Constipation is a very common disorder, mostly functional in nature, that may persist for years in up to 35–52% of children. Food allergy prevalence, severity and persistence are increasing over time, and cows’ milk protein is the commonest food allergen recognised to affect gastrointestinal motility in children. There is mounting evidence of the role of cows’ milk (CM) allergy (CMA) in children with constipation. With this narrative review, we aim to provide clinicians with an updated and critical overview of food allergy‐associated constipation. We searched Embase, Medline and the Cochrane Library, using keywords related to the topic. Only reviews and studies including children aged 0–17 years that were published in English were considered. Constipation has been reported in 4.6% of infants with CMA; the prevalence of food allergy underlying chronic constipation in children resistant to conventional treatment and presenting to tertiary clinics ranges between 28% and 78%. The identification of predisposing risk factors and of a specific phenotype of food allergy‐induced constipation remains elusive. No allergic tests or radiological or motility investigations reach a high sensitivity and specificity in screening children for CMA‐related constipation. A 4‐week cows’ milk protein (CMP) elimination diet may be considered for children with chronic constipation resistant to conventional treatment and who lack alarm sign/symptoms of organic diseases. In subjects with ameliorated symptoms on CMP elimination, the diagnosis of CMA should be confirmed by a food challenge to avoid an unnecessary protracted diet.

Cows’ Milk Allergy‐Associated Constipation: When to Look for It? A Narrative Review

Salvatore S.;Di Bella G.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Constipation is a very common disorder, mostly functional in nature, that may persist for years in up to 35–52% of children. Food allergy prevalence, severity and persistence are increasing over time, and cows’ milk protein is the commonest food allergen recognised to affect gastrointestinal motility in children. There is mounting evidence of the role of cows’ milk (CM) allergy (CMA) in children with constipation. With this narrative review, we aim to provide clinicians with an updated and critical overview of food allergy‐associated constipation. We searched Embase, Medline and the Cochrane Library, using keywords related to the topic. Only reviews and studies including children aged 0–17 years that were published in English were considered. Constipation has been reported in 4.6% of infants with CMA; the prevalence of food allergy underlying chronic constipation in children resistant to conventional treatment and presenting to tertiary clinics ranges between 28% and 78%. The identification of predisposing risk factors and of a specific phenotype of food allergy‐induced constipation remains elusive. No allergic tests or radiological or motility investigations reach a high sensitivity and specificity in screening children for CMA‐related constipation. A 4‐week cows’ milk protein (CMP) elimination diet may be considered for children with chronic constipation resistant to conventional treatment and who lack alarm sign/symptoms of organic diseases. In subjects with ameliorated symptoms on CMP elimination, the diagnosis of CMA should be confirmed by a food challenge to avoid an unnecessary protracted diet.
2022
Allergic disease; Children; Constipation; Cows’ milk allergy; Food allergy
Connor, F.; Salvatore, S.; D'Auria, E.; Baldassarre, M. E.; Acunzo, M.; Di Bella, G.; Farella, I.; Sestito, S.; Pensabene, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2146921
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