Overcoming Food Allergies with Oral Immunotherapy
Mika is not your average eight year old. Even though she’s young, she’s already faced tough challenges that most people never go through in their whole lives. It all started five years ago when she was just three. Her dad and older sister were snacking on some trail mix at home and she wanted to try some. But soon after eating it, she started feeling sick and her lips swelled up. Her parents rushed her to the emergency room. The frightening experience led to a life-changing diagnosis of severe peanut, cashew and walnut allergies.
For Mika, life in school was challenging during snack and lunch time. In first grade, she had to sit alone at the peanut-free table and felt pretty isolated. And her whole family was always worried and anxious about keeping her safe. They limited eating at restaurants, questioned what was served at birthday parties, and had to check every food label to keep Mika safe. The stress of the situation was palpable and overwhelming at time.
However, things started to change when Mika started oral immunotherapy (OIT) with Allergy Group NJ. Her mother was grateful to have found a program close to home and was ready to commit to following the protocol. Mika was excited to start the program and liked going for office visits.
As Mika progressed through the OIT program, she felt happier and less anxious around food. She began to make friends at the peanut-free table and felt comfortable moving around the lunchroom. Mika’s mom, thrilled with the results, encourages other families with children suffering from food allergies to consider OIT. “It’s a commitment,” she says, “but if you are consistent and stick to it, the benefits are super rewarding and outweigh the challenges.”
Today, Mika has can eat nine peanuts, ten cashews and three walnuts with no reaction whatsoever. Although her skin and blood tests remain positive, the numbers are decreasing over time. Life is so much better for Mika’s family now. They can eat out without fear, and the OIT program has brought more freedom to their lives. Mika is proud of herself for her achievement and is excited to join after-school activities without worrying about her food allergies. Mika’s positive attitude and resilience inspire us all.