Wheat oral immunotherapy has been studied in patients who have undergone wheat-induced anaphylaxis. Wheat is one of the most common food allergen in children along with cows milk, eggs, soy, nuts and peanuts. In Japan, it is the third most common causative antigen of anaphylaxis. Wheat oral immunotherapy can increase the threshold dose of anaphylaxis, there have been few reports on wheat oral immunotherapy compared to other foods such as egg http://allergylosangeles.com/allergy-blog/a-potential-egg-allergy-cure/
A recent study done in Japan looked at wheat oral immunotherapy to see if it was a viable treatment option for patients who have experienced wheat anaphylaxis and to see if they were able to induce tolerance. 18 subjects with history of wheat anaphylaxis underwent wheat oral immunotherapy, all of these patients were confirmed wheat allergic by double blind placebo controlled food challenge. Patients had to be at least 5 years old and were excluded if they had poorly controlled asthma or eczema or were on another form of immunotherapy. The rush phase of wheat oral immunotherapy took place in the hospital and the maintenance phase was continued at home. The form of wheat used was boiled udon (Japanese wheat noodle). 60% of patients were able to achieve tolerance to wheat 2 years after completing the study. Approximately 7% of total doses of wheat administered required intramuscular adrenaline (epinephrine). Therefore, wheat oral immunotherapy should only be performed in a facility that specializes in food allergies and management of anaphylaxis. Epinephrine must always be available when performing wheat oral immunotherapy or any food immunotherapy for that matter.
In conclusion, wheat oral immunotherapy for wheat induced anaphylaxis increased the threshold dose of symptoms, achieved desensitization and tolerance in approximately 60% of subjects in 2 years. Wheat oral immunotherapy using boiled udon seems safe.
This is good news for many wheat allergy patients. We are seeing more and more studies showing the benefits of oral immunotherapy for other foods too such as egg, milk and peanuts http://allergylosangeles.com/allergy-blog/peanut-and-milk-oral-immunotherapy/. If you do suffer from a food allergy, you should speak with your allergy doctor about the best treatment options for you.