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Hope for a Treatment for the Peanut Allergic

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:46pm
If you surf around on the Internet very long about peanut allergy, chances are you have stumbled on some incredible news about the future of peanut allergy sufferers. If you haven't heard about it, let me be the first to give you a ray of hope in your peanut allergy journey.

In early May of this year, Dr. Wesley Burks of Duke University made an outstanding statement regarding a possible treatment for this life-threatening condition:
"I think there's some type of immunotherapy that will be available in five years."
I couldn't help but jump for joy when I read that statement for the first time!!

This is a treatment for the peanut allergy, not a cure. It is expected to eliminate the dangers of cross contamination and other "accidental" ingestion. This does not mean that Tyler (or any other PA kid) can sit down and eat a couple of PB&J's. It means that if there is a microscopic speck of a peanut in something he eats or if a bite is accidentally taken of a peanut butter cookie, the results won't be life threatening.

What My Allergists Said

I asked our former allergist about this and she said has faith in these studies and believes there will be a treatment (remember, not a cure) in Tyler's lifetime. Great news!!

On Wednesday I asked our new allergist and his response was even more encouraging. He said these treatments "make a lot of sense." He also said he is very confident there will be a treatment in five years. In fact, he told me he has even spoken with Dr. Burks nurse about the research.

I was even more excited when he told me what hospital he would use to administer the treatments once the FDA approves them. To me, stating what hospital the treatments will be administered in, shows an absolute ton of confidence in these treatments and the fact that they are truly coming.

So, What About the Research?

There is a blog called "Ask About My Peanut Allergy" that is following a six year old boy named Bo that is currently in this research study. His parents offer great hope of what they are seeing in other kids that have been in the program for a while.

According to this blog, children in this study eat a small amount of peanut flour each day, with that amount increasing every two weeks (the initial dose and each time the dose is increased, the child is in a hospital setting). Over the course of a year or two, children that once reacted to 1/100 of a peanut are tolerating up to 13 peanuts with no reaction!!

Don't take my word for all of this, I urge you to become a regular reader of "Ask About My Peanut Allergy." It offers a hope like nothing else I have ever read on PA.

Medical research happens all the time and nothing comes of it. But now that I have had two allergists tell me in the last six weeks that there is indeed hope and almost certainly a treatment coming, I get so excited. The thought that Tyler might be able to take a bite out of something without reading the ingredients or talking to the chef is something I hope to see someday soon.


**I am a big believer in the power of prayer. I have made a commitment to pray for Dr. Burks' research everyday until it is available to everyone. I encourage you, if you also believe in prayer, to do the same. I can't think of very many things in the life of a PA child (or adult) that is more important.**
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