Treatment: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments are popular with many people who have food allergies. CAM treatments may include herbal supplements, probiotics, and acupuncture. Some people claim that one CAM treatment or another has improved their food allergy symptoms. However, most CAM treatments have not been studied in rigorous clinical trials to establish their safety and effectiveness.

What does it involve?
At this time, two CAM treatments are showing clinical potential in treating food allergy symptoms.
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A specific formula of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbs called FAHF-2 is taken orally. Currently, it is available only to participants in clinical trials. Although some TCM practitioners may be able to supply a similar formula, it is unlikely that it will precisely replicate the formula currently being tested.

Helminth therapy involves intentionally ingesting the eggs of parasitic worms. Parasites suppress the human immune system and potentially prevent the body from overreacting to allergens, including those associated with foods. Helminth therapy is overseen by a physician, who would provide the correct dosages of the most beneficial species of worms. Helminth therapy is only available as part of a clinical trial.

Intended Outcomes
People try CAM treatments to feel better and reduce their food allergy symptoms.

Results
FAHF-2 has produced promising results so far in clinical trials.

Helminth therapy has been tested in animals and one human trial. So far, results have been encouraging.

Constraints
Herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Their safety and effectiveness has not been evaluated. The strength and purity of the ingredients may vary from brand to brand or batch to batch.

Some CAM treatments may only be available to participants in clinical trials.

Links

Advances in Immunotherapy for Food Allergy – Discovery Medicine

Chinese Herbs Can Complement Proven Allergy Treatments – American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) Questions

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