Does anyone know if there are actually any studies that show that a child is more likely to outgrow their food allergies/intolerances if they avoid them, as opposed to occasionally being exposed to them?
I'm not sure-- it does seem counterintuitive to always avoid them. Allergy shots work by controlled exposure at intervals, and studies have shown that living in an overly clean environment seems to affect the immune system.<br><br>
That being said, if a child or adult is having a lot of suffering with any exposure to an allergen it makes sense to avoid them. Especially in the case of anaphylactic allergies, or with big reactions like asthma attacks or vomiting.<br><br>
In my daughter's case she has both IgE and IgG allergies. We hope that she will outgrow some of them if we give her a chance to start over. It's possible that her immune system is so over active that she's going to react to anything and everything. We put her on an elemental formula (she has a feeding tube so this was easy to do) for a month with no foods, just crushed ice if she wanted to eat. Then we slowly introduced her to three foods that she passed on skin tests. Her allergies show up in her esophagus and we need to biopsy her to see how bad she's reacting. Her last biopsy showed she was not reacting to those foods. We are now trialling the next food and hoping for another clean biopsy. We hope that by allowing her body to calm down that she will be able to tolerate some things again that she was not tolerating before. I seem to have outgrown many of my food allergies and environmental allergies, but I still suffer quite a bit with others-- and I am exposed to them all the time. There's just no way to avoid certain things.
I don't have any conclusive evidence but my ds was allergic to egg whites at the age of 18months and after avoiding them until just almost 3 years he has tested negative for them on an allergy test.<br><br>
We didn't go hardcore with avoidance because it was a mild allergy so we didn't cut out things like commercial mayo, baked goods etc.<br><br>
The avoidance may have helped or he may have outgrown it anyway. Hard to say. In our study, with a cohort of 1, avoidance appeared to work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
I'm not sure about actual research (I'll have a look) but the idea of avoiding the allergen is so the immune system can basically 'reboot' itself. When we have an immune reaction to something, the body makes 'memory cells' so in the event we are exposed again, an immune response can be mounted quicker. This is why when someone is severely allergic to something, the response gets worse upon subsequent reactions.<br><br>
If you can keep the allergen completely away for a long enough stretch of time, you can actually make the immune system forget that it didn't like the allergen. Most of the time, the way our children become sensitized is through their immature gut. Things get in that normally would not. If when you reintroduce the food, the gut is more mature and less leaky, the allergen will be broken down much more before it reaches the blood stream and isn't recognizable to the immune system as foriegn.<br><br>
I hope that sounds somewhat coherent <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>USAmma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968629"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">. It's possible that her immune system is so over active that she's going to react to anything and everything.</div>
THis is a very important point. If your body is exposed to multiple mild-moderate allergens and is constantly reacting to them, this compromises the immunse system as well as puts it on 'hyper alert'. So essentially, you can react to things you normally wouldn't just because your immune system is in such an overactive state because of everything it's having to deal with.<br><br>
Also, if the immune system is constantly having to deal with allergies and sentitivities, other things get neglected and so a child could have say, repeated ear infections or stomach ulcers etc. These can either be the result of a system that is continuously inflamed (and leaky due to the inflammation) or because the immune system just can't cope with everything at once and so viruses and bacteria can come in and take hold where they normally wouldn't be able to.<br><br>
A good friend ended her daughter's continuous ear infections by eliminating dairy. This was a child who had been on 20 rounds of antibiotics by the time she was 3. In my own personal experience, when I had the worst flu of my life while I was in university, I suddenly became allergic to garlic. It lasted about a month and now I could eat garlic until it came out of my ears.<br><br>
The immune system is a fascinating thing.