Standard treatment for food allergies is avoiding the food that causes the allergic reaction and carrying around an epinephrine auto-injector. However, there are other allergy treatment options. Chad W. Mayer, DO, FAAAAI, FAAP, and Ronda Barak-Norris, MD, FACAAI, at Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan in Farmington Hills, Michigan, offer oral immunotherapy (OIT) to treat food allergies. OIT works like allergy shots, desensitizing your immune system to the food allergen over time. Do you want to know more about OIT? Call or schedule an appointment with the allergists today.
OIT is a type of immunotherapy for food allergies. It involves oral ingestion of small amounts of the food allergen over a set period, slowly desensitizing your immune system to the allergen.
OIT isn’t a new treatment. However, it is only available through limited practitioners.
Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan has been offering OIT since 2011. For several years, the allergy and immunology practice was the only provider in the Midwest offering OIT.
The board-certified allergists at Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan determine if you’re a candidate for OIT after an initial consultation. OIT is customized and fully tailored to each patient.
During this initial consultation, your allergist reviews your medical history and food allergy history. They also ask about your past allergy testing, including blood and skin testing results.
Your allergist at Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan reviews the OIT protocol. Then, together, you decide how best to proceed. The goal of OIT is to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of food reactions.
Any food that is a proven allergy can be treated through OIT. To date, we have treated the following through OIT:
New protocols are also being developed frequently.
Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan customizes your OIT protocol to increase success and minimize side effects.
The first day of OIT is called rapid desensitization and takes six to eight hours. On this first day of treatment, you consume a set dose of your food allergen. You get a higher dose if there’s no reaction after 30 minutes.
This process repeats every 30 minutes for a total of 3-4 doses. You then take this dose at home daily daily as instructed and return the following week to start your updosing.
Updosing is a weekly in-office treatment in which your allergist administers a higher dose of your allergen. You remain at the office for an hour for monitoring. If there’s no reaction, your allergist sends you home with supplies to continue this new daily dose at home.
When you finish your OIT protocol at Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan, you continue to take your daily maintenance dose.
You return to the office once a year for an evaluation and lab studies to determine. The goal of these annual visits is to see if you can reduce your daily dose and still maintain immunological protection.
To find out more about OIT, call Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan or schedule an appointment online today.