Allergist in the News: Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo
Director of the Center for Food Allergy at UR's Golisano Children's hospital
Mt. Sinai’s loss is Rochester’s gain! Read all about our recent interview with Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, Director of the Center for Food Allergy at UR's Golisano Children's hospital. She brought us up to date on all the services the one-year old Center can provide, as well as the latest research she and her team are conducting.
By Suzanne Driscoll
November 13th, 2015
We had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo last week at UR Medicine, and were very excited to hear about the relatively new Food Allergy Center she helped to set up one year ago. Originally from Finland, Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo was recruited from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City to expand and centralize the treatment of food allergies at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Her clinical interests are focused on various types of food allergy, including immediate-type allergies, eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease, food protein-induced enterocolitis, allergic proctocolitis, atopic dermatitis, and anaphylaxis, although she also sees patients with other allergic disorders such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria and angioedema.
Her main area of research is to study whether or not breastfeeding has an effect on preventing food allergies in children, as well as asthma. “Everyone’s breast milk is different, containing different types of immune factors depending on genetics as well as the environment. We are currently studying the breast milk of Mennonite women in our area as they live in a rural environment with more exposure to farm animals. Many mothers also drink unpasteurized milk. Based on our results, we may someday be able to boost the quality of every mother’s breastmilk to help prevent allergies in their children,” says Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo.
The Food Allergy Center utilizes a team approach with dieticians and pediatric nurses on hand who have specific training in food allergies. They also work closely with gastroenterology specialists. If you live too far from the Center, they can recommend other doctors in the area whom they know are aware of all the latest diagnosis techniques and treatments available. They also offer a safe place to conduct “food challenges.” “If your child was diagnosed at age 1 with one or more food allergies, he or she may have outgrown them by age 6,” says Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo. “You may be eliminating foods such as milk, eggs and wheat from their diet when you don’t have to.”
The team will also provide written emergency plans for day care centers, babysitters and schools that describe what needs to happen if a child is exposed to an allergen.
Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo would be happy to attend parent meetings with organizations in the area to offer advice and to bring everyone up to date on all the latest research. You can contact her at the Food Allergy Center, 585-276-7190