow's milk or soy -- considered the most common triggers of the condition, occurred in 17 children who had 30 episodes.
What's more, reactions to rice tended to be more severe, with more children requiring IV fluids, the researchers report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Rice remains a hypoallergenic food, and the fact that it can cause FPIES does not change that, said senior study author Dr. Andrew S.
Kemp, of the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia.
"Parents of children with food allergies do not have to be especially concerned about rice," he told Reuters Health.
The message, Kemp said, is for doctors to be aware that rice can cause FPIES, which is often misdiagnosed as sepsis -- an infection in the bloodstream -- or an acute abdominal problem requiring surgery.
Children with FPIES often have several episodes before the problem is diagnosed, Kemp and his colleagues note, and knowing that rice is a potential cause of severe digestive symptoms may lead to earlier diagnosis.
"Pediatricians should be aware that rice not only has the potential to cause FPIES," the researchers write, "but that such reactions may be more severe than those caused by cow's milk/soy."
SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, online October 28, 2008.