The holiday season is normally a time when people gorge on delectable holiday treats. However, parents who have children with peanut allergies tend to dread the holiday season. After all, peanut residue can be present in any holiday treat (even if the treat’s recipe does not call for peanuts), causing their child to go into anaphylactic shock.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 8% of all American children suffer from some form of food allergy, with the most prevalent food allergen being peanuts. Food allergy experts often tell parents that food allergies can be inherited. As such, it is important for parents to have a reputable allergist in Phoenix, such as Dr. Housam Alasaly, screen their child for allergic reactions, especially if their family has a history of food allergies.
It is generally accepted that the best “cure” for peanut allergies (or any other allergy for that matter) is to avoid contact with the allergen. However, The Boston Globe has reported that scientists have begun research on finding a cure for peanut allergies:
In a small study involving 13 children at high risk for having severe allergic reactions to peanuts, Boston Children’s Hospital researchers first administered an injectable asthma drug every few weeks for 12 weeks, before having the children eat peanuts, in order to dampen their immune system’s response to peanut protein. The children continued to receive the drug — called omalizumab — for another eight weeks as they gradually ate an increasing number of peanuts.
Twelve of the children were eventually able to eat the equivalent of 10 peanuts a day even after they went off the drug, according to the findings published in the December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Although this new study has yielded mostly positive results, the scientists do admit that the research is still in its infancy stages and that a permanent cure for peanut allergies may still be far off. For now, the best way to avoid severe allergic reactions caused by peanuts is simply to avoid consuming them. If you would like to learn more about how to help your child avoid exposure to allergens, do not hesitate to consult a Phoenix immunologist or allergist for more information.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Potential new treatment for peanut allergies, The Boston Globe, December 9, 2013)