Food allergies are highly unpredictable – for most, the best treatment was allergen avoidance. Today, people with food allergies can get help with oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). This treatment, also known as food allergy desensitization, is highly effective in preventing severe allergic reactions and restoring good health.
How Does Food Allergy Desensitization Work?
According to studies, as many as 8% of children could be affected by food allergies in the United States. And while allergies will produce only minor symptoms for many, others will face the risk of anaphylaxis. Food allergy desensitization is an advanced approach to dealing with these food allergies, allowing the body to build a tolerance to specific allergens.
During the OIT process, a patient will eat the allergen (peanuts, tree nuts, egg or milk) in small doses at their allergist’s office. When it has been determined that a patient can proceed, the doses are then consumed at home in gradually increasing quantities. Over many months, the body’s resistance to the allergen is raised until a tolerance level has been achieved. You can take a look at our food allergy desensitization infographic to see if the treatment could be right for you.
How Effective Is Oral Immunotherapy Treatment?
For a patient with severe or life-impacting food allergies, OIT can be transformative. However, OIT will not necessarily result in the same outcome for everyone, and some patients will be unable to continue with the treatment.
Importantly, a meta-analysis of multiple studies found that oral immunotherapy treatment increased desensitization to peanuts, milk and eggs in 76.9% of participants. When these patients continued consuming the foods at a maintenance level, they remained desensitized to the presence of the allergens in their bodies. By working closely with your allergist throughout the process, it is possible to reduce the risks of severe allergic reactions and achieve a better quality of life.
How Can I Get Started With Oral Immunotherapy Treatment?
Identifying the best food allergy treatment can be determined through a consultation with one of our doctors. First, an individual will need to undergo food allergy testing – skin prick, blood or oral challenge testing – to help make a diagnosis. If a patient is in good overall health, oral immunotherapy treatment may be recommended as the best approach to treating the food allergy.
Atlanta Food Allergy Desensitization Treatment
Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center has experienced allergists and immunologists with many desensitization success stories from adults and children. If you would like to discuss OIT, schedule a visit to a center in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.
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