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DOI: 10.3390/nu13062056; PMCID: PMC8235503


Both functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) and food allergies are relatively common in children and adolescents, and most studies report an association between FAPDs and allergic conditions. FAPDs share pathophysiologic processes with allergies, including both immune and psychological processes interacting with the microbiome. No conclusive data are implicating IgE-mediated reactions to foods in FAPDs; however, there may be patients who have IgE reactions localized to the gastrointestinal mucosa without systemic symptoms that are not identified by common tests. In FAPDs, the data appears stronger for aeroallergens than for foods. It also remains possible that food antigens initiate an IgG reaction that promotes mast cell activation. If a food allergen is identified, the management involves eliminating the specific food from the diet. In the absence of systemic allergic symptoms or oral allergy syndrome, it appears unlikely that allergic triggers for FAPDs can be reliably identified by standard testing. Medications used to blunt allergic reactions or symptomatically treat allergic reactions may be useful in FAPDs. The purpose of the current manuscript is to review the current literature regarding the role of allergy in FAPDs from a clinical perspective, including how allergy may fit in the current model of FAPDs.

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food allergy; functional abdominal pain disorders; functional dyspepsia; irritable bowel syndrome


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