Food Allergy Sufferers Want Relief Sooner, Not Later
Parents are faced with countless challenges when it comes to raising their children, but coming to terms with a child who has food allergies can transform challenges into fears.
“I have two children with multiple severe food allergies and have been reading research on [oral immunotherapy] for nine years now. Although I agree that further research needs to be done to assess all of the factors involved, I am personally thankful for the doctors who are brave enough to offer OIT in clinical practice before the medical community approves of the treatment.”
Since 2005 one of our doctors has treated nearly 200 patients with a process called oral immunotherapy or OIT. The patient is given a tiny amount of their problem food and the amount is gradually increased until they reach a meal-sized portion; 8 ounces of milk, 1 egg, 14 peanuts. After that, maintenance doses are recommended for at least three years.
Although the treatment has been around for at least 100 years, and clinical studies have been underway for the last 10, some insist that more research is needed. Although for parents of children suffering from food allergies right now, the idea of waiting 10 or more years for more research offers little appeal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year that the rate of food allergy in children increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. The condition now affects 1 out of 13 children or 2 in every classroom.
In a study published this month in a top immunology journal, Dr. Richard Wasserman, who founded DallasAllergyImmunology in 1988, and physicians from four other private practices report an 85 percent success rate treating patients with peanut allergies.
Of 352 patients, 298 were able to consume doses ranging from three to 24 peanuts at the end of treatment. Within Wasserman’s own practice, 83 percent of 98 patients consumed the highest dose in the study: 24 peanuts or the equivalent of a peanut butter sandwich.
For a parent who decides on OIT treatment for their food-allergic child, results like this are too important to ignore. It’s easy to see why they believe that taking action now far outweighs waiting 10 or more years.
Read the full, recently published article in The Dallas Morning News about AllergyImmunology, and how OIT treatment is offering hope to food-allergic children and their parents.