Dec 26, 2013

Allergies and cancer on the rise due to GM foods


Food allergies have become a global epidemic and conventional medicine has no cure. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, food allergies (in kids) have increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. Could this have anything to do with genetically engineered foods?

Since the 1990s, when genetically modified (GM) foods were approved, we have seen a dramatic increase in food allergies, asthma, ADHD and many forms of cancer. As expected, most corporately-controlled, government health 'experts' would say genetically modified (GM) foods are 'safe' - but where are the safety studies to back up this unscientific claim of safety? GM foods cause massive damage to the digestive system.

Leaky gut syndrome 'sets the stage' for food allergies and disease

We all know that a 'leaky gut' is defined as the development of gaps between the cells that make up the inner lining of our intestinal tract. As the intestines breakdown, they allow unwanted (foreign) substances to enter our bloodstream. Simply put - if you suffer from leaky gut - undigested food, bacteria and metabolic waste products pollute the entire body causing inflammation, food-related allergies plus many other chronic degenerative diseases.

The digestive system is responsible for maintaining about 80% of our natural immunity. How could any physician, in their right mind, not understand that toxic food creates a toxic body - which, in turn, produces symptoms such as food allergies, skin rashes, brain fog, fatigue - the list goes on and on. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, every doctor needs to tune in and discover the real reason why GMOs are literally destroying modern society.

GM corn linked to cancer tumors

A study  led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, clearly states that eating genetically modified corn caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. To make matters even more shocking - this is the only long-term study examining the health risks associated with eating GM foods. But that won't stop greedy corporations, like Monsanto, from pushing their agenda of owning the entire food supply through patent-protected, GM seeds.

If you're looking for a good reason to avoid GMOs - here are the shocking results of the French study - listed above:

Up to 50% of males and 70% of females rats suffered premature death.

Rats that drank trace amounts of Monsanto's herbicide Roundup Ready had a 200% - 300% increase in large tumors.

Rats fed GMO corn and traces of Roundup Ready suffered severe organ damage - including liver damage and kidney damage.

This study fed rats NK603, the Monsanto variety of GMO corn that's grown across North America and widely fed to animals and humans. Keep in mind, this is the same type of corn found in corn-based breakfast cereals, corn tortillas and corn snack chips.

Dec 17, 2013

'Dog Dust' May Combat Allergies and Asthma


Exposure to "dog dust," or the dried flakes of skin that fall from Fido, may protect against developing allergies and asthma in later life by altering intestinal bacteria, a new study in mice suggests. The dust appears to contain bacteria that, when present in an animal's gut, affects the production of immune cells in the animal's airway.

"Perhaps early life dog exposure introduces microbes into the home that somehow influence the gut microbiome, and change the immune response in the airways," said study researcher Susan Lynch, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Past research has shown that exposure to pets, particularly dogs, during infancy may prevent people from developing allergies, and other work has found that bacteria in the gut can affect allergies and asthma. The new study adds to the research because it links these ideas — showing that the reason exposure to dog dust may prevent allergies is that the dust affects the population of gut microbes.

In the study, Lynch and her colleagues exposed mice to dust from a dog owner's home, and then tested the mice's immune response to cockroach allergens and ovalbumin (a component of egg whites), two substances that commonly trigger asthma attacks. They found that mice exposed to dog dust had fewer immune cells in the airway that respond to allergens, compared with mice not exposed to dog dust.

The findings hint at a mechanism for how dog exposure may protect against allergies or asthma. "It seems to be that early life exposure to dogs, and cats to a lesser extent, can protect against asthma allergens," Lynch told LiveScience, though she stopped short of recommending exposing infants to dogs. Lynch added that the findings fit in well with the hygiene hypothesis, the theory that a lack of exposure to beneficial microbes is linked to the development of autoimmune diseases and asthma in western nations.

The researchers also found the gut microbial makeup of the two rodent groups differed: The mice exposed to dogs had more of the bacteria Lactobacillus johnsonii, an organism found in the dust from dog-owner homes. When the researchers added L. johnsonii to the diet of the unexposed mice, they found the mice showed a reduced immune response in their airways to both, though not as much as mice originally exposed to the dog dust.

The next step will be understanding exactly what these microbes are doing in the gut, and how they affect the immune response in the airway, Lynch said.

Ultimately, understanding this process could lead to the development of microbial-based therapies to treat or prevent asthma.

Dec 10, 2013

Prednisolone


Prednisolone is an anti-inflammatory drug. Prednisolone decreases natural defense response of the body and also decreases pain/swelling.

Side effects:
The common side effects reported with Prednisolone are sodium retention, fluid retention, congestive heart failure, hypokalemic alkalosis, hypertension, muscle weakness, steroid myopathy, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, vertebral compression, fractures, pathologic fracture of long bones,peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, abdominal distention, ulcerative esophagitis, impaired wound healing, thin fragile skin, facial erythema convulsions, increased intracranial pressure and menstrual irregularities.

Before Using:
There is an enhanced effect of Prednisolone in patients with hypothyroidism and cirrhosis. Millipred DP should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex as it can cause corneal perforation. Prednisolone should be given in the lowest possible doses and dose reduction should be done at a slow rate. Prednisolone should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis. Millipred DP drug is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections. The patient should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles, as Prednisolone is an immunosuppressant.

Dosages:
The recommended starting dosage of Prednisolone is 5-60mg per day. The alternate-day therapy is a corticosteroid-dosing regimen in which twice the usual daily dose of Prednisolone is administered every other morning.

Dec 6, 2013

Did Bone Marrow Transplant Cure Peanut Allergy?

Unusual case report details how 10-year-old boy was treated for leukemia and lost sensitivity to peanuts


Bone marrow transplants may help cure peanut allergies.  The study involved a 10-year-old boy who no longer had a peanut allergy after undergoing a bone marrow transplant for leukemia.

"It has been reported that bone marrow and liver transplants can transfer peanut allergy from donor to recipient," study author Dr. Yong Luo said in a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "But our research found a rare case in which a transplant seems to have cured the recipient of their allergy."

The case involved a boy who was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when he was 15 months old. He had the bone marrow transplant at age 10 and received his new marrow from a donor with no known allergies. Soon after the transplant, it appeared that the boy no longer had a peanut allergy. That discovery was confirmed by allergists through an oral food challenge, in which the boy ate a small amount of peanut and showed no allergic reaction.

The research was scheduled for presentation this week at the ACAAI annual meeting in Baltimore. Study co-author Dr. Steven Weiss said this and previous research indicates that "genetic modification during the early stages of immune cell development in bone marrow may play a large role in causing allergy."

Peanut allergy is the most common food allergy among school-aged children in the United States, affecting about 400,000 youngsters, according to the ACAAI. Unlike milk or soy allergies, peanut allergies tend to last a lifetime.

Even if a parent thinks their child may no longer have an allergy, proper testing should be done to confirm if the child is still sensitive to any particular allergens, according to the ACAAI.

Nov 25, 2013

Hypoallergenic Dogs Not Allergy-Proof


Although they've long been considered an allergy sufferer's best friend, so-called hypoallergenic dogs do not have lower household allergen levels than other dogs, according to a new study that measured allergen levels in babies' nurseries.

Dog breeds classified as "hypoallergenic" are believed to produce less dander and saliva and shed less fur. Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital (HFH) in Detroit put this theory to the test by measuring environmental allergen levels in the houses of 173 dog owners one month after a newborn baby was brought home.

Researchers collected dust samples from the carpet or floor of each baby's bedroom and measured the levels of the dog allergen Can f 1. Only homes with one dog per family were involved in the study, and 60 dog breeds were analyzed overall, 11 of which are considered hypoallergenic dogs.

"We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen," said Christine Cole Johnson, chair of HFH's Department of Public Health Sciences and senior author of the study.

Dogs are often classified as hypoallergenic using one of four "schemes" based on their breed in order to compare allergen levels. Scheme A compares purebred hypoallergenic dogs to purebred non-hypoallergenic dogs, while scheme B compares purebred and mixed breed dogs with at least one hypoallergenic parent to purebred non-hypoallergenic dogs.

Scheme C compares purebred and mixed breed dogs with at least one hypoallergenic parent to purebred and mixed breed dogs with no known hypoallergenic component, and scheme D compares only purebred dogs identified as hypoallergenic by the American Kennel Club to all other dogs.

The study showed that all four schemes yielded no significant differences in allergen levels between hypoallergenic dogs and non-hypoallergenic dogs. In fact, in homes where the dog was not allowed in the baby's bedroom, the allergen level for hypoallergenic dogs was slightly higher compared to allergen levels of non-hypoallergenic dogs.

"Based on previous allergy studies conducted here at Henry Ford, exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development," Cole Johnson added. "But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study."

Nov 20, 2013

Allergy Shots Decrease Anxiety, Depression


Stinging insects are everywhere making them nearly inescapable. The thought of being stung can cause depression and anxiety for the two million Americans that are allergic to their venom.

But according to a study, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can improve quality of life for these sufferers. Allergy shots are the only allergy treatment known to modify and prevent disease progression, and can be life-saving for those allergic to insect stings. Researchers have found this type of treatment also decreases anxiety and depression in those allergic to wasp, bee and ant stings.

Insect stings send more than 500,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms and cause at least 50 known deaths each year. A person who has had an allergic reaction to insect sting has a 60 % chance of having another similar or worse reaction if stung again. Immunotherapy has been shown to be an astonishing 97 % effective in preventing future allergy to insect stings.

Nov 14, 2013

Fresh Air to Combat Allergies


New research has found that we may actually be able to reverse allergies, even in adulthood. The fix may be as simple as taking a trip to the country.

For 15 years, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark followed nearly 1,200 people who were bound for jobs in either farming or the army. They tested the subjects' sensitivities to common allergens at the study's beginning and end while also following where they lived and worked. What they found was that people who worked on farms in adulthood were less likely to become sensitive to allergens. People who moved from urban to rural environments showed the greatest benefit, but there was also a positive effect seen in farmers who had a farm upbringing.

Why the change? Researchers think that the diversity of microbes and bacteria on farms may help people's immune systems develop a more appropriate tolerance against allergens. "It doesn't protect you from allergies to stay away from all allergens," says Grethe Elholm, a post-doc at Aarhus University and co-author of this study. "It actually seems to help to be exposed to a lot more of many different things because your immune system needs to work out." Still, the research is fairly preliminary, and follow-up studies are expected. So it may be best for those with bad allergies to tread lightly in highly pollinated places.

Nov 5, 2013

Antihistamines in pregnancy and risk of birth defects


Antihistamines are a group of medications that are used to treat various conditions, including allergies and nausea and vomiting. Some antihistamines require a prescription, but most are available over-the-counter (OTC), and both prescription and OTC antihistamines are often used by women during pregnancy. Until recently, little information was available to women and their health care providers on the possible risks and relative safety of these medications in pregnancy, particularly when it came to specific birth defects.

A new study from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, based on interviews with more than 20,000 new mothers, now provides important information for many of these medicines. The researchers considered antihistamines that had been suggested in earlier studies to increase risks of certain defects, and they also considered other possible risks that might not have been identified in the past. Where there was sufficient information in the study data, the authors found no evidence to support suggestions of risk that had been found in earlier studies. In considering possible risks that had not been identified by others, the investigators found very few suggestions that any given medicine might be linked to an increase risk of a specific birth defect, and though these few deserve further research attention, these findings may have been due to chance.

Dr. Allen Mitchell, the study's director, noted that "we were fortunate that our study was able to consider commonly-used antihistamines that were available OTC as well as those available only with a prescription. While our findings provide reassurance about the relative safety of many of these medications in relation to a number of common birth defects, more information is needed. As is the case for all types of medications, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should consult with their health care provider before taking any medicines, whether they are prescribed or OTC."

Oct 25, 2013

New Treatment for Common Allergies


There are two treatments, one for grass allergy, which is commonly known as hay fever, and the other for dust mite allergy. They are expected to be helpful for the millions of people who, as a reaction to grass pollen or the tiny bugs that live in house dust, have sneezing, itching eyes and a running nose that often significantly impacts their productivity at school or work.

The two studies were conducted by Adiga Life Sciences, a joint venture between McMaster University and Circassia, a U.K. based biotechnology company, and was supported by St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
It is estimated that together, these allergens are responsible for more than 50% of allergic respiratory disease.

Between 15 and 25 per cent of the population in North America and Europe is sensitive to pollen from different grass species. One in four people is sensitized to house dust mites, more than any other common allergen, which includes millions of people in these regions. The treatments are from a new class of therapy, known as 'synthetic peptide immuno-regulatory epitopes', or SPIREs.

The 280 patients in the phase two clinical trial for the grass allergy treatment recorded their allergy symptoms while exposed to grass pollen in a controlled environment, both before treatment and at the end of the hay fever season. Study participants received one of three treatment regimens over three months, completed prior to the beginning of the pollen season. Those who had the optimal short course of therapy had significantly improved symptoms at the end of the season, compared to those who had a placebo. This treatment, called Grass-SPIRE, was well tolerated.

During the clinical trial for the dust mite treatment, 172 patients who received four doses of the treatment over 12 weeks had significantly improved allergy symptoms a year after the start of treatment, compared to patients who received a placebo. The treatment, called HDM-SPIRE, was well tolerated.
"This result is an important validation of the approach we are taking to treat allergic diseases," said Mark Larché, who led the design of the treatments. "Positive results, first with a cat allergy therapy and now with house dust mite and grass allergy treatments, suggest that this approach may be used for many common allergies."

Larché is a professor of medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster and member of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
Hay fever is a seasonal response to many different grass pollens which are heaviest in the spring and fall.
Dust mites are close relatives of spiders and ticks and are too small to see without a microscope. They eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments. Upholstered furniture, bedding and carpeting provide an ideal environment for dust mites.

Oct 17, 2013

Control fall allergies


Although many people associate allergy season with the onset of spring, fall can also wreak havoc with allergy sufferers. This year, instead of suffering under mounds of tissues or resorting to over-the-counter or even worse yet, prescribed medications or allergy shots, discover the relief that natural remedies can bring.

Fall allergy triggers

During both spring and fall, pollen is a common allergy trigger. Male plants that begin to pollinate during August, often continue this process into the fall season. The biggest offender is ragweed. A great number of people allergic to spring pollen are also allergic to ragweed. Moreover, the wind can carry ragweed pollen for hundreds of miles, so this offender may not necessarily come from your own back yard.

Another offender not to be overlooked is mold. Mold spores can easily become airborne, putting us at risk. Mold grows in damp areas, indoors and outdoors. A common place for mold growth is in those leaves that fall from trees during this season. Piles of damp leaves are perfect breeding grounds for mold.

Dust mites are another danger. Although dust mites are mostly present during humid summer months, they can be stirred up and become airborne when the furnace is first used on a cool fall night.

In certain parts of the country, fall allergens can also include goldenrod, curly dock, lamb's quarters, pigweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush.

Ways to control allergens
  • Avoid contact with allergens as much as possible. Keep your house well ventilated, making sure that your filtration system is up to date.
  • Rake those fallen leaves in your back yard in a timely manner.
  • A natural diet containing antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids will help to detox the body, thereby strengthening the immune system.
  • Many people find significant allergy relief by consuming local, raw, organic honey.
Various nutrients, herbs and other supplements can support your immune system, minimizing or eliminating allergy attacks
  • Colloidal silver provides immune support to the body, lessening or eliminating allergic reaction. It is also instrumental in preventing infections that can occur with prolonged or severe allergies.
  • Butterbur taken four times a day is as effective as over-the-counter medications, without any adverse side effects.
  • Quercetin stabilizes cells and prevents the release of histamines.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. People who eat a high content of Omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to resist allergy symptoms.
  • Probiotics helps support the body's natural terrain and strengthens the immune system.
  • Cayenne, ginger, onions, and garlic are effective allergy treatments.
  • Use stinging nettle leaf at the first sign of an allergy.
  • Fortify your body with vitamins C and E to strengthen your immune system.
Lastly, keep your body hydrated with plenty of water. It is important to replace those fluids that are being expelled from the body.

Oct 10, 2013

Six tips for easy breathing


1. Boost the immune system - When we talk about allergies, boosting the immune system is integral to relief. Eliminate things that can weaken the immune system such as high sugar and refined foods. Substitute, instead, nutritional ammo such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, garlic and broccoli. Wallop stress with prayer, meditation, deep breathing techniques, massage, acupuncture and going for a walk in nature.

2. Elimination diets - Underlying food sensitivities can trigger the same post-nasal drip, runny nose, and sinusitis symptoms as environmental allergies. Elimination diets are fairly simple. Cut out the most common culprits, which include dairy, wheat, eggs and soy. At the end of two weeks, you will know if food sensitivities are involved by a vast improvement or resolution of your symptoms. Add one food group at a time back into your diet every three days until you identify the offender

3. Optimize gut health - Many of our immune system challenges are caused by an underlying gut dysfunction. These problems can begin in the stomach with inadequate enzyme and acid production. Food that has not been digested properly then makes its way into the intestines to rot, putrefy and ferment. Not a pretty situation. Hence, our resident gut flora do not flourish well, setting up the stage for dysbiosis, unwanted and unhealthy bacteria, fungi and parasites, and leaky gut. These conditions pave the way for allergies and multiple sensitivities. Correction of this problem begins by supplementing with enzyme and acid support for the stomach and probiotics for the intestines. Some dietary changes may be necessary if there is yeast or fungal overgrowth.

4. A healthy life demands a healthy liver - The liver is responsible for metabolizing all of the histamine that is being released by numerous cells in the body. When the liver is distressed or congested the removal of histamine and other offending substances is backed up, worsening our allergy symptoms. A distressed liver may not show up in blood work until it is 80 percent compromised. Functional questionnaires may be helpful in uncovering liver distress. Eliminating or reducing unnecessary drugs, alcohol, caffeine and environmental stressors needs to be considered. Feeding the liver cruciferous vegetables, beet greens and milk thistle helps in restoring function to the liver.

5. Healthy adrenals - Your adrenal glands function as the braking system for your immune system by secreting cortisol to keep the immune response from going unrestrained. Common symptoms of adrenal dysfunction include lack of energy, fatigue, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain, migraines, low sex drive, chronic stress and poor memory. Adrenal function can be easily assessed with saliva testing. If adrenal dysfunction exists, caffeine and sugar need to be eliminated from the diet. Foods and whole food supplements rich in the B and C complexes nourish the adrenals. Supportive herbs include licorice, rehmannia, rhodiola and Korean ginseng.

6. Move well and rest well - There are numerous studies and testimonials that regular exercise can improve or help resolve seasonal allergies. Exercise helps to burn off accumulated stress that taxes the adrenals, liver, gut and immune system. Regular exercise can improve the function of these systems. Likewise, adequate sleep is necessary to help these systems regenerate and recharge.

Oct 4, 2013

Egg Allergic Children Now Have No Barriers to Flu Shot

 All children should have flu shots, even if they have an egg allergy, and it's now safe to get them without special precautions.

The current recommendation from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to observe children allergic to eggs for 30 minutes after a flu shot. Also to have the shot under the care of a primary care provider, if the reaction to eating eggs is only hives, or an allergist, if the reaction to eating eggs is more serious.
However, "In a large number of research studies published over the last several years, thousands of egg allergic children, including those with a severe life-threatening reaction to eating eggs, have received injectable influenza vaccine (IIV) as a single dose without a reaction" said allergist John Kelso, MD, fellow of the ACAAI.
This update, endorsed by the AAAAI/ACAAI Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters, concludes that based upon the available data, "Special precautions regarding medical setting and waiting periods after administration of IIV to egg-allergic recipients beyond those recommended for any vaccine are not warranted. For IIV, language that describes egg-allergic recipients as being at increased risk compared with non-egg-allergic recipients or requiring special precautions should be removed from guidelines and product labeling."
"The benefits of the flu vaccination far outweigh any risk," said Dr. Kelso. "As with any vaccine, all personnel and facilities administering flu shots should have procedures in place for the rare instance of anaphylaxis, a severe life-threatening allergic reaction. If you have questions or concerns, contact your allergist."
Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children. By age 16, about 70 percent of children outgrow their egg allergy. Most allergic reactions to egg involve the skin. In fact, egg allergy is the most common food allergy in babies and young children with eczema.
Further, the flu is responsible for the hospitalization of more than 21,100 children under the age of five annually, yet only two thirds of children receive the vaccination each year. Some go unvaccinated because of egg allergy.
ACAAI also advises the more than 25.7 million Americans with asthma to receive the flu vaccination. Because the flu and asthma are both respiratory conditions, asthmatics may experience more frequent and severe asthma attacks while they have the flu.

Sep 26, 2013

Fixing allergy barriers

Anyone with allergies should ask the question: "why do I have allergies?" Allergies are the sign of dysfunction in the body and allergies are not normal. Most people spend their time and money treating the allergy symptoms while the causes go untreated. That's a win for Big Pharma companies who are in the business of selling symptom treatments that mask the symptoms (sometimes) but leave a trail of toxic misery and side effects. Allergy medications work by causing malfunction in a normal body process.

What are allergies?

One type of allergy symptoms are caused by a white blood cell reaction called an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction. This kind of reaction results in immediate hives, swelling, breathing problems and even deadly anaphylactic shock. True IgE immune reactions can kill you soon and sometimes require emergency medical intervention.

Another type of reaction that is called and allergy but is not a true allergy is a sensitivity. Sensitivities are an Immunoglobulin G (IgG) reaction. IgG sensitivities can take 24 to 72 hours to show up. Something you came in contact with or ate up to three days ago could be kicking your allergy symptoms today. If this is something you are eating daily, like wheat, dairy, or sugar, there could be a neverending symptom response.

Allergy barriers

Allergy barriers separate the inside of our bodies from the outside world. Our basic allergy barriers are the skin, lining of the respiratory system and the lining of the GI tract. These first-line allergy barriers are supposed to only let elements like nutrition, oxygen and water in. Compromise barrier function and toxins and pathogens enter. Food sensitivities may only be a symptom of an intestinal compromise. Remove the offending food and you successfully treat the symptom, heal the lining of the intestines and you actually cure the cause of the symptoms.

Treat respiratory allergy symptoms by drinking at least half the body weight in ounces of water daily. Adequate water intake is critical for barrier control. Dehydration causes allergy barriers to fail. Maintaining bedroom humidity at 40-45 percent all night will prevent mucous membranes in the air pathways and lungs from drying out while sleeping. Air filter systems remove allergenic particulates before they get a chance to enter the respiratory system.

Treat digestive allergy symptoms with digestive and pancreatic enzymes, sufficient stomach acid and a healthy intestinal bacteria balance. Candida overgrowth is a fungus that eats holes in the intestinal barrier allowing partially processed food particles to cross into the blood stream, bringing food sensitivities. Removing candida from the intestines and restoring the intestinal barrier brings relief from many food allergy symptoms.

Treat skin allergy symptoms with adequate water intake and essential fatty acids found if fish oils. Metabolites in fish oils are critical for buffering allergic responses and maintaining skin, respiratory and intestinal barrier functions. There is also a critical bio-film in all outer cells in the skin, lungs and intestines that is damaged with antibacterial soaps, chemical inhalants and antibiotics. Using natural soaps, cleaning products and taking probiotic supplements all help defeat allergy symptoms.

Solutions to allergies

To control allergies, conventional medicine typically gives either toxic drugs or allergy shots with as many as two shots a week for up to three years or more with a meager 40 percent success rate and around 20 deaths per year. Alternative to this is NEAT (Natural Elimination of Allergy Treatment) to alleviate both IgE and IgG reactions in as few as 4-5 visits with no shots and an 87 percent rating of "good to excellent" and no deaths. But neither of these methods works without good allergy barrier functions.

Sep 20, 2013

How to Reduce Allergens in Your Yard This Fall


"The daunting task of yard work can be favorable for allergy sufferers if they know how to reduce allergens in the areas surrounding the home," said allergist Richard Weber, MD, "Many people think you can only control the environment inside the home, but there are also precautions you can take to help eliminate allergens outside as well."While completely avoiding pollen and mold is an impossible feat, the following tips from ACAAI allergists allergists can help you breathe a little easier.

Timing is Everything - The mid-day and afternoon hours might seem like the best time for yard work, but it's the worst time if you have pollen allergies. Pollen counts are the highest during this time, making early morning and evening hours more suitable. Weather can also play an important role. Rain showers can temporarily clear pollen from the air. Thunderstorms, however, can increase airborne allergens, and the standing water left behind is the perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

Dress to Protect - You don't need to impress while working in your yard, instead dress wisely. Buy pollen masks and gardening gloves at your local hardware store. These will help keep your hands clean and allergens from entering your airways. Wearing large sunglasses will keep pollen and mold from aggravating your eyes. A hat will reduce pollen from sticking to your hair. Also opt for long pants and shirts to prevent skin irritation, while keeping allergy-causing stinging insects away.

Choose Wisely - The worst allergy offenders might be in your own yard. If you are considering adding new trees, grasses and plants into your landscape, be sure they aren't the worst offenders. While everyone's allergies are different, these are typically safe:

• Trees: Apple, Dogwood, Pear, Plum, Begonia flower
• Plants and Flowers: Daffodil, Lilac, Magnolia, Rose, Sunflower

Be Quick to Clean - Mold and pollen can collect on fallen leaves. Be sure to rake leaves often and wear a pollen mask while doing so, since raking can stir allergens into the air. Continue mowing your lawn throughout the fall and keep your grass short. Maintaining your lawn will keep grass from flowering and producing pollen. If raking and mowing are too bothersome, ask a family member to do it for you. Once you are finished with yard work, remove your shoes before entering your home and be sure to shower right away. Your shoes, clothing and hair can all be allergen magnets.

Taking allergy medication long before you head into the great outdoors can help suppress allergy symptoms. ACAAI allergists recommend taking your medication two weeks before symptoms start, and continue well after the first frost. For those with severe seasonal allergies, an allergist may prescribe immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, which provide great relief.

Sep 13, 2013

Wine allergy: What are the symptoms and common causes?



It is well known that drinking wine has positive effects on health when taken in moderation. Wine contains antioxidants that protect cells against damage. But who knows about wine allergy and the effect that it can have on health? Whereas a true wine allergy is rare, it is not uncommon to experience intolerance-like symptoms such as rashes, diarrhea and vomiting (aside from drinking too much...). Different chemicals and ingredients in wine can cause a reaction. What are these reactions and what are the symptoms caused by?

Common wine allergy symptoms

Allergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to an allergen. If there is an allergy, the immune system acts as if the allergen were dangerous, releasing a chemical called histamine that causes allergy symptoms. A reaction can be mild but may be life threatening in some cases. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs suddenly and can worsen quickly. However it rarely happens with wine consumption.

The most common symptoms of a wine intolerance or allergy are: skin rashes, flushed skin, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach cramps, runny nose and swollen eyes. There are also long-term symptoms of wine intolerance, such as: eczema, headaches, migraines, chronic fatigue and low mood.

What are the symptoms of a wine intolerance caused by?

The symptoms are caused by an intolerance or immune reaction to some food ingredients or chemicals in wine. These issues have long been attributed to sulfites, but research now shows that other components such as glycoproteins may be to blame for this reaction to wine.

Sulfites occur naturally in the process of making wine. They are often added to wine as preservatives. Sulfites are not only found in wine and beer, but also in a large variety of foods like dried fruit. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to sulfites. Since there are sulfites in other foods, why would people have a reaction to sulfites in wine only? Sulfites may not be the problem in wine sensitivity.

Glycoproteins are proteins that also occur in other fruits such as bananas and kiwis. While some glycoproteins get formed during the fermentation process, others just live in the grape itself. When consumed, they may trigger allergy symptoms. Once again, more research is needed to confirm this.

Also, it is not uncommon to be allergic to a specific grape variety. For instance, red wine seems to trigger more symptoms than white wine. The Red Wine Headache (RWH) is a headache often accompanied by nausea and flushing that occurs after drinking even a single glass of red wine.

Sulfites are not the cause of RWH as almost all wine contains sulfites, including white wine. As for histamines (a chemical which occurs naturally in certain foods and which is also released in the body as part of an allergic reaction), studies found no difference in reactions to low and high histamine wine. What about tannins that give a red wine pigment and bitterness? There are other foods that contain tannin, such as tea or chocolate. If people do not react to a cup of tea, why would they react to tannin in red wine?

As a conclusion, there are a few theories for wine allergy. On the list of most possible causes are: prostaglandins, tyramine, yeast and bacteria, substances in the cork, and even the alcohol itself... This is not to say that more research is not needed to find the causes. For people who experience allergy symptoms, abstinence is likely to be the best option so far.

Sep 4, 2013

Menopausal Women at Greater Risk for Asthma Hospitalization

Asthma is a disease that mostly affects young boys and adult women. And according to a new study, women in their 40s and 50s with asthma are hospitalized more than twice as often as men in the same age group. 


 "Until puberty, boys have higher rates of asthma than girls," said Robert Yao-wen Lin, MD, allergist . "Then, during the menopausal years, women's hospitalization rates are double those of men in the same age group. This could indicate that asthma may have distinct biological traits."
The National Impatient Sample databases for 2000-2010 were used to calculate the ratio of female to male hospitalization rates for different decades of adult life. The highest rate of difference was found in the fifth and six decade. Common coexisting conditions, such as cigarette smoking and obesity were taken into account.
"This study reinforces that asthma is a women's health issue," said John Oppenheimer, MD, ACAAI Fellow and associate editor of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "There is a need for more prevention and early intervention to reduce asthma hospitalization in menopausal women and reduce healthcare costs."
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests that women in their 40s and 50s with asthma make an appointment with their allergist and ask these questions:
• Do I need any change in my medications?
• What are the symptoms associated with the risk of a severe asthma attack during menopause?
• How do I keep my asthma in check and avoid needing emergency room or hospitalized treatment?

Aug 23, 2013

Tips for Keeping Allergy and Asthma Out of the Classroom

The common cold and chickenpox aren’t the only ailments parents should worry about this back-to-school season.


Allergies affect 28 million children and 7.1 million suffer from asthma, making these two conditions a leading cause of missed school days in the United States.

“There can often be many more allergy and asthma triggers in the classroom than in the home environment, causing children’s immune systems to over respond,” said allergist James Sublett, MD, chair of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Indoor Environment Committee. “An estimated 60 to 80 percent of asthmatic children also have an allergy, which can cause intense symptoms that can be life-threatening when not properly controlled.”

With schools commonly known as being a petri dish of germs and viruses that get passed around from child to child, parents shouldn’t just chalk up breathing difficulties and runny noses to yet another cold. Both can be signs of something more serious, such as allergies and asthma.

To help parents understand if their child is at risk for missing school days due to allergy and asthma, ACAAI offers the following tips.


  • Know what Triggers Symptoms – There are a number of inhalants in schools that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, such as the classroom pet, pollen and dust that has settled in the school which can contain mouse allergens. Peers with a pet at home can also trigger an allergic reaction in your little one, since these allergens can be transferred to school via clothing and backpacks. If a child says they are coughing, having difficulty breathing, have a rash, runny nose, or are sneezing, these could all be signs they are allergic to something in school.
  • Know the Difference – It is easy to mistake a cough and a runny nose as signs of a common cold or respiratory infection. If symptoms are persistent, lasting more than two weeks, it’s likely due to allergies. Colds evolve, usually starting with a stuffy nose, throat irritation and low grade fever. Next comes the sneezing and a runny nose, with thickening mucus that often turns yellow or green. Trouble breathing, wheezing, chest tightening and often a cough that won’t stop are signs of asthma.
  • Find Relief – Parents should make an appointment with a board-certified allergist to have their child tested, diagnosed and treated for allergies and asthma. An allergist can also help a child understand what is causing their symptoms and how to avoid triggers. For children with particularly bothersome allergies, an allergist may prescribe immunotherapy (allergy shots) which can modify and prevent allergy development. Patients under the care of an allergist also have a 77 percent reduction in lost time from school.
  • Inform, Educate and Carry – A child’s school, teachers and coaches should all be informed of any allergy and asthma conditions and have medications available. But the education shouldn’t stop there. Children should understand what triggers their symptoms and any warning signs to watch out for. If they are prescribed life-saving treatments, such as a rescue inhaler and epinephrine, they should know how to use their medication. Many schools allow students to carry medication, making communication between parents and the school the key to a healthier child.

“While many parents worry about food allergies being a problem in the school setting, it is more common one for children to suffer from allergy symptoms when they inhale allergens such as mold, pet, pollen and dust,” said Dr. Sublett. “Foods can be avoided, but inhalants often cannot. It’s important children are properly tested and treated by a board-certified allergist so they can find relief from their symptoms.”

Even though a child may appear to be healthy at home, parents need to seriously consider how their child feels in the classroom. Some allergens may also cause a late response in some children. For example, a child may be exposed to pollen during their walk to school in the morning but not begin sneezing and wheezing until lunch time.

Aug 14, 2013

Children with allergy and asthma may be at higher risk for ADHD

The number of children being diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADHD), allergy and asthma is increasing in the United States. 


ADHD, a chronic mental health disorder, is most commonly found in males, while asthma is also more common in young boys than girls. We found there is an increased risk of ADHD in boys with a history of asthma and an even stronger risk associated with milk intolerance.
Researchers in the Netherlands and Boston studied 884 boys with ADHD and 3,536 boys without the disorder. Of the children with ADHD, 34 percent had asthma and 35 percent had an allergic disorder. The study suggests medications used to treat these conditions may be associated with an increased ADHD risk.
"Further research is needed to understand why there appears to be an increased risk of developing ADHD in children with allergy and asthma," said Gailen Marshall, MD, editor-in-chief of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "Medications for these conditions far outweigh the risks, and can be life-saving in some conditions. Treatment should not be stopped, unless advised by a board-certified allergist."
According to the ACAAI, allergy and asthma often run in families. If both parents have an allergy a child has a 75 percent chance of being allergic. If neither parent has allergy, the chance of a child developing an allergy is only 10 to 15 percent. Allergists also know allergies and asthma are linked. An estimated 60 to 80 percent of children with asthma also have an allergy. While the cause of ADHD is unknown, this disorder is also thought to run in families.

Aug 5, 2013

Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green Beans - Raising an Allergy Free Child


It would seem, according to the journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, that children with diets over 40 grams (1/3 cup) of 'fruity vegetables' such as cucumber, tomato, eggplant, green bean and zucchini, were less likely to suffer with symptoms of childhood asthma.

The study, which was conducted on 460 children in Menorca, Spain from birth to age 6 and 1/2 years, also showed that children who ate 60 or more grams (about 2 ounces) of omega-3 containing fish were less likely to suffer 'atopy' - inherited childhood allergies.

It is believed that due to the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of the vegetables and fish, these foods produce a protective and healing effect on the bronchial passageways.

According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Leda Chatzi, "The biological mechanisms that underlie the protective affect of these foods is not fully understood, but we believe that the fruity vegetables and fish reduce the inflammation associated with asthma and allergies."

Although fish oil, liquid or capsule forms, are a good start to acquiring their studied 60 grams a day, they contain only around 1.5 to 3 grams per teaspoonful; cod liver oil a bit less. Higher quantities of omega-3's will be obtained by actually eating fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, herring and anchovy.

Jul 31, 2013

Scientists Closer to Cat Allergy Cure

Scientists say they're hopeful that a research breakthrough will lead to a cure for people who are allergic to cats.


Researchers at the University of Cambridge say they've figured out how a particular protein in cat dander triggers an allergic response in humans. Many people are allergic to cats, dogs, and other animals. Typical symptoms include sneezing, itchiness, and a stuffed or runny nose. Allergic reactions happen when the immune system overreacts to a perceived danger. Normally, the immune system identifies and responds to harmful viruses and bacteria. But with an allergy, the immune system wrongly identifies an allergen as dangerous, such as pet dander, and starts an immune response.

The most common cause of severe allergic reactions to cats is a protein called Fel d 1, which is found in microscopic pieces of animal skin (often accompanied by dried saliva) from grooming.

The Cambridge team discovered how this protein can trigger an inflammatory response when in the presence of a common bacterial toxin found in the environment called lipopolysaccharide, or LPS.

"How cat dander causes such a severe allergic reaction in some people has long been a mystery," said Clare Bryant, who led the research at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Veterinary Medicine. "Not only did we find out that LPS [intensifies] the immune response’s reaction to cat dander, we identified the part of immune system that recognizes it, the receptor TLR4."

The scientists then used medication that curbs the TLR4 response and found it blocks the effects of the cat dander protein on human cells, thereby preventing an inflammatory response.

Bryant says she's hopeful that the research will lead to new treatments for people with cat allergies, and possibly those with dog allergies.

Jul 23, 2013

Definition of Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic individual to a substance.


When an allergen enters the body, it causes the body's immune system to develop an allergic reaction in a person with an allergy to it. This reaction can occur when the immune system attacks a normally harmless substance (the allergen). The immune system calls upon a protective antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE to fight these invading substances. Even though everyone has some IgE, an allergic person has an unusually large army of these IgE defenders -in fact, too many for their own good. This army of IgE antibodies attacks and engages the invading army of allergic substances of allergens. As is often the case in war, innocent bystanders are affected by this battle. These innocent bystanders are special cells called mast cells. When a mast cell is injured or irritated, it releases a variety of strong chemicals, including histamine, into the tissues and blood that promote allergic reactions. These chemicals are very irritating and cause itching, swelling, and fluid leaking from nearby cells. These allergic chemicals can cause muscle spasm and can lead to lung airway and throat tightening as is found in asthma and loss of voice. They are also what leads to the familiar hay fever or allergic rhinitis and common pink eye.

Jul 17, 2013

How To Have A Healthy Summer


As summer arrives with gorgeous sunny days and warm weather, it also brings the threat of sunburns, allergies, bug bites, and other potential health complications.

Below are some tips that may help you enjoy a problem-free summer.

Protect yourself from UVA rays:

UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin's layers and provide that tan so many people seek. However, UVA rays also eventually damage the immune system.

Put simply, spending too much time in the sun results in overexposure to UVA rays which can eventually cause life threatening skin cancers.

Drink plenty of water:

One caution: drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine can actually increase fluid output, making it much harder to be properly hydrated.

Signs of dehydration include:

One caution: drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine can actually increase fluid output, making it much harder to be properly hydrated.

  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • light-headedness
  • dizziness
  • little or no urination
  • constipation.
Dehydration is a major cause of:

  • Heat stroke - when body temperature rises higher than 40.6 °C (105.1°F). To avoid heatstroke wear lightweight clothing, avoid direct sunlight, use air conditioning, drink cold water, and avoid heavy meals.
  • Seizures - dehydration leas to a lack of electrolytes. Electrolytes send electrical signals from cell to cell. When electrolyte levels fall too low these signals don't function properly, leading to involuntary muscle contractions.
  • Cerebral Edema - may occur when you drink after being dehydrated. The body sends water to the cells, however, it can send too much causing cells to swell and rupture.
  • Severe dehydration can also lead to kidney failure, coma, and even death.
Don't just sit around, go out and exercise

For many people, spending the summer indoors lounging around may seem like a good idea, but why not see it as an opportunity to engage in some physical activities. 

Not only are these activities good for mental health and warding off obesity and becoming fit, other benefits of physical activity include:

Reduced risk of breast cancer revealed thatbreast cancer risk can be reduced through exercise and physical activity.

Reduced risk of psoriasis - psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder which causes redness, scaling, and irritation. A study published in Archives of Dermatology, showed that American women who engaged in energetic, physical activity were at a reduced risk of psoriasis.

Better cognition in children and older adults - there are a number of studies now showing that aerobic exercise can increase the size of critical brain structures and improve cognition in children and older adults.

Better sleep - a previous study found that people sleep much better and feel more alert during the day if they exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.

Try and avoid insects and bugs

Insect stings are responsible for more than half a million emergency room visits every year in the U.S., according to The National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Allergic reactions to insect bites can even be fatal.

  • When outdoors be sure to use insect repellent that either contains DEET (30 to 50 percent) or picaridin (up to 15 percent).
  • Making sure all windows and doors are properly closed
  • Throwing out garbage as often as possible
  • Wearing shoes all the time
  • Seeking immediate medical attention if you are stung and have a reaction
  • Contacting a licensed pest professional if you believe your house has a stinging insect infestation

Jul 9, 2013

Latex Allergy

Latex, also known as rubber or natural latex, is derived from the milky sap of the rubber tree, found in Africa and Southeast Asia. Latex allergy is an allergic reaction to substances in natural latex. Rubber gloves are the main source of allergic reactions, although latex is also used in other products such as condoms and some medical devices.

The exact cause of latex allergies is unknown, but it is thought that repeated exposure to latex and rubber products may induce symptoms. About 5% to 10% of health care workers have some form of allergy to latex.

Other than health care workers, people at increased risk for developing latex allergies include those who have:

  • A defect in their bone marrow cells.
  • A deformed bladder or urinary tract
  • A history of multiple surgeries
  • A urinary catheter, which has a rubber tip
  • Allergy, asthma, or eczema
  • Food allergies to bananas, avocados, kiwis, or chestnuts
  • Rubber industry workers and condom users are also at increased risk for developing a latex allergy.

Routes of latex exposure include:

  • Through the skin, as occurs when latex gloves are worn.
  • Through mucous membranes, such as the eyes, mouth, vagina, and rectum.
  • Through inhalation. Rubber gloves contain a powder that can be inhaled.
  • Through the blood, as may occur when some medical devices containing rubber are used.


There are three types of latex reactions:

  1. Irritant contact dermatitis. The least threatening type of latex reaction, classified as a non-allergenic skin reaction. It usually occurs as a result of repeated exposure to chemicals in latex gloves and results in dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin.
  2. Allergic contact dermatitis. A delayed reaction to additives used in latex processing, which results in the same type of reactions as irritant contact dermatitis (dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin). The reaction, though, is more severe, spreads to more parts of the body, and lasts longer.
  3. Immediate allergic reaction (latex hypersensitivity). The most serious reaction to latex. It can show up as rhinitis with hay fever-like symptoms, conjunctivitis (pink eye), cramps, hives, and severe itching. It is rare, but symptoms may progress to include rapid heartbeat, tremors, chest pain, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, or potentially, death


Allergic reactions to latex can range from skin redness and itching to more serious symptoms, such as hives or gastrointestinal problems. True allergic reactions to latex rarely progress to the life-threatening conditions such as low blood pressure, difficulty breathing or rapid heart rate. However, if left untreated, these conditions could potentially result in death.

If you experience severe symptoms, call your doctor or 911 immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Jul 3, 2013

Food Allergies Linked to Pesticides


People exposed to higher levels of certain germ- and weed-killing chemicals may also be more likely to develop food allergies, a new study shows.

The chemicals are called dichlorophenols (DCPs). They are created by the breakdown of common pesticides, including chlorinated chemicals used to purify drinking water. They also turn up in moth balls, air fresheners, deodorizer cakes in urinals, and certain herbicides sprayed on crops. “They’re quite common,” says researcher Elina Jerschow, MD, an allergist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.

Doctors don’t know why, but rates of food allergies are rising in the U.S. A 2008 study by the CDC found an 18% jump from 1997 to 2007. Jerschow wondered if increased protection from germs might somehow be lowering the body’s tolerance to foods.

Using data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), she compared levels of the chemicals in urine to antibodies to foods in the blood. She admits that’s an imperfect way to measure food allergies, since people can be sensitive to certain foods without having any problems when they eat. Of the 2,211 people included in the study, most had detectable levels of DCPs in their urine. About 400 showed sensitivity to at least one food, like peanuts, eggs, or milk. More than 1,000 people were sensitive to an environmental allergen, like ragweed or pet dander.

People with the highest levels of of the chemicals were nearly twice as likely to show sensitivity to at least one food compared to those with lowest levels of those chemicals. That remained true even after researchers adjusted their data to account for other factors, like race, age, and a diagnosis of allergies or asthma.

“For some reason, in our study, we found people who were sensitized to foods had the highest levels of dichlorophenols,” Jerschow says.

More Research Needed

The study doesn’t prove that DCPs cause food allergies. It merely shows the two are related in some way.

Still, the study lends some support to an idea called the hygiene hypothesis. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that the cleaner our environment, the sicker we become, since our immune system has been robbed of the opportunity to meet and fight off invaders. Experts who were not involved in the research say the idea that pesticides may be a driver of food allergies is an interesting idea, but they aren’t yet convinced of the connection.

“The massive increase in food allergies is a relatively recent phenomenon, but we have been using chlorine to disinfect tap water since the mid-19th century. So it does not seem likely that the source of the problem is chlorinated tap water,” says Elizabeth Scott, PhD, co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston.

But since drinking water isn’t the only source, it may be that we’ve reached a kind of environmental tipping point with these chemicals.

Jun 20, 2013

Food Allergies: Protect Your Child


Most food allergy reactions start soon - within minutes to a couple of hours - after exposure to a trigger food.
Symptoms can include:

  • Stomach or intestinal problems, such as vomiting, colic, diarrhea, or bleeding
  • Skin reactions, such as hives, swelling, or eczema
  • Breathing problems, such as upper respiratory congestion, throat swelling, or wheezing
  • Preparing Meals and Snacks


Your child's food allergies will change your family's eating habits.

Finding safe options that children are willing to eat can be a challenge. Families have to learn how to prepare safe meals and snacks from whole foods and also how to find allergen-free convenience items.


You'll need to master the art of reading product labels. The FDA requires that the eight major dietary allergens (milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish) be noted on product and ingredient labels. But other minor ingredients may not appear on packaging. If you have questions about something your child might eat, you should call the maker before you serve it to them. There's always a risk of hidden ingredients. Labeling is not always complete, nor clear.

Preparing meals and snacks at home gives you more control what's in your child’s food. There are many cookbooks and web sites that have allergy-friendly recipes.

For special events like birthday parties, let the host know about your child's allergies, and make sure your child knows what's off limits.

Dining Out

Let your server know that your child has a food allergy. Don't just ask if a menu item includes your child's allergy trigger. Ask to speak to the manager or chef who will be preparing the food, so you can find out about the ingredients used and the methods of preparation.

Ask that your food be prepared using clean hands and clean cooking surfaces, utensils, and equipment. You don't want the hamburger for your child with milk allergies to be prepared on the same grill as another customer's cheeseburger.

Think about where you eat, too. For instance, if your child has a peanut allergy, you might want to avoid restaurants that cook with peanuts or peanut sauces, and if you're allergic to shellfish, you might want to avoid seafood restaurants.

Always have emergency medications on hand. If you think your child is having an anaphylactic reaction, call 911 immediately and use your epinephrine auto-injector.  Even after that injection, your child will still need to go to the hospital.

Jun 13, 2013

Ugly Plants Worse for Allergy Patients


Ragweed, mugwort, plantain and pigweed have more than just their unappealing appearance in common -- they're some of the worst offenders to allergy sufferers.
Ragweed can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains per plant throughout a pollen season, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Of those allergic to pollen-producing plants, 75 percent are allergic to ragweed.

The relationship between allergy-causing pollens and their flowers is something like a beauty pageant. A general rule of thumb is that flowers that smell or look pretty attract insect pollenators, so they are not generally important allergens, because their pollen is not airborne. However, those that are very ugly or plain are meant to disperse pollen in the wind, which is the route most important for allergy.

Allergy season divided into spring, summer and fall  runs from March to October and doesn't end until the first hard frost.
Early spring is typically tree season, with common tree allergens including oak, maple, walnut, pecan and hickory. Valet notes that many people are concerned about fragrant and flowering trees like the Bradford pear and Crabapple, but they are not typically allergens as they rely on insects instead of the wind to carry their pollen.
In late spring and early summer, grasses start to pick up their pollen production. Of special note to allergy sufferers are Northern grasses including Timothy-grass, ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, and Southern grasses including Bermuda grass and Johnson grass.
In late summer and fall, the weeds make their presence known. Common weed allergens include ragweed, lamb's quarter, pigweed, English plantain and mugwort.
This year the pollen count is proving to be high in Nashville.
 Doctor recommends that people with pollen allergies first try over-the-counter allergy medications before talking with their doctor about prescription medications and nose sprays.
For people with known pollen allergies, everyday solutions can include taking an antihistamine before doing yard work and showering once back inside, and choosing the air conditioner over an open window when cooling their home.

Jun 4, 2013

What about allergies to pets?


The "dander," or skin shedding, of an animal is more potent in causing allergic reactions than the animal's fur or hair. In addition to the skin sheddings and fur, allergic reactions can occur to the saliva and/or urine of cats, dogs, horses, and rodents.

The scope of the animal allergy problem is enormous. These allergies are believed to affect up to 20% of North Americans and are directly related to the increasing popularity of pets, particularly cats and dogs. Studies have shown that dog allergens were found in all examined homes in the U.S., even those without family dogs. Likewise, almost all homes were shown to contain cat allergens.

Cats
The most well-known indoor allergy is probably due to Felis domesticus, the domesticated cat. The main allergen is a protein that is produced by the sweat glands (sebaceous glands) in the skin and appears in the skin flakes or dander that are shed from cats. The allergen is also found to a lesser degree in the fur, saliva, and urine of cats. Even with a past history of tolerance to cats, it is possible for a person with an allergic tendency to develop a sensitivity to cats after constant exposure.

The cat dander allergen is not only confined to the cat but also clings stubbornly to carpets, walls, and furniture. The protein can linger there for months and can serve as a reservoir from which allergens can become airborne when disturbed. The allergen is also lightweight and can float in the air for hours. People can also carry the cat allergen around on clothes, thereby spreading it to work, school, or a friend's house. Accordingly, for those who are allergic to cats, it does not reduce the risk of allergic reaction to simply isolate the cat in another room of the house. The cat dander is present wherever the cat generally exists, and it is this dander that is the problem.

Allergy facts
An estimated 30% of households in North America have at least one cat.
About 6% of the population is allergic to cats.

Dogs
Domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) are found in over 40% of homes in North America. About 33% of allergic individuals are sensitive to dog dander (as compared with almost 50% of allergic individuals who are cat-allergic). Since the allergic reaction is prompted by skin shedding and not fur, it makes little difference whether the dog has long or short hair; you can be as allergic to a Chihuahua as you can to a sheepdog. Small dogs can also cause as many allergy symptoms as large dogs. There is certainly no evidence that one species is less allergy-provoking than another one. Clearly, no breed is non-allergenic. Even poodles and wheaten terriers (often thought to be hypoallergenic) will likely induce allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals upon continuous exposure.

If your child has asthma and a known allergy, be especially careful not to allow the child to spend the night at the home of a friend or relative with a pet. Severe allergic reactions and even fatalities have been reported. Do not let this happen to your family or your friends.

Horses
Only 10% of allergic individuals have a sensitivity to horses. The reason is probably due to less exposure since there is little horsehair in furniture or bedding anymore. Sensitive people, however, must avoid not only horses and stables, but also objects directly related to them, such as bridles, saddles, and riding clothes. Also be aware that horsehair may still be found in antique furniture and old toys. People who have problems with horses may also react to donkeys, mules, and zebras.

Allergy alert
Remember that a trip to the barn not only exposes you to animal dander, but also to mold, pollen, and lots of other irritants as well. If you suffer from asthma, be careful and be prepared.

Birds
Allergy to birds is more common among bird breeders where the exposure is highest. People who are sensitive to the feathers of chickens, geese, turkeys, and ducks can still eat the meat or eggs from these animals. They may well react, however, to the feathers in down comforters, pillows, and duvets. You should also remember that dust mites, another common allergen, hide in these bedding accessories.

Rodents
This family includes hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, ferrets, mice, and rats. Most allergic reactions are caused by exposures in laboratories, but these animals are also common pets. Mouse urine is an especially potent allergen for personnel that handle laboratory animals. The urine of rats and guinea pigs also contains allergens as do the saliva and fur of rabbits. Rabbit hair can be found in fur coats, glove linings, slippers, foot muffs, pillows, and quilts. The fur of the Angora rabbit is said to be 10 times warmer than that of sheep wool. The soft yarn spun from Angora rabbit fur can be found in hand-knitted trimming, crochet work, gloves, hosiery, and knee pads. Alone or mixed with silk, it is also used in sportswear. And, of course, rabbits often appear in schools as the classroom pet.

Allergy alert
Frequently, parents will report that their child has "won the privilege" of caring for the classroom pet over the weekend or the holiday vacation. This often leads to the onset of a particular animal sensitivity. If you or your child already has allergies or asthma, do not volunteer for the job.

May 28, 2013

Once-A-Day Pill Offers Relief from Ragweed Allergy Symptoms

An international team of researchers, led by physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins, reports that a once-daily tablet containing a high dose of a key ragweed pollen protein effectively blocks the runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion and itchy eyes experienced by ragweed allergy sufferers.



Tests showed that treatment with the pill, which contains the protein Ambrosia artemisiifolia major allergen 1, and is placed under the tongue to be absorbed, also reduced the need for anti-allergy drugs to get relief. More than 80 million Americans are allergic to ragweed.
Researchers say that if the pill wins approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it could serve as a more convenient, less painful option than weekly or monthly allergy shots. The pill also presents fewer potential side effects than allergen injections. Some 784 men and women from the United States, Canada, Hungary, Russia and the Ukraine volunteered to take part in the year-long study, in which participants were randomly assigned to take either a high-, medium-, or low-dose tablet, or placebo. Neither researchers nor study participants were aware of which dose of the pill or placebo they were taking. Patients kept track of their symptoms and medication use through detailed and daily diaries, which were later scored by researchers for analysis.
Physicians treating ragweed allergy sufferers may soon have an alternative to the current approach to managing ragweed allergy, which usually involves weekly or monthly visits to the doctor's office for allergy shots and carries the risk of swelling and pain at the injection site, plus risk of anaphylactic shock





May 21, 2013

Parents may protect their children against developing allergy





















Allergies are very common in industrialized countries. It has been suggested that exposure to harmless bacteria during infancy may be protective against the development of allergy. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint which bacteria a baby should be exposed to, and at what time and by which route this exposure should ideally occur.

Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now report that a simple habit may give significant protection against allergy development, namely, the parental sucking on the baby's pacifier. 
In a group of 184 children, who were followed from birth, the researchers registered how many infants used a pacifier in the first 6 months of life and how the parents cleaned the pacifier. Most parents rinsed the pacifier in tap water before giving it to the baby, e.g., after it had fallen on the floor. However, some parents also boiled the pacifier to clean it. Yet other parents had the habit of putting the baby's pacifier into their mouth and cleaning it by sucking, before returning it to the baby.
It was found that children whose parents habitually sucked the pacifier were three times less likely to suffer from eczema at 1.5 years of age, as compared with the children of parents who did not do this. When controlled for other factors that could affect the risk of developing allergy, such as allergy in the parents and delivery by Caesarean section, the beneficial effect of parental sucking on the pacifier remained.
Pacifier use per se had no effect on allergy development in the child. Boiling the pacifier also did not affect allergy development in a statistically proven fashion.No more upper respiratory infections were seen in the children whose parents sucked on their dummies, as compared with the other children, as evidenced by diaries kept by the parents in which they noted significant events, such as infections.
Saliva is a very rich source of bacteria and viruses, and the researchers believe that oral commensal microbes are transferred from parent to infant when they suck on the same pacifier. When the composition of the bacterial flora in the mouth was compared between infants whose parents sucked on their pacifiers and those whose parent did not, it was found to differ, supporting this hypothesis.
According to "the hygiene hypothesis," the development of allergy can be attributed in part to a paucity of microbial stimulation during early infancy.