If you’re like me and many other food allergy parents, your child may have originally been diagnosed with a single food allergy but has since either tested or reacted to other foods as well. My food allergic daughter started with a peanut allergy, followed by a kiwi allergy followed testing diagnosis for an almond allergy followed by a chickpea allergy over the course of about 13 years. Not only is the prevalence of food allergies growing, multiple food allergies are growing too.
So while I read with interest the latest research to find a cure for food allergies, I’ve found that the vast majority of research focuses on a single food allergen, such as peanut or dairy. There are many scientifically valid reasons for this single allergen approach but it can be a little discouraging when your family has other food allergies that are not being covered by the single allergen research.
Oral Immunotherapy (also known as OIT) has been very promising for desensitizing test subjects for peanut allergy and milk allergy in particular. Until recently, no trials had tried it for multiple food allergens all at the same time. Then I ran across an article in the New York Times magazine called: “The Allergy Buster: Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children with Severe Food Allergies? ”. It’s an amazing, poignant article about the struggle for children and parents of multiple food allergies and the doctor who was determined to use oral immunotherapy to try and help them.
While I cried (I often do with these kinds of articles because they hit so close to home), it was because there was hope offered for these families and it made all of the difference to them. I recommend that all parents of food allergic children to read this article but also to share it with others because it does such a fantastic job of painting a realistic picture of what we go through every day. And the more that others who don’t have food allergies can understand and relate as best they can, the better off we all are.