Study cures 12-year-old's wheat, milk, peanut allergies, researchers say

A 12-year-old who suffered from multiple food allergies -- including wheat, milk, and peanut -- is cured, thanks to an experimental study, her parents say.

For the first time in her young life, Isabella Kolenburg can now dig into a Thanksgiving meal without fear.

Avoiding wheat, milk and peanuts was a source of constant concern for Isabella and her parents.

"It's hard -- like, you see everyone, and you feel, like, left out kind of, and you can't eat the same foods as everyone," she said.

She was one of over 5 million American children with food allergies -- and 40 percent of them have more than one.

Yet thanks to a life-changing study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital in New York City, Isabella's allergies disappeared over two years.

This study used oral immunotherapy, meaning Isabella was fed small but increasing portions of the food she was allergic to. This effectively teaches the immune system to be less reactive to these foods over time, according to Mount Sinai's Dr. Julie Wang.

"So what we're doing in this study is seeing whether the addition of another medication, Chinese herbal medications for this study specifically, would increase the safety of the oral immunotherapy process," she said.

Now, Isabella must eat the foods she was allergic to daily in order to maintain immunity.

"So we think her future is very bright. She has been able to convert over to real foods for each of these allergens," Dr. Wang said.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.