Nightshade Allergy

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Allergies to nightshade plants are common throughout the western part of the world since they are common staples in the typical modern diet. Many people associate their aching joint pain as old age or over-use when in fact it is really an allergic reaction to the consumption of nightshade foods.

The nightshade family of plants are eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and yes . . . even blueberries and tobacco. These plants have alkaloids which can cause inflammation and cause allergic reactions. If a person is allergic to one nightshade food, then there is a 75% chance they will be allergic to all nightshades.

Nightshade allergies seem to have more symptoms than other food allergens. Here is a partial list of symptoms which can result from a nightshade allergy:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin swelling

The good news is; there are great alternatives to cooking with nightshade foods and just takes some practice like anything else. The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook written by Cybele Pascal is an excellent book with a good range of recipes for people with allergies.

About the author: Consuelo Vanderof is a master chef for a fine dining establishment in Seattle Washington and writes for a local cuisine magazine in her spare time.

Food For Fibromyalgia: Avoid The Nightshades

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Insect Allergy

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insect allergyIf you’re allergic to the stings or bites of insects, navigating your way rhough the summer can be more dangerous than bicycling through New York City. An estimated 2 million Americans have insect allergies, which send more than 500,000 of them to the hospital and cause at least 50 deaths per year. That figure may actually br higher, since some insect-allergy related deaths may not be recognized as such. Almost half of the fatal reactions occur in people who have no history of insect allergies. If you suspect you may be allergic, ask your doctor to do a skin test.

Insect Allergy Culprits

The culprits include stinging insects, such as bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants, and biting insects, such as mosquitoes and bedbugs. Most of which are plentiful in late July, August and early September. You’ll know you’re allergic to one of them if, after you’ve been bitten, you develop hives, itchiness, swelling in areas other than the sting bite, difficulty breathing, dizziness, a hoarse voice, and/or swelling of the tongue. In severe reactions, you may lose consciousness and go into cardiac arrest as your body becomes overwhelmed and goes into anaphylactic shock. Don’t be surprised if the symptoms hit several hours after your encounter with the insect and gradually worsen before dissipating.

There’s really no way to know if you’re allergic to an insect until you’ve been stung, since this is one of the few allergies in which there is no clear family history. Just because a parent is allergic to bee stings doesn’t mean that you will be.

If you’re stung, try applying cold compresses and/or an over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream to reduce the stinging and swelling, but even if that first reaction is mild, make sure you see an allergist.Not only do you need a doctor’s prescription for the epinephrine kit, you should ask if you’re a candidate for venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which can desensitize you to most insect stings.

Related Post: Wasp Allergy.

Excerpt from Allergy & Asthma Relief, Debra Gordon, Co-author of Allergy & Asthma Relief, Reader’s Digest, 2004

Insect Allergies Explained

Environmental Allergies

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environmental-allergiesThere has been much confusion over what causes allergies in the home for many years. Health-care practitioners may tell their patients that it is the outdoor pollutants which really cause their allergies whereas in-home air purifier manufacturers may claim just the opposite.

The fact of the matter is both outdoor and indoor pollutants can cause allergy symptoms. However, indoor pollutants have been shown to actually present a greater problem to long-term allergy sufferers. To start with, people spend more time indoors than out and the indoor pollutants are actually smaller than their outdoor counterparts. Indoor pollutants can actually split up and become smaller particles which are more likely to be breathed deeply into the lung and nasal cavities. In effect, the smaller the particle, the greater likelihood of that particle causing an allergic reaction.

Leading Causes of Environmental Allergies

Small sub-micron particles ranging from household dust to dust-mite feces are a leading cause of environmental allergies. Small particles of mold, pollen and cat dander can also aggravate allergy symptoms in children and adults. Even chemicals found in the following common household products have all shown to cause upper respiratory illness symptoms in children which have chronic allergies:

  • Adhesives
  • Air fresheners
  • Carpeting
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cosmetics
  • Drapes
  • Dyes
  • Floor finishes
  • Furniture polishes
  • Household cleaners
  • Paint

Mold Allergy Symptoms and Causes

Many people believe that mold growth which is visual to the human eye is the only mold which can cause allergy symptoms. However, small mold particles are responsible for over 90% of mold allergy symptoms. Mold particles are everywhere in the outdoor and indoor environment. It is the combination of mold particle size to the quantity found in a cubic foot of indoor air which most aggravates allergies. Each cubic foot of indoor air in a home or building can contain millions of particles. These indoor particles are commonly measured in microns, a metric unit of measure. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. Approximately 98-99% of all particles by count of indoor air are in the sub-micron size range of 10 microns or less in size. These sub-micron particles are known as “respirable” and are invisible to the naked eye. The average adult may breathe in as much as 16,000 quarts of air whereas children under the age of 12 can breathe in as much as 10,000 quarts. Each quart of air breathed in contains some 70,000 visible and invisible particles. That’s potentially a billion particles per day taken in by our respiratory system.

Individuals who are hypersensitive or have a predisposed reaction to these sub-micron particles may have an acute allergic reaction. These allergy-causing airborne particles which remain in the home environment for extended periods of time are the primary cause of chronic allergy symptoms in children and adults.

Allergy Induced Asthma

Allergy induced asthma is the term used primarily by health care practitioners to describe persons which are at a higher risk of developing asthma because of their chronic allergic disposition. This is because the inflammatory and sensitization responses of allergy and asthma sufferers are quite similar. Family history usually plays a role in diagnosing allergy induced asthma.

The good news is that the indoor home environment can be made a haven for all allergy and asthma sufferers by implementing the proper technology combined with proper knowledge. In today’s world of technological advances, there is no reason for a child or adult to suffer with allergies while at home.

Related Post: Dust Mite Allergy.

About the author:
The Sick House Center is a resource and information site about indoor air pollution and other related issues. Read their Indoor Pollutant Fact Sheet here.

House Dusting : Controlling Dust Mites

Childhood Allergies

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childhood-allergyDiagnosing childhood allergies can be long term and daunting task for parents to undertake. Children can exhibit a wide range and variety of allergy symptoms. When a suspected allergy is combined with other infections such as viral or bacterial it becomes important to suspend allergy testing and diagnosing procedures until the infection has subsided. This is why it takes some time to properly diagnose childhood allergies.

It is paramount that parents recognize the child allergy symptoms at the earliest stage possible.  Early diagnosis will not only prevent sufferering, but will also increase the likelihood that the allergies can be controlled or cured. It is believed that a child has about a 50% chance of developing allergies if one parent is allergic while it can rise to above 75% if both parents are allergic. There is also strong evidence that children who breast feed have a lessor chance of developing their parents allergic tendencies.

Rating Child Allergy Symptoms

Childhood allergy symptoms are categorized by allergy doctors based upon their type and/or severity.  The severity of symptoms may be categorized as mild, moderate or severe.  Children who are diagnosed as  severe should receive allergy testing to determine what they are allergic to depending on the age.  Child allergy symptoms ranging from mild to moderate can occur occasionally when they eat something or are exposed to a substance that they have never been exposed to.

Parental Self Diagnosing

If a child is suspected to have allergic tendencies, then it becomes important to keep the child on a regular diet and add various foods every few days to track allergic responses. Keeping a written food schedule is needed for diagnosing reaction dates to the foods given. If a child experiences swelling of eyes, lips, and face within a few hours of eating a food you should  consult a health professional immediately. When a child experiences an moderate or severe allergic reaction then it becomes very important to monitor their breathing due to possible swelling inside the throat and airways.

Food Related or Environmental?

Even though food allergies are a primary cause in childhood allergies, it is still important to be cognitive of other indoor environmental factors which can be fod in the home. There are many indoor pollutants which can cause allergic responses in children to include:

  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Pesticide use
  • Household cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Dog and cat dander
  • Dust mites
  • Dead insect parts
  • and much more!

A parent with a child who suffers from moderate to severe allergies must become an investigator which tracks the foods they eat as well as their own indoor environment and how it relates to their allergic symptoms. With perseverance and patience, the causes of their child’s allergy can be determined. Once the causes are discovered, then steps can be taken to control their exposure to the known allergens.

Related Posts: Toddler Allergies and Baby Allergies.

About the author: Stan K. Hall, The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

On Call – Childhood Allergies

Whey Allergy

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whey allergyMilk can be divided into two main parts with the first being the watery thin elements called whey and the second being casein. Whey is approximately 20 percent of the proteins found in milk. There are believed to be over 30 types of allergy-causing proteins in milk and casein is the considered to be the most prevalent.  The proteins lactalbumin and lactoglobulin, which are present in the whey proteins are also believed to cause allergic reactions.  It is interesting to note that the molecular structure of casein is similar to gluten and those with celiac disease may also have a allergy reaction to casein.

Many people confuse an allergy to cow’s milk with a lactose intolerance when in effect both of them have totally different affects on the body.  A milk allergy is like many other allergies which creates an immune system response while a lactose intolerance only occurs in the digestive system. There are however, similar symptoms between a whey or milk allergy and a lactose intolerance. Furthermore, a whey allergy has the same symptoms as dairy allergies since many dairy products are made with milk.

Digestive Whey Reaction

Both whey allergy sufferers and lactose intolerance can experience similar symptoms within the digestive system. However, the whey allergy sufferer is more likely to experience more serious reactions such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The whey in cow’s milk can create a allergic symptoms ranging from a few minutes to hours later.

Respiratory Whey Reaction

Whey allergies can cause very similar symptoms as other seasonal allergies, such as  a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes.  An asthma attack is also a possible occurrence in persons who have a whey allergy if they consume enough to produce a more severe reaction.

Skin Whey Reaction

A whey allergy can create skin reaction similar to other seasonal allergy symptoms. These skin reactions include eczema, hives and rashes. However, whey allergy sufferers are more likely to experience swelling around their mouths, accompanied by a tingly feeling or redness.

About the author: Coleman Baker is a dairy farmer in Jacksonville Texas.

A Talk About Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA)