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New Hope for Sufferers of Peanut Allergies

New Hope for Sufferers of Peanut Allergies
November 26
15:57 2018

One of the most common food allergies involved peanuts. Most sources claim that there are at least 3 million people in the United States that suffer from peanut allergies, with many of them having allergies to tree nuts as well. Many find that they also have allergies to milk (dairy products) and eggs.

As a rule, most people who have a peanut allergy have it as a child and it stays with them for life. Approximately 20% of people who have a peanut allergy outgrow it as adults.

Most experts say they have no idea what causes peanut and many other allergies, which makes them difficult to prevent or treat.

Just a side note to say that it’s possible that a peanut and tree allergy can be a sign of something else, like a pituitary tumor. Over the past 10 years, I have discovered that pituitary tumors are far more common than I ever knew or what most people know. According to one source:

“The authors found an overall estimated prevalence of pituitary adenomas of 16.7% (14.4% in autopsy studies and 22.5% in radiologic studies).”

Most pituitary tumors are benign and relatively harmless while others can cause loss of vision and numerous health conditions.

That’s a higher frequency than people with peanut allergies. The reason I bring this up is that my oldest daughter loved peanuts, peanut butter and other foods with nuts. When she was in her mid to late 20s she suddenly developed an allergy to peanuts and most tree nuts. Doctors had no idea why the sudden development of the allergies.

When she was around 32, she was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. Her tumor was causing loss of vision and was secreting growth and other hormones that caused a host of physical problems. One of the results was that she grew about an inch and half in her early to mid-30s.

She had surgery to remove the tumor, but unfortunately, they did not get it all and it returned with a vengeance. However, after her surgery, her peanut allergy and allergy to most tree nuts was gone, with the exception of hazelnuts. It was obvious that her peanut and tree nut allergy was associated with her pituitary tumor. Today, she enjoys peanut butter, even though her tumor returned.

I can’t help but wonder how many other people with peanut and tree nut allergies have a small benign pituitary tumor and don’t know it?

For those who do have peanut allergies, they often find it necessary to travel with an emergency response dose of epinephrine, such as the infamous EpiPens. The problem is that the cost of EpiPens has become outrageous and they have an expiration of about 12-18 months.

While there is no cure or remedy for peanut allergies, a new report may offer some hope for these allergy sufferers:

“The final research results for a new treatment for protection against accidental exposure to peanut was presented today at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The results show it is possible for some people with peanut allergy to protect themselves from accidental ingestion by building up their tolerance to peanut over time.”

“‘We’re excited about the potential to help children and adolescents with peanut allergy protect themselves against accidentally eating a food with peanut in it,’ says allergist Stephen Tilles, MD, ACAAI past president, study co-author, and consulting advisor for Aimmune Therapeutics. ‘Our hope when we started the study was that by treating patients with the equivalent of one peanut per day, many would tolerate as much as two peanuts. We were pleased to find that two thirds of the people in the study were able to tolerate the equivalent of two peanuts per day after nine to 12 months of treatment, and half the patients tolerated the equivalent of four peanuts’.”

“Study participants ranged in age from 4 to 55 years, most were 4 to 17, and all had peanut allergy. One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the remaining two-thirds were given peanut protein powder in increasing amounts until reaching the ‘maintenance dose’ — the dose they stayed on for the remainder of the study. The maintenance does was the equivalent of one peanut daily.”

This basically is the same principle that many allergists use in treating their patients with various allergies. They slowly expose them to very mild doses of the allergen and then slowly increase the dosage over time until they build up a resistance or tolerance.

However, it needs to be noted that such treatments don’t work for everyone, but have helped tens of thousands.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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