Food allergy symptoms can be overwhelming. They range from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen face, tongue, throat, and lips, hives, itching or tingling mouth, lightheadedness, and dizziness, among others. From the food and amounts you can eat to the social life you maintain as you strive to avoid such menus, food allergies can be quite restricting. Silver Spring food allergies do not have to hold you down that much when you can turn to immunotherapy. Oral immunotherapy is conducted in a doctor’s office under supervision. It entails exposure to the allergens in controlled amounts to help the body develop a better response. Among the top benefits of food allergy immunotherapy includes:
- Reduced allergy sensitivity
Allergic reactions result from your immune system treating a harmless substance as a threat and overreacting to eliminate the concern. This is a natural defense mechanism that can be modified through controlled exposure. Immunotherapy helps desensitize the system by introducing safe amounts of the food allergy triggers over time. You develop better immunity, much like a vaccine does. This lowers your sensitivity and allergy symptoms.
- Allergy management
S your allergy developing resistance to medication? Traditional allergy medication can become ineffective, making it harder to manage the symptoms. Immunotherapy provides an alternative. Through controlled exposure, which increases over time, your body makes new antibodies to fight the threats. The new antibodies and response improve the immune function regarding the allergens, which helps keep the symptoms under control. Your allergy symptoms will subside, and over time, realize less severe reactions as the immune system lowers its perception of the food as a threat.
- Reduce medication reliance
Allergy medications work by masking the symptoms. This means you must use them for an extended period to keep the allergies in check. Medication does not cure food allergies, and while immunotherapy won’t, you stand a better chance since the exposure means you can enjoy long-term relief even after you stop the therapy.
Immunotherapy takes place in two phases, buildup and maintenance. During the buildup, you consume small amounts that gradually increase to desensitize your system. This builds up your allergy resistance as the immune system reacts better to the allergen. Your body grows accustomed to the allergen exposure, but to ensure it is sustainable, you continue to take the food for some time, ideally a few years. This is the maintenance phase which helps keep the immune system’s reaction to the exposure at a favorable level.
After buildup and remaining committed to the maintenance, you won’t need medication as much. This is because you will hardly experience significant symptoms. In some cases, you might not even experience any allergic reaction.
- Limit avoidance
Oral food allergy immunotherapy conditions your immune system to avoid its overreaction to exposure. This means you do not always have to hide from allergens. You can enjoy better freedom levels, such as not worrying much about accidentally eating food with items you are allergic to or dealing with medication side effects. You get to face the allergens with more manageable symptoms, if any, helping you lead a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Proper nutrition is critical as you strive to lead a healthier life. This can be challenged by food allergies, especially if you have to avoid a broad range of diets. Immunotherapy can help; contact the Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland to find out more.