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  • Saanvi Jain

Tolerance Induction Program

Did you know that about 32 million people in the United States have food allergies? Of these people about 26 million are adults and 5.6 million are kids. Milk is the most common allergen in kids, followed by eggs and peanuts. In adults, shellfish is the most common allergen, followed by peanuts and tree nuts.

Although food allergies can be extremely awful and significantly decrease one's quality of living, there is a treatment for it. The Tolerance Induction Program (TIP) is a treatment program specially designed to help children overcome their food allergies and achieve the ability to eat whatever they want. The program fights for a society where every child should be able to eat whatever they want, wherever they want, and in any quantity without worrying about having a reaction or having an epipen around. An epipen is a device that delivers doses of epinephrine to an individual as an emergency treatment in case they have an acute allergic reaction to something, especially food.

TIP was founded by Dr. Inderpal Randhawa, a leading scientist and doctor with board certifications in transplant immunology, allergy, pulmonology, pediatrics, and internal medicine. After seeing how many parents were losing their children to allergies, he decided to change the status quo and come up with an effective long-term solution. Thanks to his experience in lung transplant immunology, allergy, and immunology, he was able to come up with TIP, which is now offered through the Southern California Food Allergy Institute.

In TIP, there are five steps. The order is: fundamentals, pre-treatment, interface, tolerance induction, and remission. In the first step of fundamentals, patients consult with a physician for 90-minutes to collect data on the food allergies the patient has. This program has a unique patient assessment process. Individual data is against that of the overall data of other patients with food allergies. Next is the pre-treatment. On day one of the pre-treatment, the patient's gastrointestinal tract is assessed through a 24-hour patch placed on the back of the patient to assess reactions to a wide variety of potential allergens. On day two, the patch is removed. After this step is the interface step. In this step, the relationship between allergic foods and a child's immune system is determined. In essence, the scientists try to find biosimilar proteins that a child can eat without reaction. For instance, someone allergic to peanuts may not be allergic to hazelnuts, so hazelnuts will become a daily maintenance food for that patient. The next step is tolerance induction. In this step, the first dose of the allergen is administered at the Southern California Food Allergy Institute. The food sample is very minimal. The next set of doses are delivered at home. The dose of the allergen will become larger each week, until the patient reaches the highest dose. At this point in time, the patient will challenge the food at its highest dosage while being monitored at an in-office appointment. If they complete the food challenge, the allergen will become a daily maintenance dose, and the patient will be introduced to a new food. The last stage is remission, in which weekly maintenance is required to maintain tolerance to a specific allergen. After that, the process is over. The child can fall out of remission by stopping consumption of their maintenance doses. Usually, if a child was allergic to a very common food that they intake every day, they will not lose their tolerance or go into anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction.

As can be seen, the Tolerance Induction Program is a brilliant breakthrough. The program has helped thousands of children increase their quality of life by allowing them to overcome their allergies. Many of their allergies can be life-threatening and oftentimes these kids have to keep an epipen with them. In addition, their parents have to monitor them extra closely to ensure that their kids stay safe. Luckily, this program has helped kids with extreme allergies build up tolerance and be able to eat whatever they want without concern of food quantity.

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