Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
Research on alternative food allergy treatments is limited. However, many people do try them and claim that certain treatments help.
- Herbal remedies. A few small studies of herbal remedies have shown some benefit in reducing symptoms and preventing anaphylaxis, including some Chinese medicine formulas. However, there's no reliable proof yet that these work. In addition, there are concerns about the quality of some herbal preparations from China. If you do take an herbal remedy, be sure to tell your doctor about it. It may affect test results or interact with other medications you take.
- Acupuncture and acupressure. There's little academic research on acupuncture for food allergies, and the studies that do exist don't show a clear benefit from these techniques. If you decide to try one of these treatments, be sure you work with an experienced and certified provider.
- Special diets. In the past, "rotating diets" that have you avoid certain foods at certain times were tried as a food allergy treatment. There's no evidence that this or other such diets are an effective food allergy treatment. The only food strategy proved to work is complete avoidance of the allergy-causing food.
- Burks W. Clinical manifestations of food allergy: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
- Food allergy: An overview. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodAllergy/Documents/foodallergy.pdf. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
- Lack G. Food allergy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008;359:1252.
- Atkins D. Food allergy: Diagnosis and management. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2008;35:119.
- Hoffman A, et al. Pollen food allergy syndrome: Update on the allergens. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 2008;8:413.
- Chapman JA, et al. Food allergy: A practice parameter. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2006;96:S1.
- Fleischer DM, et al. Oral food challenges in children with a diagnosis of food allergy. The Journal of Pediatrics. In press. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
- Fried AJ, et al. Anti-IgE in the treatment of allergic disorders in pediatrics. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2010;22:758.
- Scurlock AM, et al. An update on immunotherapy for food allergy. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2010;10:587.
- Xiu-Min L. Complementary and alternative medicine in pediatric allergic disorders. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2009;9:161.
- Li X. Traditional Chinese herbal remedies for asthma and food allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2007;120:25.
- Teuber SS, et al. Unproved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to food allergy and intolerance. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2003;3:217.
- Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: Summary of the NIAID sponsored expert panel report. Bethesda, Md.: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/clinical/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.