Could Oral Immunotherapy Help Treat Your Milk Allergy?
Milk is a common cause of allergies in children in Atlanta and across the country. With no cure for the condition, parents find themselves searching for an appropriate milk allergy treatment. One solution that consistently draws attention is oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). But is OIT really effective in preventing allergic reactions to milk?
What Is Oral Immunotherapy for Milk Allergies?
Oral immunotherapy treatment is a process that involves building tolerance to an allergen through carefully administered doses. A patient begins with a build-up phase in the allergist’s office. Small levels of cow’s milk are consumed while the patient is observed to ensure there is no danger of an allergic reaction. OIT can then continue at home with gradually increasing levels of consumption.
OIT is helpful for milk allergies as there are numerous products containing cow’s milk, and the chances of accidental exposure are high. With OIT, over time an individual should be able to consume milk without any signs of an allergic reaction.
Is It a Milk Allergy or an Intolerance?
When a child shows allergy symptoms around dairy products, it’s natural for parents to wonder if their child is allergic to milk. The only way to be certain is with professional food allergy testing, but there are some factors you can consider first. Allergic reactions frequently result in skin hives, shortness of breath, coughing, vomiting, plus swelling around the lips and mouth. Symptoms tend to appear shortly after consuming milk.
Conversely, a milk intolerance often takes hours to take effect. An intolerance is a digestive issue and leads to stomach pains, diarrhea, sickness and bloating. As it targets immune system sensitivities, OIT is useful only for allergies.
How Dangerous Is a Milk Allergy?
For most children, a milk allergy will be uncomfortable but not severe. However, the risk of anaphylaxis always exists. Anaphylaxis can lead to serious breathing problems, dizziness and swelling of the tongue and throat. Avoiding milk and carrying epinephrine are important steps, but vigilant avoidance of milk products can have an impact on your child’s daily life.
Should You Consider OIT for Your Child’s Milk Allergy?
Oral immunotherapy treatment has been shown to be effective in treating milk allergies. In fact, a trial found that 92.3% of participants were able to consume milk protein regularly after treatment. However, OIT does require ongoing maintenance, which typically involves consuming milk daily. Stopping milk intake over time will reduce your tolerance levels, thus increasing the chances of future allergic reaction.
Ultimately, each individual faces different challenges with their allergies. A consultation will help determine if you or your child are appropriate candidates for OIT, and set a positive path forward in treating your allergy.
We Help Treat Your Food Allergies
If you’re concerned about a milk allergy or any other food allergy, Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center can help. For a full diagnosis and treatment plan, visit us in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment online.
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