Wheat allergy is most common in children and is usually outgrown before reaching adulthood. Symptoms of a wheat allergy reaction can range from mild, such as hives, to severe, such as anaphylaxis. A new oral immunotherapy treatment for wheat allergy has been studied by researchers in Madrid, Spain.
The most common treatment for wheat allergy is avoidance of wheat products. However, this can provide challenging when considering the nutritional needs of children and the ubiquity of products containing wheat.
The study involved a small number of children allergic to wheat. All six underwent oral immunotherapy, consisting of increasing doses of wheat followed by a six month maintenance phase. All had tolerance to 100 grams of daily wheat after completing the therapy.
The authors conclude that their wheat oral immunotherapy protocol was safe, efficient, and rapid. The primary benefit of this therapy is in overcoming the risk of accidental ingestion of wheat by children with this allergy. This research could be the basis for large clinical trials with more patients with the aim of assessing the impact of immunotherapy in a larger population of wheat allergic children.
Reference: Rodríguez del Río et al. 2014. Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology. Vol. 24(4) p 240-248.