Avoid, reintroduce or desensitise – what’s the answer?

I’ve been reading more this week about the doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. I’ve tried to contact Addenbrooke’s hospital to ask them for more information about their amazing trials, so far to no avail. Since the well publicised article back in February 2009 (to read this article click here) about the children who were gradually desensitised to their peanut allergies, we’ve seen lots of articles jumping on the band wagon and reprinting this news as if it were something new!

This weekend in the Sunday Telegraph an article by Richard Gray, the Telegraph’s science correspondent entitled “Doctors develop cure for peanut allergy” leapt out of the page at me. “What’s new?” I thought. “I’ve heard it all before”. “What does it mean for me?” visit their website. Don’t get too excited though, enrolment to take part in the study has closed and the results are not due until 2013.

This leaves me to continue my quest to rid myself of horrible allergies and intolerances. Are there any studies taking place on adults? If you know of any please let me know. I’m also interested in reintroduction but this doesn’t seem to be on offer through the NHS here in Bucks. I met some dieticians at the Allergy Show in London this year who told me this was common practise in Southampton, them explained that they would slowly reintroduce the foods causing mild reactions. Is this more sensible than complete avoidance, which is the method I am trying to use to stay in control? I am also currently having skin prick tests, patch tests and dietary advice from my local allergy clinic. I’ll let you all know how I get on with this, so far nothing new.

Let me know what you think. How long till a cure is nationwide and available on the NHS?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. The study sounds great, though you said that the participants now have to eat handfuls of peanuts every day, when the article you link to says they eat the equivalent of 5 peanuts a day: which would easily fit on a teaspoon. and if it was taken as peanut flour with a bit of jam or jelly, you wouldn’t even get a peanut hater’s gag reflex.

  2. Yes thanks for pointing out the glaring error in my blog. I’ll update that to five peanuts per day instead of a handful. As a peanut allergy sufferer myself in my head, five peanuts is a barrow full. I feel sick just from the smell of them. Do you have a peanut allergy? The gag reflex is what would worry me. Peanuts do have a very strong smell and taste. I wonder though if the treatment dulls the reflex a bit? Is the gag reflex also a bit about the body trying to protect you from the food it knows it can’t tolerate? I do think sometimes that when we are allergic or intolerant to things we also don’t like the taste. I am intolerant to tomatoes and celery and can’t stand the taste of either raw.


  1. […] We’ve heard already about the ground breaking desensitisation of a group of children with peanut allergies at Addenbrooks Hospital in Cambridge. I wrote about this in a previous blog post entitled “Avoid, reintroduce or desensitise” […]

  2. […] I wrote about this in a very short blog post over five years ago in “Avoid, reintroduce or desensitise? What is the answer?” […]

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