Norfolk doctor announces new treatment, prevention techniques for food allergies

Posted at 5:32 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 07:56:16-05

NORFOLK, Va. – A local doctor is helping spread the word about new developments in the world of food allergies.

Dr. Angela Hogan is an allergist and immunologist at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and the medical advisor for Coastal Food Allergy Support group. She’s also a professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

She wanted to share two announcements: one is about a new therapy treating people with existing peanut allergies, and the other is a guideline to help prevent food allergies in the first place.

“What’s different, now, is these new guidelines say that all babies, regardless of what their allergic history is -- it doesn’t matter whether they have allergic siblings, it doesn’t matter whether mom or dad are peanut-allergic… all babies across the board should have peanut and egg introduced into their diet, at home, between four and six months,” Hogan explained.

Hogan said that in the past, parents were taught to delay the introduction of peanuts. She said that if parents are anxious about introducing these foods, they can go to an allergist to be screened so they can help facilitate introduction.

“I think it's very empowering and very meaningful to families, and so I’m excited to bring the news to the area,” Hogan said.

As for the new, FDA-approved treatment for those with existing peanut allergies, it’s called Palforzia. For more information on that, click here.

Hogan will be speaking at a webinar through the Coastal Food Allergy Support Group. The group recently changed its name from Food Allergy Support Group of Tidewater.

Charity Luiskutty is the president of the support group. She has three children with food allergies and is also a physician’s assistant. Her two oldest have not outgrown their peanut allergies, and are about to begin the new treatment.

“We really have to think about every day from morning until night -- where they’ll be, what they’ll be eating, what will be served, who they’ll be with," Luiskutty said. “So, it really is something where so much planning and thought has to go into every moment of every day.”

Luiskutty offered advice for those new on the food allergy journey.

“You just have to take it one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. There’s good support out there.”

The webinar will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, February 16 at 8pm. For more details on that, click here.