All About Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for Food Allergies

Feb 13, 2024
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Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a great treatment option for food allergies that can reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Find out everything you need to know about this allergy management technique here.

When you have food allergies, your body overreacts to a food or substance in a food, and it triggers your immune system to give a protective response. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe and can include symptoms like vomiting, hives, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, and even anaphylaxis — a life-threatening condition. 

Current treatment methods for managing allergies include avoiding the allergen and keeping epinephrine on hand to treat anaphylaxis in case you accidentally ingest some of the allergen. However, this may prove difficult for many people to sustain long-term. 

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) provides a different approach to managing food allergies that can reduce your risk of severe allergic reactions. Chad W. Mayer, DO, FAAAAI, FAAP, and the rest of our team at the Allergy and Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan offer OIT to increase your quality of life and decrease allergic reaction severity. 

Explaining OIT

OIT is a food allergy treatment that desensitizes your body to the food it’s allergic to. While this treatment isn’t a cure for allergies, it can decrease severe allergic reactions and reduce stress and worry surrounding food.


When you go through OIT, you ingest an incredibly small amount of the food allergen under our supervision. Over a few months, the dose is increased until you reach a maintenance dose. You then take this maintenance dose every day. Then over time the maintenance dose is reduced to a few days a week. 

The goal of OIT is to raise the threshold of allergen you can ingest before it triggers a reaction in your body, thereby protecting you from anaphylaxis should you accidentally ingest that particular food. 

How effective is OIT?

There aren’t many foods that OIT can’t address. At the Allergy and Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan, we’ve worked with many common food allergies, such as eggs, milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, sesame seed and peanuts. 

Studies have shown that desensitization to your particular food allergen can range from 80-90%. Part of this ongoing desensitization depends greatly on your ongoing exposure to your allergen. If you don’t consistently keep exposing your body to the maintenance dose, then the chance of keeping your tolerance goes down significantly.  

If you’d like to learn if you qualify for OIT, reach out to our team to schedule an appointment at our office located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Simply call or book online today.