Allergist recommends program to get rid of peanut allergies

Do you have a loved one struggling with a peanut allergy?

There's an allergist is Salisbury that says he can get rid of it. The idea is to slowly introduce a patient to peanut protein over several weeks until the allergy is gone. 

The effects of a peanut allergy can be severe. 

"Hives and swelling...they can get some shortness of breath and sneezing. Swelling can also include the throat, making it really difficult to breathe," Dr. Aerik Williams said. 

Dr. Williams with Allergy Partners of Rowan-Salisbury said 3 million people in the country have the allergy and they're told to avoid peanuts - but that can be difficult. 

"About 12 percent of patients will have an accidental exposure to peanut even if they are trying to actively avoid peanut," Dr. Williams explained. 

He recommends a program or protocol that gradually introduces a patient to peanuts, starting with a very small amount. 

"I start my protocol at 2 micro-grams of peanut protein. Just to give you a sense, there's 250 milligrams of peanut protein in just one peanut," Dr. Williams said. 

From there, increasing the amount of peanut protein the patient is exposed to over the course of about 100 days.

"They are taking this peanut protein on a daily basis and as time goes on they become desensitized," he said. 

Dr. Williams said after someone finishes the program that person can eat as much peanut butter as they want!

"Kids who once had anaphylaxis when exposed to peanut can eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It's really remarkable," Dr. Williams said.

The treatment isn't widely used. Only about 60 allergists in the nation are doing it. 

Dr. Williams has been running the program since December 2015 and says he's seeing results. 

"She's eating peanuts in my clinic. I have about four other kids that are going through the protocol right now who are ingesting peanut protein," he said. 

Dr. Williams admits that everyone reacts differently - and the program as about a 85 percent success rate. But he said it's safe and worth a shot to get rid of the allergy. 

"Yes, kids do have reactions. If managed appropriately these kids do just fine," he said. 




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