What Parents Need to Know About Food Allergy Treatment Options
With the Tolerance Induction Program, what was once thought of as a lifetime of avoidance, has now become a future with food freedom.
Breakthroughs in science and medicine have changed the future for children living with severe food allergies. What was once thought of as a lifetime of avoidance, has now become a future with food freedom.
For the first 13 months of Ellery Estevan’s life, her mother Annabel had normal new-mother worries. Was her daughter eating enough? Was she bonding with her baby? Then, after a scare from a peanut, she had to add a new life-threatening concern to her list: food anaphylaxis. In addition to her ongoing list of parenting demands. she now had to watch out for her daughter consuming any food that was made with or touched tree nuts. The Estevan family’s life permanently changed with the diagnosis. Eating out was a rare occurrence and the whole family became trained in how to use an EpiPen and read food labels.
Now, on June 30, 2021, Ellery Estevan ate her first Chick-Fil-A sandwich and for Thanksgiving this year, will bake her first pecan pie. More than a year into the Tolerance Induction Program (TIP™) at nonprofit Southern California Food Allergy Institute, Ellery is on her journey to reaching food freedom – the ability to eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants, without fear of reaction.
What is a food allergy and what treatment options are there?
A food allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. A food allergy is not a food sensitivity or intolerance, which is often associated with the digestive system.
Avoidance is commonly thought of as the only way to “manage” a food allergy, but there is another option to go beyond avoidance and reach food freedom: the Tolerance Induction Program (TIP™) at Southern California Food Allergy Institute. Developed and led by Dr. Inderpal Randhawa, the Medical Director of Pediatric Pulmonary, Clinical Immunology & Allergy at the Miller Children’s Hospital, this safe, innovative solution changes the status quo for food allergies.
Unlike OIT (Oral Immunotherapy), TIP™ uses trillions of data points to create customized treatment plans for each child. Not a one-size-fits-all model, every patient in the program goes through extensive diagnostic testing to map out their allergens and form an individualized treatment plan. The program builds tolerance to the unique proteins each child is allergic to, all before introducing their most anaphylactic allergen. This ensures patient safety, and over time alters their immune system to not react to their allergens.
What does this mean for my child?
Since 2005, more than 12,000 children have enrolled in TIP™ with a 99% success rate, reaching a life of food freedom. This means freedom from reading food labels, special accommodations at school or when traveling, and anxiety whenever food is around. Once your child has reached remission, they will be eating like a normal child. PB&Js, pizza parties, birthday cake, and more – this is your new reality.
TPIRC supports the Philadelphia Family community.