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Anaphylaxis

            It is estimated that 50-100 people die each year from peanut allergy. This occurs because of a severe allergic reaction, often with significant swelling of the airways which totally obstructs breathing. An emergency injection of adrenaline can save a life at this time, but adrenaline is not always available under these circumstances. This often appears to happen with even the most minute exposure to peanut, and children have died from exposure to peanuts even eaten in the same room by another child. I know this sounds incredible, but in reality it does happen. This is why food labeling has changed over the past few years, and companies are required to disclose the fact on their labels that peanuts are produced in the same facility as the particular food they are selling.

            LDA immunotherapy can be dramatically effective for peanut or shrimp allergy, or severe allergy to any nut or other substance. Most people who have this problem obviously know about it and generally carry adrenaline, but on some occasions it is simply not available. These patients are usually accidentally exposed to the food that causes their anaphylaxis.

            Although LDA is a little-known immunotherapy, I felt it was appropriate to mention this fact here. Since LDA is a compounded product, it cannot be commercially advertised, so this potentially life-saving method is usually virtually unknown to the public.

           When physicians administer LDA for anaphylaxis, I advise them to advise patients not to intentionally eat their anaphylactic food until they have had at least three LDA treatments. On the other hand, I have seen several patients who have been exposed to minor amounts of shrimp or peanut contained in foods, usually at a restaurant and usually by accident, after their first or second injection, and all patients have reported only minimal reactions, well short of anaphylaxis.

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Copyright 2005 Santa Fe Center for Allergy and Environmental Medicine
Last modified: October 23, 2013