Dr. Wayne Shreffler, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Allergy specialist Boston

Food Allergy Research Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Dr. Wayne Shreffler, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Allergy specialist BostonDr. Wayne Shreffler is the Director of the Food Allergy Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. I was at a blogger event at MassGeneral and met several very impressive and dedicated doctors. Dr. Shreffler expertise in allergies brought up all kinds of questions from parent bloggers:

Why Have Food Allergies Become Such a Problem?

There are many theories but no answers. According to Dr. Shreffler:

  • Genetics play a role
  • Hygiene Hypothesis
  • Western diet
  • Vitamin D
  • Geography/Cultural
  • Exposure Route

What does this mean for parents?

  • Our Western diet has introduced intense processing that mirror the rise in food allergies.
  • Vitamin D might have protective effects.
  • Early introduction to possible allergens is now considered a good idea. This is new for me when advice from 10 years ago urged us to delay introduction to foods like eggs and peanut butter. Good thing I ignored it!
  • Early eczema an indicator for allergies? It’s worth testing kids younger if they have eczema as babies.

He is also doing research in Oral Immunology Therapy which gives very small doses of allergic foods to kids to see if they build up resistance. This is the same theory in The Princess Bride where Wesley beat that really smart funny short bad guy in the poison-in-a-cup switcharoo. Turns out Wesley had been drinking small doses of poison for years to build up immunity.

The downside is that children with life threatening allergies can not participate in this study as it is too dangerous. The research is still not conclusive yet but this is a step in the right direction!

I thought this guy was rockstar smart and if my kids had food allergies, I would fight my way into his practice.

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4 Responses to “Food Allergy Research Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children”
  1. Capability says:

    I thought he was wonderful, too. Clear, concise, knowledgable and funny, too!

    • Pragmatic Mom says:

      Hi CapabilityMom,
      That was a great event, wasn’t it? I was very impressed with the docs too! It was fun to go to the event with you! Next time we won’t get so lost at the hospital! Who knew it’s like a college campus?!

  2. Jennifer B says:

    The bloggers luncheon was great, wasn’t it?!

    It was exciting to hear Dr. Shreffler speak since I follow food allergy news very closely, attend food allergy conferences, etc. I was especially interested in what he had to say about oral immunotherapy. That’s such a controversial subject in food allergy circles–some argue it should be available in private practice everywhere now! I am looking forward to hearing more food allergy news from MGHFC and am enjoying Dr. Shreffler’s book 🙂

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