When should I introduce peanut and other allergenic foods into my child’s diet?
Many parents have heard that early introduction of allergenic foods (within the first year of life) helps to prevent food allergy later in life. There are several studies to suggest that early introduction of peanut and egg improve a child’s chance of not having allergies to those foods later in life. In particular, early introduction of egg and peanut is recommended to infants at risk of developing food allergy (at-risk criteria include moderate-severe eczema requiring prescription creams/ointments, as well as existing food allergy). Many allergists have extrapolated from these data, and recommend introducing all types of allergenic foods, such as tree nuts, sesame, wheat, cows milk, and seafood during the first year of life (please note that this recommendation is not supported by clinical trials, and may not have as protective of an effect as early introduction of egg and peanut). Keep in mind that early introduction of these foods does not prevent all food allergies, and it is still possible to develop food allergies despite efforts to include them in the diet early in life.
When is the best time to start OIT?
While there is some evidence to suggest that doing OIT in young children (preschool-aged) may provide stronger immunologic changes than what’s seen in older patients, more research is needed to determine how age impacts a person’s ability to tolerate OIT and desensitize to his/her allergens. In general, younger patients tend to have less anxiety and less taste aversion associated with their doses, which often helps the process go smoothly. We recommend starting OIT at a time when:
- You/your child has limited after-school or after-work obligations, such as sports practice.
- You have a period of about 2 hours to observe a rest period after taking a dose.
- You do not have imminent travel plans, particularly sleep-away camp, foreign travel, extended travel.
- If you/your child tends to get sick often, plan to start OIT after cold and flu season to optimize your chances of updosing according to schedule.
Do you have a program fee for oral immunotherapy treatment?
Yes, we have a fee for services not covered by insurance. Please call us for more details.
What services does Latitude Food Allergy Care provide?
At Latitude, we offer personalized and comprehensive care for food allergic patients and their families including:
Early food introduction for infants based on current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), NIAID, and other international organizations.
Accurate and clear diagnosis using the following:
- patient food allergy history
- skin testing
- blood testing
- food challenges (only to be done if a false positive is suspected)
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) with and without Xolair, if appropriate, to desensitize patients to the foods they are allergic to using evidence-based protocols proven at Stanford University, UCSF, Baylor and other research institutions.
On-going care to support families who may not yet be interested in treatment but desire food-allergy-focused care to help them manage and understand the status of their allergies — allowing them to stay informed of current research and treatment options.
Long-term care for food allergy patients who have received treatment in clinical trials.
How are you different from my current allergist?
At Latitude, we are 100% focused on food allergy.
- Clinical Team — trained in food allergy treatment & care, providing 24/7 access for food allergy patients.
- Patient Care Coordinators (PCC) — parents with personal experience with food allergies and OIT, to support patients and their families.
- We are the only allergy clinic affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians, a world-class network.
- We accept in-network insurance with a wide variety of insurance carriers including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CIGNA, Health Net, United Healthcare.
- Food Challenge Availability — Our clinical model enables us to offer quicker access to food challenges.
- Food Allergy Treatment — we currently offer Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for single and multiple foods, with and without the use of Xolair (omalizumab). We offer treatment for all allergic levels including the most severe. We can begin OIT in children as young as 12 months old.
- Clinical Space offers unique communal space that allows for a more comfortable experience and provides the opportunity to connect with families and build life-changing relationships.
- We will partner with your general allergist for maintenance of ongoing conditions like asthma and environmental allergies that fall outside of food allergy care.
Is Latitude right for me?
- You or your child has been diagnosed with food allergies.
- You or your physician suspects that you (or your child) has a food allergy and require an accurate diagnosis.
- You or your physician suspect you (or your child) may have a misdiagnosed food allergy and are avoiding potentially safe foods, resulting in a negative impact on your quality of life.
- Your infant has eczema and you need to determine if a food allergy exists.
- Your infant is at higher risk of developing a food allergy, and you are seeking early food introduction in the interest of prevention.
Which allergens do you treat and can you treat sensitivities and intolerances?
We can treat any clinically diagnosed (IgE-mediated) food allergy.
It is common for food allergy patients and even some healthcare providers to misdiagnose a food allergy and for food allergies to evolve or change over time. IgE-mediated food allergy can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. An intolerance or sensitivity is a non-immune mediated adverse food reaction like lactose intolerance — while unpleasant, does not pose risk of anaphylaxis. When a non-immune mediated adverse food reaction is misdiagnosed as an IgE-mediated food allergy, food allergy patients may unnecessarily restrict what they eat.
At Latitude Food Allergy Care, we take the necessary steps to accurately diagnose a food allergy to avoid unnecessary dietary limitations. This often allows families to bring some of their favorite foods back into their lives or to try new foods for the very first time.
What is Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)?
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) — a process that regularly exposes the patient to increasing amounts of the foods they are allergic to, with the goal of desensitizing the body and protecting against anaphylaxis secondary to accidental exposures.
Is OIT a cure?
OIT is not a cure. It is a desensitization. In order to maintain desensitization, you will continue to eat the foods you have been desensitized to on a regular basis.
Can I have an allergic reaction going through OIT?
It is possible to have an allergic reaction while going through OIT. The goal is to have you progress through your treatment at a very slow and safe pace to reduce the risk of reaction.
Do you treat multiple allergens simultaneously with OIT?
Yes, we treat multiple foods that you are allergic to at the same time.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for OIT?
You will have a full medical examination and review by our medical team, led by a board certified Allergist and Immunologist, who will determine if OIT could be helpful for you. Families should also be prepared for a daily commitment to dosing at home and regular office visits for many months.
I had a bad allergic reaction in the past, is it safe for me to do OIT?
Yes, you can safely go through OIT even if you have had severe allergic reactions in the past. Safety is our number one priority.
What is Xolair, and do you offer Xolair in conjunction with OIT?
Xolair (omalizumab) is an anti IgE medication that works by inhibiting the allergic reaction process. Yes, we offer Xolair in conjunction with OIT to increase safety.
If I have hay fever, asthma, eczema or other allergic conditions, in addition to food allergy, can I be treated with OIT?
Yes; while focused on food allergy, our clinicians take extra steps with each visit to our office to ensure that asthma and other allergic conditions are well-controlled. We encourage direct communication between our clinicians and your allergist to ensure these other conditions are monitored.
If I am not ready to do OIT, what are my treatment options?
Our clinicians will carefully review your food allergy care options with you to determine the best customized plan for you and your family.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. We accept in-network PPO insurance with a wide variety of insurance carriers including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CIGNA, Health Net, and UnitedHealthcare. Please call us to verify if we accept your insurance plan. We also accept certain HMO plans. You can reach us via our contact form, call us at 650.466.6224 or send an email [email protected].
Where are your clinics located?
Our flagship clinic is located in Redwood City, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have three additional Bay Area clinics and we have plans to expand nationally. As we grow, we welcome families from outside of the area and will personalize their care plan to accommodate the logistics of travel.
We have locations on the Peninsula, South Bay, East Bay, and San Francisco to serve you. Please call us or contact us to make an appointment. Our central phone number is (650)466-6224 and our central fax number is (650)466-6219
570 Price Ave, Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063
2303 Camino Ramon, Suite 150
San Ramon, CA 94583
14981 National Ave, Suite 3
Los Gatos, CA 95032
450 Sutter St, Suite 1404
San Francisco, CA 94108
How can I learn more about your clinic and treatment options?
We welcome your questions at [email protected] or via our contact form.
What is Food Allergy?
Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the reaction-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. This happens because the immune system overreacts to the proteins in that food. While a person can be allergic to any food, the eight most common allergens are cow’s milk, egg, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.
What are signs of a food allergy reaction?
Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction and can present with wheezing, chest tightness or trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, or feeling faint.
If two of the following symptoms occur, consider anaphylaxis and inject epinephrine, and seek emergency care:
- Hives — Rash, or red, itchy skin
- Stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes
- Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
- Angioedema or swelling
- Hoarseness, throat tightness or a lump in the throat
FARE has an excellent list of words children may use to describe a food allergy reaction that can be found here.
What are other resources to learn more about food allergies and how to manage them?