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Food allergy treatment shows promise
July 18th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Food allergy treatment shows promise

With food allergies still on the rise and no clear answer about their causes, parents of allergic children anxiously await the development of an effective treatment to prevent life-threatening reactions.

Researchers are making progress with a method for helping children with food allergies develop a tolerance for foods they otherwise couldn't eat.  The technique is called immunotherapy.  The basic idea is to give an allergic child extremely small quantities of the allergen and increase the dosage over time.

A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is particularly exciting because it followed children with an egg allergy for one year after they stopped receiving immunotherapy treatment and found some success in that group.  But more than half of the children did not show this immunity and doctors still don't know why.

"It really does give us great hope that there can be a treatment developed in the future," said Dr. Wesley Burks, chairman of the department of pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine and chief physician at North Carolina Children's Hospital.

About 4% to 6% of children in the United States have food allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Some will outgrow their allergies, but others - especially children who are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish - will likely have to avoid certain foods for life.  If they don't, they risk reactions ranging from mild itching and hives to airway blockages and even death. (Here are tips for managing food allergies).

Food allergy help for grown-ups

The immunotherapy approach has already been tried with peanuts and milk in small trials.

In this new study, researchers examined 55 children between ages 5 and 11 who were allergic to eggs.  Forty of them received immunotherapy (controlled doses of egg white powder) and 15 of them received a placebo treatment.

By 22 months of treatment, 75% of kids who got the immunotherapy were considered "desensitized" to eggs.

Researchers found that 10 kids who had undergone the immunotherapy were eating eggs on their own a year after the treatment ended, without symptoms.  This was out of an initial group of 30 who took the treatment and could pass a food challenge (eating egg without incident) after 22 months of therapy.

It's important to note, however, that about 15% of kids receiving the immunotherapy treatment dropped out of the trial - mostly because of allergic reactions, according to the study.  Before this method could become the standard of care, doctors must further investigate what are the risks of undergoing treatment compared with just trying to live with the allergy and avoiding the offending food, the authors wrote.   And the study authors can't totally rule out the possibility that some children were in the process of naturally outgrowing their egg allergies.

This is the largest blind, multisite trial of this kind, and the first to look at what happens after the treatment is over for such a significant period of time, Burks said.

Ruslan Medzhitov, professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, called this study a "very important investment" because it's moving toward a treatment.  He believes it could become a standard of care if researchers figure out why some children respond perfectly to immunotherapy and others don't, and whether the outcome is truly a long-term immune tolerance of allergens.

It’ll be another five to 10 years before this kind of thing could be widely available, Burks says.

In the meantime, don’t try this at home.  This procedure was done in a medical setting under tightly controlled conditions; parents should not attempt to inoculate their own allergic children against potentially deadly foods.

Eggs can be hidden in all sorts of food products, which is why parents of children with this allergy need to be extremely cautious because even a single bite of a cooked egg can trigger a severe allergic reaction in some children.

"It’s a huge strain on a family’s quality of life because there’s always this worry, no matter where you are or what you’re doing: I hope my child is safe," says Dr. Ruchi Gupta, assistant professor of pediatrics and health services researcher at Northwestern University and Children's Memorial Hospital. (Gupta is not related to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.)

Gupta's 6-year-old daughter is allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. There's always a fear that she might accidentally ingest a problematic food when she's at camp or school, Gupta said.

"Having something like immunotherapy, where I feel like she could start on small doses and gradually work her way up, would be amazing," Gupta said.

UNC Healthcare will host a live Facebook chat about the study on Tuesday, July 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

To learn more about joining a study on immunotherapy go to clinicaltrials.gov.

Do you or your child suffer from food allergies? Share your comments below.


soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. rapurdon

    I've been doing this for years. Its called homeopathy.

    July 18, 2012 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skeptical

      I'm as big of a cynic about modern medicine as anyone, and a huge fan of homeopathy, but with a peanut allergy, that would just be irresponsible.

      July 18, 2012 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • Fifi

      Homeopathy is entirely different, rapurdon, in both aim and execution. Homeopathic remedies are diluted to the point where they don't do a blessed thing. you need to do some reading on the subject.

      July 18, 2012 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • Elaine

      Surely this is the same research performed by Dr. Rapp, a U.S. an allergist & pediatrician many years ago!!

      July 18, 2012 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
    • Allergy mom

      This is nothing like homeopathy. To Lear more about israel immunotherapy go to child's drs website.

      OITCenter.com.

      July 19, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • Allergy mom

      Wow my iPad mucked that up.... It is supposed to say. To learn more about oral immunotherapy go to my child's dr web site.

      OITCenter.com

      July 19, 2012 at 06:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      I have been practicing this as well. I was found to have a severe allergy to eggs in my 30's. I am in my late 40's now and can eat free range organic chicken eggs about once a month with no reaction.

      July 19, 2012 at 08:05 | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Funny, I too drink several glasses of water a day and it has done nothing for my allergies.

      July 19, 2012 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • Sadie

      Right on for Homeopathy. Nosodes, Isodes and sacodes work. Are we really still saying Homeopathy is placibo. Somebody wake up the ignorant MDs and pharmaceutical companies. Then, of course, the Bio-Allers will be $1200.00 and script only.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Homeopathy has worked very well for both my children with eczema. I'm still waiting to see improvements on food allergies, their numbers are going down and they are in the right direction but it is taking longer than I thought. 2 years ago I would never believe homeopathy, now I am a strong believer!

      July 19, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      sciencebasedmedicine dot org -This website will dispel every myth you fools have fallen for. Anybody with even a bachelors level understanding of science will see the truth.

      July 21, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • wally

      That was the same thought that I had. That said, the homeopathy remedy did not work for me, so maybe it was missing something that this approach has added?

      July 23, 2012 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • Steph

      I have adult-onset anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, white fish, mango, bees and anything a bee makes. While I understand the theory behind challenge testing and "immunotherapy," I would not allow any physician to put my life, or my child's life at risk my introducing known allergens into our bodies on purpose. Obviously there is something wrong with my immune system that causes my body to believe certain things are bad for it. The risk far outweighs any experimental advantage. Anyone who has been intubated and flown by life flight because of accidental contact with a peanut or because of a bee sting will understand what I'm talking about.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • Phange

      I love homeopathy. Who knew a 10^24 dilution – equivocal to one molecule of the substance in a bowl of water the size of the Milky Way Galaxy – would be so effective? It's like magic!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  2. Alie

    I am in my 40's and have a severe peanut allergy since the age of two. There has been a lot of medical advancements in the last 5 years including Epipens and Twinjects for emergencies. I still read product labels, carry an epipen at all times and ask at restaurants as it is a matter of life or death for me. Allergy tests done throughout the years and yes my allergy is still severe but I don't let it run my life.

    July 18, 2012 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • croaswife

      Gloria, my daughter's 4th grade teacher told the class about the pink slime at McDonalds this year an ever since she REFUSES to eat there. It was like an instant cure for fast food addiction :)

      July 18, 2012 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • Wendra

      I'm happy to hear you share this! My daughter has a severe peanut allergy; we recently spent some quality time in the ER after her eating something that was tainted. I lived in fear for her, but she shares your outlook and
      I hope she is as fortunate as you.

      July 19, 2012 at 02:54 | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Croaswife, maybe you should get your daughters teachers to teach then something about science.

      July 19, 2012 at 09:03 | Report abuse |
  3. Fifi

    I think you'd have to sedate and tie up the mommies of the allergic kids. There is nothing more shrill, annoying, pugnacious, in your face...as the mother (dads can be pretty awful, too) of a kid with a food allergy.

    I get it, parents - your kid can't eat (fill in the blank). Now get a life of your own.

    July 18, 2012 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • erinsmom

      yeah, almost as annoying as a person who makes sweeping ugly generalizations about groups of people

      July 18, 2012 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • croaswife

      Wow Fifi where is all that hostility coming from? As a mother of twins with peanut and tree nut allergy and the daughter of a woman with Celiac disease I have become all too aware of how unaware most people are when it comes to reading labels, avoiding cross contamination etc. When the risk of accidental ingestion involves possible death parents of these children have to be vigilant because nobody else is looking out for them that closely. So sorry if it is too annoying to bear.

      July 18, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • julie p

      Do you have children Fifi? One little bite of one little cookie with just a trace of nuts in it would kill my child, in minutes. Can you even imagine how frightening that is? I do everything humanly possible to keep my kid alive, I don't really care how "annoying" I might be. Your comment is just plain ignorant.

      July 18, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • Michele M

      Fifi, A friend of mine has almost lost her daughter several times due to a food allergy. Nights in the ER that were touch and go. But you think she needs to get a life? Her life is making sure her daughter keeps hers. Food allergies are not something to be taken lightly.

      July 18, 2012 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Fifi

      Thanks for proving my point, folks.

      July 18, 2012 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "Fifi – Thanks for proving my point, folks"

      I think you actually proved theirs.

      July 18, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • Dylan'sMom

      Fifi is a very uneducated and egotistical person who has NO business even posting to this. Come on now, you have the name of a dog for crying out loud, and have nerve to put down something so severe as kids/adults with life-threatening food allergies?!! My son is 10 and was born with severe food allergies to milk & eggs & recently diagnosed with being allergic to wheat, as well. He is prone to anaphylaxis and has a rare form of asthma that is allergy-induced. I almost lost him at 1 1/2 years, as he got into his sister's pancakes and only had a TINY piece. He flatlined twice, so DO NOT mess with us nor anyone else with this problem. You OBVIOUSLY DO NOT have kids nor should you ever, as you are nothing but a heartless soul (waste of space)!!!!

      July 18, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Wow. Ever hear that saying don't judge someone until they have walked a mile in your shoes?

      July 18, 2012 at 21:50 | Report abuse |
    • brodielien

      Fifi, I think we need to sedate and tie up people as ignorant as you. There is nothing more shrill, annoying, pugnacious, in your face...as the ignorance that spews from your dumb freaking mouth. Hide behind a comment thread you pathetic fool. Talk like that in public and see what happens. Some mama bear out there is going to crack you in the jaw!!!! Wish it could be me.

      July 18, 2012 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
    • Fifi Duh

      Fifi, is that even a serious comment? You are basically saying "parents who protect their children are annoying"...You don't need to be a psychologist to figure out which commenter didn't t get shown much concern in their house growing up.

      Please people – if your goal is to be confrontational instead of to contribute intelligent comments, please rant somewhere else. Not sure why you'd care about other people monitoring their food allergies. Mostly I'm surprised you got invited to the party to even overhear it!

      July 18, 2012 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
    • Nameless

      Oh yeah, sure, Fifi, sedate and tie up the moms. And while you're at it, why not just poison those pesky kids, too? It'll certainly save you the trouble of having to witness them being served. Dietary restrictions? What picky brats!

      -Sarcasm from a teenager who's been allergic to eggs her entire life

      July 19, 2012 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • fifilover

      I think fifi has had so many nuts in her mouth, she'll never be allergic.

      July 19, 2012 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • annoying mom

      Fifi, it's ignorant people like you that make us moms of life threatening allergic kids so annoying. If we could trust that other people cared about the life and death of our child as much as we do, we wouldn't have to be in everyone's face and make sure that our child did not ingest a life threatening food. It's people like you that think it's your child's right to be able to bring a peanut butter sandwich to school even though it could kill someone else's kid. God forbid you have to think a little bit about someone else in this world, or bother keeping a child safe, even if they aren't your own. I feel sorry for you.

      July 19, 2012 at 01:36 | Report abuse |
    • spockout

      Fifi – We spend our lives protecting our children from cretins like you. Go get a life and quit posting comments on articles that you have absolutely no concern or interest about.

      July 19, 2012 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
    • Wendra

      Yeah, sorry about that. Something about watching my kid's airways close up and her lips turn blue really brings out my inner crankybot. But hey, you should totally enjoy your peanut M&Ms, because clearly you need those special calories.

      July 19, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      You are right and several people HAVE proven your point. To say you shouldn't be allowed to post!?!? Well that shows you are some kind of a whacko to suggest that in this country. You obviously live in the wrong country and those places that would restrict your right to comment would also just let these kids die. I also don't care what's wrong with your kid. Everyone has problems. Make your kid carry around a lunch box everywhere with food they can eat and give them an epi pen if they get in trouble and shut up.

      July 19, 2012 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      Oh, and annoying mom: It is my kids right to bring a peanut butter sandwich everyday, which he does, and if the school tried to stop him, I would sue and win. Case closed.

      July 19, 2012 at 06:17 | Report abuse |
    • kmoore

      No, I think the shrieking parents are DEFINITELY more annoying. Maybe you shrieking breeders should be howling about WHY your child is allergic to the world – what caused it to happen in the first place. Was it something the mother consumed while pregnant? Was it all the vaccines? 30 years ago, we did not have this "allergy epidemic".

      July 19, 2012 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
    • Cosmic Duh

      Cosmic, of course people are allowed to comment. But if your "contribution" has the intellectual value of a monkey throwing poop, then you're not really adding anything. The point is if you don't know what you're talking about, spare us. People with food alleries DO carry epi pens everywhere. Please, tell us all about something that would harm your child and then show us how laid back you are about us bringing it in direct contact with your (unfortunate) little one. Does that help you better understand, or is it still just "all about you"?

      July 19, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
    • brodielien

      Cosmic,
      Your knowledge of the law and your logic fails you. If you knowingly send peanut butter to class in a school that prohibits it, you, as the (ir)responsible parent are liable for damages. Good luck with that. Failed logic seems to be the symptom of most allergy haters. Even more disturbing is the fact that you admittedly have a child. My child has a milk allergy, not a peanut. Because we've experienced what it is like to live with this problem we are much more understanding of this peanut ban. There is no ban on milk in classrooms but I'm not whining because like most parents of allergic children will tell you, we wish they could have substance x and we don't want to take it away from your child. Rather we have to keep our children safe. There is a major difference between NEED and WANT!!!!! Have you witnessed anaphylactic shock? It is devastating to the child and parents. As a compassionate human being I would think that all people would want to help a family avoid potentially dangerous environments for allergic children. Furthermore, the various hygiene theories and diet theories are yet again an example of misinformation. Despite eating clean during pregnancy, feeding my child all homemade baby food, nursing for 14 months, and exposing him to germs frequently while grocery shopping or crawling around outside, he is allergic to milk. Parents of allergic children desperately want to know what has caused the allergy but the truth is that no one really knows and the "know-it-alls" think they know and are quick to post their unscientific, unreasonable and illogical thoughts.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • This_is_about_science_right?

      I thought this article was about kids and early introduction to "desensitize" the child thereby hopefully preventing the allergy? These comments are all over the place. Fifi, YES parents of kids with allergies are incredibly annoying. We all know it and have to deal with it. They will have to realize that at some point the kid will need to deal with their own allergies and stop playing overly cautious parent. They are just trying to (overly) protect their kids, can't blame them for that. Parents with kids.......sorry your kids have allergies. Please note that there are studies for kids (there are also studies for adults) who already have allergies in which allergic desensitization is also the objective. This is equally important given the number of allergic people out there. I would say that by just posting a statement of how tough your kid has it (and nothing about the article) is proving fifi's point.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Fifi, once you see your loved one almost dying in front of you because s/he eat the wrong food, and there is nothing you can do but call 911 and see if your loved one can continue to breath, you would be like the parents you are describing, maybe worst. I wish you never have a chance to witness something like this.

      July 19, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • amy

      Really? Do you have any idea what it is like to have a small child with multiple food allergies, some that are life threatening and try to go to a restaurant and your child can't have anything on the menu,or a birthday party and your child can't have the cake that everyone is talking about ,or send them to school that serves meals amd have to check every label?! As parents, we have to ask endless questions in order to keep our children safe and alive. You may think it's annoying or over the top but our child's life is at stake.

      July 19, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • kelly m

      I understand when some people get annoyed when you have to let them know your child has an allergy, but THIS mother doesn't give a damn how annoyin you may think I am. Its a matter of LIFE and DEATH if my son gets near or ingests peanuts, not something simple as a rash/hives. So if my child dies because you think his allergy is annoyin will you replace my child,will you feel my grief or pain, NO you can't or won't, so GET OVER yourself

      July 20, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      For those of you who protect your children's rights to pb&j at school please remember that you are exposing your child to the possible lifetime guilt of killing a classmate. My child only has to be around peanut butter for an ER trip to become necessary. We deal, she carries an epi-pen, and at 6 years old tells people, "Please don't have that around me, you could kill me". Now some of you will find a reason to rant and defend and that is fine, but this does happen more than 200 times per year. Each time a child dies, there is a family left with a hole in their hearts and there is a class or school of children who just lost a friend and playmate. If one of the friends introduced the allergen (as in the case of the 15 year old boy who killed his girlfriend with a peanut laden kiss) then you also have a lifetime of guilt for that person. This is a serious issue and I tackle it by educating my child. Now what would your child say to a classmate who says, "Please don't risk my life with your pb&j"? If your child's answer is, "My right to peanut butter supersedes your right to live", then you should congratulate yourself for raising a budding psychopath (as characterized by a lack of concern or empathy for the welfare of others among other things).

      July 22, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • mdb

      Cosmic, you know what's funny? If you, or your child is the cause of my childs allergic reaction, I will reserve the right to "practice" my Epi-penning on you. I'm sure you're the A-Typical tough guy. Loser.

      July 22, 2012 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • aceryder

      Fifi. Your annoying little yappy dog name is appropriate.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
  4. Aimee

    I"ve had a child with food allergies for 13 years now. He is allergic to Milk and Peanuts. We found out about the milk allergy at 10 months and the peanut allergy at 18 months. (We fed him peanut butter after a pediatrician told us to - there are lots of doctors out there that don't understand food allergies). As a parent, I've gone to great lengths to protect him and try make him not feel left out. I sent special snacks to school so when someone passed out treats, he would have his own safe treat. I sent his own safe cupcake when he went to birthday parties, and sent a pizza without cheese when they had pizza parties at school. We've gone to most of his field trips and camp-outs because teachers and leaders don't want to deal with his allergies. He never understood why people would get mad at him for having allergies and has been bullied by kids who think don't understand how dangerous peanuts can be to him. Once he developed hives in the shape of hand where someone touched him with peanut butter on their hands. Once a teacher made him eat his lunch in the corner by himself because another student had peanut butter in their lunch. We try not make it a huge deal to other people, but would appreciate some common consideration. Yes, you can eat your peanut butter sandwich, but please don't sit next to my son when you do it and wash your hands when your done. I don't really think that is too much to ask.

    July 18, 2012 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • croaswife

      Aimee I feel your pain. My girls always take it so personally when a classmate brings in a birthday treat and they can't share in it because of the nut warnings. I have to constantly explain how most people just aren't aware of how to read labels or may not even know there is an allergy in the class. I remind them that even though the allergy can be an inconvenience there are many other people that have to deal with a whole lot worse in their lives. I usually always volunteer to be the snack provider for a classroom event. That way I can make sure I have control and can choose items I know are safe.

      July 18, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • Allyson

      Aimee, thank you for your response. I have a child with a milk allergy, he has been unable to eat pizza and lunch meats due to the dairy ingredients. He packs his lunch every day and asks for a peanut butter sandwich. I feel very fortunate he is NOT allergic to that. I am an annoying mother who sticks up for HIS right to carry a peanut butter sandwich to school. There are TOO MANY schools which are banning the choice of MY allergic kid. If your child were my son's best friend-we would find something else to eat so that the children could sit together: since they are not, thank you for allowing my son to have his preferred lunch andI will teach him to be kind enough to wash his hands if the children are in class together. I am very fortunate to not have a child with anaphalaxis reaction. I will continue to keep my child as happy as I can-WHILE trying to protect yours. Thank you for not imposing your child's needs above the needs of other children with food concerns. I pray they do find a treatment which will help these children who are so often left out of the fun due to no fault of their own.

      July 19, 2012 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      I have 2 kids with food allergies, one with tree nut allergy and my 5 year old with tree nut, dairy, eggs. I look at the bright side, I better provide them with the food I make for them than junk food served in most of schools. This is the best excuse ever since I really don't want my kids to get loaded with artificial crap and artificially hormone milk and cheese. Look at the future, they will be healthy kids, and so will your child.

      July 19, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      @Allyson - I am really surprised that you would send your child to school with such a prevalent, known allergen "just to keep him happy" when there are alternatives. Try soy butter, or sunbutter. And a little compassion.

      July 23, 2012 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
  5. gloria garcia

    Maybe all the pesticides and antobiotics given to food..........................

    Politicians got paid by lobbyists to all it in your food.........................next is genetically modified foods monsanto is trying to lobby new laws so yu dont know about pink slime in food

    July 18, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rich

      This article and others have focused on the US where food allergies are a growing problem. Do we know if allergies are on the increase in areas of the world where all of the chemicals and antibiotics aren't used? (I'm not some tree hugger, just inquisitive)

      My son is allergic to both Milk and Peanuts, we learned how to adjust while not be a PITA to the world around us – re fifi's comment

      July 18, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
    • reality check

      Allergies and asthma are a by-product of too much cleanliness

      July 19, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • CheckOut

      Reality Check failed 8th grade science, and didn't do very well in history, either.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      I agree with you Gloria, food allergies and autism are increasing in developed countries where toxins are out of control.

      July 19, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
  6. debmcalister

    I have severe food allergies, as do a couple of my grandkids. (It skipped a generation, thankfully.) I was taught at an early age to avoid the things I'm allergic to, and even my 4 and 5 year-old grandkids know what I'm allergic to and will warn waiters when they sit something (like salsa) too close to me at a restaurant. I simply don't get the rationale behind segregating kids with food allergies, or expecting other parents not to send foods that are perfectly safe for THEIR kids to school with them. Our 11-year-old grandson is going to day camp next week, and we've been warned at least three times not to pack peanuts in his lunch because "some" children have nut allergies. This day camp is for 11 and 12 year olds - surely by that age the allergic kids are smart enough to avoid other people's lunch-time snacks. Managing food allergies is not difficult if you are alert, carry an epi pen, and pay attention. I carry multi-lingual cards outlining my allergies when I travel, so that whether I'm in Paris or Auckland, Bangkok or Helsinki, I can be sure that the staff at a restaurant knows what I can (and can't) eat. I'm nearly 60, and it's worked all these years....in spite of the fact that I'm allergic to nearly 50 different foods, including common ingredients like tomato, shellfish, vinegar, peppers, cilantro, etc.

    July 18, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angi

      Deb – the reason they are so vigilant about peanuts is, unlike your allergies, some people with peanut allergies can have deadly reactions from just the SMELL. Something about peanut molecules allow them to travel differently. Beyond that, you are correct that children can be taught well and early to read labels and be careful. Two out of three of my children have or had food allergies. I developed an allergy to chicken. My husband is allergic to a specific preservative. Our children know everyone's restrictions and read labels better than my husband.

      July 19, 2012 at 01:52 | Report abuse |
    • Wendra

      Ditto. I am allergic to cranberries, but as long I don't eat them I'm fine. My daughter can go into anaphylaxis if there is a messy eater at her table and the peanut proteins end up on her hands which then touch her food, or if someone is eating shelled peanuts and cranking them open near her. This has happened once already that we know of. The $3000 ER bill and the screams of pain and multiple drugs and tests are why peanuts are different. I can pass the cranberry sauce that Thanksgiving with no problems, but my daughter cannot sit next to someone eating peanuts.

      July 19, 2012 at 03:03 | Report abuse |
  7. Char

    This process of desensitizing allergies is nothing new to us. Our son who is now in his mid forties developed allergies shortly after birth (1968). Milk would give him terrible stomach pains, yellow vegetables would make him congested and green veggies affected his gut. He was diagnosed with milk allergies around 6 mths old and the only milk we had luck with was soya milk. At about the age of 2, we started to give him cow's milk. A ilktsp to start and would increase the milk by the same each week in his soya milk. He was drinking regular milk within 6 months with no problems at all. We accomplished the same results with vegetables as well. He developed allergies to all pork products when a teenager and has managed to desensitize himself by eating very small amounts to begin with. This method worked for us.

    July 18, 2012 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angi

      It's actually a well-known method, but it doesn't work with everyone, and the more severe the allergy, the greater the chance of failure. My son also gained a tolerance to eggs (in his case, mostly through accidental exposures) but he still can only have small amounts. He also naturally outgrew a life-threatening milk allergy. Conversely, I became allergic to chicken meat in the last few years, and when I tried a tiny amount (a bite the size of a pea) I had a horrific asthma attack and hives all over my body. Sadly, it doesn't work for everyone :(

      July 19, 2012 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
  8. JD

    This article is ridiculous. The concept of desensitation (whether it is orally or injected) has been around for decades. I have been on and off the shots for over 25 years. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don't. It is an unfortunate fact of life that one has to deal with. Until researchers develop a personalized solution (think at the cell level), the rest of this research is a waste of time. Someone got a good sized grant and decided to waste the money on concepts hat has already been established. Easy way to get published, I guess. I can't understand why the researchers are announcing this as ground breaking. Geez. Grumble...Grumble....

    July 18, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken

      You are absolutely correct. I had immunotherapy treatment in the late 1970's. Now, more than 30 years later it is being called groundbreaking. Yes it did help, but it takes several years of treatment to build a tolerance for the foods to which you are allergic.

      July 18, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Immunotherapy has been around for about a century. Evidently no one at CNN has heard of wikipedia or google.

      July 18, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
    • Allergy Mom

      You have been doing desensitization for food??? Environmental substances, yes, but, I have not heard of success with desensitization for food until recent years.

      July 19, 2012 at 02:36 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Yes, immunotherapy has been around for years... In SHOT form, this NEJM article refers to sublingual immunotherapy, ie drops that you put under your tongue. This is something that has been done in Europe, but not in the US and not for eggs, as far as I know. The fact is that the CNN article does not clearly state that this is sublingual, which is what is so ground breaking about it....

      July 19, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Yes, I took shots for years for food. In 1987 I used the drops under my tongue. This is not new ideas or science.

      July 19, 2012 at 18:54 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      JD- Technically, you are 100% right. Desensitization has been around a very long time. However, I can tell you that technically, if you are speaking of peanuts in particular, and even more particularly desensitization of children as young as three years old, (when accidental ingestion, even communication skills–imagine the difference between a toddler being able to communicate that something is terribly wrong, or a toddler being able to discern whether or not s/he can eat a particular cookie) this study is indeed ground breaking. For decades, while doctors were certainly able to use desensitization for seasonal allergies, etc., they never, ever figured out something like peanuts and toddlers. Dr. Burks (with others) developed a protocol that works. How do I know? My two children are in the program. Their first controlled "dose" of peanuts was about the peanut protein equivalent of 1/150th of a nut. They now can tolerate (they are at two different stages) between one nut and ten nuts. This article should have pointed out how for so long, doctors did not dare try desensitization in toddlers for fear of causing deaths in the process. I bear no ill will toward you for your statement, in fact I totally understand it, however I simply wanted to give you a slightly different perspective. Peace, Drew

      July 24, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  9. Annie

    Must be terribly hard to raise a child with food allergies, and as a diabetic I can sympathize. I just don't seem to understand why we (and the government) are failing to clamp down on companies like Monsanto who monopolize the food industry and are obviosly making us ill with how they make and distribute the food we have to eat.

    July 18, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • arosebyanyother

      What does Monsanto have to do with food allergies? Just curious where you're getting your facts.

      July 19, 2012 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
  10. Nicole

    When my little sister was around 5, my Mom noticed she had a peanut allergy because she would get a little rash-y (this was 1991-way before peanut allergies were crazy). Rather than doing what most parents do i.e. stop giving their children peanuts because they don't like to see a rash. My mom starting giving her 1 tsp of peanut butter a day because she didn't want a daughter that "couldn't eat a peanut butter sandwich", the allergies stopped within a couple weeks...my sister is 27 and can eat peanuts to her hearts desire. My mother reads these articles and laughs that it took so long for doctors to realize what she thinks she knew instantly.

    The immune issue is that in the sterile environments that we grow up in these modern times(hand sanitizer, bleach everywhere) has caused our immune systems to have nothing to fight-hence development of food allergies and high rates of asthma. Ask any scientist (including myself), and they will tell you that food allergies are not happening in 3rd world countries where mosquitos/worms/disease are still present (also American children who grow up on farms incidentally). Granted most people would rather have food allergies than scary diseases...but in my opinion letting children play outside, eating dirt etc...will give there immune system something better to do than fight the food that should nourish them.

    July 18, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Brilliant comment, Nicole. I was wondering as I read how many children with food allergies have been raised in overly-sterile environments.

      July 19, 2012 at 01:38 | Report abuse |
    • annoying mom

      Nicole,
      Do you think your mom would have done the same thing if the reaction wasn't just a little rash, but was a full anaphylactic reaction to peanuts? I think that she's lucky her allergy was so minor that this worked for her, but unfortunately for some kids even the tiniest amount could kill them. I agree that this has been done with many things for a while, and for some with less severe allergies maybe more often and with more ease, but for those of us with life threatening reactions to even the smallest amount, this immunotherapy is hopefully changing the fact that we couldn't do what your mom did without likely dying in the process. But super happy for your sister and your family that they didn't have to deal with it!

      July 19, 2012 at 01:43 | Report abuse |
    • Angi

      While sterile environments may contribute sometimes, that is not always the case. Some people's bodies have hyper–active immune systems, and some are just plain old-fashioned allergic. I have never used hand sanitizers or anti-bacterial soap except for the case of cleaning an injury. I have to admit, I am not terribly vigilant about dusting, either. My son has only had antibiotics one time in his life, and my daughter never had them until she was six and began having UTI's (which were later controlled by alternate means – she hasn't had antibiotics since she was seven). My kids, from the time they were infants, played in the dirt and on bare floors and in general were far from being "sanitized". Yet two of them still had (and have) some allergies.

      July 19, 2012 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      I'm sorry but I don't believe in sterile environment, I believe in toxic environment that mutilates bodies to fight food. My kids grew up in daycares, have you seem how filthy daycares are? And they both have food allergies and so most of daycare kids!

      July 19, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • betthy

      How do explain two children in the same household, exposed to the same things, and one has severe food allergies and the other doesn't.

      Your explanation of how and why food allergies developed doesn't add up.

      July 19, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  11. Bryce

    Why is this over paid yes woman, Elizabeth Cohen, still picking up a paycheck, kissing Gupta's rear end?

    July 18, 2012 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. liseetsa

    my son is now consuming 8 peanuts a day in desensitization maintenance. he is anaphylactic but did not have any reactions in treatment or at all so far. going on two years! our fb page is dedicated to OIT and helping to find more doctors who offer treatment. join us at peanut anaphylaxis cure GROUP. it's true! it works for about 95% of those who try.

    July 18, 2012 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Bryce

    Why is Elizabeth Cohen even on this article? If ever there was a freeloader, offering nothing to a program – or article – and yet getting a full salary for doing so – here is an example of it. Who does this woman know at CNN?

    July 18, 2012 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. MamaBear

    Fifi – the little dog that you are is the one that needs to get a life. Heaven forbid that asking the waitress if the chinese noodles have been soaked in peanut oil slows up your dinner order or bothers your all-too eavesdropping, sensitive ears! May karma find you quickly!!

    July 18, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. michelle in houston

    I have a son that is allergic to numerous foods including milk, eggs, peanuts, turkey, and pork. He is also allergic to fragrance, something in neosporin, as well as numerous types of trees, weeds, grass. We discovered there was a problem when I stopped breast feeding him. Ten years later his skin is still irritated from neck to toe. We read lables, buy organic foods, eliminate most process foods, make our own salad dressing and his skin has not improved. We started the immunotherapy last month for the environmental allergies. Hopefully in the next 12 months his skin will clear up, and we can eliminate the steroid creams. It is literally a battle everyday because we just do not know what is really causing his skin to flare up. We do know that this process has made us a healthier family because we all have moved to eating healthier foods. Work in Progress.

    July 18, 2012 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      We and thousands others have had much success with the immunotherapy used for decades by Allergy Associates in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Seriously, this is something to look into to determine what is causing the problems. Instead of treating with shots (they can't do that for food allergies as the risk is too high) they use drops under the tongue 2-3 times a day. Give yourself and/or your kids a chance at a normal life. They're currently training other allergists across the country in their approach, which uses a much decreased amount of allergen than is used in shots.

      July 19, 2012 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  16. kookinthekitchen

    Fifi, I am the chef at a private school for children ages 6weeks to 12 years. Several of these children have food allergies and I can tell you that sometimes it can be as small as a cherrio left on the floor and picked up by the one child with potentially fatal allergies. It is heartbreaking to see the parents come in on a Monday to drop off their children and they look tired and stressed because one of the kids found a nugget of a granola bar from a sibling, ate it, and spent the weekend in the emergency room. The danger is very real. I think Fifi, you should stick to chasing cars and peeing on fire hydrants instead
    of commenting on subjects you know nothing about. To all those parents who have children with food allergies, my heart goes out to you.

    July 18, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • spockout

      Thank you! Kisses to the chef:)

      July 19, 2012 at 02:44 | Report abuse |
  17. Michelle

    Would like to hear more about this and see if this can help adults as well...

    July 18, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Gayla

    My grandson was/is anaphylactic to eggs, milk, peanuts, cashews and green beans. He received immunotherapy for his milk allergy beginning with very small doses and working up to 2 cups of milk a day. he has now started a immunotherapy program for his peanut allergy. Thank goodness for a process that helps children and parents manage life threatening situations

    July 18, 2012 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mdill

    stop holing food back from your kids...give them a a little of everthing thourghout and you will not have these issue... local fruit, local honey, and ets........

    July 18, 2012 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Yossarian

    If you haven't heard of the hygiene hypothesis, I suggest reading about it. The basic idea is that food allergies and/or autoimmune diseases have become more common because we're too clean. In the absence of pathogens to fight, the body turns on itself.

    I cannot speak to the veracity of this claim, but I do find it interesting.

    July 18, 2012 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. allergygone

    As a pediatric allergist, there is a common knowledge about outgrowing food allergies specially egg and milk. So it will be difficult to prove the success rate of this oral desensitization. Lacrosse clinic has been doing this for several years with excellent results. I do not see anything groundbreaking. No new concept here.
    P.S. I do not work for Lacrosse clinic.

    July 19, 2012 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. spockout

    My son just had a test that identifies a component in the protein of peanuts that will let us know how serious his allergy is. So far, he has had the epi-pen administered twice for nuts and fish, as well as several hospital trips. This is a serious problem that is becoming a disability for some people – at the very least a disadvantage.

    July 19, 2012 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Allergy Mom

    Does anyone have any experience with Advanced Allergy Therapeutics? It is an alternative allergy elimination therapy. Thought it was total quackery and then I tried it (never believing that it could work). I am almost completely cured of my dog and chocolate allergies. Still unsure whether to treat my children's VERY severe food allergies. If anyone has experience with kids trying this therapy, I would love to hear!

    July 19, 2012 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Really Jersey

    Allergists have been doing this treatment successfully for decades.
    I am allergic to wasps, yellow jackets, & hornets. I was stung 3 times & each reaction became worse than the last. The third time, they became life threatening. For over a year I took desensitization therapy with an allergy specialist. He gave me shots that started with tiny amounts of the allergen & slowly increased the dosage until I could withstand enough to equal more than 12 stings simultaneously. That was over 30 years ago.
    Two days ago; I was up on a ladder, removing a plastic vent that needed replacement. It had several yellow jacket nests hidden behind it & I was stung on my face. There was no reaction. Not even a welt.
    Prior to those shots a sting on my face definitely would have killed me. The amazing thing is the immunity I acquired from those shots is still protecting me 3 decades later. If he is still alive; I would like to thank Dr Romanoff very much for saving my life just 48 hours ago.
    Allergy desensitization works.

    July 19, 2012 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Santi

      "re: "the" Trust fund. There are 200 Trust Funds in the U.S. Govt. "Ahh. Perhaps you are questioning my reefrence to "the" Trust Fund.Since the only trust fund mentioned in any comments on this thread was in connection to Social Security, I thought it redundant, and unnecessary, to describe it as the Social Security Trust fund.I forgot that you might read these comments and get confused.

      August 4, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  25. Pragmatist

    It astounds me that they mention a "success" rate of 75% for those undergoing the treatment and yet fail to make reference to the results from the placebo group. With any experimental design-especially one analyzing something that "some will outgrow"-the control group is vital to assessing the significance of a result. It is disheartening to see the abundance of misinformation and baseless conclusions in science and medicine, particularly when it is actively disseminated by reputable media organizations. Nevertheless, I did read it and maybe that's the only goal for the modern purveyor of news.

    July 19, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      You might want to see my post below – allergies are assumed to be a medical condition curable by a pill or shot, what if that's not the case at all. It would explain the mixed success rate.

      July 20, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
  26. Ursula

    In the 1960's it was discovered that the membrane surrounding and containing the egg yolk is the cause of allergy.

    July 19, 2012 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • arosebyanyother

      Actually, more allergenic proteins are found in the egg whites, rather than the yolk or membrane.

      July 19, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
  27. lena

    food and environmental allergies arise from enzyme deficiencies from eating enzyme deficient foods. Our food should contain its own digestive enzymes and literally digests itself inside you. Cooked food, especially animal products like meat, eggs and dairy are enzyme deficient and requires us to make our own enzymes to process them – we use our metabolic enzymes in order to help digest. This places a burden on the pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts and we end up with enzyme deficiency.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Herrol

    Bio-Allers brand of Homeopathetic medicines work wonders...and the homeopathy is where the idea for all thse allergy treamtnes including shots have come from....don't waste your money on anything else....they completely changed our lives from 500-1000 a mionth to health with minoe ruse of medicines. Dr's are stupid to think they are so smart, have never investigated or studied these and so, have no right to debunk the therapy...and should be prosecuted when they kill someone with drugs they prescribe.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Peddle your snake oil somewhere else. This article is about real medicine making a difference in people's lives. Doctors are stupid, you say? Where did you go to school? My doctor graduated from Johns Hopkins. Your homeopath probably got his degree from a strip mall. Every concept in homeopathy is disproven by the laws of biology, chemistry, and physics. If you believe any substance that has been in water leaves an essence in the water, then all substances in the ocean have left an essence in the water. Show me a double blind placebo controlled trial proving that homeopathy is better than placebo with a 95% confidence interval excluding one. Do that, and I will believe you.

      If you want to cut through the BS, visit sciencebasedmedicine dot org

      July 21, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  29. Herrol

    Also many times when you are oversensitized you need to back off everything, to like broth and add then one food at a time until you find the culprits. I don't tink you get over a lot of these allergies, but not eating them daily does make a difference. Likely you have more than one very stronf allergen that is keeping your body hyper....finding out really helps.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Herrol

    Bio-Allers costs about $12.00 and will not kill you.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christopher

      Larry G. argues that SS is fnuedd logically through debt obligations assumed by the Federal Government as are all other government fund obligations. Therein lies the rub.The "too big to fail" philosophy of government is bringing down our economy and will eventually make us into Greece II.Private businesses are held to another standard on defined benefit pension plans. Businesses must fund obligations in advance of payments in order to insure the continued viability of businesses. When congressional Republicans managed to pass legislation to require the quasi-private USPS to fund post-retirement benefits by extracting payments of $5B per year for 5 years for postal employees, the liberals screamed and the requirement has been dropped. So we the taxpayers now pay for these unneeded benefits – unneeded because Medicare supposedly covers retirees.Since there exists no monetary fund with cash assets dedicated for SS and healthcare in retirement, there is no lock box and it now takes something like 5 or 6 workers today to pay for one retiree's social security and medicare.

      August 1, 2012 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  31. Bob

    New?? I received immunotheraphy beginning in 1947, at age 5. It worked quite well. Why do you call this new?

    July 19, 2012 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Vincent Demonbreun

    The GMO's in the food causes allergies!

    July 19, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Arroyowash

    This is Doris Rapp, MD, of Arizona. Food allergy injection treatment has been used since 1975 by doctors who are specialists in environmental medicine. There is a technique called provocation neutralization which allows you to safely treat the vast majority of non–anaphylactic food reactions. Eggs are a food to which people are frequently sensitive. Provocation neutralization allergy testing and treatment is unequivocally a safe and effective way to treat food allergies. You find the proper dilution of the offending food that treats the symptoms by treating the patient with one drop injected in their arm or placed under the tongue and note the response. When you determine the correct dilution, the symptoms disappear and the patient can eat that food as long as they continue the dose that eliminates the symptoms. It is recommended patients rotate the food, meaning eat it perhaps every 4th day, and then gradually increase the amount of the food. This method, on a long-term basis, allows most food-sensitive patients to eat most of the foods that bother them. When I learned this technique in the 1970s, it changed EVERYTHING in my practice. YouTube has some of my videos about this.

    July 19, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sharna

    Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) works. If you haven't heard of it, I urge you to try it before passing judgement.

    July 19, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • acudiva

      Yes! I cannot believe there have been no other posts on NAET. Dr. Devi Nambudripad is a genius. So very helpful. Reversed my asthma completely.

      July 20, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
  35. Mimosa

    Other countries used it successfully for very long time, I don't think it will be anything public in US since Big Pharma won't make profit by desensitizing people. They need to sell epi-pens, steroids, benedryl, etc.

    July 19, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tom

    This is not new therapy. It has been around for many years.

    It is called Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization (EPD). My late Stanford Immunologist gave it to me in the 1990s for food allergies and mold desensitization.

    Enzyme potentiated desensitization, or EPD, is a treatment for allergies developed in the 1960s by Dr. Len McEwen in the United Kingdom.

    It literally saved my life. I wish it was still available. Unfortunately, the FDA disallowed it for US use in 2001.

    July 19, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anie

      Do you know if there is any other place/country that uses it?

      July 19, 2012 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
  37. Lisa

    My parents found out I was severly allergic to peanuts when I was 3 and I have always had a severe reaction when consuming them even now at the age of 31. I just avoid them, I am very careful to avoid certain types of foods namely thai and chinese. I have become accustomed to watching what I eat and will not attempt the immunotherapy, to me, its too risky to force the body into accepting something that it doesnt need/want. I dont need peanuts to live.

    July 19, 2012 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Boo

    This IS NOT NEW. I was getting allergy shots for 5+ years due to all sorts of allergies I had. The idea is to inject you with small amounts of what you're already allergic to.......needless to say, the shots worked......

    July 19, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Me

    My daughter just recently at the age of 17 became allergic to first peanuts, then tuna, then eggs and salmon. She has liver and kidney disease and I wonder if somehow those conditions might have brought this on. I used to think that when she went to school and there was a peanutbutter/peanut restrictions that I would hate to have to go through that. And I felt bad for the kids who had to. Now I am living it everyday and it's not only terrifying but frustrating as well. She carries an epi pen and knows what she shouldn't eat but I still worry.

    July 20, 2012 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Former Patient of Dr Rapp

    I am a former patient of Dr. Doris Rapp, At the time, she practiced in the Buffalo, NY area. She changed me life through her allergy treatments. The treatment does work!

    July 20, 2012 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ali

    My son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, an many others in our family have severe allergies. We keep hearing about treatments like this and I just wish they were available now. I really hope this can help our kids.

    July 20, 2012 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Joe

    I read an article that allergies are just a phobic response of the immune system; that led me to cured all my food allergies using NLP & Eriksonian hypnosis. My therapist gave me a recording of our 15 minute session which I listened to for 15 minutes each day for a few week, but I was cured literally that day. Wonderful to eat & drink milk, chocolate and eggs! Pizza is amazing, not to mention chocolate milk shakes (Mmmmm)!!

    July 20, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. J.C.

    Jenny McCarthy says this procedure causes brain hemorrhages in children. We should probably heed her warning.

    July 20, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. william antrim

    i have severe food allergies. i've tried this approach and it just made me a little sick instead of really sick. by a little sick i mean coughing up phlegm rather than drowning in it until i receive epinephrine. if the medical industry really wants to help people with allergies why don't they start by reducing the cost of epi-pens.

    July 22, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. jdoe

    This has been around for years. There was a study done on peanut allergy that shows children gradually developing a tolerance to peanuts. Even some tolerance can mean a less severe reaction instead of a lethal one. Trying to avoid an allergen is not the solution, and it means hoping that an accident doesn't happen in the future that might be disastrous.

    July 23, 2012 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. J

    I see a great deal of post on here about homeopathy versus modern medicine. People need to realize that there is just evidence based medicine. despite how you feel about "natural cures", if there is no evidence to support its efficacy then it is Bull****. Just like if a drug fails to produce results in clinical trials. People who sell homeopathic therapies have just as much to gain as drug companies, and both have plenty of reason to lie to you.

    July 23, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Stephen GOO

    DOGs have FOOD allergies Too ...

    to the Same 5% of population as Us Humans.

    But what many PET PArents Do not Know ( or are not told ) is that 85% of our Paw Chewing, Itchy, skin & Ear Issue " ALLERGY " DOGs are Allergic to the Same Pollens, Dust Mites & Molds that > We Are.

    DVM Dermatologist Dr Kristin has Formulated

    Sublingual Doggy GOO to Address your DOGs Enviro Allergies..

    and for your Animal's FOOD Allergies / InTolerance / Sensitivities ..

    Dr Kristin has Formulated Sublingual GOO GUT RESCUE > Which Sublingually bui8lds Tolerance to Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Corn, Wheat & Soy.

    So...

    While Enviro & Food allergies may still Bother you .. Your DOG is Allergy Nesutral OK to GOo !

    July 23, 2012 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. eric

    So what was new? I started getting immunotherapy (same term my doctor used ) shots back in the 70s . .

    July 23, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. ladyjane

    Of course parents should protect their children IF they are proven to have a life-threatening food allergy. However, there are levels of allergy and a kid who has never had anything more than a few hives on his face should NOT be treated as if every bite of food might kill him. My son was given a food allergy test and it was positive for eggs. We do not give him eggs or anything with egg as the main ingredient (like quiche), but we have not turned his life upside down. He still eats the same foods he was eating before his diagnosis, even if the food might have egg as an ingredient. His cousin, on the other hand, was tested for peanut allergy when she was 8 months old, and five years later she's still held in a "food allergy prison" where everything about her life revolves around her peanut allergy. She, too, has never had anything more than localized hives on her face and has never even had follow up allergy testing to try to assess the allergy. I think parents should be vigilant but also need to keep in mind that every food allergy is not life threatening.

    July 23, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Dan

    I've learned a lot of lessons about foods and allergies over the last 4ish years. I've also learned a lot about how our food is grown, processed, managed, shipped, and sold. We no longer live in natures bounty (sorry, best words I could think of there). We live in an industrial cesspool of genetic engineered foods, pesticides and herbicides, food cleaners and sanitizers, and ultimately – fake food that our bodies don't know how to process.

    After years of being sick and getting worse I found that I was allergic to gluten. Then I found I was also allergic to corn, soy, beef, tuna, nuts, potato (nightshades in general) and some other foods. Turns out that the part of our food chain that we feed (like cows, chicken, and other animals) get the lowest quaility food to grow on and typically live in substandard conditions (cramped quarters w/o adequate light, air, water, etc.etc). They're fed corn because it's cheap here in the US (US gov't subsidizes crops like corn, so we grow it whether the market wants it or not and as a result, people find "ways" to use corn).

    All this boils down to us putting stuff into our mouths that we can't process and that, in the case of gluten, will actually attack our immune systems. So, no, I won't be forcing my body to accept so called "foods" through immunotherapy. If my body doens't want it – so be it.

    July 23, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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