How is Allergic Proctocolitis Diagnosed?

If you are concerned about your baby’s health, see a doctor as soon as possible. It is important to rule out other, possibly more serious, conditions. The doctor should take a detailed health history and give your baby a full physical, including measurements to make sure your baby is growing well. [Note: it is not how large or small a baby is for its age that matters! If the height, weight, and head circumference follow one of the curves on the growth chart, the baby is growing normally.] Testing stool samples is common, and some doctors may ask for a blood test. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a pediatric gastroenterologist or a pediatric allergist. Some doctors recommend a test called an endoscopy (en-DOS-copy) to look inside the baby’s intestines, and may take a tiny sample of intestinal tissue for testing (a biopsy).

Here are some tests your health care practitioner may run, and what they are looking for:

Your baby definitely has AP if removing the problem protein from his diet makes his symptoms go away. Your doctor will use this process, called an elimination diet, to both diagnose and treat AP.

Author’s Note: While Allergic Proctocolitis is becoming better understood and better known, there is still a lack of knowledge in some segments of the health care community. If you do not feel that your doctor is giving your baby the attention deserved, be persistent. This website was designed to educate healthcare professionals as well as families. If your doctor would like more information, feel free to refer him or her to the “Health Practitioner” section of this site. If all else fails, ask for a referral to a specialist, or find another physician who will take your concerns more seriously.