Gastrointestinal Manifestations of Food Allergy in Childhood

  • H. K. Harms
  • R. M. Bertele-Harms
Conference paper


Reliable data on the frequency of food allergy and its gastrointestinal manifestations in childhood can only be gained by comprehensive, prospective field studies. Furthermore, the definition of allergic reactions to food depends very much on the experience and opinion of the individual clinician, and this considerably influences the reported incidence and type of symptoms. Since no study on this subject has been conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany, we must rely on studies in neighbouring countries, such as those of Jacobsson and Lindberg in Malmö [1]. In a careful prospective study based on the results of well-defined elimination/challenge procedures, they reported a frequency of 1.9% in the 1st year of life. The most frequent combinations of symptoms were gastrointestinal and skin. Two-thirds of symptomatic infants showed gastrointestinal symptoms, such as colic, vomiting and diarrhoea. The main antigen was cow’s milk protein, followed by soya, egg, fish, organges, tomatoes and cereals. Among the 20 allergic patients only two showed failure to thrive, indicating malabsorption following damage to the small-intestinal mucosa.


Breast Milk Food Allergy Soya Protein Gastrointestinal Manifestation Eosinophilic Granulocyte 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. K. Harms
  • R. M. Bertele-Harms

There are no affiliations available

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