Peanut Allergy Treatment Shows Promise
May 07, 2018 12:27PM ● Published by Caitlin Marshall
Peanut allergies have been plaguing families of small children for countless years, but thanks to an experimental treatment taking place at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas, City Missouri, this potentially deadly allergy could soon be easier to control and manage.
According to a Children’s Mercy allergist, the success of this treatment has proven capable and is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once approved, the hope is to begin offering commercial use for those who were not in the hospital’s study who also suffering from the allergy. The experimental treatment entails gradually exposing children who suffer from peanut allergies to peanuts in small dosages in hopes to “reverse” or lessen the chance of having an allergic reaction or going into anaphylactic shock. Doctors and epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) were on hand at all times.
Food Allergy Research & Education® (FARE), the nation’s leading organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies began researching how to provide children with pre-existing nut allergies a possible treatment, after a study done by the U.K and U.S. showed children born from 1997-2008 had a greater risk of suffering from peanut allergies than people born in the years prior. In fact, in the U.S., the numbers tripled. During that period, many healthcare professionals were advising parents to delay the introduction of nuts to infants. The U.K established the same philosophy a few years before the U.S.
Researchers now believe it was this theory on not exposing infants children to nuts, more specifically peanuts that is to blame for the spike in allergies.
Following the Children’s Mercy research about the introduction of nuts to infants, many specialists are changing their recommendations to parents.
Although this is not a cure for preexisting allergies, Children’s Mercy Hospital and FARE’s treatment is making a huge impact on families and children who have been battling peanut allergies by lessening the effects and probability of having an allergic reaction. Rather than curing, this treatment is instead training these kids’ bodies to accept small amount of the allergens so, in case of accidental exposure, one small peanut won’t be as deadly as it once was for some kids.
In one case, it was reported that a child who would visit the hospital multiple times a year due to his peanut allergies can now eat a “substantial” amount of peanut butter without feeling the effects or suffering from anaphylactic shock after over a year of treatment and being gradually exposed to peanuts.
Although researchers have been working on peanut allergy treatments for years, few have proven to be effective in reducing the effects peanuts have on patients.
Children’s Mercy Hospital is one of the first worldwide to participate in this life-altering treatment and has seen positive impacts on multiple participants, proving their efforts to be worthwhile and providing hope for all people suffering from the potentially deadly allergy.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult with your healthcare professional or an allergy specialist for more information.