May 15, 2014 – BRONX, NY - Food allergies are a growing problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of reported food allergies among children under 18 rose from 3.4% in 1997–1999 to 5.1% in 2009–2011. Allergies to food can cause reactions ranging from hives to loss of consciousness and death.
The newly opened Montefiore Medical Center Food Allergy Centers in Scarsdale and the Bronx serve adults and children who suffer from food allergies. This comprehensive program, part of the Division of Allergy and Immunology of the Department of Medicine at Einstein/Montefiore, offers patients access to innovative testing and new approaches to food allergy treatment.
"Food allergies can be life threatening, and our new one-stop center offers highly advanced testing breakthroughs to make the most accurate diagnosis possible for our patients," said Dr. David Rosenstreich, MD, Chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology. "Our approach aims to use the latest in food allergy science and research to enhance the quality of our patients’ lives and impact their survival in the event of an allergic reaction."
David Rosenstreich, MD
The program is led by a team of experts in pediatric and adult allergies, including the newly recruited center leader Manish Ramesh, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified allergist who completed fellowship training at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and who will become an assistant professor in the Einstein Division of Allergy and Imunology in July.
The Food Allergy Program will treat a broad range of food allergies and related conditions, including:
- Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction
- Pollen food syndrome, a cross-reaction between pollen and certain foods
- Eosinophilic esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus in response to certain foods
- Food protein-induced enterocolitis or colitis, severe vomiting and diarrhea in infants and toddlers caused by specific foods
- Eczema, a food-induced skin rash
Manish Ramesh, MD
Research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Journal of Pediatrics shows that eight foods—milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and soy—account for 90 percent of food allergy reactions. While traditional skin prick or blood tests can identify most food allergies, they sometimes result in false positives. Advanced testing methods offered at Montefiore’s Food Allergy Center, such as component tests and oral food challenges (OFC), help reduce these false positives.
The highly accurate oral food challenge introduces certain foods in measured doses and observes the patient following each dose for signs of a reaction. If no symptoms present, the patient receives gradually increasing doses. If the patient shows signs of a reaction, the challenge is stopped.
"Through the latest research, we are pleased to offer the newest tests that have been developed in recent years to break down the mystery of food allergies and solve even the most complex cases," said Dr. Ramesh. "We will be able to offer our unique clinical expertise to a wide range of patients throughout the region."
The Food Allergy Center’s two locations serve the Bronx and Westchester.
Montefiore Medical Specialists of Westchester
495 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Montefiore Medical Park
1515 Blondell Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 866-MED-TALK.