Fasting For Allergies

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fasting-for-allergiesJuice Fasting Helps Allergies

Juice fasting is extremely helpful if you have allergies or asthma. Your lungs, as well as your entire respiratory tract are vitally important elimination organs for removing toxins. Fasting often removes many of the irritants and toxins that trigger airway activity.

Allergies from airborne and food usually improve during a fast. This is because of the close connections between allergies and intestinal permeability and liver toxicity.

Fasting gives the digestive tract time to rest and repair. It also helps the liver detoxify. Allergic symptoms are improved and sometimes completely disappear. However, it’s important to be sure that you are not allergic to any of the juices you’ll be consuming. Keep a food dairy while you’re on the fast. Use it to help you avoid any juices that may trigger allergic symptoms or symptoms of asthma. You may have food allergy testing or simply follow the blood-type diet as discussed in the book Eat Right 4 Your Type.

The fasting method I recommend for complete detoxification is juice fasting. For this type of fast, you will need lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and a juicer or heavy duty blender.  Juice fasting verses other forms of fasting can provide the nutrients, amino acids and fuel that your liver requires to detoxify. Juice fasting keeps your colon in the game as compared to water fasting which shuts down your colon.

Medical Source: Don Colbert, M.D. Excerpted from his book; Toxic Relief

The benefits of juicing – lose weight, gain more energy, get healthier

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Nickel Allergy

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nickel-allergiesHow to avoid nickel dermatitis

We used to find it in our five-cent pieces, but now it seems to pop up everywhere else. And for many people it leaves pain and irritation in its path. “It” is the metal nickel. And although it is no longer used to make a five-cent money piece, nickel is present in many household articles, such as jewelry, cooking utensils, glass dyes, ceramics and batteries. Nickel is even found in some food products because of the nickel found in fungicides and in the equipment used in food processing and packaging. The problem with nickel is that it can cause an allergic skin reaction known as “nickel dermatitis.”

But for those who are, simple skin contact with nickel can cause a skin lesion that is red, swollen and blistered. The skin lesion may go on to become discolored and leathery. The skin cells involved in the lesion become dry, itchy and bark-like. In some people, the skin reaction then progresses to become a hives-like reaction, with red bumps that have crusty tops on them. The bumps are ugly, itchy and irritating. Women suffer from nickel dermatitis more often than men. Women seem to get the aggravating skin problem because of their contact with household articles, whereas men seem to come in contact with nickel at work in industrial settings. The best way to avoid getting nickel dermatitis is to avoid coming in contact with nickel.

How do I avoid nickel products?

Since, a lot of my jewelry and cooking utensils contain the metal nickel! Here are some simple tips on how to avoid skin contact with nickel:

  • Try coating any nickel-containing jewelry with clear nail polish.
  • Replace buttons that contain nickel with brass, wooden or plastic buttons.
  • Consider replacing your nickel-containing kitchen utensils with stainless steel utensils.
  • If you are getting your ears pierced, avoid anything except stainless steel needles and posts.
  • After your ears are first pierced, leave the stainless steel posts in your ears for about three weeks to make sure your ears have healed completely. Then try different earring posts to see which ones you might react to.
  • Even gold earring posts occasionally contain nickel, so be sure to test all your jewelry around the house before wearing it out to a fancy occasion.
  • If you work m an industrial setting where you might be exposed to nickel, wear protective clothing like long pants and sleeves and heavy-duty vinyl gloves.
  • Certain food and vitamin products.

Although you probably can’t avoid nickel 100 percent of the time, following these simple tips will help decrease your exposure to nickel and cut down on your problems with nickel dermatitis.

Related Post: Jewelry Allergy.

MEDICAL SOURCE: Cutis (45,2:87)

Nickel Allergy

Formaldehyde Allergies

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Formaldehyde is the chemical that has received much press in recent years and is referred to as being responsible for the term ‘mobile home syndrome’.  It is widely used in a multitude of consumer products such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, glues, adhesives, shampoos and soaps.  It is also a good preservative and makes an excellent adhesive and is widely used in the carpet and furnishings industries. It is even commonly used in the auto industry and is believed to be in certain foam and adhesive products.

Formaldehyde Sensitivities

Most people are sensitive to formaldehyde and many of those can have an allergic reaction when they are exposed to it.  Formaldehyde is like many chemicals, symptoms from exposure will get progressively worse the longer these people are in its presence.

Particle board is the most common product which is known to contain formaldehyde and is in the adhesive which holds the board together. Over time many of these products will break down and dry out, thusly releasing the formaldehyde. Many particleboard and carpeting manufacturers are marketed as ‘reduced formaldehyde’ products and may still have other aldehydes in the product which may still cause adverse reactions.

Dangers of Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is considered to be a suspected carcinogen and has also been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and. Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing,  fatigue, skin rashes and severe allergic reactions.

Here are a few tips to help you minimize your exposure to formaldehyde:

  • Limit the use of particle wood products, such as pressboard and plywood.  Choose 100% wood products instead.
  • Insist on formaldehyde-free carpets, not reduced-formaldehyde since new carpets may outgas formaldehyde vapors for years to come.  Note: Carpet outgassing does not work, only time will allow the chemical to fully vaporize from the carpet according to humidity levels.
  • Don’t smoke indoors. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) contains formaldehyde thousands of other chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic (cancer causing)
  • Wash all permanent press clothes before waering or storing. Remove plastic bags from all dry-cleaned clothes and air them out outdoors, when possible.
  • Ventilate; The solution to pollution is dilution!

About the author: John A. Daniels is a certified home inspector in Cleveland, OH.

ALS Linked to Formaldehyde Exposure

Makeup Allergy

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makeup-allergySkin rashes are a common skin discomfort which causes small red spots, redness and itching. It can happen anywhere on your skin – your face, hands or legs.

Using personal care products such as skin cleanser, toner, scrub, mask, moisturizer or skin may cause an allergic reaction.  No matter if you’re using chemical based or natural herbal product, if your skin cannot cope or accept a particular ingredient, your skin may break out. Some people may be allergic to essential oils, including the most expensive and brand-care products.

Switching products for skin care (different brands) too often in a short period of time say within a month or two, can also cause irritation and sometimes rash on the face. Case in point; Roberta tries many different skin care products and had severe skin eruptions as a result. Just before her skin could adjust to the current brand, she decided to try new ones. Finally, the skin could not take it and started showing signs of eruptions.

When trying new products, try to do a skin test and wait a day or so. Switch to a brand new one only when necessary because of changes in the skin, most importantly after 6-8 months of using the same skin care brand. Do not be tempted to try new products for care skin after viewing TV ads. If you want to, get some samples and try it in the neck or hands.

Old makeup products, as foundation, concealer, lipstick, rouge, eyeliner, mascara or eye shadow can cause skin rashes. Beware of make up tools like brushes dirty dirty comb. Try not to keep your brand more than 6 months in hot and humid area, and the area of dry cold weather, keep it up to about a year after the expiration deadline, but no more.

To allow your make up to last longer, keep the product clean and fresh at all times. Clean the sides and corners bottles, tubes or containers after use each time to avoid any contamination.

Do not allow certain products chemicals such as laundry detergent, dish washing liquid or other cleaning chemicals to smear on the facial skin. Some of these substances can be too strong for facial skin resulting in skin eruptions. Hair shampoo can also cause skin problems. When washing your hair, please make sure that shampoo for hair does not flow through the area of the face. Chemicals for construction can be detrimental to your facial skin too – cement, paint, shellac thinner. Avoid placing your face close to these chemicals.

Always keep your hands clean before touching your face. The bacteria on the hands can cause acne and even skin irritation. Keep your pillows, mattress and bed clean, otherwise the mites may end up disturbing the upper layer of the skin and cause rashes on the face and entire body. Face and bath towel should be kept clean at all times to prevent skin problems too.

About the Author: Juliet Cohen writes articles for the Beauty Makeup Blog.

Related Posts: Makeup Allergy Test, Perfume Allergies, Antiperspirant Allergies and Fragrance Allergies.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies

Wine Allergy

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wine-allergyFor some people, a glass of red wine is an invitation to a roaring headache. After a few episodes of headache and queasiness, those who suffer them may banish wine from their tables for life. The symptoms are part of a syndrome known as Red Wine Headache, or RWH.

Red Wine Headache

“The red wine headache is a real if poorly understood phenomenon,” says an article in the June issue of the Harvard Health Letter. That is a masterpiece of understatement. There are many theories about what causes the syndrome, but few facts. Dr. Fred Freitag, associate director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, said no one really knows what leads a patient to develop this type of headache.

It may be caused by “compounds found in grape skins. They are either naturally occurring or produced through fermentation,” Dr. Freitag said. He would postulate no further. “It’s not as if there are hundreds of thousands of dollars for funding” studies to determine the cause, Dr. Freitag said. There is actually a stigma to studying the subject. “I’ve entertained the idea of looking for grants to study this and I’ve been told, ‘Don’t go there, it’s bad P.R.,’” Dr. Freitag said. Bad publicity comes to those who would study drinking? Carry Nation is with us yet.

A sulfite allergy used to take the blame for RWH. About 20 years ago the Food and Drug Administration determined that about 1 percent of the population is allergic to sulfites and required that wines containing certain levels of the compound be labeled “contains sulfites.” Many people have assumed, incorrectly, that the labeling is designed to warn people who get a red wine headache. [In fact, sulfite sensitivity is a true allergy. Sufferers experience an allergic reaction, but not a headache. RWH is something else.]

Scientists have pointed out, however, that many sweet white wines contain more sulfites than red wines — yet do not cause headaches in those who suffer from RWH Additionally, dried fruits usually contain sulfites but you never hear of dried fruit headaches. Sulfites can cause an allergic reaction [breathing problems], Dr. Freitag said, but they give headaches only to asthmatics.

Other experts think tannins are at the root of the headaches. Tannins are the flavonoids in wine that set one’s mouth to puckering. The Harvard Health Letter notes several well-controlled experiments showing that tannins cause the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. High levels of serotonin can cause headaches and that may happen in people who also suffer from migraine headaches. But that does not explain why people who do not get migraines get RWH. Dr. Marion Nestle, chairwoman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU, added that no one complains about tea, soy, or chocolate headaches — though all contain tannins.

A third school of thought blames histamines. Histamines are 20 – 200% higher in red wine than in white, and those who are allergic to them are deficient in a certain enzyme. Some experts believe that the combination of alcohol and that deficiency can cause the headaches. But a study of 16 people with an intolerance to wine, reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Feb 2001) found no difference in reactions to low- and high-histamine wines.

A fourth suggestion is that prostaglandins — substances that contribute to pain and swelling — may cause RWH. [More on this next month!] Yet for most people who suffer from RWH, the hypotheses are irrelevant. They want to know what to do about the problem. Some Web sites suggest prevention: for histamine sensitivity, pop a non-sedating antihistamine like Claritin or take an aspirin to stop production of prostaglandins.

In 1981 Herbert Kaufman, M.D., reported that the prophylactic ingestion of aspirin prevented the red wine headache syndrome, RWH, (Lancet 1981; 1: 1263). He also noted that once RWH begins, aspirin has little or no effect in altering the headache.

Related Posts: Sulphur Allergy and Beer Allergies

By Marian Burros of Beekmans Wines & Liquors of Glen Rock, NJ. Their web site is:

Allergies to Wine

Perfume Allergies

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perfume-allergyPerfumes are used everyday by millions of people in thousands of countries around the world and is one of the broadest selling products. However, there are many people who can have serious allergic reactions to the fragrances used in them. More time than not, people who are sensitive to fragrances have been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

Symptoms of a perfume allergy include difficultly breathing, skin rashes and has been known to cause asthma in people who are not necessarily an chronic asthma sufferer. Toddlers and young children are even more vulnerable to chemicals, as are people who are recovering from cancer and other illnesses.

Fragrances are actually chemicals and can be found in perfume and cologne which like other chemicals, may cause allergic reactions to those who have a sensitivity to them. A alcohol-based chemical is normally used as a base of the perfume. There are over 2500 fragrances used in perfume with about 105 are believed to cause an allergic reaction in humans. About 25 of these fragrances are used frequently and 12-15 are used very frequently in the more common and cheaper brands of perfume. In addition to perfume, chemical fragrances are also present in most laundry detergents, fabric softeners, anti-cling products, dish-washing liquids, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, aftershaves, incense and analgesic creams. Even products which are marked as “unscented”  may actually contain toxic fragrances.

About the author: Angelica Alexander is a sales representative for a national perfume and cologne distributor in New York.

Related Posts: Fragrance Allergies, Perfume Allergies, Makeup Allergy Test and Makeup Allergy.

Picking Perfume : Testing Perfume Skin Allergies

Makeup Allergy Test

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Makeup-allergy-testsMakeup Allergy Test

There are many skin symptoms attributed to other causes which are actually allergic responses to chemicals found in everyday products. If you often have rashes or other skin problems, they may be an allergic response to cosmetics, soaps or even laundry detergents.

Here’s how to identify the source of the problem without the expense of seeing a doctor. Use an unexposed area of your skin like your back (you will need assistance) or your arm (cover with a soft, long sleeved shirt). Make sure your skin is clean and dry.

Apply a small amount of the suspected allergy-causing substance to your skin and cover with a square of surgical gauze, followed by a bandage or surgical adhesive. If the test substance is dry such as face powder or solid makeup, put a tiny amount of it in some mineral oil and apply that to your skin. Keep the test patch on your skin for 24 to 48 hours and watch for an allergic reaction to develop.

Once you find out what substance or substances are setting off your allergic response, you’ll know what to avoid.

Source: Allergy Secrets and You Newsletter

Related Post: Makeup Allergy.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies

Hair Dye Allergy

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hair-dye-allergyIs your hair dye causing your heart to flutter?

Trying to “wash that gray out of her hair” was almost a deadly mistake for one 59-year-old woman from California.

She had been dyeing her hair for a number of years with no problem until one day after applying the solution to her hair, her eyes began to swell, she became itchy and hoarse and began having heart palpitations.

She decided to switch to another brand of hair dye and buy an antihistamine just in case she had a reaction. As it turned out, she did have another allergic reaction, but the antihistamine did the trick and she recovered quickly.

She decided to try her old hair color one more time, and this time it really did her in. Her vision became blurred, her face and hands swelled, and she got dizzy and shaky. She couldn’t breathe and fainted. Paramedics arrived and, with an injection of adrenaline, saved her life. She had a rare, yet severe, allergic reaction to a chemical in the hair dye.

An allergic reaction usually occurs after the first or second exposure to an allergen (the agent or substance causing the allergic reaction). However, allergic reactions may not occur until after years of exposure. So, don’t dismiss any unusual symptoms you might experience just because you have used a product for several months or years.

And don’t be fooled into thinking you’re safe just because you have used a product before. The most common allergic ingredient in hair dyes is a synthetic organic compound called p-phenylenediamine. It is found in most permanent hair colorings.

If you are worried about having an allergic reaction, but would still like to color your hair, use these precautions: do a patch test every time you use permanent coloring, wear gloves to protect your hands, avoid rubbing the dye into your scalp, and wash off any dye that touches your skin.

You can also try to avoid p-phenylenediamine. Most semi-permanent hair colors, including “cellophanes,” do not contain this substance. Be sure to check the label for contents.

Medical Source: In Health (5,2:28)

Related Post: Antiperspirant Allergies.

How To Use Natural Hair Dye

Asthma Triggers List

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asthma-triggersAllergies and asthma don’t always go hand in hand, but most people who have asthma also have allergies. Those allergies can trigger breath-stealing asthma attacks.

Things like pollen, mold, and animal dander can set off an allergic reaction in some people that results in hives, itching, sneezing, and wheezing. When this reaction occurs in the chest, it’s called asthma. In the lungs, allergic reactions cause spasms and thick, sticky mucus. When an asthmatic has an attack, his lungs feel clogged and twitchy, and his chest feels tight.

Though not all people with asthma have allergies, those who do should identify their allergic triggers and avoid them.

Some of the more common asthma triggers to avoid:

  • Foods like chocolate, nuts, shellfish, and eggs.
  • Beverages like orange juice, beer, wine, and milk.
  • Mold spores and pollen. When pollen counts are high, try to stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Dander from pets such as cats, dogs, hamsters, and rabbits. If you can’t bear to part with your family pet, try to keep it outside and bathe it often.
  • Feather pillows, down comforters, and wool clothing. Use smooth blankets on your bed.
  • Dust. Damp dust and damp mop instead of using brooms that raise dust. Use washable fabrics for curtains and rugs.
  • Cleaning products like bleach and furniture polish.
  • Use a HEPA vacuum and HEPA air purifiers to control indoor airborne allergen particles.

Avoiding your triggers may help you avoid the chest-squeezing experience of an asthma attack!

Source: Allergy and Asthma, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Milwaukee (1995)

Asthma Triggers