Food allergies can be difficult to deal with. Because of the convoluted process of how food is manufactured and packaged, and the possibility of cross-contamination or mislabeled products, there is the potential for exposure to the allergen. While the best method to control food allergies is strict avoidance of the allergen, this is not always possible. Because of this, food allergy treatments have been developed.
Among the various food allergy treatments, oral immunotherapy is a fantastic option. Also known as oral desensitization, oral immunotherapy is a treatment that can result in patients eventually consuming the food that currently causes a severe reaction. Similar to how a vaccination and vaccine booster allow the body to become immune to various diseases, oral immunotherapy involves exposing your system to the allergenic food in small amounts, with the dose gradually becoming larger. This results in your system tolerating a food that previously elicited a severe reaction.
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It should be noted that although this treatment may appear straightforward, it should never be attempted at home, and should only be undertaken by a certified allergist physician. Additionally, this treatment does carry the risk of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. However, oral immunotherapy is the most promising therapy to completely rid the body of allergy, thereby eliminating the risk of reaction as well as eliminating the need for constant vigilance and worry. Oral immunotherapy is even effective for very serious allergies, such as the life-threatening peanut allergy.
In addition to ridding the body of allergy through oral immunotherapy, there are other strategies for managing food allergies. The best strategy is complete avoidance of the allergen. Carefully read labels, and be aware of what others around you are consuming. If eating out or eating food prepared by someone else, let them know of your condition. Epinephrine medication should be carried at all times. If exposure does occur, epinephrine can help control symptoms.