Archive for the ‘food allergies’ Category

Why am I sneezing during Christmas?

We look forward to the holidays for so many reasons: the smell of a Christmas tree, a warm, cozy fire and delicious food to name a few.

For some allergy sufferers, these aromatic symbols of the season can actually make you say “ahchoo” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho.”

  • According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many people experience sniffling,
    Christmas tree allergies, mold, conifer trees, fragrance allergies, sniffles, sneezing

    Mold spores may be the other “gifts” found under your Christmas tree.

    itchy eyes and nose, and shortness of breath due to a Christmas tree allergy. That’s because some conifer trees carry mold spores that trigger allergic reactions or even asthma. Experts recommend putting the tree in the garage or an enclosed porch for several days until it dries. Give it a good shake outside before bringing it in to decorate.

  • Some will artificial sprays and candles to enhance holiday fragrances. But those strong smells can also trigger sneezing and sniffles so you might want to tone them down a little, especially if your holiday guests seem uncomfortable.
  • Many people may not realize that smoke from a fireplace or wood-burning stove is air pollution. The tiny smoke particles which are inhaled may cause coughing and congestion and can even affect your lungs.
  • Delicious holiday meals may be filled with certain foods that trigger allergies. Because a person may react with sniffles, sneezing and coughing after eating a meal, they may not realize they have food allergies.

Using an herbal-enhanced nasal spray before you are potentially exposed to the airborne irritants at a holiday party will even help protect your sinuses by moisturizing passages so that you can focus on holiday cheer instead of holiday achoo. If symptoms persist, consider seeking help from a medical professional.

 

Advertisements

Can I be having a Food Allergy?

 

Ah, the holidays!  Family… food… football… allergies!  That’s right.  The holiday season can be a dangerous time for people with food allergies – whether you are aware of the allergy or not.  And to compound the potential danger or discomfort, we tend to drop our guard during the holiday season festivities and, let’s be honest, eat things we wouldn’t normally eat in quantities we might not normally eat them.

food allergies, Anaphylaxis,

People with food allergies need to be careful about hidden foods on the holiday table.

Plus, who wants to insult the host by asking what the ingredients are in that holiday delicacy – even if it could put you or a loved one at risk?  The most common food allergies are egg, dairy, tree nut, peanut, soy, wheat and shellfish. By themselves, these ingredients can be very obvious.   But sometimes, they’re hidden in otherwise “safe” foods found at the holiday table.  So what exactly is a food allergy and how do you know if you have one?

Often times we think of a food allergy triggering something referred to as Anaphylaxis, a sudden and severe reaction involving two or more body systems. These symptoms can affect the skin (rash, hives, itching), the respiratory tract (tightness in the chest, wheezing or shortness of breath) or even gastrointestinal tract (stomach ache, pains or diarrhea). The symptoms may require a response by 911, emergency room evaluation and use of epinephrine.

What are some of the milder symptoms that you may experience? Some of the more common “healthy” food allergies are to peanuts, bananas, milk and strawberries. If you notice that after eating or drinking you experience any negative symptoms, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, a quick accumulation of mucus in the throat or a post nasal drainage, you can suspect a food allergy. You may notice an itching of your skin with or without a rash.

Difficulty breathing, symptoms of asthma or even shortness of breath may be triggered by a food allergy. Food allergies can trigger stomach aches or pains with or without diarrhea which may cause people to think that it’s more of an irritable bowel disease. It’s important to note that Irritable Bowel Disease may become worse with food allergies and people with Irritable Bowel Disease may benefit form an allergy evaluation.

If you experience, these symptoms, you should contact your medical practitioner. And in case you were wondering, yes, you can grow into or out of food allergies and the danger or severity of reaction can also change over time.

 

An unlikely source of seasonal allergies

There are few things as refreshing as biting into a cool, juicy fruit on a hot summer day. The sweetness and natural juices are ideal to help quench your thirst.22029048_xxl

For people who suffer from seasonal allergies, this seemingly healthy indulgence may possibly lead to other health issues that include an itchy feeling in the mouth, throat and on the lips.

“Some fruits and vegetables have identical proteins to those in pollen which can trigger allergic reactions,” said Frances “Ed” Neuzil, Jr. PhD, MSN, ARNP, FAANP and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Central Florida. “Eating these plant-based foods can cause what’s called oral allergy syndrome and can cause an immune response similar to when a person inhales airborne allergy triggers.”

For example, melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, have a protein which mirrors what’s in ragweed pollen. Other fruits and vegetables which share similar triggers are banana, zucchini, cucumber and kiwi.

Apples are another common source of oral allergy symptoms for people who are allergic to birch pollen.

Neuzil notes that not everyone who suffers from seasonal allergies experience the oral allergy symptoms and that the itchiness may not occur each time the food is consumed. He says it may only happen during a person’s respective allergy season when those airborne proteins are more prominent.

The key is recognizing when you have symptoms and to stop eating the offending food. Sometimes, removing the skin or eating canned or frozen forms of the fruit may be better tolerated.

Neuzil recommends consulting with a medical practitioner to help determine the source of the allergic reaction to learn ways to avoid further symptoms.