Are you or someone you know allergic to food or environmental pollutants? Have you been on the hunt for a long-term solution that doesn’t rely on emergency treatments and avoidance tactics?
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) is an emerging treatment option that offers real, long-term relief for environmental and food allergies. While OIT has its risks and drawbacks, it has also proven to be an effective therapy for many people who have tried all other options.
In this article, I discuss the potential benefits of OIT in comparison to more traditional approaches used to reduce allergy symptoms and ultimately increase the quality of life.
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What is oral immunotherapy?
Oral immunotherapy, or OIT, is a form of therapy that uses orally administered doses of allergen to desensitize your body to the allergens you’re allergic to. It works by gradually increasing the number of allergens in your system until your body no longer reacts negatively to them.
Think of it like this: if you have allergies, your body over-reacts when it encounters certain substances that are actually harmless — like peanuts (common food allergen) — so OIT helps retrain your immune system to recognize these harmless substances as benign. The more exposure you get, the less sensitivity is produced and so eventually you’ll become “immune” to certain allergens.
In addition, unlike other methods like epicutaneous immunotherapy which take months or even years to complete, oral immunotherapy can potentially provide relief much faster because it works by introducing small amounts of allergen into the mouth on a regular basis and then slowly increasing the daily doses given over time. So instead of having a long and frustrating wait for relief, you’ll likely see results sooner with OIT!
What allergies can oral immunotherapy treat?
Oral immunotherapy is a promising treatment for common food allergies. It has been used to successfully desensitize patients to foods like peanuts, dairy products, eggs, shellfish, and other common food allergens. The goal of this therapy is to reduce a person’s allergic reactions by helping them build up their tolerance to the allergen in question.
Oral immunotherapy can also be used effectively to treat many types of environmental allergies including pollen and dust mites. In fact, some studies have found that this type of therapy may also be useful in treating seasonal asthma.
Finally, oral immunotherapy is being explored as a potential treatment for pet allergies. Studies conducted on dogs have shown that oral immunotherapy appears to be effective in reducing allergic symptoms caused by canine hair follicles. This could potentially offer relief for people with pet allergies who are unable to keep pets due to their allergy triggers.
How does Palforzia treatment work?
Palforzia is an orally administered peanut-derived food protein product used in the treatment of peanut allergy. Palforzia works by gradually introducing small, increasing doses of peanut allergen to a patient in order to desensitize their immune system to the allergen’s effects.
The goal of Oral Immunotherapy (also known as OIT) is for a patient to become either tolerant or partially tolerant of the allergen over time. In terms of Palforzia, this would mean that someone who was previously allergic to peanuts could eventually begin eating them without experiencing anaphylaxis or life-threatening severe reactions.
The process requires up-dosing visits, in which the patient will take an increasingly larger dose every two weeks until they reach the full prescribed maintenance dose. Following this initial period, there will be a stabilization visit to assess if further therapy is needed before starting an extended maintenance phase for roughly one year if no adverse reactions occur during prior visits.
During this journey, the patient’s doctor should closely monitor the progress and symptoms in order to provide optimal care and reduce any unnecessary risks from potential reaction increases or other unexpected side effects.
Is oral immunotherapy safe?
When it comes to oral immunotherapy, the most pressing question patients and healthcare providers have is whether or not it is safe. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been proven to be a safe and effective method for treating allergies. It is designed to help desensitize the patient’s immune system to allergens by gradually increasing the dose of the allergen over time. Through this method, patients are able to build up a tolerance over time so that they can eventually consume their allergenic foods without having an adverse reaction. Clinical studies have found that the success rate for OIT treatments is around 80%, but more research needs to be done in order to understand how safe these treatments are long-term.
Overall, research shows that oral immunotherapy is generally safe when done as directed by a doctor, as long as it’s monitored closely and adjusted accordingly depending on how the patient responds throughout treatment. OIT treatments may cause minor side effects such as itching or swelling of lips, throat tightness, nausea, and abdominal pain in some cases; however, these should dissipate quickly once treatment is stopped or changed. That being said, anyone considering oral immunotherapy should consult with their healthcare provider first before beginning any kind of treatment program.
Who is a candidate for oral immunotherapy?
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is becoming increasingly popular as an option for food allergy treatment. The potential benefits of OIT are encouraging – it has the potential to reduce and possibly eliminate a person’s food allergy reactions in the long term.
However, in order for OIT to be successful, it requires finding a suitable candidate first – someone with food allergies who also qualifies for the treatment protocol. Who is considered to be a good candidate for oral immunotherapy?
Generally, individuals with food allergies — older children and adults who have already been diagnosed with food allergies that cause anaphylaxis are great candidates for oral immunotherapy. Additionally, they should have realistic expectations when it comes to their treatment plan – they must understand that there is no guarantee that OIT will succeed in eliminating their food allergies.
Lastly, they must commit to regular appointments and follow through with the treatment instructions provided by their doctor.
In summary, people with serious food allergies who are willing to really commit to a treatment plan can benefit from oral immunotherapy – so if you’re looking into this option, make sure you meet all of these criteria!