The earlier oral immunotherapy is started, the better

Oral immunotherapy is a type of sensitization intended for the treatment of food allergies. It consists of daily intake of so-called “allergenic” foods, following a schedule that starts at a minimum, i.e. below the patient’s reactivity threshold. Then it is a question of progress until a normal portion of the diet is reached. This method can be applied especially to young children with very common peanut allergy, they must avoid all foods and products containing peanuts / peanuts. For safety reasons, they are often advised against eating certain foods that contain nuts (such as nuts). Researchers at the University of British Columbia in 2019 showed that pre-schoolers can safely overcome peanut allergies with this treatment, and their new research in this area proves that the earlier pre-school children start it, the better.

The study has been published Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In PracticeFocuses on children under 12 months of age and reveals that oral immunotherapy is not only effective against peanut allergies, but also safer for children and older preschoolers for this age. ” This treatment is affordable, very safe and very effective, especially if we can start treatment before the baby is 12 months old. The lead author of the study, Dr. Edmund Chan, explained. To reach this conclusion, the researchers looked at the results of a group of 69 children from a larger study group of 452 children aged 5 and under. Children would see a pediatric allergist every two weeks to get a dose of their peanuts while parents gave the same daily dose at home during a clinic visit. After 8 to 11 clinic visits, children reached a “maintenance dose” of 300 mg of peanut protein, which is equivalent to about 1.3 grams of peanuts.

There is a very limited risk of an allergic reaction if the protocol is followed in the letter

Physicians have recorded any symptoms or reactions and advised parents on how to manage reactions at home. Then, in order to maintain immunity, the baby needs to eat peanuts regularly in the long run. Forty-two children completed the preparation period combined with years of “maintenance” treatment, and the results showed that none of them had a slight reaction to a single dose of 4,000 mg of peanut protein, compared to 7.7%. Children between the ages of one and five who have completed the protocol. In contrast, seven children gave up and four had more severe allergic reactions, but epinephrine injections were not required under any circumstances. Even before treatment began, infants were shown to be at lower risk than younger infants and pre-schoolers: on initial examination, only 33.9% of children aged 1 to 5 years had a mild response, compared to 53.7% of infants.

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Although the children showed excellent safety, we were still very happy with the safety of this treatment for older preschoolers. The risk of a severe reaction is much lower than in school-age children Note that Dr. Edmund Chan. But beware, the scientific team always remembers the importance of starting such a process under medical supervision, and not alone at home. “ If this treatment is done by well-trained allergists and therapists, I feel really comfortable with the risk. It’s actually very safe. “For efficacy, the treatment works equally well for both ages. One year after eating one peanut a day, about 80 percent of children sat alone and developed a tolerance of 4,000 milligrams of peanut protein or the equivalent of about 15 whole peanuts. But one precaution.” The first step in preventing peanut allergies in at-risk children is to introduce peanuts to their age-appropriate foods, such as peanut butter.

The researchers believe that these findings are important because oral immunotherapy may be an alternative to a preventive strategy known as the complete “avoidance” of food allergens in question, which can carry a variety of risks such as low quality of life, social isolation and anxiety. . In fact, these eliminated foods require detailed lessons from food product labels and a specific organization to prepare and / or prepare meals at home, at work or at school. Not to forget the fact that this warning applies to finished products (pastries, sandwiches, ready meals, etc.) because their ingredients are difficult to know. “ This research will help inform future clinical practice guidelines and provide the data necessary for healthcare professionals to make recommendations to their young patients. The scientific team finished. Keep in mind that if all foods are able to provoke allergies, the main culprits, in addition to peanuts, are cow’s milk and chicken eggs, but also fish and seafood, sesame, nuts. Such as hazelnuts and some fruits and vegetables such as apple celery and kiwi.

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