If a child has a food allergy, they are currently told to avoid any traces of that food. That could soon change as a result of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that egg allergies could sometimes be reversed by giving small daily doses of egg over time. We discuss new developments in the prevention and treatment of food allergies.

A Cure for Food Allergies? 26 July,2012forum

Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, chief of the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York
Mireille Schwartz, founder and CEO of the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board
Dr. Grace Yu, allergist immunologist, Palo Alto Medical Foundation - Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Stanford University School of Medicine

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    With the massive change in how foods are grown and feed fed to animals which may be GMO in some way, could it be its how the food is being produced that is linked to allergies.  Note this simply because years ago we did not have all the allergy issues we see today.

    As an example while we are vegetarian, I know that as long as we use organic milk from a neighbors goats or cow we have no milk issues, yet store bought milk causes various allergic reactions.

    • melissa

      this is a very interesting idea. my infant daughter is strongly sensitive to milk and milk products. i have not considered trying organic raw milks yet. 

      • Juliet

         Be SO careful. I tried goat’s milk on my daughter and ended up on the way to ER immediately.  Breastfeeding helps most, if you also minimize own consumption of milk, at least for the first few months.  I stopped too early with my first child, thinking something else would be better–she had soy, which is related to peanut, and now is anaphylactic to both peanut and milk. 

        • Irene

          Juliet, I breastfed my son until he was 20 months and never consumed that much dairy, in fact, avoiding most of it starting from when he was a couple months. Unfortunately he still ended up with a severe milk allergy. While I still fully support breast feeding, it didn’t protect my son from developing milk and nut allergies.

          I too wonder if it has to do with food production.

      • Guest

        I wound not suggest trying Organic milk  with your daughter assuming that it will not cause any allergic reaction. The allergic reaction is to the cow milk protein and not to any hormones and antibiotics in the non organic milk.  We eat exclusively organic food at home for almost two decades. Our son passed away of an anaphylatic shock after drinking organic cow milk by mistake. He was highly allergice to milk (he used to drink rice milk and by mistake drank cow’s organic milk).

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        I think babies,toddlers need breast milk.  Am not sure humans of any age need milk from other animals.  Even though on occasion we use organic milk for when we make yogurt etc.

  • Peter

    Be careful of any “one size fits all” treatments or diagnostics.

    Regarding treatments, I consumed daily doses of my allergens (including corn, soy, and peanuts) for the first 27 years of my life, without knowing I had food allergies.  As a result, I had chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and bouts of acute pain.  Clearly, exposure treatment isn’t for everyone.
    Regarding diagnostics, researchers have been promoting diet-based diagnostics rather than skin or blood tests.  I had to know I was allergic to corn and to soy in order to do enough research to know the wide spectrum of foods they are in that I can react to.  For a while, I even thought that antihistimine medications gave me headaches, but it was because all the ones I tried had corn in the pills.

    I am thankful I insisted on a food allergy skin test, because otherwise I could have spent decades inspecting my diet to get the same information.  Unfortunately, I had already racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs in invasive diagnostics.

  • wendy

    Can your guests comment on the differences between food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. My family suffers from a wide range of sensitivities and intolerances, but thankfully not full-blown allergies. What, if any, studies are being done in this area and how does the research being discussed apply?

  • Laura

    I am wondering what the current thought is to why it seems there are so many more allergies today. 

  • Laura

    Parents used to chew food for babies, but now we puree or buy it in bottles. Has anyone studied if parental saliva effects allergen response?

  • Lester Smiley

    If you have an egg allergy, how about just not eating eggs? You don’t need them in your diet. It seems like such a pointless endeavor to gradually force yourself to do something that your body’s telling you not to do and which has no benefit.
    Obviously, some food allergies are dangerous and a cure should be found for them, but if it’s just a matter of building up your tolerance to a certain food item, I don’t see the point.

    • Ekords

       It’s very hard to avoid.  e.g. most bread products are made in places with eggs.  For a severe allergy a simple cross contact from a different product containing eggs can cause a severe and potentially fatal reaction.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Excellent point Lester.  There are so many excellent breads, pasta, that are no eggs, dairy or even wheat.

  • Jan

    My 12 year old has allergies to pollen and dust and takes claritin daily to manage the sniffling that goes with that.  She also has severe shellfish allergy.  Are there alternatives to allergy shots to treating the dust allergies  longterm? I’ve heard of oral drops.  Are these effective and offered in the Bay Area?

    • guest

      There is a protocol called LDA, low dose antigen therapy. You can go to Dr. Mischa Grieder in San Francisco.

  • Melissa W

    My 14 month old daughter is intolerant of any amount of milk or milk product through my breast milk, since she was 4 weeks old. She breaks out in a rash all over her upper body, and experiences some level of discomfort. I have never given her milk or dairy products directly, but I’m wondering if this kind of allergy or intolerance is likely to be outgrown?

  • Sandra Salatich

    can you describe the difference between food, in particular wheat, allergy and Celiac disease?
    thank you

  • Elbsmily

    I have had anaphylaxis for over 60 years to peanuts. The vigilance and stress on my life I have likened it to living with snipers and trying to avoid being hit as I walked in the world.

    My hopes is that something will be found for my nephews and grandson

    • Ekords

       I agree – I feel like my son and therefore our whole family has a mafia threat we’re living under.  We won’t know where and we won’t know when but it’s *likely* to get us somehow, sometime.

  • Jmw

    My son has been carrying epi-pens for the last 15 years.  Two at school and two at home. They rarely have an expiry date that is more than a year long.  I understand that Europe has mandated that Epi-pens must have an 18 month expiry date at time of issue.  Is anything like that happening in the US.  Also is there any recomended method for disposing of old Epi-pens?

  • Metooyou38

    As our two adopted sons grow out of their allergies my husband and I have now found ourselves with a zero tolerance to dairy in any form (my husband) and I no longer eat wheat (gluten).  Why now as adults?

  • Old News.

  • Sy2502

    Sorry, but people like the mother that called about making everybody on a plane put away their peanuts make me rage. It IS YOUR responsibility if you have an allergy not to find yourself in a problem situation, not everybody else. What is this sense of entitlement that everybody else must cater to you? Arrogant much?

  • Michelle Kazukaitis

    This was such an informative interview that explained current allergy research and answered common questions that we are asked every day at our allergy resource right now, with all of the media surrounding the studies on egg allergy.  Thanks so much!

  • Connie Green

    For those of you in the Bay Area, we have a support group that can help you and your family adjust to the changes needed when diagnosed with a new food allergy.   Find out about us here:

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