Food allergies occur due to a reaction by the immune system soon after ingesting certain foods. Currently 1 in 20 Americans are affected by food allergies. Food allergies impact the entire family, and can be the cause of stress and anxiety for many children and their parents. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a new, highly individualized, intervention to decrease a person’s reaction to a specific food allergy, such as peanuts, eggs or milk. Based on the patient’s specific food allergy, a treatment program is designed to slowly introduce that food, increasing their tolerance, until the food can be consumed with little concern for a reaction.The gradual process involves introducing microscopic doses of the specific food protein and slowly increasing that dose over a period of time, as tolerated. The end goal is to dramatically decrease reactions, which will subsequently improve the quality of life for the patient and their families.

How Do I Get Started:
If you are interested in oral immunotherapy (OIT) for yourself or your child, there are several steps to consider prior to the start of treatment. The first step is an evaluation by a member of PVMG’s Allergy Team and includes a thorough history and physical. It may also include blood tests, skin tests, and a possible Oral Food Challenge. During this evaluation, oral immunotherapy will be discussed, including the next steps to take. Each patient, their allergies, reactions and health history are unique, and this evaluation is essential to determine the best path towards freedom from food allergies.

If you have any questions about the oral immunotherapy (OIT) or to see if you or your child would be a good candidate, please contact us!