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Immunology May Help Those With Severe Peanut Allergies

 

Rice crackers and peanuts
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

We all know someone with this worse type of food allergy; the kind if the person is in contact with this food, it can lead to anaphylactic shock and even death.  This type of reaction is especially prevalent with peanut allergy.  Unfortunately, many of those with peanut allergies have such a strong reaction to the food that their throat can swell up and they can stop breathing, even with just a touch or smell of that food.  This is called anaphylactic shock. 


However, there might be a new treatment in the future that can lead to desensitizing the body, thus the person has a less strong reaction. 

 This research, called immunotherapy, is a method of giving a small dose of peanut to a patient, usually in a hospital setting.  Over a period of months, the amount of the peanut is increased, helping to temper those allergic reactions to the peanuts. It’s the same principle as allergy shots, only done with food. It has shown a lot of potential in trials already, with some severe peanut allergy sufferers being able tolerate a small amount of peanuts. 

This is hopeful news and who knows to what other allergies this immunotherapy can work.  I can only imagine that if you are one of those who suffer from severe food allergies, immunotherapy may be a glimmer of hope for the future….

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