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Would you take your kids to have this done?

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Question: Would you take your kids to get this?




Maybe, I need to know more about it

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 43

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Kids May 'Learn' to Tolerate Food Allergens


SUNDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors have long used allergy shots to desensitize children and adults to environmental allergens such as bee stings, pollen, mold and dust mites.

Now researchers are trying to apply that theory to food allergies, through processes called oral immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy.

They believe they can build up a child's tolerance for a food that prompts an allergic reaction by exposing the child to tiny amounts of that food.

"It is something that has been recently put into play," said Dr. Michael Pistiner, an allergist in Leominster, Mass., and a spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "More and more of these trials have been started. It does seem to be very promising. It's very exciting."

Trials involving eggs, peanuts and milk have produced positive results, said Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and chairman of the allergy and immunology section for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"The studies are promising in that some individuals are able to get to high doses of the food used in treatment," Sicherer said.

Sublingual immunotherapy works by placing an extract of the food allergen under the child's tongue. The membranes of the mouth absorb trace amounts of the allergen, absorbing just enough to desensitize the immune system without prompting an allergic reaction.

Oral immunotherapy takes it a step further by having children eat tiny amounts of the allergen. "The approach involves ingesting an extremely small and then gradually increasing amount of the food under medical supervision, with the hope of getting to an amount that is not causing reactions and is more substantial in dose," Sicherer said.

However, both Sicherer and Pistiner warn that these therapies are still in the experimental stage, and many questions remain.

"All of the experts working in this treatment currently believe it is too early to attempt widespread use and that much more needs to be done to see if this is a viable treatment," Sicherer said.

For one thing, there's still a risk of severe allergic reaction prompted by even the tiny amounts used in immunotherapy.

"People have significant reactions trying to do this, including anaphylaxis, and not all can move ahead with dosing," Sicherer said.

Researchers also are not sure how deeply ingrained the tolerance becomes in a child undergoing oral or sublingual immunotherapy.

"Is there ever a time you can stop taking it, or does it only work as long as you're taking your maintenance dose?" Pistiner asked. "Does it give you complete ability to eat that food, or does it only help prevent reactions when trace amounts of the foods are consumed?"

For example, if you're allergic to pine nuts, will immunotherapy allow you to eat pine nuts as you like, or will it only prevent you from having an allergic reaction when you eat a food processed on equipment that also processes pine nuts?

The doctors agree on one other point: This is absolutely not something a person should try at home.

The amounts of food given allergic children are measured out precisely, and delivered under the watchful eyes of doctors ready to step in and treat any side effects or allergic reactions at a moment's notice.

"This is an experimental therapy that should only be undertaken under the direction of a trained allergist," Pistiner said. "Doing this at home is absolutely not safe."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more on food allergies.

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM
Replies (31-32):
by Platinum Member on Jul. 7, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Quoting Eilish:

Quoting tericared:

Quoting Raintree:

Quoting Eilish:

Quoting resamerie:

Do I think it helps? Sure. Would I take my child to purposefully have them exposed? No. It's the same thing as the parents that hold 'sick parties' to expose their children to other sick kids to build their immune system. Children are exposed to enough already without having to force it.  

What's wrong with "sick parties?"

I've never heard them called 'sick' parties before. They're usually more specific.



Do you know if these "parties" are for kids who have been vaccinated?

Depends on what the kids are vaccinated against .... the point of the parties is so that children contract a childhood disease like the chicken pox, so that their immune system can gain full, lifetime immunity. So it would not make sense for a child with a chicken pox vaccine to go to a pox party (though it would be interesting to see if they got sick or not). The reason why parents support these parties is also because they contract the childhood disease while their kids are still young, because if they contract it when they are adults (which is FAR more likely if you vaccinate), the illness is likely to be much worse and could even cause death. I am hoping that my kids contract the chicken pox when they are kids so that they can have a full, lifetime immunity.

Having the chicken pox as a child does not offer full lifetime immunity in all cases. A friend of mine had chicken pox as a child. When she was in her 20's she contracted them again from a child that had them. She then found out that she was 5 weeks pregnant. Her baby was born with severe brain damage as a result.

  • angel-1-1-1-2.jpg picture by kfpep
by Member on Jul. 7, 2009 at 2:08 PM

You're right. BUTTTT and you can see just from this thread that people don't realize that in order for allergy testing to work the patient HAS to have the reaction at that time. I'm not at all saying that you (not you personally) know or don't know what you are allergic too, that's a moot point. I'm not willing to lose my kids or myself to test that theory, I could have been "that" person 1 too many times.

I can open my door at any given time and be on my way to the morgue, nobody knows this better than me. I'm allergic to bees, serevely allergic to aspirin and ANY aspirin by-product, food preservatives which when tested never showed up. I've learned that my car can get the hospital in 8 minutes IN traffic. I carried an Epi-pen for years, you'll ALWAYS find Claritan and Benedryl in my kitchen.

Quoting lifescholar:


Quoting mymichelle2002:

Don't think for a second that you'll survive JUST because this is done in a clinic.

Quoting hsteele:

These "exposures" to allergens are likely in a clinic where if something goes wrong the child can be treated right away. I doubt this is something where they send you home with do it yourself instructions.


Okay, but they have adrenaline, epinephrine, and probably intubation supplies right there.  So, if you don't survive with ALL of that, then you wouldn't survive if you ever encountered that substance out in the world for SURE.  To be honest, I couldn't even guess how rare it would be for someone who was treated IMMEDIATELY to not survive anaphylaxis.

If my child's allergy was THAT severe, it would be life-threatening for them to go anywhere or do anything!  This treatment would give them a chance at a normal life, and could possibly SAVE their life if it works!

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