You've heard it as lactose intolerance, but did you know milk allergy is the most common food allergy in the u-s, affecting six million infants and children? Now, there's new hope for kids who can't have it. Doctors believe they have a new way to treat dairy allergies.
He could be the next Lebron James, but Jake Meyrowitz’s mom, Jessica, worries that the foods that his body rejects are the same ones that will make him grow up big and strong.
"At six months old he was skin tested. He was very allergic to dairy," said Meyrowitz.
At first, Jake reacted to just 10 milligrams of milk -- About the amount of a grain of sand. Now, two new studies by pediatric allergists show that giving children small amounts of milk protein over time can help some kids overcome their milk allergy.
"When we got the phone call asking us to be a part of the study, it was such an incredible moment to be given the gift of hope," said Meyrowitz.
Pediatric allergist, Dr. Robert Wood said, "We think this would be one of the really life changing treatments we've seen in the field of allergy."
In one study, called S-L-I-T, or sublingual immune therapy, a few drops of a liquid extract of milk protein are held under the tongue for two minutes, and then swallowed. In another study, called oral immunotherapy, children eat a milk powder protein combined with another food. Both studies increase doses of milk protein until the immune system learns to tolerate the milk without triggering an allergic reaction.
"The possible advantage of the slit is that you use much lower doses with the slit than with the oral immunotherapy. This is the first study to ever compare the two in a head to head kind of fashion," said Wood.
Children who ate a milk protein powder could drink even times more milk without an allergic reaction. Ninety percent of kids treated with liquid milk drops under the tongue drank milk with little or no reaction.
Jake’s mom says he has made a huge improvement.
"Now he can take two ounces which is unbelievable, quite a gift,” said Meyrowitz
Researchers caution that both therapies can lead to violent allergic reactions in some patients, and are still in the early phases of research.