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Food Allergy Treatment

Food Allergies: Beyond Avoidance

 

Food allergies are a serious concern, and the cornerstone of management remains strict avoidance of trigger foods. In case of accidental exposure or suspected anaphylaxis, immediate access to epinephrine auto-injectors is crucial. These portable devices deliver a lifesaving dose of epinephrine to counteract the severe allergic reaction. 

 

While avoidance is essential, recent advancements offer more options.  

Desensitization Therapies

These therapies, like oral immunotherapy (OIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), involve ingestion of food, with goal to make the child less allergic to the food, there by reducing the risk of a reaction with an accidental exposure. 

OIT and SLIT, under the close supervision of an experienced allergist, involves daily ingestion of the allergenic food, starting with a very small amount below what would cause a reaction. The dose is then gradually increased over time. This process retrains the immune system to become more tolerant of the food, reducing the risk of a reaction if your child has accidental eats the food.

Xolair (omalizumab)

Xolair is approved by FDA for treatment of food allergies in children as young as 1 year old. It's important to note that Xolair doesn't cure allergies, but it can significantly reduce the risk of severe reactions for specific allergens. Unfortunately it is very costly, and currently not covered by government of Canada, although some private insurance plans may offer coverage.

Food allergy testing

If you suspect a food allergy, consult an allergist for proper diagnosis. Allergist use various tests to identify the culprit, such as skin prick testing, blood testing, in some cases, in-office food challenge.  These tests guide the treatment. 

Additional information can be found:

 

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