Monthly Archives: February 2012

Differences Between Allergies and Sinus Infection

Many people confuse seasonal allergies with sinus infections. The symptoms are similar–stuffy, painful nose and sinus cavities, often with sneezing, coughing and other cold symptoms. However there are some important differences between allergies and sinus infections that need to be addressed for proper prevention and treatment.

Allergies

Allergies are the body’s reaction to allergens in the surrounding environment. These allergens may include dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and food. People may be allergic to one or more of these items, so determining the cause of an allergic reaction can be difficult.

When someone is exposed to an allergen to which he is sensitive, his body produces histamines, a chemical that causes the lining of the nose, sinuses and the eyes to become inflamed. These linings produce a fluid in an attempt to fight off the allergen. When this happens, the person begins sneezing and wheezing. His eyes may start watering and itching. These symptoms last as long as the person is exposed to the allergen.

Sinus Infection

Because sinus infections most often are the result of the common cold, its symptoms are very similar to allergic rhinitis. The mucous membranes lining the nose become inflamed by a virus or bacteria. Eventually the mucous membranes in the frontal and maxillary sinuses (forehead and cheekbones) also become inflamed, creating a greenish discharge. When the nose and sinus cavities become filled with the discharge, pressure builds and the person feels may feel pain right behind the eyebrows or in the cheeks. Her nose will become stuffy. Other symptoms include drainage down the back of the throat, sneezing, coughing, swelling in the face, tiredness and fever. These symptoms may last for several weeks if untreated.

Treatment

Allergies can be treated with a variety of over-the-counter medicines:

Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (brand-name Benadryl), loratadine (Claratin) or Cetirizine (Zyrtec) block the production of histamines.

Decongestants reduce blood flow to the affected area, creating more room to clear the congestion. Common types of oral decongestants are phenyloephrine and pseudoephedrine (brand-name Sudafed). Common nasal decongestants (nasal sprays) include oxymatazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine)

Sinus infection symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter decongestants. They can also be relieved by gently blowing the nose. Inhaling steam (e.g., in a hot shower or over a hot mug of coffee) or a saline nasal spray can also bring relief. However, it is likely that an antibiotic will be needed to cure the infection.

Prevention

Allergy suffers should consult an allergist to determine which allergens affect them and, of course, avoid those allergens as much as possible. Depending on the severity and the type of allergy, they should take care to clean bed linens and other laundry regularly in hot water and dust and vacuum weekly. (Those with very severe symptoms should arrange for someone else to perform these tasks.) Homeowners should fix leaks and clean moldy surfaces with a bleach solution and close drains and cracks where insects can enter. Chronic allergy sufferers may want to start taking a mast cell inhibitor, which prevents the release of histamines, throughout allergy season.

Those who frequently suffer sinus infections should use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air and sleep with the head slightly elevated to promote drainage. They should also treat cold symptoms promptly. Wash your hands thoroughly and often to prevent the spread of germs.

Warning

Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, have been known to increase blood pressure in some patients. Other side effects include sleeplessness and irritability.

Likewise, antihistamines are well-known to cause drowsiness. Do not use if you are planning to drive or operate heavy machinery.

When using steam to relieve sinus pressure, use caution. Steam is hot and can burn the nasal passages.

This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical help. Consult a doctor or pharmacist for specific questions.

Dealing With Shih Tzu Allergies

The Shitzu suffer from allergies further so than any other breed of dogs. There are many different reasons these allergies happen. Although your Shitzu’s allergies can be the result of a mixture of causes, do not fail to notice the role that her food may play. Do not allow your dog to suffer for any length of time before you realize what is behind her allergies.

Below are some symptoms to look for

Allergies may be a problem if your Shitzu itches more than customary, sneezes all the time, or displays runny eyes and nose. Vomiting, loss of appetite, breathing problems, and coughing are also signs that indicate allergy problems. Do not turn your back on these symptoms, thus, your dog may suffer. If the symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, then I suggest taking her to the vet.

What could possibly be causing my Shitzu’s allergies?

Pollen is one of the foremost causes of allergies in Shitzus. If your Shitzu experiences symptoms associated with allergies during the spring or the summer, then pollen is the problem, as that’s when pollen concentration is the highest. Once you know that your dog is allergic to pollen, you must wash her bed on a regular basis, clean her eyes, and use air filters all-around your home. If your dog continues to suffer from the symptoms, then take her to the vet to get antihistamines, then again, if they do not work then the vet may propose steroids. Because steroids can have really bad side effects I suggest you use your greatest judgement.

Allergies can furthermore be caused by house dust. Try to maintain your Shitzu’s bed out of rooms that has rugs and drapes in them, since as we all know drapes and rugs are well-known to be dust collectors. Doing this for your dog will make a big distinction.

In addition, let us not forget about fleas. All dogs at one moment in their life will obtain fleas or ticks. For that reason, check your Shitzu regularly for fleas and ticks. Not only are fleas a troublesome pest, they can also instigate some truly bad health problems. Ask your vet for information on the most significant way to take care of an infestation. He or she will inform you on the best treatments available.

Dairy Allergy Symptoms And How You Can Overcome Them

Dairy allergy, which is often referred to as milk allergy, is a form of allergic reaction produced on individuals due to one or more component present in the milk produced from a cow. Aside from dairy allergy, there are many other forms of allergies that develop from intake of dairy products. The three major components present in a cow’s milk that are identified as the main triggers for the development of dairy allergy in an individual are the following: casein protein, lactose sugar, and whey protein.

Casein and whey protein are noted as the ones most likely to produce allergic reactions while lactose sugar often cause intolerance for those adults that intake cow’s milk. Despite the fact that dairy or milk allergy is common among infants, some people also acquire this type of allergy later on in life.

Symptoms and Manifestations

With several known types of allergies, being able to clearly identify which is dairy allergy is important to provide the right form of treatment. And with other allergies, it can be exhibited through various symptoms and physical manifestations depending on the individual’s immunity response.

Moreover, the symptoms of dairy allergy is evident in different parts of the body, such as the skin, respiratory or digestive system. For the symptoms on your skin, this form of allergy can result to eczema, hives, allergic shiners or characterized by black eyes, acquisition of itchy red rashes, and swelling of your lips, mouth, tongue, face, or throat. The respiratory symptoms of dairy allergy includes shortness of breath, uncharacteristic excess coughing, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, among others. Lastly, the digestive symptoms of this allergy are the most common and it could result to an individual suffering from diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and vomiting.

Dairy Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance

Most people have this false misconception that dairy allergy is the same with lactose intolerance. However, these two are totally different from one another. Sensitivity to specific types of food does not necessarily result to formation of allergies, but it can be due to food intolerance. Allergies caused by dairy products such as cow’s milk affect your immune system and reactions are due to an immune response. Meanwhile, lactose intolerance occurs due to the lack of enzyme lactose that is responsible for breaking down food in your small intestine.

Clear differentiation of each condition is important since they are caused by two different physiological events such that they each require different types of treatment.

Treatment Options For Dairy Allergies

There are several different methods and options for treating dairy allergies. However, these approach for treatment can be categorized under two major forms of medicine: traditional and natural.

The traditional approach to treating allergies caused by dairy products utilize the power of modern medicine to put a stop or reverse the effects of the allergy. Histamine is released in the body upon the formation of allergic response that eventually leads to fluid leakage. Therefore, antihistamine medication is often prescribed to prevent the condition from worsening. In some cases, the allergen is desensitized by injecting a small dosage of the allergen to facilitate in the formation of natural antibody.

There is also a natural and most recommended approach to treating dairy and other forms of allergies. A hormone known as Cortisol will help stop the development of allergic reactions. So you need to strengthen your adrenal gland while also trying to reduce exposure to the allergens that is causing all these sensitive reactions. You can use natural herbs such as licorice root and ginseng, or make significant lifestyle changes such as reducing amount of stress in your life and your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.

Food Guide To Overcome Dairy Allergy

Now that the difference between dairy allergy and lactose intolerance has been established, it is important to know what foods are potential triggers for this condition so you can prevent this from happening. Even the slightest amount of milk protein from cow can trigger allergic reactions for those with dairy allergies. Those who are at risks must therefore take time to read food labels carefully to ensure that none of the following food or food components are present:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cream
  • Ice milk
  • Ice cream
  • Sherbet that has yogurt and milk ingredients
  • Cheese
  • Acidophilus milk
  • Margarine or butter
  • Baked food with milk ingredients
  • Cream sauces or soups
  • Breakfast mixes and cereals with dried milk ingredients
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Dairy-Free Diet

Switching to this type of diet is important if you want to prevent the possibility of developing dairy or milk allergies. It could mean that you have to eliminate dairy foods and their derivatives off your diet since they are known to produce the milk proteins that cause allergy.

For this diet to be effective, make sure you have adequate amount of calcium, soy products, fish, and green vegetables. Moreover, you need to avoid all forms of dairy milk, cheese, cream, and other potential sources of milk protein, even in small amounts.

How To Get Enough Calcium?

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium, particularly cow’s milk. So, people with dairy allergies are in a dilemma on how they are able to suffice for the prescribed calcium intake for the body. Gladly though, the Vegan Diet offers suitable alternatives that are safe enough for those with allergies on milk and other daily products while ensuring the daily requirement intake of calcium is supplied.

First and foremost, you need to determine at which age group you belong because it will enable you to identify how much calcium your body needs per day. For ages 19-50, 1000mg of calcium per day should be enough. For those aged 51 and above, 1200mg is what you need. For this diet scheme, tofu makes an excellent replacement for all dairy products that could trigger allergic reaction while providing for the recommended level of calcium needed by the body. Other alternative sources of calcium for those with dairy allergies include calcium-fortified soy milk, soybeans, and other vegetables like Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli, collards, kale, etc.

Dealing With Dairy Allergy in Infants and Children

Since infants and children are advised to regularly intake milk as part of their diet and to improve bone health, the issue of dairy allergy formation create a special concern for parents. After all, depriving your kid of milk would entail that you are also depriving them of their main source of nutrients such as calcium.

For moms who breastfeed their young infants, you also need to look at your own diet to ensure that it does not consist of antibodies from the cow’s milk that you can pass onto your child. Moreover, it is not enough that you adapt lactose-free dairy products since lactose is not the one triggering the allergic reactions but the protein from cow’s milk.

Cures for Mold Allergies

Molds are small fungi that release microscopic spores into the air, which you then inhale into your lungs when you breathe. In some people, the body’s immune system overreacts when it comes into contact with mold, producing an allergic reaction. Signs of a mold allergy include sneezing, watery, itchy eyes and coughing. The most effective cure for mold allergies is to reduce exposure to the allergen. Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also provide relief from mold allergies.

Limiting Exposure

Limiting your exposure to molds is the best way to prevent allergy symptoms from occurring. In theory, completely eliminating your exposure to molds would stop all symptoms of mold allergies, but in practice this is nearly impossible to achieve. Instead, focus on removing mold from your home and addressing possible mold contamination in your workplace. Air conditioners and HEPA air filters, for example, can reduce the amount of mold spores present in the air.

Mold Removal

Check your home for signs of mold, then take steps to remove it. Mold and mildew are often present in damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms, and may also be found near pipes, upholstery and in refrigerators and garbage cans. A cleaning solution of bleach and water, or straight vinegar, can be applied to the mold to remove it. Be careful to keep all areas of your home dry to avoid a recurrence of mold.

Medications

There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can reduce your mold allergy symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays, for example, can be very effective at treating mold allergies over the short term. However, some medications used to treat mold allergies may have side effects such as sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation, nervousness and irritability. Talk to a doctor about the best medication for your mold allergies.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots (also called immunotherapy) can be an effective treatment for people whose mold allergy symptoms are severe and do not respond to other treatments. If you opt for allergy shots, your doctor will inject a small amount of allergen into your skin. These shots are continued over several weeks or months until your body builds up a tolerance to the allergen. Immunotherapy is very effective at reducing or eliminating allergy symptoms in most people.

Alternative Treatments

There are a range of alternative treatments available for mold allergies, though doctors disagree about their effectiveness and safety. Techniques such as yoga and acupuncture may improve your body’s immune response to mold allergens. Certain supplements may also claim to reduce mold allergy symptoms. While some supplements may have health benefits, they can also interact with medications you are already taking, or could even cause an allergic reaction themselves. Always talk to your health care provider about all the treatments you are pursuing.

Cross Reactivity and Food Allergies

Dealing with food allergies can be a bit complicated. You have to deal with ingredient checking, special recipes, and other strategies to avoid a reaction. Cross-reactivity is something that makes this more complicated, but if you learn and understand it, you can also learn to avoid the complications.

In addition, food allergies can make seasonal allergies worse. Some people with food allergies may experience oral allergy syndrome (OAS). The signs are itchiness, tingling and/or swelling of the lip, mouth and throat when eating certain foods. The body and the immune system see these food proteins as the same as their cross reactive cousins — tree, grass and weed pollens.

Dealing With Food Allergies

Dealing with food allergies can be a bit complicated. You have to deal with ingredient checking, special recipes, and other strategies to avoid a reaction.

Cross-reactivity is something that makes this more complicated, but if you learn and understand it, you can also learn to avoid the complications.

While they both involve an immune response, we normally think of food allergies a little differently than everyday allergies associated with things like pollen, dust, and animals. However, these two things can actually be closely related.

An allergic reaction is when your body treats a safe foreign substance as if it were dangerous. With a majority of substances, the result is simply a runny nose, itchy eyes or headache.

Food allergies are when your body has an immune response to something you’ve eaten, which is almost always a protein. While these allergies can be mild and annoying, they can also be severe and life-threatening.

Cross Reactive Allergens

Here are just a few of the most common cross-reactive allergens and what foods to avoid or take precautions with–

Birch. This is one of the more dangerous cross-reactive allergies because it is triggered by so many different foods, including: almonds, hazelnuts, potatoes, carrots, celery, and various fruits like apricots, cherries, kiwis, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums.

Ragweed. This is a fairly common allergy and is associated with reactions to bananas and many melons.

Mugwort. People with this allergy should be wary of chestnuts avocados, veggies like celery or carrots, and fruit like bananas and kiwis.

Grass. Reaction to tomatoes is associated with people who are allergic to various different kinds of grass.

Latex. This is an allergy that is becoming more and more common as latex is becoming even more widely used. If you have a latex allergy you may need to avoid many fruits including kiwi, passion fruit, banana, figs, peaches, nectarines, plums, and tomatoes. You may also react to celery, chestnuts, and avocados.

Immune System and Cross Reactivity

A common problem with cross-reactivity is that you may not experience one of the allergies all of the time. You may only have a reaction when you have recently been exposed to the other and your immune system is on high alert.

For instance, you may normally be able to eat bananas, but when you’re having a reaction to ragweed, bananas will trigger a reaction as well. This can make allergies much less predictable and harder to diagnose.

When two things cross-react, it doesn’t always have to be two allergens. Many people can have a reaction when combining something they’re not normally allergic to with exercise.

If you exercise when you haven’t eaten a specific food, you’re fine. When you eat the food and remain inactive, you’re fine. But when you eat a specific food and exercise within a certain time period, you can have a life-threatening reaction.

This can be very dangerous because you may have trouble identifying what exactly is causing your reaction. If you seem to react to a food sometimes, but not others, this may be what’s causing your issues.

If you are having an allergic reaction to food or anything else, your doctor will be able to help you sort through the problem and live a healthy life.

Cotton Allergies

Cotton Allergies Can Be Problematic To Deal With

Cotton is such a commonly used product that cotton allergies can be very difficult and problematic to deal with. A person who is allergic to cotton may have the feeling that this fiber is absolutely everywhere and inescapable. Cotton is found in nearly every kind of clothing, blankets and pillowcases.

Because of this a person who finds that they have developed an allergy to cotton may be very miserable indeed while trying to figure out how to avoid coming into contact with this fiber.

Some people are allergic only to cotton plant tissues while other are allergic to the cotton fibers themselves. Cotton fibers grow on the seeds which are found inside the cotton boll.

Cotton allergies are fairly rare and are found mostly in people who work in the processing of cotton fibers. To make matters even more confusing many of these workers are not actually allergic to the cotton itself but rather are allergic to allergens which have been added to the cotton during the processing of the fibers. These workers are exposed to a wide range of other things than the cotton they are processing. These include bacteria, mold and residues left behind by pesticides used on the cotton itself.

Many people experience an allergic reaction when wearing cotton clothing or sleeping on cotton pillowcases. Sometimes these people have bona fide cotton allergies but in many cases further investigation reveals that they are reacting to other allergens which were introduced into the fabric during the processing. These include allergens such as formaldehyde. In some cases an allergy to cotton may actually be an allergy to dyes or detergents used during the processing. Still other people who think they have developed cotton allergies are actually allergic to dust mites found within their pillows.

The most notable symptom of a cotton allergy is skin dermatitis. This skin eruption can occur in places on the body which do not come into direct contact with the cotton fibers.

A cotton allergy may also manifest itself in:
· Asthma
· Rhinitis
· Itchy watery eyes or
· A runny nose that does not go away
· Hives
· Nasal mucous membrane inflammation

As with any kind of allergy, an allergy to cotton can show up in many different strengths. It may be mild or severe. All allergies deserve attention so that they do not develop into life threatening events. People who have allergies to other things can often develop an allergy to cotton as well.
Because cotton is a natural fiber it usually does not cause allergic reactions. In most cases, the person will determine that their allergy stems from either synthetic fibers coming into contact with their skin or laundry detergents.

Corn Allergies for Dogs

Food allergies in dogs can cause constant scratching and several trips to the veterinarian. Often, food allergies are initially misdiagnosed as flea or pollen allergies. Corn, an extremely common ingredient in many commercial dog foods, can cause significant allergic reactions. Learn why corn can be such an irritant, and how to respond to your dog’s corn allergy.

Why Corn?

Corn is not a natural food source for dogs. Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of darwin Bell

Corn is one of the most common foods that cause allergies in dogs. Although dogs are omnivorous, corn is not a natural food source for dogs. Unfortunately, corn and corn byproducts are two of the most common ingredients in commercial dog food.

Chemicals and Mold in Corn

Corn is susceptible to mold growth during the harvesting and refining processes. Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Brian Forbes

The corn designated for pet consumption has often been treated heavily with chemicals, both in the field and during processing. In addition to the corn itself, these chemicals can also cause allergic reactions in dogs. Finally, corn is highly susceptible to mold, which can often cause allergic reactions in dogs.

Symptoms of Corn Allergies

The main symptom of a corn allergy is skin irritation. The itchy skin appears primarily on the face, feet, ears, and front legs. Dogs with corn allergies may also develop ear infections, patchy skin, and hot spots. Due to the excessive scratching, dogs may develop skin infections that require treatment with antibiotics.

Treatment for Corn Allergies

Green peas are a good source of carbohydrates for dogs, and rarely cause allergic reactions. Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of liz west

The recommended treatment for a dog with a suspected corn allergy is to conduct a 12-week food trial. Feed your dog a food with a unique protein (avoid chicken, beef, and lamb, since these are so common) and a single carbohydrate. Common varieties for dogs with food allergies include duck and salmon, combined with sweet potatoes or green peas. Check your local pet retail store for allergen formulas.

Medications

While medications will not cure the corn allergy, they can give some relief in the short term. Antihistamines and steroids may reduce the skin irritation and inflammation. Consult with your veterinarian for prescriptions and dosage information for these short-term medications.

Coping with Food Allergies

First of all, let me just be clear, I am not a Doctor and I can not diagnose anyone. This is about my personal experience and I share it hoping it may be of help to anyone else who may struggle with the same…

In the last few years, I have had to make a great many changes to my diet (and lifestyle for that matter).

After getting very ill, where I was flat on my back with aching back, headaches, constant tiredness, and a host of other issues, I was desperate! Because my back hurt the worst,and I thought it was muscle related,I went to my massage therapist desperate to get some relief. I got numerous treatments only to have short term relief. She suggested that I may have allergies and should get tested.

I decided to give it a try. I was tested, and I found out I have allergies to a lot of things- molds, grasses, dust, cats, and a few different trees. My biggest affliction was that I was allergic to five major foods (milk, corn, egg, wheat, and peanut).

Needless to say, I left the doctor’s office feeling very depressed… “What can I eat? Almost everything I eat has milk or eggs in it, but wheat, corn and peanuts too?” My allergist gave me some pamphlets on foods to avoid- five pamphlets in all. I was overwhelmed, but I was to take it one step at a time. Remove one food for two weeks, then another for the next two weeks, and another the next two and so on.Then I was supposed to add a little of the allergens to my diet and see how I felt. Easier said than done, especially if your diet consists of lots of milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice-cream. And I soon found out corn is almost in all foods, sodas, and drinks you can buy. Eggs and wheat…?? what do I eat for breakfast?

I started taking allergen immunotherapy treatments along with avoiding the offending foods. I started feeling some better. But occasionally, I would eat something I was allergic to and would be back at point A, feeling depressed, doubled over with stomach pain,or having those headaches.

I decided to go on a quest to figure out what really causes allergies to form after years of eating those God given normal foods. Here are a few of my findings and how they helped me:

Sometimes food allergies and digestive disorders are caused by a toxic liver. So I took a cleanse. I felt really good for a while, but after it was over and I was back to normal life, the old symptoms set in again. So it was only a temporary help, but it didn’t hurt me to take it.

Next I found out that if your atlas (the first bone in the neck) is out of line,it can cause the main “transmitters” from the brain to the stomach to be “short circuited”. Thus, the stomach does not get the message from the brain to digest certain foods, causing an allergy.(At least that’s my best explanation of it.) In short, I went to an upper cervical health specialist and started taking treatments. This has helped me greatly! I can always tell if I am out of line because I will get a terrible stomach ache or headache over the slightest bit of allergy food I eat. I go get an adjustment and I get immediate relief most times. It isn’t a total cure for my allergies but it has done wonders for me!! I would recommend it to anyone facing allergies. Some people it practically heals their allergies, (especially the respitorial allergies).

For further information on upper cervical care go to www.uppercervicalcare.com

Your body needs certain minerals and vitamins to work properly. Well, I decided, obviously my body is badly lacking in some vitamins and minerals. Yet I had no idea which ones to take or where to start. So through a friend, I got information on where to get a hair tissue analysis taken. A hair tissue analysis is where a nutritionalist takes a hair sample you send to them, gets it analyzed at a lab to see the vitamins and minerals you are lacking. The nutritionalist then studies the lab results and explains to you what each deficiency causes and gives a recomendation on what you need to take and how much.

I had the hair analysis taken and found out that I have a SERIOUS sodium-pottassium, and magnesium deficiency According to the nutritionalist this makes so my body doesn’t create enough enzymes to digest my food properly, thus causing allergies. I have now been taking the supplements for almost three months now and have noticed a significant difference. I am able to eat small amounts of the foods I have allergies to and not get a big allergy attack. My nutritionalist had told me it would probably take three months before I noticed any big difference. Well, it hasn’t taken that long for me to feel better overall, and another perk is my hair is starting to look healthy and shiny. 😉

I recently started taking more enzymes with my meals, and try to drink lots of water.  Enzymes are what my body has a problem producing and well, water helps flush out toxins. I did learn though, that it is best for me to drink as little water as possible DURING meal time so that my stomache acids are stronger for digesting. I try to drink water between mealtimes instead. It makes a difference.

As I already mentioned, I am taking allergen immunotherapy. I have had almost three years of it and my allergist said that hopefully in a few months I can be finished. Would I recommend it? I would to someone that has allergies really badly, and upper cervical care didn’t work for them and they are supplementing with the vitamins and minerals they are deficient in and that didn’t work. If I had to do it over again, I would try those two first then if they didn’t help I would go with the immunotherapy. Plus,they make more sense to me in how they work to actually get to the” root” of the problem.

So you may ask, “Are you healed of your allergies?” No I am not, but I am feeling SIGNIFICANTLY better overall and am able to cope with them a LOT better.

Will I ever be able to eat those offending foods?  I don’t know, but I can tell you this. It isn’t as big a deal anymore if we are at a friend’s house or out to eat, and there is no ‘totally’ allergy free foods for me. I can eat a little bread, and I feel only a little “fuzzy headed” when I eat something with small amounts of corn.I haven’t tried peanuts yet because that is not such a big sacrifice to give up. Milk is really the only allergen that still gives me a reaction over even small amounts, so I am still very careful about it. Overall, I feel well and work on keeping up that good feeling. 🙂 Hopefully someday I will be able to taste ice-cream again.

It makes me happy to have weapons to not only “Cope” with but also fight my allergies- with no side affects. I would much rather get to the core issue and work with the body, than to take those prescription antihistamine (that makes my stomach sore, my throat dry and hurt, and damages my liver.)

Common Plant Allergies

Fotolia.com”> People with grass allergies should cut it before it begins to flower. grass image by ana malin from Fotolia.com

According to Mary Predny at the Virginia Cooperative Extension, common plant allergens include grasses, weeds and trees. Some plants trigger allergic reactions because their pollen is easily inhaled. Airborne pollen is light enough to stay aloft for several days, traveling hundreds of miles, according to the Allergy Relief Center.

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac cause allergic reaction through physical contact with their plant sap. Gardening tools, clothing, shoes and pet fur may transfer plant sap, so you can react even if you never touched the plant.

Grasses

Fotolia.com”> Bermuda grass causes allergies in some sensitive individuals. grass image by palms from Fotolia.com

Grasses that cause the most allergies include Bermuda, Orchard, Johnson, Rye, Timothy, Redtop and Kentucky bluegrass, according to Plantcare.com. Rye and Timothy grass allergies are most commonly referred to as hay fever because they typically occur during haying season.

Grass pollinates during the late spring and summer. Cutting the grass before it flowers can cut down on grass allergies. You can also wear a breathing mask when cutting the grass or when the air is dry and windy to help stave off allergy flare ups.

Trees

Fotolia.com”> Pollen from the cottonwood trees can make it appear to snow in the spring. rattlertree image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com

Most trees pollinate in early spring, but if the winter is mild, they may begin pollinating in late January in the southern United States, according to the Allergy Relief Center. Cottonwoods, oaks, mulberries, maples and pecans are the trees most likely to cause allergic reaction in the spring. Furs, junipers, cypress and sequoias flower in the fall and early winter, according to Mary Predny. Fresh cut evergreens, Christmas trees and holiday trims may cause issues for holiday shoppers who are sensitive to these trees.

Ragweed

Fotolia.com”> People who are sensitive to ragweed may also be sensitive to canteloupe and bananas. canteloupe melon image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Ragweeds cause allergies in 75 percent of Americans with pollen sensitivities according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). There are 17 varieties in the U.S. and they pollinate in the summer and early fall. In the southern U.S., ragweed season may begin in September and last until the first hard freeze, which may not happen until late December or early January.

One ragweed plant can produce up to one billion grains of pollen. The pollen counts are typically highest in rural areas just after dawn and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in urban areas. People who are sensitive to ragweed may also be sensitive to sage, cantaloupe and bananas. Consuming chamomile tea, sunflower seeds and honey can lead to allergic reaction and shock in sensitive individuals.

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Fotolia.com”> Never burn poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. poison ivy image by Predrag Marcikic from Fotolia.com

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac sap is called urushiol. Urushiol is very irritating and is found in every part of the plant, according to WebMed. The sap continues to be active after the plant dies. People build up a sensitivity to urushiol and each subsequent exposure causes the reaction to intensify. WebMD warns that you should not burn these plants because the sap can become airborne in the smoke and ash from the fire. Inhaled urushiol can cause serious and severe reactions in the respiratory system.

Common Food Allergies in Children

Food allergy

Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by the body’s immune system. The protein component of a food is considered to be the causative factor in food allergy. Symptoms of the food allergy can include wheezing, itchy skin, headache, vomitting, sneezing, difficulty breathing, skin rashes such as hives and eczema, diarrhea, adbominal pain, indigestion, swelling of the face and eyes. The same food can cause different symptoms in different people.

Food allergy is estimated to affect 11 million Americans. The prevalance of food allergy is more in children compared to adults. There is no cure for food allergy. Avoidance of the specific food trigger is the main treatment of food allergy. Food allergies in children resolve as they get older. Here is a list of common food allergies in children.

1. Milk: Cow milk’s is the most common cause of food allergies in children. Infants who are allergic to cow’s milk usually switched to hydrolyzed formula such as Nutramigen. Some of the foods to avoid if they are allergic to cow’s milk include cheese, condensed milk, buttermilk, yogurt, margarine, casein, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, sour cream, whey, nougat, puddings made with milk, cream cheese, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, curds, instant mashed potatoes, coffee creamers, white sauces and other foods made with milk. Children who cannot consume milk or milk based foods should take addtional sources of calcium in their diet. You can substitute soy milk, almond milk or rice milk for cow’s milk. Talk to your health care provider first.

2. Peanuts: Peanuts are made from legumes from the pea and bean family. Other foods to avoid if they are allergic to peanuts include chili, ground nuts, artificial nuts, marzipan, baked goods, candy, peanut butter, mixed nuts and anything made with peanuts. Kids who are allergic to peanuts can be sensitive to foods with even tiny amounts of peanuts in them.

3. Eggs: Eggs allergies is another common cause of food allergies in children, infants and adults. Children who is allergic to eggs should avoid foods made with eggs. Some of the foods incude bavarian creams, breaded foods, cream pies, cream puffs, cake, pancakes, french toast, cookies, eggnog, bread, ice cream, pasta, doughnuts, egg rolls, egg noodles, hollandaise sauce, puddings, custard, marshmallows, mayonnaise, muffins, pretzels, tartar sauce, waffles,cream fillings, and creamy salad dressings. Children should avoid anything made with eggs. In order to prevent allergies to eggs, it is better to avoid giving eggs until he or she is one year old. Also read labels carefully. Some egg substitutes contain egg whites.

4. Soybean: Soybean allergies is usually found in infants who drink soy formula. It is also seen in older children who drink soy milk. Soybean are legumes. Other foods in the legume family include navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, string beans, chickpeas, lentils, carob, licorice and peanuts.Some of the foods to avoid if they are allergic to soybean include tofu, soybean oil, hot dogs, veggie burgers, miso soup, soy sauce, vegetable broth, soy milk, soy fruits, soy curds, soy sprouts, vegetable gum, emulsifiers and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Some kids may be allergic to more than one legume.

5. Wheat: Wheat allergies is found in infants, children and adults. If the child is allergic to wheat, they may switch to rice or oatmeal cereal. Other foods to avoid include gluten, wheat flour, cornstarch, semolina, all purpose flour, white flour, couscous, acker meal, wheat pasta, and spelt. Many processed foods including ice cream may contain wheat flour.

6. Tree nuts: Tree nuts may also cause allergies in children and adults. Some of the tree nuts to avoid walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, filberts, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts and other nuts made with hard shells. Tree nuts may also used in lotions and shampoos. Check the labels first.

7. Shellfish: Shellfish may cause allergic reaction include shrimp, crab, crayfish, lobster, clams, scallions, oysters, mussels, snails, cockle, sea urchin, abaloneand squid.

Diagnosis of food allergy:

Skin pricking tests, blood tests or food challenges are the main tests used to detect food allergies.