Introducing Infants to Peanuts can build Allergy Resistance

Introducing Infants to Peanuts can build Allergy ResistanceFood allergies are among the most common conditions treated by allergy and immunology specialists. Treating allergies can be quite challenging, more so when the patient is a child. As an experienced medical transcription company, we support immunologists and allergy specialists with timely and error-free EHR-integrated immunology transcription services. Reliable medical transcriptionists keep track of the latest developments in the field they serve, and as far as allergenic foods are concerned, the new thinking is that introducing kids at an early age to allergens can build allergy resistance.

According to a recent New York Post report, 6 million children in the US and 1 million in the UK have been diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies. Peanut allergy is widespread among children in Western countries. This has led people to avoid feeding peanuts to infants and young children. However, the results of the UK’s Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (Leap) study showed that starting regular peanut consumption in infants and continuing it until the age of five resulted in a staggering 81 per cent reduction in the development of allergy in high risk children. Research published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association found similar results and reported that infants fed peanuts or eggs at an early age had a lower risk of developing allergies.

The findings of the LEAP study led the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to revise its guidance on allergenic foods In January. The new guidelines advise parents to begin feeding infants small amounts of allergenic foods in infancy as a way to prevent food allergies. The recommendations, according to a report published by on January 5, 2017, fall into three categories:

  • The first category includes children who are believed to be most likely to develop a peanut allergy, that is, infants who have severe asthma, egg allergy or both: These children can be introduced to peanut-containing food at 4 to 6 months or get a reference to an allergist who will give the child a skin prick test or a blood test to identify if peanut allergy exists. If the child is not allergic, peanut-containing foods can be introduced at 4 to 6 months. This recommendation does not apply if the infant is allergic, and peanuts should not be given.
  • Infants with mild to moderate eczema and less likely to have an allergy come in the second category. These children should be introduced to peanut-containing foods at about 6 months of age.
  • The third category comprises children with no eczema or food allergies and no family history of these. Depending solely on family and cultural preference, they can either be given peanut-containing foods or not, at any age.

The New York Post report talks about the new book “Allergy-Free Kids: The Science-Based Approach to Preventing Food Allergies” in which author Robin Nixon Pompa discusses the “critical window” that experts say the immune system has. This critical window starts closing when the child is between 4 and 6 months and is typically, although not fully, shut by late childhood, maybe as early as 5 years old. So it is important to teach the immune system in the critical window that allergens are not dangerous. Pompa points out that some researchers assume that the window can be propped permanently open for most kids via repeated exposure to food allergens during the first five years of life.

Diseases guidelines in food allergy management include

  • Documentation of a diagnosis based on reaction history
  • Proper diagnostic testing and test interpretation
  • Prescription of appropriate medications
  • Counseling and educating patients’ families on prevention and treatment
  • Referral to an allergist

As physicians deal with the challenges of treating various types of allergies in young children, an experienced medical transcription company can go a long way in ensuring documentation compliance.


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