When living with food allergy, every restaurant visit, every snack or meal can be a challenge. Everyday foods can cause symptoms including:
Often there is an underlying inhalant allergy, such as dust mite, which primes the immune system to react to certain foods.
Diagnosing food allergies starts by observing symptoms when troublesome foods are included in a person’s diet. Testing can be done by food challenges or blood testing. Blood testing examines the antibody levels to specific foods and is safe and reproducible with few false positives.
Once diagnosed with food allergies, treatment options are:
- Avoid the allergens
- Manage symptoms
- Treat the root cause through immunotherapy
The only way to change the underlying allergic disease is immunotherapy. Treating food allergies with sublingual immunotherapy begins at a much lower level than the amount that triggers reactions, but is enough for the immune system to build allergic tolerance.
Frequency of dosing is a key to making sublingual immunotherapy effective. La Crosse Method Protocol for food allergy is dosed three times daily to provide consistent stimulation of the cells under the tongue that build tolerance.
The goal of sublingual immunotherapy treatment for food allergy will vary from patient to patient. For those with mild to moderate allergies, it is possible to reintroduce allergic foods into the diet. For those whose allergies are severe and life-threatening, the goal may be to reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction to an accidental exposure.