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How To Live With Wheat Allergies

October 30th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

WheatFood allergies are a common problem, especially among children today. There’re a lot of different types of foods that can cause allergic symptoms, and these symptoms can range from very mild to severe, and even life-threatening in some cases. One of the top 8 foods that can cause these types of allergies is wheat, which is an ingredient which is found in many of the foods that we eat today.

Wheat allergies, like other food allergies, are most commonly seen in children and are often outgrown. However, some adults can develop wheat allergies as well.

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of wheat allergies can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating a wheat product. These signs can range from mild to severe. In more serious cases, immediate medical care may be required, since anaphylaxis (severe allergy symptoms) is a life threatening condition.

 

Wheat allergy symptoms can include nasal congestion, airway inflammation and swelling, hives or other skin irritation, or gastrointestinal problems. More severe symptoms might also be airway constriction, rapid pulse, dizziness and shock. These are the symptoms that will require immediate medical care because they can become life threatening very quickly.

Treatment

 

Treatment of wheat allergies will primarily include avoidance of wheat products once you’ve had an allergic reaction that can be attributed to wheat. Since wheat allergies can become more severe as you experience more reactions, it’s important to see your doctor even if you have had a mild allergic reaction to wheat.

 

Your doctor can test you to see if wheat was indeed the culprit of your allergies through a variety of methods. Once a wheat allergy is diagnosed, it will be up to you to ascertain that you avoid all wheat products in the future. Fortunately, this has become easier in the United States since food manufacturers have been required to list wheat ingredients on their package labels.

If you’ve had a severe reaction with a wheat allergy, your doctor may advise you to carry an emergency treatment with you called an EpiPen. This is an injection that can be given if you are exposed to wheat, since it can be difficult to avoid this substance altogether. You may also wear a bracelet so that those around you will also know that you have a wheat allergy.

For most wheat allergy sufferers, it’s sufficient to try to avoid wheat products as much as possible, and to take an antihistamine if wheat exposure inadvertently occurs. And keep in mind that wheat allergies occur most often in children, and are often outgrown.


Common Peanut Allergies Can Cause Fatal Reaction

October 30th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

PeanutsPeople suffering from peanut allergies need to be extremely careful about just about anything they eat as many items made from peanut shells and oil can trigger as bad a reaction as experienced by eating peanuts. Many times people with peanut allergies don’t understand that anything made from peanuts, even without the whole peanut being present can trigger a reaction, which could develop into anaphylactic seizure and death, depending on the degree of allergic reaction.

When most people of peanut allergies they think of the typical peanut, which in reality are legumes and a lot of people with peanut allergies are also allergic to peas and beans, members of the same family. Although they’re probably also allergic to nuts which grow on tress such as almonds, pecans and cashews.

Some of the indications of peanut allergies include a tightness in the throat, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. While many people have developed an allergy to nuts, it is fairly common in children and more children are developing the allergy than they have in the past.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s very rare for a person to outgrow an allergy. In some cases, a person may have been misdiagnosed as having peanut allergies and years later it is determined their immune system can, in fact tolerate its ingestion. An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system sees a nut as a dangerous object and mobilizes its defenses to fight it off.

Nuts Often Hidden In Foods

 

Peanuts are a widely used food product and can show up in places many people would never expect them to be found. While peanut butter is an obvious source of peanuts and is taboo for those with peanut allergies, many may not realize that crushed nuts are often used in sauces and in Asian foods such as pad thai. Additionally, an Italian sauce called Pesto is made from crushed nuts.

Many health food and energy bars contain nuts as do bouillon some favoring sauces. When a person has been diagnosed as having nut or peanut allergies it can be a life-saving decision to stay away from all foods containing them even if not listed in the ingredients, persons with a high susceptibility to peanut allergies can suffer an attack with even a trace amount in the product.

Many of the fruit flavored cereals also contain nuts as do many candy bars and salty snacks. Potato chips can also be fried in peanut oil, which can cause and attack of peanut allergies in just about everyone.


Nasal Allergies Are Nothing To Sneeze At

October 30th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

Nasal AllergyYou can blame your own body’s immunological response as well as genetics for your tendency toward nasal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis. Of course, nasal allergies can also occur from prolonged exposure to certain substances called allergens or even exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke or being born with a low birth weight.

Doctors do not really know why some people have more sensitivity to one substance over another, but they do know your body’s response to these allergens. What happens is that when an allergen gets past your nasal defenses, your immune system perceives it as an attack and will retaliate. During this retaliation, your body releases a chemical called histamine, which is the reason why your eyes will get teary and your nose starts to run. Some people may develop breathing problems, wheezing or even sneezing.

Pollen

 

Many causes of nasal allergies are from airborne allergens that are breathed in through the nose but the sources are vastly different. Pollen is by far the most prevalent reason why allergies are formed in the first place and different areas of the country will have different levels of pollen, depending on what is growing and flowering at the time.

 

Ragweed travels far and wide so even if you do not have any growing in your area, you can still be allergic to it. Grass, flowering bushes, and a variety of trees can cause nasal allergies thanks to the pollen and other natural substances they release.

Dust And Animal Dander

 

Dust often tickles the nose and makes people sneeze but it doesn’t always cause nasal allergies. However, if you have dust mites, tiny microscopic organisms, in your mattress, furniture or carpeting, these could be the true culprits. You’ll know for certain if your allergies persist even during winter months when outside pollen is at an all time low.

Animal dander can cause real problems with allergic reactions as well. Dander settles into carpets and furniture so even if you get rid of your cat or dog, you can still experience nasal allergies. Only a thorough vacuuming the carpet and upholstery shampooing can greatly lessen the dander population.

Symptoms

 

Typically, the symptoms of nasal allergies start off with some nose itching as well as sneezing, which is the body’s way to try and get rid of the allergen. From there, your nose could start running which is the body’s way to wash the foreign substance away. From there, you start to develop a stuffy nose and develop sensitivity to other irritants a few hours after your initial exposure.

 

This allergic response could potentially last for weeks or until the pollen or irritant is gone. For some people, nasal allergies are a major pain in the rear and sometimes can develop into more serious illness like sinus infections and asthma.

Treatment

 

Relief from your nasal allergies will depend on the type of medical treatment you receive. There’re anti-histamines, which help with the runny nose and sneezing. Decongestants help relieve the stuffiness and can be paired with anti-histamines. Allergy shots and steroid nasal sprays are other possible treatments. Between you and your doctor, you can experiment until you find the right combination of drugs to best help relieve your nasal allergies.

 


Tattoo Allergies – An Uncommon But Real Problem

October 29th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

TattooOnce seen as something only the bad boys did, tattoos have gone mainstream in the past decade or two. Now it’s seen as something cool, a way to express yourself in the most permanent manner. While most people have no lingering side effects once the tattoo scabbing and healing process is over, there’re a small percentage of people who experience some type of allergic reaction. Tattoo allergies are often the result of the type of inks used.

Ink Ingredients

 

Most tattoo artists do not really read the ink labels to see what ingredients are in there but if you’re prone to allergies, chances are your tattoo allergies will be the result of red or yellow ink. In the past, many brands of tattoo ink used mercury in them but this practice has greatly declined because of its harmful effects.

However, inks today that can cause tattoo allergies contain such elements as nickel, cadmium and chromium. While you may not really run across cadmium or chromium much, a lot of earrings and other pieces of jewelry have nickel, so if you’ve ever had a reaction to it, chances are that you’ll develop some type of reaction to a tattoo.

Telltale Signs

 

It’s important to note that not everyone who will suffer from tattoo allergies will exhibit signs immediately. Some people will not develop a rash or inflamed redness for a month or two or even years later, which is the reason why a skin patch test is not really conducive to detecting allergies before getting a tattoo.

For people with tattoo allergies that present themselves years later, the reaction could be itchiness and even raised bumpy areas in certain colored parts of the tattoo. Sometimes, it’s the weather that can cause a reaction or even a raised body temperature. The heat, whether it is from body temperature or the weather can cause the skin to swell slightly, which could affect the tattoo. If your own tattoo feels particularly itchy during hotter weather, this could be the reason for your tattoo allergies.

Treatment

 

If you develop tattoo allergies not long after you get your inked masterpiece, you can apply over the counter treatment onto the rash or affected area. Antibiotic ointment or hydrocortisone creams often bring relief, as do regular anti-itch creams and cold compresses. If the area doesn’t clear itself within a week or so, it would be wise to visit a dermatologist who will likely prescribe some type of steroid to combat your tattoo allergies.


Understanding And Preventing Mold Allergies

October 29th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

Mold AllergyAllergies are a common ailment among many folks today, and the substances that people are allergic to can vary greatly. For those who are suffering from mold allergies, it may be difficult to cope with the symptoms. The reason that mold allergies can be such a challenge is that there’s not a set season for mold to appear, and some sufferers can experience symptoms year-round.

The good news is that these types of allergies are relatively rare; when you consider the number of molds that we might be exposed to every day. It is also possible to effectively treat mold allergy symptoms, so you that you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily with the sniffling and sneezing that can arise with exposure to the dreaded substance.

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of mold allergies are similar to those of other allergic reactions, and can include nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and a skin rash. In case if you experience these symptoms while raking leaves or mowing grass, you might be suffering from mold allergies. Likewise, if you notice these symptoms when you enter a musty basement or other moist area, mold may indeed be the culprit.

 

To determine if your allergies really are caused by mold spores, you can have an allergy test done at your doctor’s office. There’re 2 types of tests that are done; a skin test or a blood sample. Either test can give your doctor a good idea about the substances that you might be allergic to so that he can treat your allergies in the most effective way.

Treatment and Prevention

 

Treatment for any type of allergy generally includes over the counter medications like decongestants and antihistamines. For more severe symptoms, your doctor can prescribe similar medications in stronger doses. You can also opt for steroidal nasal sprays to keep nasal passages clear, or inhaled medications if you also suffer from asthma. Many of these medications are safe to take over a longer period of time, making them a good option for mold allergy sufferers who might experience symptoms year round.

While there’re numerous treatments for allergies that can be very helpful, another good way of reducing symptoms is by prevention. This usually entails an avoidance of the allergy triggers – which in this case would be mold spores. Prevention of mold allergies might include avoiding food that has a greater chance of harboring mold, like cheese and mushrooms, or staying away from damp areas like basements.

 

It’s also a good idea to change your furnace filter frequently to prevent mold from developing. With a combination of prevention and treatment options, you can successfully keep your mold allergy symptoms at bay.


Skin Allergies Account For Most Complaints

October 28th, 2008    Subscribe To Our Feed

Skin AllergyOne of the most common complaint people see an allergist for is skin rashes. Usually confined to small area that has come into contact with an offending allergen, it can spread and cause additional problems if left untreated.

Similar to other types of irritations, skin rashes can be anywhere from inconvenient to debilitating and can be caused by a number of things, many that are found in a variety of products making isolation difficult except with patch testing.

Many skin rashes can develop later in life, while other become apparent at the first sign of exposure. Many of the items to which people are allergic are common and seem almost innocuous as to causing skin rashes. Products made of jewelry metal like gold, silver and nickel are often cited as the cause of irritations, and in some people, and even the smallest trace of the element can trigger a break out.

While the most common cure for skin rashes is to avoid contact with the offending product. Corticosteroid cream has shown to offer relief for irritation on the skin, but of those used to test its effectiveness against skin rashes, three percent developed an allergy to the cream.

Common Items Cause Uncommon Problems

 

In addition to jewelry metals, ingredients in many common items are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Thimeroral is a mercury compound often found in antiseptics and vaccines can cause skin rashes in some patients. A common ingredient in cosmetics, deodorant, soap and pet food, neomycin sulfate has also been know to cause rashes in some users.

Quaternium 15, commonly used as a preservative in self-tanning lotions, shampoo, nail polish and sunscreen can also cause skin rashes and bacitracin, used as a topical antibiotic is blamed for rashes on many users. The ingredients in products meant to protect most folks from irritating skin rashes can cause a reaction in others.

Formaldehyde is often used in medications, household cleaners and cosmetics and has been known to cause severe rashes in some people, and if used on an existing rash can exacerbate the problem. Cobalt chloride in hair dye, antiperspirant and alloyed with metals for buttons and snaps can also be a problem for allergic users.

 

Figuring out the exact cause of skin rashes can be a time-consuming process and the current patch test is about the only way to narrow down the choices. Contacting an allergist for persistent skin rashes can determine if the test is necessary to isolate the offending product.


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