Living with food allergies creates a lot of problems, especially for those who have multiple ones and/or severe reactions that require total avoidance of even trace amounts (for example, those with peanut or shellfish allergies). Regardless of your status with allergies, a lot of people are looking around for the potential for a cure. Is there one? Is it possible that lifelong allergies can be treated for more food freedom?
How food allergies work
Allergic reactions take place when your immune system perceives the food as a threat. Your body has learned to see certain food ingredients as threats for reasons that expertise the field still don’t totally understand. Some deal with watery eyes and congestions, whereas others have wheezing and difficulty breathing, or swelling in the mouth and throat. Mild or severe, allergic reactions happen every time an allergen comes into contact with the body, and there is even research to suggest that they can get worse the more that you try to eat it.
Is there a cure for food allergies?
While an intolerance can be cured in some cases with an extended elimination diet and careful reintroduction, an allergy cannot. Once a body is sensitized to a certain food ingredient, it will remain sensitive to it. There are some cases where children will grow out of their allergies with proper monitoring and testing, but many severe allergies that are discovered in childhood will follow them into adulthood.
The future for food allergies
There is hope for a future, however, in which scientists will be able to develop a cure for food allergies. This follows the same format as a food sensitivity or intolerance. The person will need to go on a “detox diet” to help clean their body and help it to get strong. During this strong stage, the person can go through a few options for desensitization. It could be done through vaccines or orally, or even by contact. The desensitization is done to help lessen the body’s reaction to the problem food.
There are cases where it has worked for certain people with severe allergies, but the process needs to be carefully monitored at all steps and, in order for the body to stay desensitized, regular amounts of the allergen have to be eaten at just the right amounts at just the right times in daily life. It seems straight-forward, but it can be hard to maintain long-term with the precise conditions required. If something goes off with that schedule, the previous allergic reaction can come back at full strength, and the process will have to be repeated from the beginning.
As far as the general public with food allergies is concerned, a cure is still very much in the future, but hopes are high in specialized researchers. As we learn more about how allergies work in the body and why they are so stubborn in some, and transient in others, that knowledge is put to potentially help find a cure for any and all food allergies in the future.