Guidelines on Food Allergy Updated

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has released updated guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of food allergies. The summary page for parents and patients can be found HERE.

Highlights:

–Most children with allergies to milk, egg, soy, and wheat will eventually be able to tolerate these allergens, while tree nut and peanut allergies are less likely to resolve with time. Likewise, food allergies that begin in adulthood are likely to persist.

–Food allergies tend to coexist with asthma, atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and exercise-induced asthma. Eliminating food allergens can improve symptoms of some of these comorbid conditions.

–The guidelines do not recommend restricting maternal diet during pregnancy or lactation to prevent the development or clinical course of food allergies, but they do recommend exclusive breast-feeding of all infants until age 4 to 6 months, unless medical reasons contraindicate breast-feeding.

According to Dr. Hugh Sampson, the guidelines concur with current American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. “There is no evidence that delaying certain foods, even foods that are considered allergenic, (is) going to have any significant effect on the development of allergy,” he said.

-Food allergies should be confirmed, because studies indicate that 50% to 90% of presumed food allergies are, in fact, not allergies.

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