Studies suggest that it may be possible to cure peanut allergies -- but parents should not try this at home.
Having a child who is allergic to peanuts has to be difficult. It's hard enough making sure kids don't eat rocks and sand, small toys and buttons, coins and screws -- it must be doubly hard to make sure they don't eat or, in some cases, even come in contact with something that the rest of the world considers a delicious, healthy food. And yet, for millions of people, the delicious peanut can be deadly.
There is, however, hope for those parents who must deal with peanut allergies on a daily basis. The results of two clinical trials have allergists feeling positive about the future of peanut allergy treatment. The studies looked at oral immunotherapy where children with peanut allergies were given miniscule amounts of peanuts; over time, the amount of peanuts the children were given was slowly increased.Of the children being tested, a number have been able to subsequently eat peanut products without incident, even after the therapy was discontinued. "They're eating peanut candy, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, whatever they want," said Dr. Wesley Burks, a pediatric allergist at Duke University. Still, while these trials look promising and research will undoubtedly continue, it is important to note that this is not something that should be tried at home.