Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)

All Physician Practice | ALLERGY AND ASTHMA SPECIALISTS & IMMUNOLOGISTS LOCATED IN BOULDER, LAKEWOOD, WESTMINSTER, DENVER, LITTLETON AND ARVADA, CO and serving patients from Denver, Boulder, Arvada, Westminster, Lakewood, Littleton, CO

Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)

For years, there was just one treatment for food allergies: eliminate all traces of the food from your diet. Now that has changed. The exceptional team at Denver Allergy & Asthma Associates offers oral immunotherapy to effectively treat food allergies. To learn if you’re a good candidate for this innovative treatment, schedule an appointment online or call the office nearest you in Boulder, Lakewood, Westminster, Denver, Littleton, or Arvada, Colorado. 

What is oral immunotherapy?

Oral immunotherapy treats anaphylactic food allergies by reintroducing the food back into your diet in small, incremental amounts. With ongoing exposure to the allergen, your immune system becomes desensitized. 

The main goal of oral immunotherapy is to protect you against accidental ingestions. After completing oral immunotherapy you no longer have to worry about precautionary labeling or cross contamination. In some instances, oral immunotherapy allows you to incorporate the food into your diet. 

What food allergies may improve with oral immunotherapy?

The oral immunotherapy program at Denver Allergy & Asthma Associates can help patients successfully deal with food allergies to:

  • Peanuts

How does oral immunotherapy work?

To start oral immunotherapy, you consume a very small amount of the allergen in the office, and then you continue to consume that amount of the allergen every day at home. The dose is slightly increased under medical supervision, and then you can continue consuming that precise amount at home.

You’ll gradually reach a maintenance dose, which is a low dose that’s taken for an extended time. Maintenance dosing helps protect you from unexpected exposure to your food allergen. 

Am I a good candidate for oral immunotherapy?

There are two types of food allergies: IgE-mediated and non-IgE mediated. If you have an IgE-mediated allergy, you experience a quick allergic reaction, typically developing hives, vomiting, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis, shortly after consuming the food responsible for your allergy.

If you have a non-IgE-mediated food allergy, symptoms can take hours to appear. This type of allergy typically causes problems like bloating, diarrhea, and nausea.

Oral immunotherapy is primarily used to treat IgE-mediated allergies. Because feedback about symptoms is essential for each patient’s safety during their oral immunotherapy treatment, candidates for oral immunotherapy should be at least three years old and able to communicate.

Oral immunotherapy is especially beneficial for patients who are at risk for an anaphylactic reaction. With this treatment, patients have a significantly lower chance of anaphylaxis, giving them more freedom to enjoy a variety of foods without fear.

To learn more about oral immunotherapy, call Denver Allergy & Asthma Associates or schedule an appointment online.