What is Southern California Food Allergy Institute TIP?
I’ll provide a quick breakdown to help you better understand the terms I talk about as we embark on the journey to Food Freedom and TIP
As we navigate the program over the next three to four years there are some key terms you will hear us discuss often and I wanted to break them down for you below. If you are familiar with TIP these are certainly not new for you! So, what is TIP? It stands for Tolerance Induction Program, different from OIT, Oral Immunotherapy Treatment, which is more commonly talked about and discussed in the food allergy community.
TIP is designed to actually provide food freedom at the ‘end’ of the journey, vs OIT allowing people to potential consume cross-contamination levels of an allergic food – with the hopes of more.
“TIP™ uses trillions of data points to create customized treatment plans for each child. Not a one-size-fits-all model like OIT, every patient in TIP™ goes through extensive diagnostic testing to map out their allergens and form an individualized treatment plan.
The program builds tolerance to the unique proteins each child is allergic to, all before introducing their most anaphylactic allergen. This ensures patient safety, and over time alters their immune system to not react to any of their allergens. Once your child has reached remission, they can eat like any child without a food allergy for the rest of their life.”
There are three categories of food El consumes in this program 1) Recommended, 2) Maintenances, 3 ) Treatment.
Recommended: These are foods she needs to eat a certain amount of every week to maintain a tolerance build up as the proteins in these foods have a direct correlation to her allergens.
Maintenance: These are her sensitized allergies that she has challenged a sustainable dose at clinic and moved to a small amount that she needs to consume every morning to maintain a level of the like protein in her body. She needs to consume a specified amount of these but can consume more, as long as it is not a ‘capped’ food.
The maintenance food list increases after every challenge she passes and as we move through the program there is potential for some of these to be removed from daily maintenance as other like proteins take their place. These foods need to be consumed in the morning and if they are not capped she can eat them throughout the day but cannot be consumed within 4 hours of her treatment food. So, to be safe we stick with morning only and do not go past 11am with any of her maintenance foods.
Treatment: These foods need to be consumed at minimum 4 hours post maintenance food and cannot exceed the prescribed amount. The dosing of treatment food increases each week until the max dose and remains at that dose until we go back to SoCal Food Allergy Institute to challenge it in the office.
She takes one food at a time with 15 minutes in between each treatment food and an hour rest period at the end. She has to remain calm and inactive throughout treatment and cannot have exposure to any animals (especially dogs and cats). Most current dosing increase for 6-10 weeks, then we venture back to Cali to challenge the food in office … and jump on the trampoline of course!
This program is long, expensive and labor intensive. It take significant dedication in all resources to make it work. It is as overwhelming as it seemed on day one … and still to this day, almost 6 months in. Yet, remarkable on how fast it is already going by and the incredible people we have connected with so-far on this journey. The testimonies, studies and personal stories keep us pushing through to realize the time (and money) invested now will make for a much safer and simplified life for us, and most importantly El!
What pushes us through every day is her dedication to the program and excitement for one day being able to have sleepovers at her friends houses. It may seem so small to some, but currently (almost) impossible for her right now.