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Food Desensitization

FOOD ALLERGY HEADQUARTERS

Desensitization Benefits

Keeping your Child Safe

Accidental ingestions happen, knowing that your child has been desensitized can give you peace of mind that you protected your child from life threatening reactions. Families tell us we have changed their lives significantly by helping their children eat foods that used to be harmful. The impact on family life has made a difference for not only the allergic child, but also for siblings and parents.

What would it mean to your family if you were free from worrying about severe food allergies?

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Daily Routine

Most parents report that their child’s food allergy significantly affected meal preparation, grocery shopping, food label reading and family trips to restaurants.

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Social Consequences

Out-of-home activities such as birthday parties, camp, sports, school field trips, and sleepovers at friends’ houses were often affected by kids’ food allergies.

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Food Allergy Bullying

About one-third of kids with food allergies report that they have been bullied because of their allergies. Food allergy bullying is a growing problem in schools across the country. The bullying frequently includes threats with foods.

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Mental Health

Researchers Find Link Between Food Allergies and Childhood Anxiety. Among the children with a food allergy, 57 percent reported having symptoms of anxiety.

Oklahoma Institute of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, Oklahoma’s Food Allergy Headquarters!

We are one of the rare practices in the country that offers a breakthrough treatment program to people with food allergies. Food Desensitization provides a long-term solution for Peanut, Tree Nut, Milk, Egg, and wheat allergic patients. It usually takes six months and at the end of the program, most patients are able to consume the foods that once threatened their health with no allergic reaction.

Dr. Darter brought food Desensitization to Oklahoma in 2010 and has successfully desensitized well over 160 patients. She remains the leading allergist in Oklahoma and continues to be the destination for Food Desensitization.

81

Peanut

Number of Patients

25

Tree Nut

Number of Patients

20

Milk

Number of Patients

15

Cashew

Number of Patients

15

Eggs

Number of Patients

10

Wheat

Number of Patients

Food Desensitization

Schedule Desensitization Evaluation

Food Desensitization FAQ

  • How long will the entire process take?

    The program typically takes about 6 months to reach graduation and maintenance dosing. If you would prefer to do once a day dosing, it will take around 10 months to reach graduation. The first day procedure in the office will take 4-6 hours. Then you will have weekly or biweekly appointments that will take about 45 min.

  • Should routine medications be stopped before the first day of OIT procedure?

    No. You should continue to take any routine medications throughout OIT. Keeping any chronic conditions controlled such as asthma, allergies, eczema will help reduce problems during OIT.

  • How often can the dose be increased?

    For once a day dosing you are eligible for a dose increase after 5 days. All dose increases must be done in our office.

  • What time of day should home doses be given?

    For once a day dosing, you have a 21-27-hour window.

  • How long should my child stay awake after the evening dose?

    Children should be observed for at least one hour after the dose is given. They should not be allowed to sleep during this time.

  • What about home dosing on the day of the office visit for dose increase?

    There should be at least 21-27 hours between doses, we will assist you in scheduling your appointments so it is manageable with your home dosing schedule. NEVER increase the dose at home, doing this will result in discharge from the program.

  • If there is a reaction at home, what should I do?

    We will go over what to do during any type of reaction at your first day appointment. You will be given written instructions (Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Plan ) on how to treat reactions and we have an on-call nurse and doctor 24/7.

  • What if we are flying when the dose is due?

    Do not administer the dose less than one hour before boarding and do not administer the dose while flying. If there are scheduling conflicts while traveling, please let us know so we can give you special dosing instructions. A letter explaining the procedure and need for food solutions for the Transportation Safety Authority is available on request.

  • Does the food solution need refrigeration?

    There are no preservatives in the food solution. It MUST be kept cold.

  • What if I need additional doses?

    Call as soon as you know you need more solution or doses.

  • What if my child is sick and can’t take the doses on schedule?

    If your child is sick call us before giving any doses. Illness can increase the risk of having a reaction. Please call our office if your child has a fever, asthma flare or other illness.

  • What about masking the taste of the food?

    Taste is personal; experiment. Small volumes could be mixed with a semi-solid food such as apple sauce or pudding, but it is important that the entire dose of oral immunotherapy mixture be taken. If the total amount gets too large, it will be hard to get it all down. If you are having a difficult time with masking the flavor, ask our staff for recommendations.

  • What is the goal of this process?

    The number one goal is safety: to avoid anaphylaxis if the allergenic food is accidentally ingested. The freedom that comes from OIT is being able to eat foods without reading labels or worrying about if it is cross contaminated.

  • What is the follow up schedule when a full portion of the food is being eaten?

    When the full dose has been reached, there should be follow up at one month and then every three months after that. We will reorder labs at the one month follow up and then yearly.

  • Should I see a Dietitian?

    A dietitian is an expert in dietetics; that is, human nutrition and the regulation of diet. A dietitian alters their patient’s nutrition based upon their medical condition and individual needs. We recommend scheduling an appointment with our Food Allergy Dietitian.

  • Does my child need to avoid exercise during the oral immunotherapy process?

    Exercise should be avoided for at least two hours after dosing and doses should not be given immediately following exercise. Exercise around the time of dosing increases the chance of a reaction. Exercise restriction applies to escalation and maintenance dosing.

  • What is maintenance dosing?

    Anytime you desensitize someone to something you must continue to consume the food so you will remain desensitized. For example, after graduating from Peanut OIT, you will eat a minimum of 8 peanuts once a day to remain desensitized.

  • Is maintenance dosing for the rest of your life?

    Until we have further research and data to prove otherwise, you could potentially have to do maintenance dosing for the rest of your life. New research is always being published and we will keep you up to date with the latest published data.

  • What is the first step to starting OIT?

    Once your doctor has recommended OIT for you, call to schedule an OIT consult. At the OIT consult we will go into more detail, discuss the consents, answer all your questions, give you the financial estimate and get you on the schedule for your first OIT visit if you are interested.