Posted September 23, 2013
Children’s food allergies can be a challenging problem for parents, but researchers have identified a possible new treatment option. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about 1 in 20 children has a food allergy, which is more common than in adults, costing Americans nearly $25 billion yearly.
Researchers report an increase in the number of children diagnosed with food allergies, but the causes are unclear. While some children outgrow their allergies, those allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish often have to avoid these foods for life.
Earlier this year, the New England Journal of Medicine published results from new research on a treatment option for food allergies to eggs and nuts. Using immunotherapy, children previously diagnosed with these allergies were given controlled doses of egg white or peanut powder in incremental amounts for more than a year. By the end of the study, many participants no longer demonstrated severe allergic reactions to the products, although some had minor side effects, such as itching in the mouth.
As scientists continue to explore treatment solutions for children’s food allergies, the latest research provides direction for future studies.
Learn more about food allergies and research on treatments: