U.S. Experts Release Food Allergy Guidelines

in Food Allergy
Published: December 8, 2010

Treatment: The guidelines state that an epinephrine auto-injector is the first line of defence against an anaphylactic reaction. The life-saving medication should be used at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction and the person should be brought to the emergency room of a hospital for further treatment and monitoring.

“We recommended that individuals [at risk of anaphylaxis] have some sort of auto-injector with epinephrine with them at all times,” says Sampson, adding that other drugs, such as anti-histamines and corticosteroids, are secondary medications.

Maternal and Infant Diets: The guidelines also address maternal and infant diets as a way to prevent food allergy. Many studies have looked at what pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are eating, as well as when infants are introduced to foods, in an effort to find a correlation to the development of food allergies.

However at this time, the NIAID guidelines mirror what is currently advocated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Specifically, the guidelines state:
– that restricting the maternal diet during pregnancy or lactation as a strategy for preventing the development or clinical course of food allergy is not recommended.
-that all infants be exclusively breast-fed until 4 to 6 months of age, unless breastfeeding is contraindicated for medical reasons.
– that the introduction of solid foods should not be delayed beyond 4 to 6 months of age. Potentially allergenic foods may be introduced at this time as well.

For more information see Full Guidelines and Summary for Patients.