Testing & Diagnosis for Allergic Colitis in Children

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Contact the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

  • 1-617-355-6058

If your baby is fussy, irritable and resists feeding, we understand how concerned you must be. But we view a diagnosis of with allergic colitis as the first step in restoring your child to good health.

The first thing we’ll do is check for blood in your baby’s stool. There might be blood that can only be seen through a microscope, so your child’s doctor will look for this, too. If blood is found, the symptoms are most likely caused by an allergic reaction, so we put the mother on a dairy-free diet if she’s breastfeeding, or recommend a hypoallergenic formula.

If your baby’s symptoms don’t improve after you’ve made these dietary changes, we’ll test your baby’s stool for the presence of an infection. We may also do a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is  a procedure that lets the doctor look inside your baby’s intestinal tract to see if there might be a polyp or an abnormal blood vessel close to the surface that could be causing the bleeding. A rectal fissure (a small tear in your baby’s skin near his rectum) could also be causing the bleeding.

After we examine your baby and complete any necessary tests, we’ll meet with you and your family to discuss the results and the best way to proceed.

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Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337