Desensitization therapy – a cure?

Desensitization therapy - a cure? There has been a recent surge of articles and stories in the news on the possible “cure” for peanut allergies. I am pleased to see media coverage and stories on food allergies as it helps raise awareness. The announcements around the success of a desensitization therapy trial are encouraging. The fact that doctors are working to eliminate the life-threatening aspect of this allergy, has helped to educate people on the seriousness of the allergy.

As a parent of two children with life-threatening peanut allergies there are still so many unknowns. First, I have to admit that the thought of my children participating in this kind of treatment is scary. I want to thank all of those parents and children who have participated in these tests. Their commitment, passion and bravery toward finding a cure should be acknowledged and someday will hopefully help millions.

The one caveat of the media attention is that many have interpreted the news as a cure. While this is progress there is still a lot to learn. If my child is “desensitized” will he have to eat a certain amount of peanut products each day? Can his tolerance build up, and will there be a new threshold that can send him into anaphylactic shock? What will happen if he doesn’t ingest peanuts each day, will the allergy return to its original state?

As I mentioned, this is encouraging news for a number of reasons. Bottom line; do not try desensitization or any kind of food challenge in your home. This kind of testing needs to be done in a controlled medical environment. Please keep in mind that there is still no medical cure for food allergies. Education and avoidance are the only way to provide a safe environment.

Please let us know if you have any tips on providing a safe environment for children with food allergies. For products to empower children with the allergy and help teach those providing care for them how to provide a safe environment visit www.

Dina Clifford

Dina Clifford is the mother of two children with life-threatening peanut allergies. She has developed "Beyond A Peanut - Food Allergy Awareness Cards" which teach principles to provide a safe environment for children with food allergies.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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