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The Future of Peanut Allergy Treatment

Researchers from Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, England reported in this month's edition of the journal, Allergy, that by studying a small group of peanut-allergic children, they have found a possible way of reducing the risks associated with accidental peanut ingestion.

The study authors pointed out that an allergy to peanuts may affect the entire family, particularly when a child has a food allergy. Families affected by food allergies have a great deal of pressure put upon them, as well as anxieties associated with this condition.

How to cope with food allergies:

Eating out of the home requires planning and education to avoid an allergic reaction. I often tell my patients to be a "label detective" and understand food labels a• or when dining out, present a "food ingredient card" to the server or kitchen staff to alert them, in order to reduce unwanted exposure to peanuts and other food allergens. Don't forget to always ask questions about ingredients and food preparation if you have a history of food allergies.

Bottom line: the only 100 percent successful treatment for food allergies in 2010, is education, prevention and avoidance, as well as preparedness for possible allergic reactions. There is a great need for more research as it is too soon to know whether this approach will ultimately work for the many millions with allergies to peanuts and nuts!

Check out some additional strategies as well as one of the upcoming food allergy conferences taking place this year hosted by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network at: http://www.foodallergy.org/conferences.html.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett

is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine. He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. No information in this blog is intended as medical advice to any reader or intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomat of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY.  Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of Medicine and Otolaryngology at SUNY LICH. Follow him on Twitter.