San Diego Food Allergies Desensitization Experts
Food allergies restrict freedom and negatively impact your life. There’s no doubt about that. For many people, there remains a lot of confusion about whether or not they have a food allergy. In fact, many people have even been misdiagnosed with a food allergy where one or more do not actually exist. Eliminating, correcting, or confirming a food allergy is one of the major roles of an allergist.
Even for those with severe food allergies, there are new treatments at Modena Allergy + Asthma. In San Diego food allergy desensitization specialist and allergist Dr. Brian Modena goes the extra mile to make sure you or your child get the right diagnosis and have every safe option available for treating food allergies. Our desensitization options may help reduce the chance of you or your child developing a severe anaphylactic reaction.
Food desensitization is a relatively new way of thinking about treating food allergies. In the past, doctors used to encourage parents to delay the introduction of potentially allergenic foods into their child’s diet until after the age of one. Unfortunately, this ended up being bad advice. The seminal LEAP trial (and other subsequent studies) showed that early and repeated exposure to peanut-containing foods significantly reduces a child’s chance of developing a peanut allergy. This started a wave of change in how allergists treated food-allergic patients.
We began focusing less on strict food avoidance (although this is still important for many patients) and more on finding ways to prevent and treat food allergies using the early and slow introduction of allergenic foods. Food desensitization builds off of this concept. Food allergy desensitization involves the very slow introduction of foods (in a safe, monitored manner) to build up the body’s tolerance to them. In doing so, it reduces you or your child’s chance of having a severe anaphylactic reaction. The goal of this process is to reduce the severity or prevent severe allergic reactions.
A Taste of Freedom
This can help Food Allergy Desensitization San Diego patients and parents better understand and prevent food reactions. It means that small accidental exposures are less likely to lead to anaphylactic reactions. Knowledge is often power, and so it can also mean that patients and family members are more likely to understand and be more prepared to treat allergic reactions when they occur. We often find this as a powerful tool to reduce anxiety and empower both patients and family members.
Ready for More
Food desensitization is not for everyone. Food desensitization is typically more successful for children than adults because young, their immune systems are still quite malleable. It can also be quite helpful for many adult patients. Through careful history-taking and testing, Dr. Modena will help determine whether you or your child is a good candidate for food desensitization.
It Starts with a Nibble
The term “food challenge” may conjure up images of a table full of people wearing numbered bibs and scarfing down 20 hot dogs a minute. In the allergy world, an oral food challenge is a safe and highly monitored way to determine if someone is truly allergic to a food. During a food challenge, a patient ingests small but increasing amounts of food (typically over several hours) in a controlled environment, under very close supervision. If an allergic reaction occurs, it is treated quickly. Conducting food challenges is a core component of any allergy practice and may be necessary before initiating a food desensitization program.
Once Dr. Modena determines the exact nature of the food allergy, he develops a program based on the body’s response to the food in question. This could include oral immunotherapy (eating tiny amounts of the food or taking a pill with controlled amounts) or epicutaneous immunotherapy (skin patch therapy). Dr. Modena will carefully plan out the doses to ensure that a specialized treatment is safe and effective for you or your child.
Food allergy desensitization results in an ability to noticeably decrease the severity of the reaction to the allergen in most of Dr. Modena’s patients. The exact level of the reduction and the duration of care vary by the severity of the allergy and response to treatment. During your consultation, Dr. Modena will detail a care plan to make expectations clearer.
The process can retrain the body not to react as violently to exposure, giving patients of all ages peace of mind when put in situations where they can’t control what’s on the menu. In some cases, Dr. Modena has seen patients able to be around or even eat these foods without reaction!
Know for Sure
As a child, Dr. Brian Modena had severe asthma and food allergies. He knows what it feels like to suddenly and violently lose control of your ability to breathe or not to be able to eat what everyone else is eating. He made it his life’s mission to care for others and keep them from feeling that feeling. At Modena Allergy + Asthma, Dr. Modena treats patients of all ages with empathy, education, and cutting-edge therapies to help them and their families breathe a little easier. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Modena today to learn how food allergy desensitization in San Diego could help make your family dinner nights less stressful.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don’t have to let allergies, asthma or immune system issues dictate your life. With a specialist like Dr. Brian Modena by your side, you can get back to living your best life.
9850 Genesse Ave Suite 710, La Jolla, CA 92037