Children with peanut allergies have difficulty eating or even touching foods containing the protein, which may cause an allergic reaction in them, such as hives on their skin- along with vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of your mouth/throat, among other symptoms – all without ingesting anything at all. But there’s always a way.
Allergy and Clinical Immunology offers some hope that children can outgrow their allergies to peanuts by participating in oral immunotherapy treatment. In the study, about 300 children between ages 9-16 diagnosed with persistent peanut allergies were split into two groups: one receiving placebos and the other receiving gradually increasing doses of up to 3 grams, which was enough to build immunity. They continued this treatment for 18 months or until they could consume at least 6 grams without any allergic reaction during a food challenge test. The results showed that after 36 months, 80% could eat the equivalent of roughly five peanuts without any reactions whatsoever.
Testing IgE Levels
Outgrow his peanut allergy. Some research suggests those with lower levels of allergen-specific IgE may make a good candidate. A blood test can determine your or the kids’ status in this case, and an allergist should run them if needed for consultation before proceeding any further with treatment options.
As for the study, while it’s a positive step in the right direction to discovering an effective oral immunotherapy treatment for food allergies, there are still some limitations. For one, all participants had to be willing to undergo skin-prick tests throughout the trial – which means that children who didn’t want any needles would have been excluded from participating. The other limitation is that participants were not followed up after 36 months, leaving doctors to assume that most continued sticking with the treatment without interruption. Some may require more sessions before results are achieved, but because of these caveats, doctors still can’t recommend this at this time outside clinical trials until further studies can be done.
Keeping Allergies from Returning
Their peanut allergy behind, there is still some risk it will return. A 2004 study suggested that the way you can reduce this threat of recurrence for your family, though, would be by encouraging them to eat peanuts on occasion when they are not experiencing an adverse reaction and providing assistance if needed during those moments, so eating doesn’t become too stressful or unmanageable all together.
A lot has changed since then; many parents nowadays avoid nuts altogether due partly to binary lessons about contamination risks which may discourage their children from enjoying these healthy but sometimes-icky treats either out at restaurants etc. Allergists now generally recommend a graded introduction to nuts where small amounts (1-2 teaspoons) are given incrementally over time so that if any reactions occur, they’re mild and manageable.
While oral immunotherapy treatments like those used in the study offer hope for children with peanut allergies to outgrow them one day, it’s essential to remember that these treatments are still being studied and should only be administered under a doctor’s care.
A board-certified allergist will safely guide children with a peanut allergy in their avoidance lifestyle. Introducing peanuts before tests is not safe and can cause an allergic reaction without warning if they are exposed again. A person who has been diagnosed should carry injectable epinephrine at all times since it might take only one bite of food containing the substance for symptoms to return. Peanuts are a common cause of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition—a dramatic drop in blood pressure.
After undergoing a special oral immunotherapy treatment, 80% of children allergic to peanuts could eat them without any allergic reaction. This treatment entailed giving children increasing doses of peanut protein over time until they could consume at least 6 grams without any problems.