By Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Peanut allergies can be life-threatening, scary and frustrating for all parties involved. Whether you have the allergy yourself or if you live with a person allergic to peanuts, everyone needs to be careful; extremely careful! In severe cases, peanuts cannot even be in the atmosphere or they may stimulate anaphylactic shock.
I have experienced this firsthand from a member of my family and I have also been on an airplane in which peanuts could not be served due to a peanut allergy. The take-home point here is that peanut allergies are not to be taken lightly!
Intro the allergen in micro-doses
In the past, many kids and adults alike would try allergy shots. The purpose of an allergy shot is to introduce the allergen in micro-doses with the hopes small exposure to the allergen would eradicate the problem, over time.
While this therapeutic approach is met with conflicting results, pediatric physicians recommend that parents should introduce peanut butter to their kid’s diet before one year of age. Ingesting peanut butter at a young age will help to reduce the likelihood of a peanut allergy being developed.
Introducing the stimulus or allergen is key! While many precautions can be taken, it is still possible that kids and adults develop the allergy anyway. However, there appears to be hope on the horizon for people dealing with peanut allergies!
FDA approved immunotherapy drug
Recent biomedical and pharmaceutical developments have altered the outlook for people coping with peanut allergies. New immunotherapy called Palforzia is now available to help people dealing with peanut allergies. The FDA has approved the immunotherapy which is designed to be dosed in three phases, an initial dose-escalation, then an up-dosing phase followed by the maintenance phase. As with any type of drug, side effects are possible, but the oral medication seems to be a big step in helping allergic people avoid anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions if they are exposed to peanuts.
If you or someone you know is affected by peanut allergies, perhaps this new ground-breaking medication can help!
Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/media/134838/download.
Skolnick, Helen S., et al. “The natural history of peanut allergy.” Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 107.2 (2001): 367-374.
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