New medicines that prevent allergic reactions to peanuts and other foods

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Written By Omph impha

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My youngest son has been allergic to peanuts and sesame since he was a child. Although he has never had a life-threatening reaction, the risk of it happening constantly hangs over him. He cannot eat out at most restaurants or travel to many parts of the world. Grocery shopping is an ordeal. He has his own house now and I live in constant anxiety. We always hoped he would overcome his allergies. At 21, he almost certainly won’t.

He is in an increasingly crowded boat. For reasons that are not well understood, food allergies have grown explosively in the 21st century. Peanuts are a common trigger, as are wheat, cow’s milk, eggs, soy, other nuts, fish and shellfish. In addition to the “big eight” there is a long tail of allergies to other foods, including many fruits, vegetables and seeds. Some people are allergic to beer, others to marihuana. If humans consume it, chances are someone, somewhere will be allergic to it.

This increase has translated into an increased burden on healthcare and a reduced quality of life for many as they strive to avoid a potentially fatal reaction. Until recently, there was only one way to avoid this outcome: not eating the trigger food. However, this is easier said than done, with unexpected ingredients incorporated into processed foods and labeling often ambiguous or inaccurate.

But now, finally, there is hope on the horizon, with the arrival of several new therapies that can help people avoid an allergic reaction, not just to foods, but to other types of triggers…

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