People aren't born with allergies, they are developed as children grow up. Red Cross Children’s Hospital pediatrician and allergy expert Dr. Claudia Gray says you can prevent your child developing a peanut allergy.
Recent research shows that scientists are a step closer to finding a way to treat children with peanut allergies, using a technique that exposes them to tiny daily doses of peanut protein.
Dr Gray spoke to the Weekend Breakfast team on 702 and Cape Talk about this suggested approach to preventing peanut allergies developing.
It may be that there's this gap between 4 and 7 months ... in which introduction of an allergenic food may be accepted rather than rejected as an allergen. So we a born with a predisposition, but we may be able to modify that.— Dr. Claudia Gray, Red Cross Children’s Hospital Pediatrician & allergy expert
Currently there is no treatment for peanut allergies so patients are often made to avoid eating anything that may have been exposed to peanuts completely. This includes even faint traces of peanut oil or a piece of nut accidentally landing up in a patients' food.
This often poses a threat for both patients and restaurants, schools and food producers.
Dr Gray explains that children who are at high risk for getting allergies are those with a strong family history of allergies, eczema and egg allergies - because often egg allergies and peanut allergies often go hand in hand.
While the process of oral immunotherapy is championed by a number of researchers in the field of allergy research, Dr Gray advises that it's not a treatment people should try on their own and that it should only be done by professionals.
Listen to Dr Claudia Gray's conversation with Azania and Africa for more details on the research: