Arizona Doctor Takes On Milk Allergies With Oral Immunotherapy Drops

2016-04-13 14:56:41 (GMT) ( - Health News Press Release News)

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Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 04/11/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

For those with milk allergies, the age-old advice has long been to simply stay away from dairy products, but according to Dr. Stuart Agren, allergy immunotherapy is changing that. The treatment that has long worked for pollen allergies is diminishing his patients’ food allergies, too.

Dr. Agren, director of the Family Allergy Clinic near Phoenix, Arizona, said that while allergy shots do not help with food allergies, an under-the-tongue alternative to shots is effective in reducing allergies to dozens of foods, including milk.

The oral allergy treatment, known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), is perhaps best known in the food allergy arena for its success in reducing children’s peanut allergies in a high-profile 2011 year long, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at Duke University.

SLIT works by the same mechanism as shots do, exposing the body to traces of allergy triggers in order to help patients build a tolerance to them. The sublingual allergy drops are dispensed under the tongue and absorb into the bloodstream.

Agren said that while eating is supposed to be a pleasurable experience, food allergies can make it a miserable one-especially for children.

“A good example would be a young man I recently treated who couldn’t eat milk, eggs or wheat without experiencing abdominal cramping and diarrhea,” said Agren. “Thanks to the drops, he was able to resume a normal diet without repercussions hanging over every meal.”

Agren was one of the first physicians in the U.S. to offer sublingual immunotherapy for pollen allergies back in the mid-1980s. When research began showing that the same therapy worked for food allergies, he developed an antigen mix that could treat patients for nearly 60 different food allergens including milk, wheat, eggs, rice, soy, and various fruits and vegetables.

Milk allergies affect nearly 2.5 percent of children and can lead to hay fever, eczema, hives, gastrointestinal distress, and even anaphylaxis (in rare cases).

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