Monday, 9 June 2014

D is For Desensitization

Desensitization is a process which causes someone to be less sensitive to the stimuli. In the medical world, desensitization is a process which makes a person to be less reactive to what they are sensitive to.

1. Oral Immunotherapy

Oral immunotherapy is where a person's tolerance towards a type of food which the person is allergic to is build up by ingesting a small amount and gradually increasing in larger doses.

An example would be oral immunotherapy for peanut allergies. Children with peanut allergy would be given small amounts of peanut protein in low doses which were lower than the amount they would react to. And this is to be ingested everyday. Gradually the amount would be increased until it reaches a point where the children are able to tolerate peanuts without allergy reactions.

This is a very dangerous process as children with peanut allergies could go into anaphylaxis. Thus, it must be done under medical supervision and in an environment which has the equipment (and doctors who are trained) to save lives in the event an anaphylaxis occurs.

Patients who had positive outcomes from the peanut desensitization could tolerate peanuts in larger doses. That being said, much research is needed in this area.

Click on LINK to read more.

2. Allergen Immunotherapy

Allergen immunotherapy 'switches off' the allergy switch in the body. That means the body becomes immune to the allergens. The body thus is able to tolerate the allergens with fewer or no symptoms.

Allergen immunotherapy requires many years of treatment. It can take up to 3 to 5 years of commitment. One is not spared from side effects during the period of therapy.

Allergen immunotherapy is good for anaphylactic reactions to stinging insects. Published data shows that it reduces the risk from 60% to 10%! This immunotherapy is also used to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) due to pollen or dust mite allergy.

Even when the treatment is ongoing, allergy medications are still used.

a. Sublingual Immunotherapy
This is done by putting drops or tablets of allergen extracts under the tongue to be swallowed. The allergen is absorbed through the stomach lining to enable the body to become tolerant of the allergen.

b. Epicutaneous Immunotherapy
This is done by injecting the food allergen under the skin.


There were a few women who wrote to me saying that they went through salicylate desensitization. And they got their life back as a result. They could take foods, use products which had salicylates. They have to take aspirin for the rest of their lives. They also have to take a stomach medication as aspirin is bad for the stomach. And aspirin is a blood thinner. Which means they bleed more easily when there are cuts. I did ask Dr. Yadav about the possibility of me going through this. He said it would be pointless for me as I am also chemically sensitive and there are just way too many chemicals in this world. There is no desensitization for chemicals.

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