Food allergy desensitisation
Food allergy desensitisation is an exciting new development, as previously the only way to manage food allergy was avoidance of the offending allergen, dietary advice and provision of an emergency treatment plan and medication. Although desensitisation is now common practice for environmental allergens like grass pollen and house dust mite, food desensitisation is only becoming a reality for patients now.
Desensitisation (also known as immunotherapy) is a process where you gradually introduce increasing amounts of the food into the child’s diet to which they are allergic, to reduce their allergic symptoms. There is also research underway looking at a skin patch to expose the child to the food they are allergic to in this way rather than through the diet. Desensitisation is not something that should be done without the close supervision and follow-up by a paediatric allergy specialist, as it can cause severe allergic reactions. I am involved in the latest research trials in peanut oral and patch desensitisation and hope to be able to bring this to the practice soon.
For egg and milk allergy, using increasing amounts of baked egg or baked/boiled milk products may help the child to outgrow their plain egg or milk allergy sooner. We provide a tailored plan for children to undergo this treatment, with written and verbal advice on how to perform this safely and ways to incorporate this into the daily routine. We work closely with our paediatric allergy dietitians who can provide advice and recipes, and help you source products to make this easier for you and your family to complete.