Category Archives: Allergies

Major Allergy Myths You Fell For

With all of the hype, sometimes, facts get lost in the fray of things. Take for example Bo Obama. He’s not a hypoallergenic dog. Sure, some dogs do have hair rather than fur, but they can still have the dander that can cause allergies for some people. Likewise, there is no allergy to gluten. Celiac disease is something else entirely. A presentation given at the annual meeting of the American college of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology looks to bust these myths and bring science back into the picture.

After years of dealing with patients who hold fiercely to beliefs that are just wrong about allergies, Dr David Stukus put this presentation together in hopes of fighting Dr Google. Stukus said, It was shocking to me, the amount of misinformation that is available to the general public. He is an allergist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University.

  1. If you are allergic to dogs or cats, you should get a hypoallergenic breed

    There is no such thing as a totally hypoallergenic pet. According to Stukus, every single pet will secrete allergens. Long hair doesn’t make a difference as the dander doesn’t actually come from the fur. It comes from saliva, sweat glands, and urine.

    For the real animal lovers, there’s good news. You may be more sensitive to some breeds than others. The only way to tell is by spending time around different breeds. You can tell and go from there. Stukus has instructed his patients to literally rub their faces on the animal.

  2. There is no such thing as a gluten allergy/sensitivity

    There is no such thing as an allergy to gluten, despite all of the people who insist that they are sensitive to gluten and need gluten free foods. Unless you have Celiac disease, you realistically shouldn’t worry about it.

    Stukus says, Gluten has been blamed for all that ails humanity. Celiac disease and wheat allergies would be real. Stukus says, Then there’s this claim about gluten allergy, which doesn’t really exist. It’s not really a recognized allergy. Wheat is a recognized allergy – but a lot of people will misinterpret that as gluten.

  3. Black mold can cause some serious diseases

    If you Google black mold, you will find that it has been linked to a lot of different issues like seizures, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, and even cancer. Stukus clarifies though, This has been attributed to cause all kinds of ailments, but there is absolutely no scientific link of a causal disorder to black mold to any of these disorders. The most black mold is likely to do is realistically to cause allergic rhinitis and asthma, assuming you’re allergic to black mold in the first place.

  4. You shouldn’t get flu shots if you have an egg allergy

    This has hit the fans. Allergists can understand where it comes from to a certain degree. Egg embryos from chickens are used to grow the viruses in vaccines for influenza, rabies, yellow fever, and MMR. However, while the small amount of egg protein that could be in the vaccines sounds concerning to parents, it’s unlikely to have a serious effect.

    It is only if a person has a history of severe anaphylaxis associated with eating eggs that you should be concerned. Even with severe reactions that do not include anaphylaxis, the vaccine is still most likely safe. However, they recommend seeing an allergist before you get a flu shot. There are currently egg free vaccines offered. MMR is safe for anyone with a history of egg allergies, but rabies and yellow fever are currently not.

  5. No milk til age 1, no eggs til age 2, and no nuts til age 3

    Food allergies are scary, and you don’t want to be facing an emergency, I understand. There are some kids who do better when mom doesn’t eat dairy products, and nuts are one of the most common food allergies. However, this is old information that has stayed around despite evidence to the contrary.

    There is no evidence to support the idea that you should avoid these foods in children past 4 to 6 months of age. In the allergy community, the stance has sort of reversed 180 degrees. We used to think avoidance reduced allegies; now, we think early introduction leads to tolerance.

Stukus recommends, Use the Internet for guidance, but don’t rely on it as your sole source of health information. It’s a great place to formulate questions that you can take to physicians.

Natural Allergy Cures

Quercitin (A BioFlavanoid Found in Grapefruit and Apples) and Bromelain

Quercitin can also be found in red wine, onions, and black tea. When combined in this enzyme cocktail, which is found in the stems and juice of pineapples, it acts as a natural antihistamine. This combination can prevent allergic reactions with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory benefits, with bromelain increasing the absorption of quercitin into the bloodstream.

Simply take quercitin and bromelain together to prevent the immune response that leads to allergic reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing, runny noses, and more. Experts recommend using supplements to more easily get the higher amounts and the right combination for the best effects.

Butterbur: The Shrub That Prevents Headaches And Nasal Congestion

A shrub that grows in the wet, marshy ground, the name butterbur comes from the traditional use of the plant’s large leaves. It is commonly used as a butter protector in warm weather. Butterbur supplements have been proven to be as effective as oral antihistamines for symptoms like itchy eyes in a study with 125 participants. Some studies also show that butterbur may relieve allergy related headaches and nasal congestion.

Experts recommend supplements. This is part of the ragweed family, which is a problem as about 75% of people who are allergic to pollen are allergic to ragweed. So plain food forms may not be the best idea when trying to fight allergies.

Salmon To Reduce Your Allergy Risk

Salmon is known for its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve heart health with anti-inflammatory benefits as well. It has been used to reduce body fat, fight brain disease, the whole 9 yards it would seem. In the Journal Allergy, they found a relationship between omega 3 and a lower risk of hay fever as it turns out, which some experts suspect is because of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

Vitamin D To Protect Your Sinuses

Vitamin D has been known for its healthy benefits and its place in the sun’s rays. It can help to improve mood while enhancing a healthy and strong immune system. Studies have demonstrated links between vitamin D and respiratory illnesses like asthma and allergies according to experts, and it seems to stop your body from creating allergy causing molecules that can inflame sinuses and other tissues.

Try A Good Saline Rinse

When you squirt warm, salty water into your nose, it can remove excess mucous that could be a symptom and a part of allergies. It can rinse out the offending allergens as well. Some experts have suggested that Dead sea salts are higher in minerals such as magnesium and therefore more effective than table salt in fighting allergies.

The trick is that you have to get it into your nasal passages successfully. With a traditional neti pot, it may be harder than you expect. You should try an awkward neti pot as an easier to use squeeze bottle to keep water from going down the throat.

Probiotics Can Soothe Your Eyes, Nose, And Throat

If you love your yogurt, you are less likely to suffer from more allergies according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. Those who eat 7 ounces of yogurt specifically every day for a year have fewer allergy issues than those who do not eat yogurt. Probiotics can be used to fight allergies associated with pollens by creating a balance in the gut.

Some Use Acupuncture

There are a number of studies, including one German trial of over 300 patients, that have shown that acupuncture may help to alleviate the symptoms of allergies as compared to no treatment at all. You do need to give it some time to work. Acupuncture will not work overnight, or even after 1 session. You have to stick with it.