Scientists may have found the key in helping children acclimate to foods that cause severe reactions.
If your kids suffer from multiple food allergies, help may be on the way. According to U.S. News, team of researchers at Stanford University have discovered a method of treatment that will allow them to safely acclimate to exposure.
For children who are allergic to one particular food—peanuts, for instance—immunotherapy treatments can help. This is where the child is exposed, in a controlled setting, to small amounts of the allergen. The amount is gradually increased until the body learns to tolerate it. However for kids with multiple allergies—one third of those who have food allergies—this treatment hasn’t been effective.
Currently, these children simply have to avoid all the foods they are allergic to. This can make cooking—to say nothing of finding nutritious recipes—a complicated task. And it can make going out to restaurants or other places where food is prevalent a potentially life-threatening experience.
The Stanford scientists used a drug to combat asthma, known commercially as Xolair, as part of the immunotherapy treatment for 48 children and preteens with multiple restrictive allergies, such as peanuts, eggs, sesame, and wheat.
The study found that doses of the drug during immunotherapy proved to help these children safely get over their allergy faster and more effectively. They also had fewer digestive and breathing issues.
The results of first trials were published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, but the team of researchers admit that they have more work to do before the treatment is available to the public.