Shellfish Allergies

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shellfishShellfish allergies are considered the most common cause of severe allergies in adults throughout the world. In addition, shellfish allergies is the primary allergy known to manifest for the first time at anytime during adulthood.

Shellfish and Iodine

Although many shellfish species may be rich in iodine, there is no scientific evidence that shellfish allergies raise the risk of developing or having an iodine allergy. Furthermore, it has never been proven that people with shellfish allergies need to take precautions to avoid iodine when undergoing medical tests.  Iodine is not related to the protein that causes shellfish allergies. However, some persons feel that they may have an iodine relative; because they are allergic to shellfish or are known to have an fish allergy.

Avoiding Shellfish

Simply avoiding shellfish is really the only method to prevent a allergic reaction. Having a health professional diagnose the exact type of shellfish you are allergic to will help you to plan your seafood diet. Otherwise, shellfish should be avoided completely since the allergic reactions can be severe.

Examples of shellfish:

  • Abalone
  • Clams
  • Cockle, sea urchin
  • Crab
  • Crawfish, crayfish
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp

Shellfish restaurant dishes to avoid

Here a a few dishes and their common names to keep an eye out for when examining restaurant menus:

  • Paella
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Seafood gumbos
  • Frito misto (a mixed fried fish dish from the Mediterranean coast)
  • Fruits de mer (seafood)
  • Surimi (a processed seafood product)
  • Anchovies (pizza topping)
  • Caponata
  • Kedgeree
  • Fish sauces (Nuoc Mam and Nam Pla)
  • Patum Peperium
  • Menhaden
  • Be aware that some oriental food tends to contain lots of different kinds of fish and are hard to detect unless you ask ahead

About the Author:
Carlton Smith is a food critic in North Carolina and writes about fine dining experiences in various cuisine publications.

Related Post: Food Allergies, Fish Allergies,

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Medical Conditions & Treatments : Symptoms of Shellfish Allergies

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Antiperspirant Allergies

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AntiperspirantAntiperspirant allergies are rare but is a allergic reaction mostly experienced by women, especially those with acanthosis nigracans, a skin disorder. Acanthosis nigricans can begin at any age and generally causes light brown velvety-like markings on the neck, under the arms or in the groin area. It is still unknown why it is seen more in women who are overweight.

Causes of Acanthosis Nigricans

  • Addison disease (deficiency of hormones from the adrenal gland)
  • Disorders of the pituitary gland within the brain
  • Growth hormone therapy
  • Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland)
  • Taking cholesterol medications (including nicotinic acid)
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Using certain skin care products such as antiperspirants

Diagnosing Acanthosis Nigricans

The condition may only be diagnosed by a health professional with a thorough a physical examination and medical history exam.  Blood work is also helpful in investigating the primary cause of acanthosis nigricans.

Treating Acanthosis Nigricans

Treating acanthosis nigracans is usually achieved though weight loss and exercise.  Increased insulin by a poor diet has also been connected to acanthosis nigracans so eating a healthy diet can lead to improvement and has been reported to cure the disorder completely.

There are topical treatments such as Retin-A, urea, alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid prescriptions.  Dermabrasion has also been used to reduce the raised portion of the affected skin. Certain oral medications have also been reported to make acanthosis nigracans worse and should be discussed with your doctor.

About the author: Rebecca A. Barlow is a professional cosmetologist consultant working at a well known New York City retailer.

Related Post: Makeup Allergy and Hair Dye Allergy.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies

Allergies Air Purifier

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There is much confusion over what causes allergies but we will shed some light on the true nature of allergies in the home environment and how an allergies air purifier can reduce symptoms. Allergies can be caused by exposure to pollution in a particle form such as dust mite or a chemical form such as formaldehyde. A human body can have different immune responses to a pollutant depending on various environmental factors. The good news is, choosing the right air purifier can minimize allergy symptoms while at home.

The indoor air purifier is a simple device which can make a drastic improvement in your indoor air. The real key to understanding an air purifier is to remember that only the indoor air that travels though the unit gets cleaned. For example, very large rooms may require two small air purifiers at either end rather than one large unit in the middle.

Proper Technology Is The Key

The air purifying technologies available should be chosen according to the type of pollutant you are trying to remove from the indoor air. Adsorption media such as activated carbon are effective at removing chemical pollutants, high efficient particulate air (HEPA) and electronic technologies are better suited to remove particles. There are also ultraviolet (UV) units available which are specifically designed to kill microorganisms such as viruses. Utilizing the various technologies together will make the greatest improvement in the indoor air quality of a home.

Airborne particles such as pollen, dust mites, cat dander, household dust and pesticide dust are considered a particulate pollutant and are best addressed with a HEPA air purifier. Other airborne particles such a smoke are removed more efficiently with an electronic air purifying system. A HEPA filter within an air purifier is very effective but the filters must be changes on periodical basis up to 5-years depending on the manufacturer. Electronic filter elements do not require changing but do need to be washed regularly to remain effective.


Microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and molds must be controlled if a household member has a weakened or damaged immune system including the very young or elderly. The most effective method to control microorganisms is the use of a UV air purifier. UV light can destroy or change the DNA of a microorganism making it unsubstantial as an indoor pollutant. Air purifiers which employ both HEPA and UV technologies are an ideal combination for reducing as much as 85% of indoor pollutants.


Chemicals in the indoor environment are removed by a process known as media adsorption. Media adsorption such as activated carbon granules have a lot of surface area and actually adsorb chemicals from the air. Activated carbon granules are the best choice as a general purpose chemical removal media. There are other media’s available such as Zeolite and potassium permanganate which target chemical compounds that activated carbon is ineffective at removing.. A media should be chosen by understanding which chemical compounds you are targeting for removal from the indoor air. Air purifiers which contain activated carbon polyester filter media should not be used to remove chemicals since they do not contain enough surface area.

Utilizing the proper air purifier technology for a specific indoor air pollutant can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms while in the home environment.

About the author:

The Sick House Center is a resource and information center about indoor air pollution and related issues. Read about a Pure Air Purifier at the Sick House Center.

Cleaning the Honeywell Air Purifier Pre-filter

Aspirin Allergies

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aspirin-allergyAspirin Allergies

In 1829, scientists discovered a compound called salicin in willow plants which gave pain relief to humans. This new discovery was called aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) which works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins which are chemicals found in the body which are necessary for blood clotting and sensitizing nerve endings thus blocking pain.

An allergic reaction to aspirin can range from mild to severe symptoms. Aspirin allergy symptoms include the development of hives or itching, nasal congestion, coughing,swelling of the lips or tongue and asthma. Severe reactions may include swelling of the face, stomach aches and difficulty breathing.  Symptoms will usually occur within 60 minutes after taking aspirin and can last up to a couple of hours.

A more severe and potentially deadly reaction known as anaphylactic shock can occur in rare cases. This is why it is paramount to seek medical help immediately if swelling of the face or neck occurs.

Aspirin is widely known as a heart attack prevention medicine since it will tend to thin the blood making it less likely to clot and cause a heart attack. However, there are reported illness symptoms with the increase of aspirin use in recent years. Severe stomach aches are widely reported in people who take it daily. It has also been reported to increase the likelihood of developing nasal polyps if taken daily for extended periods of time.

There is also increased risk of taking aspirin if a person has the common flu and can lead to a more serious condition known as Reye’s Syndrome in children and adults. Aspirin can also inhibit the drainage necessary during flu episodes and can actually lead to pneumonia developing as a secondary condition.

There are alternatives to aspirin for each intended use and should be discussed with a health professional.

About the author:

Michael Marcus, MD
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Flu and Aspirin Dangers

Inherited Allergies

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inherited-allergiesAllergies tend to run in families and can be passed down to children from generation to generation.  People who tend to suffer with chronic allergies are usually referred to as “atopic allergy” sufferers. Atopics have an underlying tendency to allergic reactions and may be encoded in the DNA that are passed from parent to child. The genetic risks from two parents can add up but the actual figures are uncertain because the results may vary from study to study. If one parent is atopic, then there is a 20-58 percent chance a child will be also, whereas if both parents are atopic, then the chance grows to 50-80 percent. Whats shocking is the fact that allergies seem to be on the increase even though we carry the genetic allergy makeup of our ancestors.

However, genes are about two-thirds of the problem with our environment playing an important role in allergies. Environmental conditions such as diet, smoke, air pollutants, pollen, dust mites, mold and other allergens determine whether or not an allergic reaction occurs. Allergens in our indoor and outdoor continue to increase thus causing more allergic reactions even in those individuals with little or no allergies the previous year. Luckily, we do have control over the indoor environment and can eliminate certain allergens from our home such as smoke, dust mites, insects and so on.

Controlling Environmental Allergies

Food allergies can be controlled through medication, allergy shots and elimination dieting choices. However, indoor environmental allergies can be controlled by reducing the amount of airborne allergens.  A H.E.P.A. (High Efficient Particle Air) air purifier or vacuum cleaner are proven to dramatically reduce allergens from the indoor air. The consistent weekly use of H.E.P.A. devices can make a huge improvement in airborne related allergies while at home.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. 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. There is more information about allergies on:

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