Peanut allergies are on the rise and are not only a hot topic in society but amongst allergy specialists. There are multiple studies throughout the U.S. investigating this rise and what to do about it. It turns out that early and often exposure to peanuts may be beneficial. Children in Israel often eat foods with peanut flour in them when they are very young and the rate of peanut allergy is considerably less there than it is in the U.S. I am currently recommending to most of my families that they introduce foods for an allergy prevention process early.
So what if you already have a peanut allergy? Unfortunately only about 20% of people will outgrow a peanut allergy. You may have heard of people being desensitized to peanuts. There are a few centers doing this and some studies currently under way. I know that this would be a very nice option for some patients so I have spoken personally to the centers doing these. Sadly, at this time, they warn against it because they are having too many adverse reactions. However, there are good studies looking at this and it may be available in the near future.
Additionally, another area for peanut allergies that looks more promising is looking at peanut patches. This is where the allergic individual will wear a patch containing peanut. I am keeping up-to-date on these studies and will keep you informed…stay tuned!