A treatment for kids with more than one dangerous food allergy show promise in early trials, researchers say.
Almost one-third of people with a food allergy have reactions to more than one type of food. This can increase the risk of accidental exposure and life-threatening anaphylaxis, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine.
No treatment exists for multiple food allergies. Usually, patients are told to avoid the food triggers, but this requires constant attention to their diet.
“Patients find it very hard to live with multiple food allergies,” said study senior author Dr. Sharon Chinthrajah. “It puts a huge social and economic burden on families.”
In this new study, scientists combined the asthma drug omalizumab (Xolair) with immunotherapy for 48 children with more than one food allergy.
Immunotherapy exposes patients to tiny amounts of the foods that cause their allergic reactions. Gradually, the allergen dose is increased until the patient can tolerate normal amount of the food.
Taking omalizumab appeared to speed up the desensitization process without sacrificing safety, the researchers said.
The study participants were randomly assigned to receive the combined allergy treatment or a placebo. They were 4 to 15 years old and were allergic to a variety of foods, including almonds, cashews, eggs, hazelnuts, milk, peanuts, sesame, soy, walnuts and wheat.
The researchers found that after eight weeks of treatment 83% of the treatment group could tolerate a small dose of two food allergens versus 33% who took the placebo.
The study showed significant improvements in safety and effectiveness in multi-allergic patients treated with omalizumab and food immunotherapy, said study co-author Dr. Kari Nadeau. The children who received the double treatment were desensitized to their food allergies faster than those taking the placebo and had fewer digestive and breathing issues, according to the researchers.
The study was published online Dec. 11 in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Treatment does exist for multiple food allergies. Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) was developed by Dr. David Nambudripad in 1983. The non-invasive, drug free, natural treatment uses acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutrition and kinesiology to desensitize the body.
One allergen is treated at a time. If you are not severely immune deficient, you may need just one treatment to desensitize one allergen. A person with mild to moderate allergies may take about 15-20 office visits to desensitize 15-20 food and environmental allergens.
Over 12,000 licensed practitioners have been trained in NAET procedures and are practicing all over the world. Although I am not an NAET practitioner, I have several colleagues who are.
The Bottom Line:
This new technique of combining desensitization with medication does hold some promise for reducing food allergies. However, if you have food or environmental allergies I highly recommend you try NAET prior to this new technique.
Source: December 12, 2017 National Institutes of Health