Recently, the only practical option for patients with a food allergy was avoidance.

This has all changed with food oral immunotherapy.

Food oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a process which retrains the immune system to tolerate food proteins that an individual is allergic to. OIT is a safe and effective method to enable people with food allergies to eat the food they are allergic to without fear of an allergic reaction. It is a life changing treatment for children and adults suffering from food allergies.

What is the goal of food oral immunotherapy?

The goal is to allow the person to eat the food(s) they are allergic to without any problems. That is, the person no longer has to avoid the food they are allergic to, and he/she can eat a serving of the food without any reaction.

Which food allergies can be treated?

Dr. Dauby treats peanut, tree nuts, cow milk, wheat, egg, and soybean allergies. Other foods are possible based on the person's need.

How effective is OIT?

The literature shows that food oral desensitization is effective for the majority of patients. Most studies have a 80-90% success rate, meaning that the majority of patients can consume the allergenic food without reactions. This remains as long as the individual continues to eat a small daily dose of the particular food. Similar to treating cholesterol or high blood pressure with a daily pill, the food allergy is treated by taking a daily dose of food. What is not yet known is when the daily dose of the food can be stopped. Studies are presently ongoing to try to answer this question.

What is the age range for OIT?

Dr. Dauby offers OIT to adults of any age, and children as young as 2 1/2 to 3 years old.

How long does it take?

The process takes 6-12 months to ensure the safety of each patient. OIT is not a "one size fits all" since everyone is different - the time line will vary from person to person. Dr. Dauby will individualize the course of treatment based on a number of factors to include age, the food sensitivities, test results, and past reactions.

Why are other allergists not doing OIT?

Food oral immunotherapy requires a lot of knowledge, time, and attention to detail. Most allergist do not do the training nor have the expertise it requires. Some choose not to do OIT for patients because it is too difficult and time consuming for the staff.

There are numerous peer reviewed journal articles published in leading allergy journals around the world, all showing success with this therapy. The first trial published in the United States dates back to 2009. Of the 29 subjects who completed the trial at the time, 27 were able to ingest 16 peanuts after treatment. Hundreds of studies have been published since , showing success with oral immunotherapy.

Where can I find out more information on OIT?

OIT101 is a great place to learn more about food oral immunotherapy. You may also schedule an appointment with Dr. Dauby for a consultation to see if OIT is right for you or your child.

Video visit appointments are available.