Egg allergy is already overcome with immunotherapy
The egg is the food that causes the most allergy in children Spanish, with an incidence of 2.5% in the first 2 years of life. At 76% of the cases appear before 5 years, in 12% between 5 and 10 years and in another 12% between 10 and 15 years, according to data from a report presented by the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Pediatric Asthma (SEICAP).
Allergy to food in general is one of the diseases that has the greatest social impact, especially in the family, as the burden of prevention of food allergy in children falls directly on parents and caregivers. In addition, in the case of the egg, prevention is not only to avoid the food itself, but in many products is camouflaged and often it is not evident that they have been made with eggs.
The increase of food allergies
Allergy pediatricians have seen an increase in the number of food allergies in children in recent years, even in some countries it has doubled. "It is possible that this is due to the change in eating and lifestyle habits that have developed in the western world," says Dr. Elena Alonso, president of the organizing committee of the SEICAP congress. If this "we join the contamination and relative changes in hygiene, we found that the development of the immune system of the child is affected and is weaker in the face of the emergence of allergies," he adds.
What is immunotherapy? So you can overcome the egg allergy
Immunotherapy is a desensitization treatment to the food that consists of guiding doses of egg in small quantities to overcome the allergy. In this sense, a great scientific advance is the fact that egg allergy is already overcome with immunotherapy.
Dr. Mª Flora Martín-Muñoz, specialist of the Allergy Service of the Children's Hospital La Paz, in Madrid, has led a clinical trial of oral immunotherapy with egg to analyze the efficacy and safety of this treatment. This is a multicentre, national, randomized and controlled study in which different hospitals from all over Spain have collaborated (Children's Hospital La Paz, Gregório Marañón and Hospital Severo Ochoa, of the Community of Madrid; San Juan de Dios Hospital, Vall D'Hebron, Althaia San Juan de Dios de Manresa, Barcelona, Carlos Haya Hospital, Malaga, General Hospital of Valencia and Hospital de Cruces, Vizcaya).
The study involved 101 children (46 boys and 55 girls) between 6 and 9 years of age, diagnosed with persistent egg allergy. 85% of those who followed the oral immunotherapy treatment reached egg tolerance. In addition, this tolerance persisted in all those who continued to consume eggs according to a normal diet, 6 months after stopping treatment.
Advantages of oral immunotherapy with food
The current and usual treatment for a child with food allergy is the diet of exclusion or avoidance of the food in question. However, warns Dr. Antonio Martorell, of the Allergy Unit of the General University Hospital of Valencia, "it is not easy to put it into practice with foods such as eggs and cow's milk that are present in a large amount of processed foods, in addition of the difficulty added by the presence of traces in many industrial food products ".
Thus, the dietary restrictions imposed by the diet, together with the potentially serious adverse reactions due to inadvertent ingestion, "produce a significant alteration in the quality of life of the child and his family, which has prompted the search for alternatives such as immunotherapy oral, "he says.
The oral immunotherapy with food has demonstrated its efficacy and safety in the establishment of tolerance of the same, especially milk and egg, "thus, children can improve their diet, and freely consume the food or at least a sufficient amount to prevent a reaction to small accidental shots, "says this doctor.
In any case, pediatricians allergists warn about the importance of performing these treatments under the supervision of the specialist and with a programmed and personalized protocol to each child, "since you have to assess the possible reactions that may suffer and even if that tolerance is or non-transitory, "he concludes.
You may also like:
- Children with milk allergy
- Food allergies can not be prevented
- Allergy to food or intolerance
- Food allergies in the baby