We are one of only a few clinics in the nation to offer oral immunotherapy (OIT) to foods. Our treatment provides a long-term solution for wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, and milk allergic patients. The program will take about nine to 12 months. At the end of the program, most patients with allergies to wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, or milk are able to consume these foods with no allergic reaction.
More than 75% of patients using these protocols can consume foods that once threatened their health.
The treatment works by introducing minute doses of wheat, egg, peanut or milk in solution for approximately nine to 12 months (time period varies on individual differences). The program then progresses to small doses of the whole food for an additional several months, allowing the patient to eat these foods. As a result, the vast majority of patients are able to consume wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and/or milk without any adverse reactions.
If you have an infant or toddler who does not yet have known food allergies but is at higher risk of becoming food allergic, click here for more information on our Food Allergy Risk Reduction program.
What to expect from our food allergy program:
The initial evaluation may involve a combination of skin prick testing and/or blood testing for the allergy, in addition to a detailed history and physical. Depending on the history of the reactions combined with what the allergy testing shows, a food oral challenge might be performed at a subsequent visit to ensure that the food allergy has not been outgrown and to assess the level of sensitivity to the food in question.
The first visit of the oral immunotherapy process is a full day, during which the child will receive multiple doses of very small amounts of diluted milk, diluted wheat powder, diluted peanut or tree nut powder, or diluted egg powder. The child will return every two weeks for dose increases followed by one hour of observation. Between each visit the patient will take one dose of the desensitization (allergenic) food each day at home. Once oral immunotherapy is complete, the previously allergenic food can be freely included in the diet. The food must be eaten daily to maintain the ability to eat it safely.
Want to know more about treating your child’s food allergy?
If you are interested in learning more about how your child can be treated for food allergies, please contact our office. Most insurance policies cover this treatment. We invite you to call us and find out how we can help your child, as well as your whole family, live without a fear of food.
We recommend a consult to sit down and discuss if OIT is right for you or your child. We fully discuss any possible outcomes, success, failure, and possible adverse outcomes. We also discuss anxieties/fears involved with considering OIT. Please also take some time to read the blog posts that Dr. Jacobs wrote on this subject (click here and here)
Our promises to you:
* Our goal is to treat and to substantially improve the quality of life in food allergic kids and adults.
* We pledge an open and honest discussion on food allergies and treatment.
* OIT has been extensively studied with many successful clinical trials performed at Duke, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai, and many of the other top allergy institutions around the world.
*Hundreds of children and adults have successfully completed OIT supervised by board-certified allergists across the country and around the world
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this FDA approved?
- OIT does not utilize a medical device or medication and therefore does not fall under the purview of the FDA. It will neither be approved or disapproved by the FDA.
Why are there not more allergists performing this procedure?
- Although OIT is well-studied, there is not a consensus for a standard protocol to follow.
- Many allergists do not have the experience or choose not to perform oral food challenges.
- The primary researchers, despite a decade of strong clinical positive results, have not promoted OIT as ready for general treatment.
Why has the Center for Allergy & Immunology started offering OIT?
- There are more than 45 journal articles published in the leading allergy journals around the world all showing success with this therapy.
- Hundreds of patients have been successfully treated using these protocols, with an over 75% completion rate.
- Studies have shown a significant improvement in quality of life for patients who have undergone these protocols.