Is food allergy a cause of acute pancreatitis?

Pancreas. 1990 Mar;5(2):234-7. doi: 10.1097/00006676-199003000-00018.


We reported two cases of acute recurrent pancreatitis lasting for 8 and 10 years, respectively, and characterized by acute abdominal pain associated with an increased serum level of pancreatic enzymes and in one case transient enlargement of the pancreas on sonography and CT scan. Exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function remained normal. Pain attacks were associated with headache or typical migraine, myalgia, pruritus, and diarrhea. In one case only, the IgE serum level was increased. In both cases, the symptoms were reproduced in the 2 h following the consumption of some particular food and cured for years by the suppression of this food and the use of cromoglycate, but recurred 1 month to 3 years after this treatment was stopped, to be again healed by the same treatment. We suggest that these cases are due to food allergy and that food allergy could be a rare cause of acute recurrent pancreatitis. Responsible foods were beef (twice), milk, potato, fish, and eggs, which is in agreement with the frequency of food allergens in southwestern Europe.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cromolyn Sodium / therapeutic use
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pancreatitis / drug therapy
  • Pancreatitis / etiology*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Recurrence


  • Cromolyn Sodium