When Maintenance is Freedom

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OIT update – April 2019

My 15 year old son Sahil is currently in the maintenance phase of a food allergy treatment called oral immunotherapy (OIT).  He has been eating two peanuts (2 grams) daily since October 2017.

The daily dose is necessary to maintain the desensitization to peanuts. Because he ingests 2 peanuts a day he is able to safely consume foods which have been cross contaminated with peanuts or “may contain peanuts”.  He still avoids food which have peanut ingredients like peanut butter or peanut sauces.

In 2018, he passed various oral food challenges and since then has successfully incorporated tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts) and soy protein in to his diet.

Over 2 years ago, Sahil started OIT with an oral solution of 1/1000th of a peanut and gradually updosed until in October 2017, he reached the daily dose of 2 peanuts.

Since reaching the maintenance dose he has occasionally downdosed to the illness dose of 1/4 peanut due to illness, seasonal allergy symptoms or travel.  After downdosing he is able to build back up to the daily dose of 2 peanuts without experiencing any symptoms.

At his 6 month check one year ago his skin prick test showed a 11 mm wheal.  His peanut IgE was still over 100 and the Ara h2 was 54.7.

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P = Peanut wheal 11 mm, April 2018

On April 17th, Sahil & I went to Burlington for his 18 month follow up appointment.

This year the wheal has decreased to 6 mm! We won’t do bloodwork again until October 2019 so we don’t know if the peanut IgE numbers have decreased.

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PN = Peanut wheal 6 mm, April 2019

His allergist is happy with Sahil’s progress and says he should continue eating 2 peanuts daily.  He can try Peanut M&Ms for his dose instead of plain peanuts but he should not try peanut butter or Reese’s pieces/peanut butter cups yet.  He also has to continue with the 2 hour rest period following his peanut dose.

Sahil’s next appointment will be in October 2019 after 2 years of maintenance. Thankfully, Sahil is committed to daily dosing as it has lessened the burden of food allergy.

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In response to the release of a recent meta-analysis of OIT clinical trials Sahil was interviewed by CTV News; in the clip he says OIT has given him freedom.  He still carries his epi-pen and checks ingredients but he does not have limitations on his social life, or anxiety about accidental exposure.  For him – maintenance is freedom.

 

7 Comments Add yours

  1. RUBY K says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with OIT.
    It gives us hope. I also have a 15 yo son and 10 yo daughter, both of whom are anaphylactic to peanuts.
    Maybe one day, they too can experience this freedom.

    Ruby 🙂

    >

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  2. Anika says:

    Any update on your daughter and her milk OIT? So happy for Sahil! We are starting soon with my daughter:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My daughter is still holding at 1 mL milk. All the best to your daughter!

      Like

      1. Anika says:

        How long has she been at 1ml? And will she be updosing in the future?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She’s been at 0.1 to 1 mL for over a year – we’ve had to reduce dose whenever she was ill with viruses etc which has been often. She will updose in future but I don’t know when.

        Like

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