Sheffield, UK girl (8) takes part in peanut-flour trials

Mar 14

I love hearing about these studies. It just opens up so many possabilities for people to not have to worry.


Hopes of a normal life for nut allergy victim Charlotte

Published Date: 13 March 2009

A Sheffield girl is taking part in a groundbreaking medical trial that could cure her of a nut allergy that currently threatens her life.

Charlotte Kirkland, aged eight, is so allergic to peanuts and other nuts that she has to carry medication in case she falls ill. She can’t have ice-cream, sweets or cakes unless her parents, Wendy and David from Stocksbridge, have carefully checked all the ingredients on the packet and are confident they contain no traces of nuts or nut oils.

Now it hoped that she may eventually be able to lead a normal life as a result of trials at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where doctors are using a new technique to built up children’s tolerance. By the end of the programme they should be able to eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day safely.

Charlotte, who goes to the hospital every fortnight, started by eating a speck of peanut flour and has gradually built up her resistance. The Deepcar St John’s Primary pupil is carefully monitored to ensure her body does not go into a severe reaction and a ‘crash team’ of doctors is on standby. She could eat her first peanut within a few weeks.

Charlotte’s allergy was detected when she was 18 months old and she licked the chocolate off a Brazil nut and her lips swelled to twice their normal size. She was found to be allergic to all nuts but severely reactive to peanuts.

Dad David said: “We are so pleased Charlotte’s on the trial as life is very restrictive. She can’t go to parties without her own food and she gets upset when she can’t have ice cream or sweets.”

Peanut allergies affect one in 50 young people in the UK and commonly cause breathing problems. At their most serious they can lead to a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Experts says the treatment will remain effective as long a child on the trial continues to take their daily dose of peanut flour or peanuts, to help them retain the tolerance they’ve built up.

via Hopes of a normal life for nut allergy victim Charlotte – Sheffield Telegraph .