Food Allergy Treatment
Treating food allergies starts with diagnosing the allergens.
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What Food Allergy Treatment Options Are Available?
While some food allergies can result in anaphylaxis and require immediate medical help, most symptoms will be less severe. People concerned about a food allergy that affects themselves or a child can explore treatment options in one of our five food allergy treatment centers in the Atlanta area.
Because it can be difficult to monitor every food allergen a young child might be exposed to at school, daycare, a friend’s house and so on, parents around the Atlanta area seek out Dr. Chacko’s expertise to help reduce their children’s food allergy reactions. Dr. Chacko is an experienced and board certified allergist and immunologist.
The process starts with food allergy testing to find out exactly which allergens are causing the negative reaction. The skin prick test is the most common test performed, and it is safe and accurate, usually providing results in less than 30 minutes. Alternative approaches are blood tests and the oral challenge tests.
Once the food allergy has been determined, Dr. Chacko and his team will work with the patient to find the best allergy treatment solution for their particular circumstances.
Food Allergy Treatment Options
Chacko Allergy provides two main food allergy treatment options – immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy. These treatments sound similar and they work towards the same goal of desensitization, but they use different methods.
Immunotherapy involves receiving allergy shots containing small doses of the allergens that affect you. The low levels are unlikely to cause allergic reactions, but your immune system gets used to the allergens in your system. Initially, patients will visit the food allergy treatment center several times each week. As time goes on, the frequency can decrease. Dr. Chacko will create a custom treatment plan that fits your needs and achieves the desired objectives.
Oral immunotherapy involves consuming small amounts of an allergen over a period of 6–12 months. The continued consumption of small doses works to desensitize the immune system to the allergen. Patients receiving this treatment option will meet in the office with Dr. Chacko more frequently. Continually monitoring an adult or child receiving oral immunotherapy for food allergies is extremely important. As time progresses, the treatment plan will adjust also.
Treatment for Severe Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions can be uncomfortable and even painful, but won’t usually pose any immediate threat to an individual. However, in a small percentage of cases, severe allergic reactions may lead to anaphylaxis. A life-threatening allergic reaction requires an immediate response to deal with symptoms such as rapid heart rate, nausea, dizziness, restricted breathing and loss of consciousness. An epinephrine auto-injector can deliver adrenaline to an individual suffering from a severe allergic reaction, and should be carried by anyone at risk. If you have experienced an allergic reaction, speak to your allergist – they can recommend the best allergy treatment plan for both the short term and the long term.
Food Allergies We Treat
It is possible to be allergic to any food, but the reality is that just eight types of food are responsible for 90% of allergic reactions. Milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are regularly consumed by adults and children across the United States, and they are also included as ingredients in many products. In practice, we treat allergies that are brought on by common and not-so-common allergy triggers that cause both mild and severe reactions to patients. Know that due to the unpredictable nature of allergic reactions, when you have any allergy concerns it’s important to seek assistance as soon as possible.
- Peanut Allergy – Peanut allergies are common throughout the world, impacting a growing number of children.
- Tree Nut Allergy – An allergy to hard shell nuts, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts and more.
- Milk Allergy – Proteins in cow’s milk are a common cause of allergic reactions, experienced often in young children.
- Egg Allergy – A hypersensitivity to eggs often leads to stomach cramps, nausea and bloating.
- Shellfish Allergy – Reactions to shellfish such as crab, lobster, shrimp and oysters can be unpredictable and develop at any age.
- Wheat Gluten Allergy – This allergy often leads to bloating, painful stomach cramps and other symptoms.
While these allergies can cause an array of symptoms, many signs of a food allergy are similar to food sensitivity. While the terms food sensitivity and food allergies are often used interchangeably and may require the same allergy treatment plan, food sensitivity can also refer to a less severe digestive issue that causes bloating, stomach pains and diarrhea. If you experience issues after eating any of the foods listed above, Dr. Chacko can test for an allergy and determine the root cause of the problem.
Treatment for Oral Allergy Syndrome
When it comes to diagnosing a food allergy, oral allergy syndrome (OAS) can cause confusion. OAS is caused by the immune system being unable to tell the difference between pollen and the proteins found in many fruits and vegetables. To ensure you get the correct diagnosis and the best treatment, it’s very important to seek out the expertise of a food allergist before making any assumptions about what you are actually allergic to.
Our History of Food Allergy Treatment Success
As one of the leading allergy doctors in Georgia, Dr. Chacko has a track record of helping people of all ages cope with food allergies. Some patients experience only mild symptoms, requiring an accurate diagnosis and straightforward treatment plan to maintain good health. However, other patients will have complex needs, and some face the threat of anaphylaxis from an allergic reaction.
In the case of children with allergy symptoms, it is common for parents to travel to see Dr. Chacko, based on his history of successful oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). Many children have received treatment to combat allergies to peanuts, milk, eggs and more, and have seen dramatic improvements. With OIT treatment, children who experience symptoms such as skin hives, swollen lips and tongue, vomiting and diarrhea can reach a place where they can consume the problem food without worry of a reaction. These results are satisfying for all involved.
Common Food Allergy Treatment Questions
While we know you have many questions about food allergy treatment, we wanted to share a few of the most common questions our patients ask.
Is there a cure for food allergies?
There is currently no cure for food allergies, but there are various treatments that can greatly reduce the impact an allergy plays in one’s life.
Are food allergies permanent?
Children can outgrow food allergies over time, just as they can sometimes develop them as they get older. It is important to get tested regularly and to talk to your allergist about the best solution for your specific needs.
Should I follow a food elimination diet?
A food elimination diet should be conducted under professional supervision. We are happy to discuss your personal allergy issues to find the right answers for your individual circumstances.
Can I get my baby or child treated for food allergies?
Yes, Dr. Chacko can treat babies and children for food allergies. Here are some of his patients’ oral immunotherapy success stories.
Food Allergy Treatment Could Be the Answer for You
Are you concerned about food allergies? Are they impacting what you eat and where you go? What about what your children eat, and the birthday parties they attend – or have to miss? Food allergies are a very real and serious issue. The right treatment solution can bring you peace of mind and greater freedom.
At our food allergy treatment center, we can find the right solution for you. Request an appointment at one of our five locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek, or call us at 678-668-4688 today.