Food allergies affect millions of children, who find it difficult to enjoy ordinary activities like birthday parties and restaurant meals because of worries that something they eat could send them into anaphylactic shock.
As the New York Times described recently, Stanford scientist KARI NADEAU, associate professor of pediatrics, is studying how to desensitize children to their allergy triggers. The article generated considerable response, so Nadeau followed up with a letter clarifying information for parents of severely allergic children.
Recently in Scope, the blog from the School of Medicine, she took questions on food allergies and her desensitization research.
Among the questions Nadeau was asked: “What’s the simplest way to identify the cause of an allergy in kids?”
“If you suspect an allergy to a specific food or environmental cause, skin prick testing is the simplest and least invasive way to initially identify the allergy but it is not the gold standard. A food challenge in the doctor’s office is the true way to test for food allergies.”