According to the Food Allergy Research & Education group, 15 million Americans have food allergies. Whether it’s a peanut allergy or an allergy to another food, this can be life threatening for many of the people affected.
New research has indicated that oral immunotherapy may be effective in treating this condition, something a research paper could examine in more depth.
Oral immunotherapy breakthrough
There are a variety of reactions someone with a peanut allergy can have, ranging from itchiness, swelling, sneezing, asthma, abdominal pain, diarrhea and eczema, or something more life threatening such as cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock—difficulty swallowing and breathing. Some food allergies that affect children can be outgrown, but a peanut allergy is typically not something that goes away in adulthood.
A new study has shown that there may be a possible treatment for someone with a peanut allergy. Researchers at the University of North Carolina “found that peanut allergies can be suppressed to some extent by exposing children to minuscule amounts of peanut protein per day,” according to “Research Finds That Peanut Allergies May Be Curable By Immunotherapy” posted on August 14, 2016, on hungryforever.com. A research paper could look into what treatments for food allergies are available and which are on the horizon.
Life threatening food allergies
For many children and adults who suffer from a peanut allergy or other food allergies, an EpiPen is essential. An EpiPen is a disposable, pre-filled automatic injection device that administers epinephrine. Currently there is only one major manufacturer of the devices, Mylan, after their competitor had to recall their EpiPens. The pens aren’t expensive to manufacture, but the company has increased the cost of these life saving medical devices, making them out of reach for some families and people that need them. Rhodi Lee wrote, “Cost Of Life-Saving EpiPen Becoming Too Expensive For Families With Food Allergies” on August 16, 2016, for techtimes.com, with more on the issue.
The article stated, “Over the past seven years, the cost of EpiPen has risen by more than 480 percent. In 2009, pharmacies paid around $100 for a two-pack EpiPens, but the same package now costs over $600.” This is not the first time in recent years the news has reported major price increases in prescription drugs for no other reason than bigger profits for their manufacturers. A research paper could examine the ethics behind prescription drug prices.
More research on food allergies
Children can have food allergies to nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs and more. Researchers at Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Australia, looked into umbilical cord blood of infants to see if they could better understand what causes these potentially life threatening allergies to develop.
Tina Hesman Saey wrote, “Signs of Food Allergies Seen at Birth: Babies’ Overactive Immune Cells May Prime Body for Reactions” for the February 20, 2016, issue of Science News about the Australian study. The researchers believe that overactive monocytes in the blood are making a greater amount of cytokines, which are chemicals that stimulate inflammation (aka an allergic reaction). The article stated, “Those cytokines may push untrained immune cells called T cells into becoming allergy-provoking cells instead of ones that quiet immune reactions.” Other research paper topics could look into how the immune system can be over stimulated and ways doctors treat this issue.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from life threatening food allergies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.