Signs That Peanut Allergies May Be Treatable

 In Blog, Food Allergies, Peanut Allergies

Does your child suffer from allergies? Are they life-threatening? How do you deal? Asthma & Allergy Associates in Southern Colorado is the authority to go to with any and all suspected Allergy issues.

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Originally written by Carolyn Buchanan | Posted: January 9, 2013

peanutsThe school- and playdate-worlds of nut-allergy sufferers can be scary places. It’s hard enough to avoid ever-popular peanut butter, but it’s almost impossible to navigate around food products with trace elements of nuts. And to the many serious peanut allergy patients, exposure to even minute amounts of peanuts or the like, can set off life-threatening symptoms.

Until now, there has been no effective treatment to overcome the allergy. But a new study reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows promising signs for a cure.

Scientists studied a group of 40 adolescents and adults with the food allergy. Half of the group was administered minuscule amounts of peanut powder under the tongue each day for the better part of a year (44 weeks). The others were given a placebo. Of those given the peanut powder, 14 out of 20 (70 percent), could tolerate at least 10 times as much peanut as they could at the start of the study. Only 3 out of 20 on the placebo could do the same.

The striking difference in peanut tolerance means that researchers are on the road to finding effective ways to treat food allergies. Scientists caution that folks shouldn’t try this approach at home; the amounts given were too tiny for anyone at home to administer. But the researchers on the new study say that this idea of building up a tolerance to peanuts may apply to other food allergies.

Peanuts are common, and avoiding foods that contain them can be a challenge. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following foods often contain peanuts:

  • Ground or mixed nuts
  • Baked goods, such as cookies and pastries
  • Ice cream and frozen desserts
  • Energy bars
  • Cereals and granola
  • Grain breads
  • Marzipan, a molding confection made of nuts, egg whites and sugar

Less obvious foods may contain peanuts or peanut proteins. Some examples include:

  • Nouga
  • Salad dressings
  • Chocolate candies, nut butters (such as almond butter), and sunflower seeds
  • Cultural foods including African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese dishes
  • Foods sold in bakeries and ice-cream shops
  • Arachis oil, another name for peanut oil
  • Pet food

The hope is that with future strides, young children (and their parents) may be able to move a bit more freely in their worlds without fear that trace exposures could set off life-threatening reactions. This IS good news.

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