If you have food allergies or your child has food allergies, you may be wondering if they’re truly permanent. Is it possible to overcome food allergies? If it is, what are the best strategies for doing so? In this blog from Premier Allergy & Asthma, we’ll discuss everything you need to know.
First, let’s start with kids. The short answer is “yes!” Kids can often “outgrow” food allergies over time. Eventually, your child may be able to eat troublesome foods with absolutely no symptoms or side effects.
However, the type of food is a big factor here, and there’s quite a bit of variation in age. About 80% of kids who are allergic to milk, eggs, or wheat will outgrow these allergies by the age of 16.
In contrast, only about 25% of kids will outgrow a peanut allergy – and of these kids, about 80% will outgrow it by the age of 8. The resolution rate is only about 10% for tree nut allergies, and it’s even lower for shellfish and fish allergies.
So while kids can sometimes overcome food allergies, it’s not a guarantee, especially for allergies that are a bit less common, like tree nut and seafood allergies. Still, it’s important to work with your child’s pediatrician and pediatric allergist to keep an eye on their development, and their allergic reactions to known allergens. Over time, it is entirely possible for them to outgrow one or more of their food allergies.
Oral immunotherapy is also sometimes called “desensitization therapy.” In this treatment, a patient is fed a small amount of an allergen. An allergist or physician will work with you to raise the amount of allergen that’s consumed over time.
The goal of oral immunotherapy is to raise the threshold at which an allergic reaction occurs. In one study, about 60% to 80% of patients were able to become desensitized to peanut, egg, and milk, three common allergens.
However, it’s important to realize that this is not a “cure” as such. It may be possible to raise the allergen threshold high enough that a patient could consume a sizable portion of the food to which they are allergic.
But this does not mean the allergy is “gone” or “cured.” Patients are still advised to avoid allergens, and must carry EpiPens on them in case of a severe reaction that causes anaphylactic shock. This is particularly true for patients who have very severe allergies that could cause life-threatening reactions.
Dealing with food allergies can be difficult, whether they’re affecting you or your child. To get the guidance, treatment, and care you need in central Ohio, come to Premier Allergy & Asthma. Our allergists are always here to give you the support you need.
With our help, you will be able to better manage food allergies, and it may be possible to use treatments like oral immunotherapy to reduce the severity and danger of allergic reactions. Learn more today by contacting us online or giving us a call at (614) 328-9927.
Returning Patient? Please contact our office at (614) 328-9927 to schedule an appointment. Thank you.