Kidsday reporter Ella Jacobs, from Bowling Green Elementary School in...

Kidsday reporter Ella Jacobs, from Bowling Green Elementary School in Westbury, with Dr. Atul Shah, who treated her for her allergies. Credit: Michelle Jacobs

OIT stands for oral immunotherapy. OIT is a program to help kids, teens and adults get rid of their food allergies.

I know this because I am an OIT patient and I was extremely allergic to peanuts. OIT is used to desensitize the body to what it thinks is harmful. The idea is similar to allergy shots.

I was really scared before my first appointment. I did not know if I would have a reaction or if it would work. On the first day they keep you at their office for the day to monitor you so you do not have a reaction.

Over the course of the program, I had some ups and downs, but it was worth it in the end. It took several months to build up a tolerance, starting with small amounts of peanut flour and working my way up. 

Today I am in what is called maintenance. In maintenance, I have to eat 10 peanuts daily at my house. OIT was stressful but it saved my life, and I hope it will help others with their allergies. The doctors are really nice, and it works!

Patricia King's fourth-grade class, Bowling Green Elementary School, Westbury

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