For many patients with serious, anaphylactic food allergies, conventional methods of dealing with food allergies just don’t cut it. Accidental ingestion because of mislabeled foods or cross-contamination can still leave these patients at risk of experiencing a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
At Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we offer our patients access to a treatment that can help — oral immunotherapy. After successfully completing an oral immunotherapy treatment, patients can consume the food they were previously allergic to without fear of anaphylaxis. If you’d like more information about oral immunotherapy or are interested in scheduling a consultation appointment, contact our practice today! We offer treatment at multiple, convenient locations in Washington, Oregon, and California.
What is Oral Immunotherapy?
Oral immunotherapy is a method of treating anaphylactic food allergies by gradually reintroducing the food into the patient’s diet in small, incremental amounts. Each dose of the food is ingested daily and slowly increased over time in amounts dictated by the patient’s doctor. These doses typically start at a fraction of a milligram a day, and increase to several grams over the course of treatment.
Oral immunotherapy has allowed hundreds of patients to successfully address their food allergies, including allergies to:
- Tree nut
- Wheat and other grains
- Sesame seed
At Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we see this treatment as particularly useful for patients with anaphylactic food allergies. With oral immunotherapy, patients who previously had to take great care to avoid exposure now have a significantly lower chance of experiencing anaphylaxis, opening up their diet options and potentially saving lives.
Am I a Candidate for Oral Immunotherapy?
There are two primary types of food allergies: IgE-mediated allergies and non-IgE mediated allergies. Patients with IgE-mediated allergies experience an immediate allergic reaction, usually in the form of hives or anaphylaxis, after ingesting the food they are allergic to. While non-IgE mediated allergies still trigger an allergic reaction, this reaction typically takes a few hours to manifest itself. Oral immunotherapy has primarily been used to address IgE-mediated allergies.
Because feedback is critical to the patient’s health and safety during the initial treatment process, prospective patients must be over the age of 3 and able to communicate effectively to be considered for treatment.
Don’t let your anaphylactic food allergy get in the way of living a long, fulfilling life. At Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we are proud to offer our patients the comprehensive care they need to be their healthiest selves. Contact our Washington, Oregon, or California offices today to schedule a consultation appointment.