Arcadia Allergy and Asthma (in partnership with its sister clinic, San Tan Allergy & Asthma) is excited to offer a new option for the management of food allergies.
Until recently, the only treatment for food allergy was strict avoidance of the offending food. Over the last decade a significant amount of research has been conducted to evaluate if there are safe and effective methods to desensitize patients to the food(s) they are allergic to. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is one of three different methods that have been studied and has been shown to be the most effective treatment option for reducing the severity of, and in some instances, particularly in younger children, curing a patient’s food allergy.
OIT is a process that involves the slow oral introduction of the allergenic food in gradually increasing amounts, similar to the process and method of allergy shots for environmental allergies. Typically, over a period of several months, the patient’s immune system becomes more tolerant and less sensitive to the food they are allergic to. After several months of treatment, most patients who undergo this treatment are able to consume these foods with no allergic reaction. Although the protocol has been most studied in peanut allergy, it can be applied to most foods including tree nuts, milk, and egg.
Because food allergies can be life-threatening, oral immunotherapy should only be administered under the supervision and guidance of a Board-Certified Allergist specifically trained on how to provide this therapy in a safe and effective manner. Arcadia Allergy and Asthma is one of select clinics in the nation to offer oral immunotherapy and is the only clinic with a dedicated food allergy center in Arizona.
It is important to note that this treatment is not appropriate for all patients. Prior to pursuing OIT, patients will be evaluated to determine if they are candidates or if further testing and work up will be necessary before being able to pursue this treatment option.