A Patch to help those with a Milk Allergy

Health Watch

Eleven-year-old Ashton Ulmer loves hockey! He’s also a foodie, but recently stopped eating nearly everything.

Ashton Ulmer, “it just hurt. I didn’t want to eat.”

Melissa Ulmer, Ashton’s mother said, “When he started pushing the plate away, and started getting a little frustrated, I knew something else was wrong. It was more than just reflux, it was heartburn, belly pain.”

Figuring out what’s wrong when kids have stomach aches is difficult. In Ashton’s case, he was allergic to…

Melissa Ulmer said, “Milk protein. The cow protein.”

Ashton has Eosinophilic, Esophagitis, or EOE and Milk triggers it. Doctor Jonathan Spergel just completed a study on the disorder, which causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself and reject food.

Jonathan M. Spergel, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “It actually hurts to eat.”

Doctor Spergel’s study focused on 20 children with EOE who wore an inch-long patch with milk protein on their backs. It was absorbed through the skin because traditional allergy shots or pills didn’t work. And the idea behind the patch was to build up a tolerance to the danger food.

Doctor Spergel said, “So, we put the patches on their backs and changed the patches every day.”

After nine months, the doctors reintroduced milk.

“Was the disease still there? For some patients, it wasn’t. Didn’t work with all patients, but for some patients, they were now able to take milk, which they couldn’t before, which is sort of wonderful!,” said Doctor Spergel.

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