Tuesday, June 06, 2000

Hospital targets food disorders

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        On the same day that researchers announced the results of a key food allergy study, Children's Hospital Medical Center announced it has launched a new food allergy treatment clinic.

        The program, organized about two months ago, brings together experts on allergies, nutrition, the immune system and the digestive tract to diagnose complex food allergy problems and related illnesses.

        Rather than bouncing patients from specialist to spe cialist, the clinic team plans to gather at the hospital about once a month to spend the day examining, testing and treating patients, said clinic director Dr. Amal Assa'ad.

        The team seeks to be a national, even international referral center for complex food-related disorders. In addition to checking children with suspected food allergies, the team plans to examine babies who seem unable to tolerate formula, children with reflux disorders and other problems.

        This one-stop approach will allow children to get diagnostic imaging tests, “structured food challenges,” and nutrition counseling all in one intense visit.

        While making visits more productive for patients, the team also expects to be better able to conduct research and link patients to the latest in food allergy treatments, Dr. Assa'ad said.


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