- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Peanut Allergy Cure
AP Associated Press reports on peanut allergy "cure"
Peanut Allergies: Feared no Longer?
There are few afflictions new parents fear so much for their children as a peanut allergy. Peanut allergies can be so dangerous, and have been so common — 3 million Americans have peanut allergies today —that airlines have all but stopped serving the snack most associated with air travel! (This was back when airplanes provided snacks, but that's another issue.)
Peanut allergies are so serious that to eat a peanut, to eat any food that has come into contact with a peanut, to touch a peanut or even to breathe peanut fumes can cause such a reaction in allergic children that they go into shock and die. Peanuts are delicious to some, but deadly and terrifying to others.
So parents today are counseled not to introduce their children to peanuts, peanut butter or any other peanut product until after their child turns two years old and has over a year of solid food under his or her belt.
For parents of allergic children who live in fear of the common peanut, their nightmare could be over.
Doctors at Duke University Medical Center have found what they say is a cure for some peanut allergies.
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The Duke University Peanut Allergy Cure
The study performed by the Duke doctors exposed the allergic patient to about 1/1,000th (a one-thousandth) of a peanut under their controlled supervision. The doctors then treated or managed the allergic person's reaction to the peanut, then slowly and incrementally exposed that person't exposure to peanuts.
A year after the study started, formerly allergic kids could eat slightly more than a dozen peanuts a day without having an allergic reaction, feeling their throats close up or otherwise going into some sort of allergic shock. Treats like Snickers bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups need no longer be forbidden, and, even better, the school cafeteria need no longer be a dangerous place or ethnic restaurants cooking up Thai or Chinese cuisine be toxic establishments.
The "cure" is still being studies, but the results so far offer hopes to parents of allergic kids who have forever been forced to police their children's lunch bags, birthday parties, free time and their very worlds for any trace amounts of peanuts.
This treatment has so far been life-changing for many children who formerly suffered from peanut allergies.
Treatment, Not Cure or Vaccine
The current peanut allergy treatment is just that — a treatment, not a cure. There also is no known vaccine for a peanut allergy.
The peanut allergy treatment offers new hope for parents of kids with peanut allergies, and a world of delicious new flavors and candies to kids with peanut allergies, but again, this is not a cure. It also is very, very important to keep in mind that the Duke doctors who developed and tested this treatment did so in a controlled medical setting. You can not, repeat CAN NOT, try to build up an allergic child's tolerance to peanuts at home by simply forcing the child to take larger and larger doses of the offending legume. This could prove deadly. Any peanut allergy treatment must be performed by a medical professional in a medical setting. Delicious as peanut butter is, it is not worth dying for.