Living with food allergies can be terrifying, especially if it's your child. You find yourself constantly checking labels, avoiding parties and potlucks, questioning waitstaff at restaurants — all in an effort to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction. You've probably come to the conclusion that there is nothing you can do about a food allergy except focus on avoidance.
But now with food allergy testing, there are treatments out there we can recommend that can help control food allergies. Treatments backed by clinical data and guided by expert, board-certified allergists with years of experience. Treatments that have helped thousands of patients — and parents — just like you.
At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we free people from a life bound by allergy issues so that they can once again become an active participant in their own life and get back to doing the things they love to do.
Sublingual (under the tongue) food allergy drops are a form of immunotherapy that uses highly controlled doses of a particular food allergen to treat immune system reactivity, and our compounded in our lab.
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) involves the exposure of allergenic foods (such as wheat, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, and milk) to the patient in in our clinic, and overseen by a board-certified allergist. 80% of patients who graduate OIT are able to eat foods that once threatened their health within six months of treatment.
Palforzia is a new FDA-approved medicine to tackle peanut allergies. This medicine is also categorized as Oral Immunotherapy, introducing the allergen in highly controlled doses to the immune system over time.
At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we can test and treat common food allergies in children as young as 4 months. We offer food allergy testing at all of our clinics.
Options for food allergy testing include a skin test, a blood test, and/or a food challenge.
Once testing is performed, we can help you determine the best course of treatment through Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), food allergy drops, or Palfzoria.
Our primary method for testing food allergies is with a skin test. Food allergy skin tests involve lightly pricking the skin with a tiny drop of the liquid food allergen. This is not painful. Some patients even say it tickles!
About 20 minutes after the application of the skin test, we’re able to see the results by measuring the reaction on the skin. This can range from just a bit of redness to a raised “mosquito bite” looking bump. A raised bump generally indicates an allergic reaction and that treatment may be necessary.
If needed, the provider may suggest a blood test. Food allergy blood testing detects and measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in the blood. Test results are usually available in 1-2 weeks. An outside lab tests the blood sample and sends the results to our specialists at Aspire Allergy & Sinus.
An oral food challenge may be recommended if results from a skin or blood test are uncertain. During this process, you’ll eat or drink small portions of a food in increasing amounts over a period of time to see if an allergic reaction occurs. This is always done under a doctor’s supervision.
While skin and blood testing are both ways to test for food allergies, oral food challenges are known as the “gold standard” for diagnosing food allergies.
All food challenges are done at Aspire Allergy & Sinus clinics and are conducted by a board-certified physician who has been trained to manage oral food challenges and extensive food allergy therapy.
Emergency medications (including epinephrine, antihistamine and other emergency medications) will all be on hand and ready to be used, if needed.Incremental doses.
At the start of the challenge you’ll be given a very small, measured amount of the allergen and observed closely. If no symptoms develop after 20 minutes, then another, slightly larger amount of the food will be given. This process will be repeated over the course of about three to four hours. The goal is to work up to a full serving size of the food you’re allergic to.
The peanut allergy medication, Palforzia, was recently approved by the FDA. The goal of Palforzia is to increase the amount of peanut protein a patient can tolerate, hopefully up to a level in which the patient would be without symptoms from accidental ingestion of peanut. Capsules will be ordered by the allergist every 2 weeks and will be mailed to the patient’s home.
Allergists will only be able to prescribe the medication if they are qualified through the Palforzia Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. We will start with a low dose of peanut protein (starting with 0.5mg of protein) and increase to 300mg of protein (~1 peanut) over the course of at least 18 weeks. Dose increases are every 2 weeks and then the patients are maintained on the 300mg dose indefinitely.
There can be a lot of confusion around food allergies, food intolerance and food sensitivity. While often used interchangeably, they mean very different things!
Food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that may include hives, swelling of the lips, mouth or other parts of the body, nausea and vomiting, wheezing and shortness of breath, mouth itching and delayed diarrhea.
Food intolerance or sensitivity does NOT include anyphylaxis, but can have some shared symptoms, typically nausea, vomiting, and delayed diarrhea. Gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal distress may occur after ingesting a food intolerance.
A true food allergy does not necessarily involve ingestion: exposure can be through contact with the skin or even breathing in particulates in the air.
Read more about the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities in our blog.
We are so passionate about getting you back to the life you want to live that we are always developing and introducing new treatment options to our patients. We are a group of highly experienced allergists, surgeons, medical providers, and support teams all under one roof – that means you come to one place for the best treatment available.Your friends need you.
Your family needs you. You need you. It's time to stop feeling bound by your allergy & sinus issues and instead free to live the life you want to live and do the things you love to do.