Q: What questions should patients and parents ask about undergoing food allergy immunotherapy?

Douglas Jones, MD: With food allergy in general, there is so much information out there, and probably just as much misinformation. Even if you consider only diagnosis of food allergy, the amount of information and misinformation is almost overwhelming at times.

Then you add food allergy treatment options such as peanut allergy immunotherapy on top of that, and sometimes you may think: Where do I go? How do I even make decisions about this?

One question to ask yourself: What are my trusted sources of information? Is my doctor up to speed on the literature? What online resources am I utilizing? What websites am I going to? What social media outlets do I use and can I trust them?

Getting good solid information about food allergy is the first step. Understanding what those pros, cons, risks and benefits are – that’s the key.

The second question to ask yourself: What are my goals with immunotherapy? Why do I want to pursue this? When you focus in on that why, all the processes, protocols and procedures become clear to you and your decisions start to fall into place.

Douglas Jones, MD, FACAAI, is a board-certified allergist and immunologist with the Tanner Clinic in Layton, Utah. He founded Rocky Mountain Allergy, a treatment center known for its food allergy program involving oral immunotherapy.

Have a medical question? Email editor@allergyasthmanetwork.org or write to Ask the Allergist, Allergy & Asthma Network, 8229 Boone Blvd., Suite 260, Vienna, VA 22182.

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