Food allergies can lead to potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis as well as causing symptoms like vomiting and abdominal pain that affect your quality of life. If you suspect a food allergy, talk to Nana Mireku, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, of Texas AllergyMD in McKinney, Texas, about oral immunotherapy. Dr. Mireku specializes in innovative treatments like immunotherapy for food allergies, helping you develop a less sensitive immune system and avoid allergy symptoms. To find out how you could benefit from oral immunotherapy, call Texas AllergyMD today. You can also book your telehealth or in-person appointment online.
Oral immunotherapy involves feeding someone with a food allergy an increasing amount of the substance that triggers their allergic reaction. The aim is to get the person’s body used to the allergen very slowly to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction in daily life.
For example, if you have a peanut allergy, you would consume tiny amounts of peanut protein every day that were too small to trigger a reaction. Over the following months, you gradually have larger amounts of peanut protein, so your body becomes accustomed to it and stops causing food allergy symptoms.
You could benefit from oral immunotherapy if you experience food allergy symptoms such as:
You might experience some or all of these symptoms if you have a food allergy. You could be allergic to any food, but the most common ones include peanuts and tree nuts, wheat and soy, dairy and eggs, and fish and shellfish.
Accidental ingestion of these foods can sometimes trigger anaphylaxis if you have a severe allergy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition where your blood pressure drops, and you go into shock.
Currently, the most effective treatment for these allergies is to avoid the foods concerned and carry an epinephrine injector with you to combat anaphylaxis. Oral immunotherapy could help you avoid the more severe symptoms of food allergies, increasing the amount of an allergen your body can tolerate to prevent problems like anaphylaxis.
Immunotherapy doesn’t offer a quick fix for food allergies, as it takes time for your immune system’s sensitivity to the substance to fall.
All forms of immunotherapy last for many months, often several years, before they achieve a significant effect. Furthermore, studies indicate that the effects of food immunotherapy might wear off if you stop consuming your daily allergen dose.
Dr. Mireku can advise you on the best way to manage your oral immunotherapy for optimal results. She also provides an alternative to oral immunotherapy, called sublingual immunotherapy, which works similarly but involves putting drops under your tongue every day.
To find out more about oral immunotherapy and see if it would benefit you, call Texas AllergyMD today or book an appointment online.