(WYTV)- Peanut allergies affect more than one million children in this country and only a few will outgrow them.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are looking for a way they can build tolerance to peanuts.
The research looks good so far. The doctors are focusing on babies using a new therapy. If done under medical supervision while the child is an infant, there is a way to improve a child’s immune response to the food.
“These children don’t have to worry about accidental exposures anymore. they don’t have to worry about, does it contain peanuts? They don’t have to worry about peanut oil – all of those things, they’re tolerating it,” said Dr. Sandra Hong of the Cleveland Clinic.
How does it work? The technique is called oral immunotherapy. The researchers feed very small amounts of peanut food to a child, you don’t want to cause a reaction. Then, over time, they eat more and more peanut products. The goal: eat the equivalent of two complete peanuts, and nothing happens.
This peanut oral immunotherapy must be done under the care of a trained allergist because it can trigger allergic reactions. And there’s every reason to believe oral immunotherapy can help overcome other food allergies as well.