What is a food allergy? Lets us start first by understanding the meaning of food allergy. The fact is you can’t treat what you don’t know about. Food allergy is an immune reaction that occurs in a person’s body soon after eating certain foods. Food allergies cases vary from simple issues to life-threatening circumstances. An example of a food allergy threatening case is anaphylaxis.
Before we look at oral immunotherapy for food allergies, let us first discuss the common types of food allergies. Statistics from Healthline .com shows that food allergies affect around 5% of adults and 8% of children but keep in mind that these percentages keep rising daily. Let us dig into these food allergies. The most common one is cow’s milk. When a child is born, he or she is engaged in breastfeeding unless otherwise instructed by the doctor due to medical, biological or health relations. Now for a case where the baby is free to be breastfed, then this breastfeeding programme should run for at least six months. Cow’s milk allergy primarily affects babies when they are exposed to cow’s milk before six months old. The good news that comes along with this scary information is that 90% of the children outgrow this allergy by the age of three; hence this reduces the percentage of allergies in adults.
The second most common type of allergy is the chicken’s eggs. There are several symptoms that accompany this type of eggs allergy. The symptoms are;
Frequent stomach aches, which are a result of digestive problems caused by the eggs. Skin rashes occur a few hours or days after taking the egg. Other signs on the skin may be pimples on the face producing sebum. We all know that egg has two parts which are the egg whites and the yolk. The exciting thing about this is that some people can be allergic to egg whites and not the yolk. Others are allergic to the yolk and not the egg white. This allergy is so familiar to children, but 68% of the children outgrow this allergy at the age of 16.
The other most common type of food allergy is the Anacardium nuts. The following are an example of anarcadium nuts; Brazil nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pine nuts. The sad part of this allergy is that people who are allergic to these anarcadium nuts are also allergic to products made from these nuts. Another sad fact is that when one is allergic to one type of this tree nut increases the risk of developing an allergy to all other kinds of nuts, so it’s advisable if one is allergic to one of the nuts should avoid the nuts at all costs.
The other common type of food allergy is groundnut. Groundnuts can cause fatal repercussions when they occur. The sad fact about groundnut allergy is that people who have peanut allergies most likely suffer from a ground nut allergy. This is because peanut and tree nuts are all legumes. Groundnut allergies affect around 6% of children and 2% of adults. Out of these statistics, approximately 20% of children who have experienced the peanut allergy outgrows this allergy as they move to their teenage years. The good news about this type of allergy in children is that new treatments are being developed to cater for these alarming issues, immunotherapy for food allergies being one of them.
The next type of common food allergy is protein from fish. Fish are protein giving foods. When one consumes them, your body produces kinase and myosin, which attacks the proteins provided by the fish. This is simply the cause of fish allergy. The following are types of fish; goldfish, shrimp, crayfish, lobster, squid and scallops. The protein that causes the allergy is tropomyosin. The signs and symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. This type of allergy does not outgrow as one reaches a specific age. There is no treatment for this. Therefore oral immunotherapy for food allergies cannot apply in this scenario.
The next type of common allergy is wheat. Glutenin is the protein found in wheat. Wheat allergy results from the protein found in the grain. This type of allergy primarily affects children. However, they outgrow are they reach their teenage year. The following are the signs and symptoms skin rashes, digestive problems, vomiting, swelling and most of the time, anaphylaxis which occurs within minutes of consumption.
The other type of food allergy is the beans allergy. Beans allergy mostly strikes infants. As in wheat, beans allergy are caused by the proteins found in the beans. The symptoms of this type of allergy are sores in the mouth, breathing problems, and in rare cases, they cause anaphylaxis.
Now we know the types of allergies, let us see how immunotherapy for food allergies is applied. Leys start with the definition of immunotherapy for food. It is a process where allergic people are given the food that affects them in small amounts to their body to increase the capacity of taking such food without reacting to it. As seen above, we have food allergies like shellfish, eggs, cow’s milk etc. for us to understand, let me take the example of cow’s milk to realize what oral immunotherapy for food allergy is. If one is allergic to cow’s milk, then you introduce the patient to the programme of taking a small amount of cow’s milk until his or her body increases the capacity of taking the milk.
When a patient is introduced to oral immunotherapy, he or she develops sustained unresponsiveness or desensitization in which they can eat the food without being affected or needing immediate modification. The cost of oral immunotherapy is roughly around 4000 us dollars. For more information about the cost check ENT doctor in Philadelphia PA.