Food Allergies – Fact and Fiction

Millions of people all over the world are affected by allergies. Tiny particles of dust in the air, a friend’s cat or even freshly cut flowers can lead to sneezing, itching and runny noses in some people. Though we are quite aware of external agents that cause allergies, we do not suspect the seemingly innocent glass of milk or bowl of fresh peanuts. After all, what can they do to us? Unfortunately, people who are allergic to these foods have to be very careful around such foodstuffs.

An allergy is a severe reaction of the body’s immune system. The immune system goes into overdrive when there is a perceived threat to the body. In this case, the body perceives an ingredient in the food, like protein, as potentially harmful and goes all out to attack this ingredient and you, in the process. This is what causes itching, rashes, hives or other reactions in the body. In mild cases, the reactions are also mild. However, some reactions are very uncomfortable and may even be fatal. Examples include vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, wheezing and anaphylaxis.

Food allergies may be caused by almost any ingredient in the food. Even so, specialists have identified eight common allergens that affect the most number of people. These are: wheat, egg, milk, soy, fish, peanuts, nuts of trees and shellfish.

There are a large number of myths surrounding food allergies.

Myth 1: Food allergies are very common.
Food allergies occur in less than 12% of the adult population. Of the 6-8% of children who suffer from food allergies, a huge majority outgrows their allergies as they age. Food intolerance is another matter. Food intolerance happens when a person is unable to digest or process a particular ingredient. Food intolerance produces mild though persistent reactions in the body, which is quite different from the severe allergic reactions caused by food allergens. A good majority of people suffer from food intolerance. Unfortunately, most people mistake food sensitivities for food allergies.

Myth 2: Most people are allergic to milk
Milk allergy is very uncommon in adults, though it is quite common in children below the age of 3. Most children outgrow their allergies as they grow. Adults may experience bloating, nausea or breathing problems after ingesting milk products. But these reactions are a result of being lactose intolerant.

Myth 3: Food allergy is only lifestyle threatening, not life threatening.
This is a serious misconception. Food sensitivity is lifestyle threatening, food allergies can become life threatening. This is because of the inherent nature of allergies, where the body produces severe and sometimes violent reactions to counter an attack. Food allergies are particularly life threatening in small children as they can accidentally ingest something that can cause a violent allergic reaction.

Food allergies must be treated immediately and patients need to be taken to a doctor as soon as possible.

Food allergies can be diagnosed by conducting allergy and intolerance tests. Once an allergy is detected, sufferers must avoid those foods. This is the only way in which food allergies can be treated. Of course, there are medications to relieve symptoms, but, as they say, prevention is always better than cure.

Food Allergy In Children – How To Manage Your Child’s Allergies

Allergy is prevalent both in adults and babies these days. You would be alarmed to hear that out of the total population that suffers from allergies, 6% constitutes children, especially infants. You never know when an allergy will come. Okay…how does allergy occur? As soon as the immune system starts to react differently for the food items that you generally take, it means you are allergic to that type of food.

When I say babies are prone to food allergies, I’m sure many parents will wonder how and why? Am I not true in saying that for every parent, their children is their world? You give them with all the basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter and above all, good care. It is essential that you be aware of the food items that your child is allergic to as sometimes, it may even cause death.

You get a lot of food items like pizza, burger, cheese, milk, pasta, fishes, etc. and your child may be allergic to one or more of these food items. It is the duty of each and every parent to take care of their child’s health and that too when allergies are more prevalent. Necessary steps have to be taken to ensure that the child is not experiencing any uneasiness due to allergies. You will have to be extra careful if you are introducing solid foods to your infant.

Let us see how an allergy occurs as this will help you understand how to prevent as well as manage food allergies. As soon as the child eats a food item that is allergic to him/her, IgE (antibodies) will be produced by the body. The next time when the same food is eaten by your child, IgE will inform the immune system for producing histamines. Histamines are produced to fight against the allergens. In general, allergens are harmless; however, it is the immune system that mistakes this to be harmful for the child and will start to attack it. Due to this, a child may get symptoms and signs of allergy. These symptoms may occur within few minutes or in two hours depending on the response from the immune system.

Allergic symptoms fall into two categories, namely, mild and severe. Mild symptoms include:

a) Swelling of skin, or parts of the body like ears, mouth, tongue, etc.
b) Rashes, which are itchy.
c) Discomfort in breathing
d) Vomiting
e) Diarrhea

In some cases, allergy is hereditary. Say for example, one of your family members is allergic towards milk, there are possibilities for your child to inherit this allergy. Some children do not show any signs of allergy when they start eating these food items; however, in the longer run may develop allergic signs and symptoms. Few food items that may cause allergy are:

a) Eggs
b) Milk
c) Fish
d) Peanuts
e) Treenuts

It is advisable to call the local emergency number immediately after your child shows allergic signs or symptoms. Why should you do this? It is because some allergies may even cause death. It is always good if you can detect the allergy at an earlier stage itself. If you get in touch with your pediatrician, he/she will be able to prepare and give you a plan of action to prevent allergy.

Tips For Hiring the Best Allergy Doctor

Allergies can cause a lot of trouble and in some cases, can even be fatal. Since people tend to live with allergies all their lives, it’s important that they fully understand their condition. They can do this by raising their awareness about their allergies, being educated and working with the right allergy doctor. Here are some tips for hiring the best allergy doctor for you and your family:

Go to a specialist
An allergy doctor is called an allergist or an immunologist. He or she is especially trained in the field, spending several years in medical school studying the nature and cause of allergies and their corresponding treatments. This means that if you go see a physician, you will have to check whether they are specialists in allergies as well. Other than their graduate education in medicine, they should have about 2 years of related education in allergy and/or immunology.

Look for an allergist that has training and experience for treating the specific allergy you are having problems with
Skin allergies are different from respiratory allergies. They are also not treated in the same way as animal allergies or food allergies. If you want to hire the best allergy doctor, always inquire regarding their specific field of practice. They’re more likely to treat you better if they have the necessary expertise.

Ask for referrals
Sometimes the best way to hire the best allergy doctor is to ask for referrals. Friends and family who may have allergies could help refer you to their allergist, which can help save you the time and effort in finding one.

Go local
Never hire an allergy doctor from out of state. If necessary, find the best one nearest your location. If they have to hold office in a location some distance from you, they should at least be accessible. In case there is an emergency, you should be able to get in touch with them in the shortest time possible.

Ask for doctor referrals.
Do this if you or a member of your family will be traveling to another region or state. This is so you have ready access to an allergist in case you need one.

Where to find the best allergy doctor
Before hiring an allergy doctor, go to the American Academy of Allergy, ┬áThis is an organization that represents the physicians who have a good standing in the field. The website has a database you can use for finding allergist members in your locality. Plus, the website also has some valuable information about allergies that you’ll find helpful

Drug Abuse – 2 Easy Ways to Quit Drugs

Drug abuse has often been considered as a disease which needs no introduction. There have been numerous cases wherein people have perished owing to excessive drug abuse. This is when the need of the hour is to seek a suitable solution from our everyday drug abuse problems. Taking cue from the above statement, we would now throw some light at 2 basic tips which can hope to work wonders for your drug addiction habits.

Make Use Of A Natural Therapy

Even before you change your mind and start to take drugs again, you would be required to seek help through the means of a tried and tested natural therapy. There are numerous ways through which you can hope to cure yourself of such addictions but the best option is by opting for a tried and tested natural therapy. The reason why this method is considered fruitful is simply because it has the ability to resolve your bad habits from the root itself. At the same time, a natural therapy is often considered free from any harmful side effects as it is completely free from medications.

Try And Change Your Attitude

The second most important tip to cure yourself of drug addiction is to change your mindset. If in case you have a positive mindset, chances are that you would not be able to catch hold of such bad habits again. This is when the need of the hour is to seek help through the means of a suitable de-addiction program, which apart from curing your physical body, does the same with your mental health as well.

Drug Abuse – 3 Quick and Easy Steps to Leave Drugs For Ever

Drug abuse has been on a constant increase. With special regards to the last decade, the total number of drug abuse cases have been known to cross the set threshold and this in turn has caused grave problems for our present as well as future generations. This is when drug abuse is said to said to take its tool on our both personal as well as professional fronts. In order to avoid such a scenario, let us discuss 3 main tips to curb this menace forever.

Take An Oath

The first step to stop taking drugs is to tell yourself that you would never do so again. This has led to a drastic decrease in the overall drug addiction scenario. While most people do not know the actual reason why they take to drugs, the truth is that they have a good enough idea about the repercussions well in advance. This is when de-addiction calls for a personal commitment.

Make Sure You Choose A Suitable De-Addiction Program

The second method through which you can hope to de-addict yourself from this awful habit is by taking help of a tried and tested natural de-addiction therapy. While de-addiction is often looked upon as a difficult task, the truth is that in case you wish to be free of drugs, you would be required to make an effort by seeking a natural method.

Lead A Disciplined Life

The third step to ensure that you retain a drug free life is to follow a disciplined life. It is best to wake up early, eat a healthy diet, sleep early and exercise regularly.

Ways to Avoid the Production of Steroid Hormones and Stretch Marks

There are several theories as to why steroid hormones and stretch marks go hand in hand. One theory indicates that they are caused by glucocoricoids, which are a class of steroid hormones created by the body itself. These substances are often released when we are experiencing mental or physical stress.

In order to encourage athletic performance, some individuals exercise to gain muscle mass quicker . The majority of athlete acquire the problem because of this boosted physical activity. Basically, their skin is not prepared for this as it attempts to accommodate all the muscle gain that has occurred in a short period of time. To avoid them in this case, one should not over-exercise. One should also gain muscle mass gradually instead of very quickly.

Using an all-natural cream specifically for the nasty lines and streaks is very effective in general. However, this won’t be enough if your body is constantly stressed. When your body is stressed for a period of time, this is where steroid hormones and stretch marks go hand in hand-the former are produced by the body to a point that they negatively affect the natural collagen production in the skin.

Generally, you must do what you can to minimize stress, whether it be through yoga, breathing exercises, aromatherapy or massages. You need to have a good diet rich in vitamins A, C and D. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink adequate amounts of water per day and get the right amount of exercise. All these can prevent the production of steroid hormones and stretch marks.