Food allergy treatment & prevention
If you have a food allergy, eating a particular food can result in a number of symptoms of allergies. Food allergy symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hives, fainting and swelling of the face, tongue, lips and throat. The most dangerous scenario is anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause constricted airways, rapid pulse, mental confusion, cardiovascular collapse and shock.
Foods that can cause problems
Approximately 90% of food allergies are caused by certain proteins in cow’s milk, egg whites, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, shellfish, fish and tree nuts. If you or a loved one has suffered an allergic reaction after eating a particular food, future reactions may be more severe. At Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California, our board-certified and fellowship-trained allergy doctors can help. After conducting a health history and exam, we will go through a number of steps to determine your food allergy. This may include a skin test, blood test or food allergies test. After identifying which food(s) you are allergic to, such as peanut allergies, we will educate you on how to prevent future reactions and self-administer medication if they occur.
Allergy & Asthma Associates has established the Food Allergy Center, the first and only one of its kind in Orange County, to focus exclusively on the diagnosis and now treatment of food allergy. We are now offering oral immunotherapy.
The purpose of oral immunotherapy (OIT) is to decrease your sensitivity to allergy-causing foods, so that exposure to the offending food (peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts, etc.) will result in fewer and fewer and less severe symptoms in the event of an accidental exposure. This does not mean that OIT is a substitute for avoidance during therapy and it does not mean that an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®) will not be needed in the event of an accidental exposure. While OIT has been demonstrated to be effective at inducing long term remission of food allergies, there is no guarantee of a cure.
To qualify for OIT, there must be a documented allergy to a food. Documentation of allergy can be in the form of a positive skin test or a positive blood test. Due to the inherent risks of OIT, avoidance measures and medical management must always be followed. In addition, an epinephrine auto-injector must always be available to the patient for emergency use, if needed.
It may take several months to achieve the maintenance dose on OIT. The time may be longer if there are reactions or if the doses are not administered on a regular basis. For this reason, it is important that the recommended schedule be followed exactly as prescribed.
For food allergy information or to schedule your personal appointment, call (949) 364-2900 today. Our service area includes Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistsrano, Talega, Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Irvine, Ladera Ranch and Laguna Beach in Orange County (OC), CA.