Common Sense for Food Allergies

I heard on the news this morning that a recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that changing to a later start time for high school students is good for adolescents.

 Makes perfect sens to me. Years of research has shown that the body clock during the teen years shifts to going to bed later and getting up later. We know this and should use this information wisely.

What does this have to do with food allergies, you may ask?

Well, this study seems like common sense to me. I don't believe we've used common sense for food allergies. Allergic to pollen? Get regular injections of minute doses of pollen to desensitize the body to pollen. Allergic to milk? Avoid it forever.

I've never thought that made sense. We do it in our house because that's the doctor's orders, but it doesn't seem like good common sense. Since getting the blood test results for my allergic child last week, I'm even more convinced. After 10 years of strict avoidance of multiple foods, all numbers are up- by a lot. My child is not out-growing any of these allergies. As a matter of fact, things are heading in the wrong direction.

This isn't good enough any more. I'm hopeful about  a cow's milk immunotherapy study published recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This study involved placing cow's milk protein on unbroken skin in an effort to desensitize people.

Just yesterday, DBV Technologies got the go-ahead from the FDA to begin human clinical investigation of peanut desensitization. Trials begin this month in six medical centers in the U.S.

Avoidance isn't working. Desensitization makes common sense when it comes to food allergy. I recognize there are risks involved and I certainly do not recommend desensitization at home right now. But, let's all keep talking to our allergists and pushing for something better than "strictly avoid".

Stay tuned. We're starting to use common sense in food allergy treatment.


Mel said...

It's really hard to know what will help food allergies. I have been allergic to raw fruits and vegetables since I was 4 years old. In my late 20s I was able to eat most with little reaction. Probably because I never stopped eating them despite the reactions.

After having my daughter, my food allergies are all out of whack. I can't eat raw fruits and vegetables at all and just tested positive for a peanut allergy. I've eaten peanut my whole life, even when I tested positive for it. I eliminated it from my diet and ate it again a month later. Sure enough I had some congestion in my throat suggesting a true allergy. It was a mild reaction. So, if desensitization were true (at least for me) I shouldn't have any reaction to peanut. Of course you could argue that maybe my reaction would have been worse if I hadn't eaten it all this time. I think there are many other factors in one's life that can affect food allergic reactions.

Morgan said...

Really interesting perspective here... Are you planning on introducing more allergens in small doses to your diet? I think a lot of people would like to hear about how that goes for you!

Unknown said...

Morgan- I will still follow doctor's orders, however I'll push beyond the "Avoid Treatment Plan" by bringing relevant studies to my allergist's attention and asking for better options for my allergic child.

I'm hopeful we're on the edge of great things here!

Unknown said...

Mel- You raise some great points. Thank you for sharing.

I'm happy to see so much research going on right now at several different angles for food allergy. I don't believe there is going to be a "one-size-fits-all approach" treatment. I see more individualized approaches.

Interesting that pregnancy/childbirth seems to have impacted your allergies. I wonder if there are any studies out there regarding the impact of pregnancy on food allergies...