Category Archives: Symptoms

Christmas Allergies

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Are holiday allergies keeping you on the sidelines? Take control of your symptoms with these quick tips.

Pass the tissues and antihistamine please — ’tis the season for holiday allergies. Like unwanted gifts, sneezing and congestion arrive, making allergy sufferers miserable and putting a damper on holiday fun.

Fortunately you don’t have to be sidelined from the festivities. Whether it’s symptoms to food, pets, mold or mildew, allergies during the holidays can be beat — with lifestyle changes, medication, and a few simple tips.

Why Allergies Spike During the Holidays

Lots of holiday favorites can trigger or irritate allergies, from food and pets to wood-burning fires and seasonal greenery. And while you may manage allergy symptoms pretty well most of the year, symptoms to indoor allergens like these can really spike during the holiday season.

Why? Blame our tendency to snuggle in when the weather cools.

“You’re in a closed-up house, the heater is on, the windows shut — that’s why indoor allergies get worse in the winter,” says Asriani Chiu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine (allergy/immunology), at the College of Wisconsin. You can do a lot to alleviate holiday allergies — but first you need to know what’s triggering your symptoms to begin with.

Read more about what causes allergies during the holiday season.

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The Link Between Allergies And Depression

Depression can be the only symptom for some allergies

Depression and Allergic Reactions

Not All Allergy Symptoms Are Obvious

This winter, millions of Americans will become depressed because of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Symptoms of SAD include brain fog, anxiety, irritability, overeating, difficulty concentrating, and depression all of which are thought to occur because of the reduction in daylight. Allergy and asthma sufferers must be especially wary of depression during the winter, as recent studies suggest a strong link between allergies and depression.

A 2006 study at Columbia University’s School of Public Health showed that women with major depression are more likely to have allergies, and allergies appear to be more common in men with nervous, anxious personalities. Researchers cannot fully explain the link between allergies and depression, but they speculate that depression contributes to the development of allergies by impairing the immune system. Conversely, the stress of dealing with chronic allergies may lead to depression. Click to read more about the effects of allergens on your mental health.

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Allergies and Cancer

Some studies suggest that those who suffer from allergies are less prone to cancer than their hay-fever-free friends. The mysterious connection between the immune system and cancer could help researchers fight the disease.

Do allergies lower your risk for cancer?

When you sneeze, allergens and carcinogens are expelled from the tissues, possibly protecting the body’s cells from harmful mutation.

Since the 1950s, scientists have drawn three conclusions about the relation between allergies and cancer: Compared with people who don’t have allergies, allergy sufferers have (1) a higher risk of cancer, (2) a lower risk of cancer and (3) the same risk of cancer.

A recent review of the studies, published by scientists at Cornell University, pinpoints a nuance that could explain the apparent contradiction. Click to learn more about the possible link between allergies and decreased risk of cancer.

 

 

Hiking and Fall Allergies

Going for a weekend hike? Don’t forget your tissues!

Even though people associate spring with allergy season, fall can be just as potent. In fact, over 30% of people with seasonal allergies are affected by exercise-induced asthma. Because a nice hike is often out in the middle of nowhere, it’s important you take precautions. If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to, be sure you get tested for specific allergies so you know best how to prepare.

Get a work out in the fall

Hiking in the Fall

How to work out smart during fall allergy season:

  1. If you’re allergic to mold, avoid hiking or exercising in wet areas such as in the woods. Go for a nice stroll in a dry, arid location if possible.
  2. Temperature can play a big part. The colder the air, the more frequent the exercise-induced asthma. If you can’t avoid the cold, bring a scarf or something to warm the air before you inhale into your lungs.
  3. Check the pollen count online before you go to get a good idea of what’s out there.
  4. If you are going to a new area and you’re not familiar with the potential allergens, bring extra tissues and an epi pin to be safe. These items are very lightweight and can make a huge difference.
  5. Before you get back in your car or go back indoors, be sure to wipe off your shoes. That pollen can really accumulate and spread quickly!
  6. If it’s too much to handle, consider other healthy methods of exercise that are indoors: yoga, swimming, weight training, pop in your favorite Jillian Michaels DVD and sweat til you drop!

Be smart, know your body, and investigate your surroundings as much as possible. Fall is a beautiful season that is meant to be explored. With these precautions and tips, exercise-induced asthma and fall allergies won’t be your downfall!

What Causes Allergies and Why Are Some of Us More Susceptible?

What causes allergies?

What causes allergies is a question that may frequently occur to those of us who have allergies and who often have their activities and life constrained by those allergies. An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. To put it simply, the body overreacts to harmless substances, perceiving them to be harmful.

Many kinds of foods, dust, pollen, medications, dander from pets and other animals and insect bites are usually not inimical to the body. But those who have an allergy to any of these substances are unable to tolerate these ‘allergens’ and produce reactions that could range from the mild to the severe. The body mistakenly produces the reaction that it would normally have to harmful bacteria and viruses.

What causes allergies may differ from person to person – the triggers, allergens, the kind of allergic reactions and their severity and so on. Also allergies can show a predictable pattern at times. For instance it a person is allergic to peanuts, there is a higher likelihood that they may be allergic to other nuts as well.

Medical conditions can be causes for allergies

Click to learn more about causes of allergies.

Source: http://www.allergyasthmazone.com/allergy/what-causes-allergies/

Get Ready For An Epic Allergy Season

Allergy season is upon us! Do you know how to treat your allergies?
Global warming means bad news for allergy sufferers, but here’s how to find relief:

Shoveling buckets of snow while sweat freezes to you probably isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Which means this mild winter may have warm weather lovers feeling positively chipper. But there’s a catch: The mild temperatures come with an earlier allergy season—one that promises to be a doozy for the country’s 35 million seasonal allergy sufferers.

While it’s not really shocking that the growing global trend of earlier spring means earlier allergies, what is surprising is that symptoms are getting more intense. What can you do?

Allergy-Proof Your Yard
“Blame it on what we call the priming effect,” says Dr. Fineman. Here’s how it works: An unseasonable warm front means that an allergic person is exposed to pollen and will have an initial reaction (achoo!). Then the temperature drops along with the pollen counts for a week or two (phew). But then the weather warms again, releasing more pollen, and the allergy sufferer—who’s already been primed the first time around—will have an even worse reaction (ugh).

Click for information on allergy proofing your yard.

Source: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/5-ways-ease-seasonal-allergy-symptoms?cm_mmc=OGGazette-_-831052-_-03012012-_-get_ready_for_an_epic_allergy_season

Food Allergy: A National and Deadly Problem

Do you wonder if you or your child might have food allergies?

Don’t guess, test! ImmuneTech offers a blood test for 10 of the most common allergens that is accessible and affordable. It’s a simple process. Order the test kit, prick your finger at home, return the test kit with your sample, and your test results are accessed using a secure log-in online. This test has been FDA cleared and proficiency demonstrated by the College of American Pathology. Visit www.immunetech.com to order your test kit today.

The following is an excellent article by Special to American News Report on February 21, 2012.

“Max Rosland, a 7-year-old elementary school student from Carter Lake, Iowa, was placed on a heart-lung bypass machine last month because of a severe allergic reaction to a peanut he ate at school. He survived. Ammaria Johnson, a first-grader from Richmond, Virginia went into anaphylactic shock and tragically died January 2 after eating a peanut her classmate gave her during recess.

The frequent and harrowing stories of food allergies have prompted a national outcry for schools to carry epinephrine (an emergency medicine that combats allergic reaction) and for parents to have their children tested for food allergies.

“This type of tragedy happens more often than you think,” said Darshana Alle, MD, an immunologist certified with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and practicing physician with the Allergy and Asthma Care Centers in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s something that parents and schools must be prepared to address.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) reports that food allergies alone cause 30,000 anaphylactic shock episodes and 140 deaths each year.

Anaphylaxis: The Potentially Deadly Allergic Reaction

The most dreaded manifestation of food allergy is anaphylaxis, a rapid-onset allergic reaction that can cause death. It most commonly presents with skin, respiratory, cardiac or gastrointestinal symptoms, where at least two organ systems are affected. If the cardiovascular system is affected, it can lead to potential shock and death. Anaphylaxis is always a medical emergency.

Click to read more about steps parents can take to avoid tragedy.

Reference site: http://americannewsreport.com/food-allergy-a-national-and-deadly-problem-8813227.html