St. Louis Allergy Clinic for Food Allergies
Food allergies are an immune mediated response to a food that can result in a life threatening reaction. The most common foods that cause food allergies are milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame. Some food allergies, like milk and egg, can be outgrown over time. Others, like nuts, fish, and sesame tend to be lifelong. One reaction does not necessarily predict the severity of the next so it is imperative to avoid the allergenic food and carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times.
Food Allergy Treatment in St. Louis
In the past, avoidance of the allergenic food has been the only means of preventing food allergy reactions. Now, however, we are offering oral immunotherapy which can decrease food allergies thereby decreasing the risk of life threatening reactions and can, possibly, allow the person to eat the food again.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is the process of desensitizing, or building up a tolerance, to the allergenic food over time. The process consists of introducing the allergenic food and increasing the dose weekly in the office until a full serving size is reached. On average, the process takes about 6 months to complete. Following this, a patient must remain on their daily food dose to maintain tolerance to the food. This should only be done in an allergist’s office and never be attempted at home.