Food Desensitization Programs
The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center’s desensitize patients with peanut, tree nut, milk, egg, and sesame allergies using a procedure known as oral immunotherapy (OIT) where patients are fed small incremental amounts of food proteins to which they are allergic.
We also offer multi-food OIT, which means combining two food groups at the same time. Combinations offered include peanut with one tree nut or sesame, two tree nuts, or one tree nut and sesame. OIT for milk and egg are done individually and cannot be combined with another food. Every patient’s treatment plan is individualized and our providers will work with you to determine what is the best OIT plan.
Until recently, the only treatment for food allergic patients has been strict avoidance of these foods and carrying injections of epinephrine in the event of an accidental ingestion. Today there is exciting and effective treatment available for the majority of peanut, tree nut, milk, egg, and sesame allergic patients. It is called oral immunotherapy, and in our carefully controlled clinical setting we have safely desensitized children and adults who are allergic to these foods.
As a result of this new treatment, if allergic patients are accidentally exposed to these foods, they should not experience an allergic reaction. Many can eventually consume as much of these foods as they would like while on treatment.
The Patient Need
Many patients feel ‘trapped’ by not only the inability to eat certain foods, but also the worry (or anxiety) that a triggering allergen may unknowingly be present in any food. Just knowing that a tiny amount of an allergic ingredient could create a serious medical problem is an uncomfortable and frightening feeling, to say the least. Our goal is to minimize or eliminate that fear and danger.
Patients initially ingest very small amounts of the food that they are allergic to at the New England Food Allergy Treatment Centers. This dose is increased over approximately 8-10 months and will allow the patient to consume a predetermined amount of peanut, tree nut, milk product, egg, or sesame. There are no uncomfortable shots involved. Everything is done orally. We have desensitized just over 2,000 food allergic patients to date with a 85% success rate in reaching a maintenance dose.
Patient Safety is Paramount
Patient safety is of utmost concern. Our entire facilities – including staff and equipment – are dedicated exclusively to the treatment of food allergies.
Since we have had extensive experience with oral immunotherapy to the peanut and followed an IRB approved protocol during our treatment phase, this should provide confidence to patients and referring physicians that we have addressed safety concerns and follow rigorous scientific standards.
For More Information
We welcome the opportunity to discuss our Center’s protocols and procedures with you. Simply contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!
Additional information can be found in our frequently asked questions, or results sections of our website. You can also download our free flyer that contains the top 10 most common fallacies about peanut allergies, or use one of the links below to download a free NEFATC Center brochure that contains an overview of our facilities, professional team and information about our food allergy desensitization programs.