Arizona’s Family Allergy Clinic’s Immunotherapy Drops Help Lead Charge To Treat Corn Allergies

Industry: Healthcare

Corn allergies present many difficulties in today’s world with corn starch and high fructose corn syrup in an increasingly wide range of foods.

Phoenix, Arizona (PRUnderground) August 18th, 2015

Late summer and fall can bring a bounty of mouthwatering sweet corn, and this year, even people with corn allergies may be able to partake thanks to a new development from the Family Allergy Clinic near Phoenix, Arizona. The clinic is helping allergic patients develop a tolerance for corn as well as other allergy-causing foods through a treatment known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

Stuart Agren, M.D. is the medical director of the Family Allergy Clinic and part of a growing movement to advance the use of SLIT for food allergies.

“For years, all we could do was tell people to simply avoid allergy-causing foods,” said Dr. Agren. “Now, there’s a better way.”

In the mid-1980s, he began treating his patients’ pollen allergies using SLIT—an alternative to allergy shots that uses under-the-tongue drops. Ten years ago, he began using the same therapy to successfully treat his patients’ food allergies.

With SLIT, liquid drops containing extracts of common allergens are dispensed under the tongue where they absorb into the bloodstream through cells in the mouth. As the body becomes used to these allergens, it learns to stop overreacting to them with troubling symptoms.

According to Dr. Agren, corn allergy is on the rise and is particularly hard to deal with because corn derivatives (including corn starch and corn syrup) are found in so many foods.

“One of my pediatric patients used to have to order specially compounded ibuprofen because the store variety contains corn syrup as a sweetener,” said Dr. Agren. “Corn is very hard to avoid in today’s world.”

Corn can be found in many unexpected places including jams, canned fruits, deli meats, salad dressing and gum. Corn starch is even used in some eco-friendly diapers as a drying agent. Corn allergy can lead to hay fever, hives, asthma, and even anaphylaxis.

Dr. Agren said that SLIT can be a life-altering treatment for people with food allergies.

“Constantly trying to dodge reaction-causing foods and living in fear of the symptoms can take a toll on quality of life,” said Dr. Agren. “It’s really exciting to be able to offer patients an alternative.”

Duke and Oxford Universities have helped shine a light on SLIT and its implications for food allergies. Researchers there used SLIT to treat children with life-threatening peanut allergies.

The Family Allergy Clinic treats can treat for nearly 60 food allergens including corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

About Family Allergy Clinic

Doctors at this Arizona allergist clinic offer sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue allergy drops) for pollen and pet allergies as well as for food allergies (including milk wheat, gluten, nut, and fruit). The treatment is effective for kids with allergies, asthma, hay fever, eczema, sinus infections, and more.

(These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

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