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Sugar Allergy : More Likely an Intolerance

Some people think they have a sugar allergy. Confirming this type of allergy can be devastating since so many foods contain some form of sugar. It is almost as tragic as a caffeine allergy for those who can not function without that first cup of coffee in the morning. Food allergies can be confused with food intolerance so it is important to know which you have. Some of the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction can occur but there is a good chance they are caused by an intolerance of refined sugar.

For many generations, parents believed that too much sugar caused their children to be hyperactive. While science has found no link between an over active child and the amount of sugar they eat, they have determined that too much sugar is never good for children. Reasons for less sugar consumption include increased risk of cavities, obesity and the possibility of developing an intolerance for sugar.

An intolerance to sugar has been shown to cause a resistance to insulin as well as rapid weight gain if ingested in too large a quantity. It can also lead to fatigue, joint pain, forgetfulness and confusion. The thinking process may also be affected by reducing neurotransmitters leading some people to think that a true sugar allergy has caused this reaction.

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Restlessness and inattention may be signs of a sugar intolerance, often confused as a sugar allergy. This is especially true for school-age children but while sugar intake will need to be monitored, it is not considered a true sugar allergy. When the body develops an allergy to a certain food, it is confusing that food with an allergen. The immune system responds to attempt to eliminate the threat. While many foods cause an allergic reaction in many people, studies have not supported the confirmation of sugar allergy.

Many allergic symptoms may appear in a person with an intolerance to refined sugar. They should therefore stay away from it in all forms. Elimination diets are usually needed and recommended for determining whether you are truly allergic or intolerant. If you believe that it is sugar, eliminate all forms of added sugar for a period of time, at least one week Keep track of what forms of sugar are ingested. If you find that your symptoms are less then you know you are on the right path to pinpointing your intolerance.

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Since sugar is such a common ingredient it is important to keep a diary of all the foods you eat and to note the ingredients. An elimination diet can be pretty tricky for someone who has a sugar allergy or an intolerance to sugar. You definitely need the guidance a professional like an allergist or at the very least your primary care physician. With the proper testing and tracking of what you eat you may also be able to find substitutes like brown sugar and natural sweeteners that you may have less a reaction to.


A Dust Allergy : Spring Cleaning Avoided

Are you one of those people that loves to clean in bursts? A dust allergy may cause you to adapt a new strategy. Instead of waiting until spring cleaning to do a major clean up you should consider taking out the feather duster more often. If you find yourself sneezing and wheezing and you can’t figure out why, you might just have a dust allergy. A dust allergy occurs when dust enters your system. You can either breath it in from the air or you might come in direct contact with it.

There’s little you can do about a dust allergy, except for cleaning the dust in your house with a feather duster. Just make sure that when you are cleaning the dust in your house that you don’t spread it around. Clean it softly so that you contain it as much as possible. If you or someone in your house has a dust allergy you don’t need to stir the dust up since it will just cause more problems.

Dust is Everywhere

Even if you don’t have a dust allergy you might be amazed at the amount of dust that can accumulate in a matter of days. You may even be someone who already cleans regularly yet the dust always seem to appear. Dust can accumulate in any space that’s not cleaned on a regular basis and this can sometimes mean daily.

Common Places Where Dust is Found:

  • Television
  • Bookshelves
  • Computers
  • Tables
  • Under Beds
  • Behind Doors…

A dust allergy can make someone crazy because the job of cleaning the dust never seems to end. Dust is comprised of everything from dead skin cells to dirt to anything else that can accumulate in areas that aren’t cleaned regularly.

To maximize the cleaning of dust, and to alleviate the bad affects of your dust allergy, make sure, when you do clean your house, that you use a feather duster and go slow. Get all the areas that you might frequent, so that you can prevent breathing in the dust that makes you sneeze, cough, wheeze, or whatever else it makes you do.

Vacuum cleaners are a great option. You can get a small vacuum cleaner that will also help you suck up the dust without spreading it around. The benefit of a vacuum cleaner is that you collect the dust in a bag, or whatever kind of receptacle the vacuum uses, and then you can just throw it away and replace it when you’re done. Unlike a feather duster, a vacuum has less of a chance of spreading the dust all around your house. Air purifiers are also good at keeping the amounts of dust down and furthermore help remove other allergens from the air as well.

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If you have a dust allergy you should of course consult with an allergist. I have heard that they might have vitamins to prevent dust mite allergies. Until they come up with a cure for dust allergies regular cleaning is your best bet to help avoid and manage your dust allergy. Regular cleaning may be a pain but on the good side it will help you avoid that huge spring cleaning project.


Allergy and Deodorant : A Smelly Combination

An allergy to deodorants doesn’t have to leave you without friends. Deodorants can sometimes cause allergic reactions and many people are afraid to talk about it. They are very self-conscious because an allergy and deodorant combination doesn’t seem to leave you with many options for smelling fresh. People use deodorant to prevent body odor. They wear it under their arms where we tend to sweat the most and the sweat mixes with the deodorant to produce a more pleasant odor. However, what happens if you are allergic to the very deodorant that you are using to help you smell better?

First Confirm Your Allergy to Deodorants

If you’re not sure if you are allergic to deodorant, there are certain signs that you can look out for. For instance, if, after applying the deodorant, you notice a rash of any kind, or a series of red and inflamed bumps, or anything else out of the ordinary, it’s recommended that you stop using that deodorant immediately. Just because you have an allergic reaction to one deodorant doesn’t necessarily mean you are allergic to all deodorants. Try switching brands.

In some ways an allergy to deodorants is like a perfume allergy. If you’ve ever walked into a department store you know what I mean. As soon as you pass the perfume counter you get sprayed with the latest scent. I personally can only use certain perfume brands. Some of the others are too strong and give me sinus problems.

Switching Brands Doesn’t Work

If you find that after trying many brands you still are experiencing allergic reactions it is time to explore some alternatives. Yes, smelling good did exist before Secret or Old Spice! You need to find options to control your sweat and help you smell good. If you have children you might have something right in your bathroom that works. The baby powder you use on your baby can help you both control the sweat and keep you from smelling as though you just came from the gym. Since it isn’t the standard stronger deodorant that people use you may consider carrying some around with you to be prepared to add more when needed.

Seek an Expert Opinion

If you’re still not sure whether or not you’re allergic to deodorant, consult an allergist. An allergist can test you to see what you are really allergic to. Other possible allergens could be perfume or soap. Trying unscented brands of deodorants and soaps may help but only an allergist can confirm whether you truly are allergic to deodorants. An allergy and deodorant combination does not have to leave you out in the cold. Confirm your allergy and then try some of the options mentioned above. Your allergist can also provide you with alternatives since they deal with these things regularly.

Nut Allergies and Anaphylactic Shock

Many people can go into anaphylactic shock as a reaction to their nut allergies. If you suspect that you or a loved one are allergic to nuts it is very important to know the signs of anaphylaxis and to understand where the threat can come from. Nuts are used in many ways in today’s cooking. They are also hidden in common foods that you may not be aware of.

Contamination of food can happen in the production of foods that though they don’t have nuts in their recipe can have trace amounts due to the equipment used in the production of the food. Many people think they can manage their nut allergies by just avoiding the nuts but in order to really be safe you need to ask questions and be savvy about what foods may or may not contain nuts. Keep in mind that a nut allergy is not just peanut related. You may be allergic to nuts like walnuts or cashews. Tree nuts are sometimes used in shampoos and lotions so it is important to carefully check the labels of all products you use if you suffer from nut allergies.

Here is a short list of some foods you may not have thought of as possibly having some form of nuts:

  • grain bread
  • certain ice cream flavors
  • cookies
  • candy
  • granola bars
  • salad dressing
  • marzipan

Many multicultural dishes may have nuts in them. Some possible dishes are oriental foods such as Chinese, Thai and African dishes. products.

It is unknown why some people have nut allergies and why some suffer more severely than others do. Some of the lucky ones can outgrow their allergies. Peanut allergies in infants can actually change over time.

Anaphylactic Shock: The Body’s Response

Anaphylaxis is the body’s allergic response to nuts. Nut allergies can cause swelling, reduced blood pressure and dilated veins and arteries. Typically, a person will go into anaphylactic shock, which if not treated quickly, can cause coma and can sometimes be fatal.

Nut allergies are also very sneaky in that the first episode or reaction to an allergy may just be uncomfortable, while subsequent episodes could be fatal. Immunoglobulin E, is created by the immune system to fight a usually harmless substance, in this case nuts and when it appears the first time, your body may produce antibodies, but will not react. However, if a person with nut allergies is exposed again the antibodies will produce large amounts of histamines causing the symptoms to appear.

Typically, anaphylaxis begins within minutes of exposure by someone with nut allergies with itching in the eyes and face and quickly advance to difficulty breathing and swallowing. It may also be accompanied by stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Angioedema, swelling under the skin can also be present. When the symptoms first appear it is imperative that you seek medical help immediately as it can quickly cause an increase in your heart rate, rapid drop in blood pressure, shock and possibly death if left untreated.

As you can see nut allergies are not something you can take lightly. It is very important to be aware of the severe reaction that can be caused by nuts. It is especially important if you have children or are responsible for the care of children. Typically child care providers should be trained in first aid which includes diagnosing possible anaphylaxis. Though treatments like epinephrine pens and pills can help it is usually the best bet to seek emergency care immediately since nut allergies can be fatal.

Gluten Allergy : A Scary Diagnosis

When my son was around 2 years old my pediatrician started to suspect that he might have a possible gluten allergy. I, of course, had never heard of this. I didn’t even know what gluten was. It was a scary diagnosis because the more research I did the more I knew this could change my son’s life forever. I was even further terrified by the possibility that it could go beyond a gluten allergy into the realm of celiac disease.

What is Gluten?

There is a rubbery like protein in various grains that is causing a many problems for a growing number of across our country and around our world. This substance has been around for thousands of years, and is a naturally occurring one. This protein is called gluten and is found in wheat, rye, barley and a low level in oats as well. This protein helps bind the dough together, causing it to rise when baked. These grains can cause a gluten allergy in those who are sensitive, yet other proteins in the grains can also cause symptoms as well. There are four primary proteins that are found in gluten-containing grains. These are albumin, globulin, gliadin, and glutenin.

Symptoms of Gluten Allergy

The symptoms from any of these proteins can be quite similar.

Symptoms of gluten allergy can include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • swelling
  • vomiting
  • asthma

Symptoms could potentially be life threatening if you are very sensitive.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Often, many people have gone many years with problems from gluten allergy before being properly diagnosed. It is very important to locate a trained professional who is skilled in these types of issues when dealing with gluten allergy. My pediatrician sent me to a specialist to dig into my son’s symptoms further.

A skin prick can sometimes be used to detect an allergy to wheat but a true gluten allergy is more often confirmed through a blood test. Since wheat is found in so many daily food items, it is difficult to find the true culprit of the symptoms sometimes. Yet, with diligence, it can be done. If a gluten reaction is very severe, then the patient should be told to eliminate all gluten-containing products from one’s diet. However, some doctors suggest that if the gluten allergy is minor, that small amounts may be introduced with time. More people agree that an elimination diet is a far better approach.

Gluten Allergy versus Celiac Disease

Gluten allergy should not be confused with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, which is a hereditary disorder and is auto-immune in nature. The gluten actually damages the intestinal lining in this disease, causing food to be improperly absorbed by the body. Celiac disease requires that gluten be eliminated from the diet totally and for life. Celiac disease is more prevalent in certain races and since I am married to an Irish man I thought this could explain why I had never heard of it since I am of Latin descent.

Luckily for us when the dust settled my son was diagnosed with a mild lactose intolerance but the experience opened my eyes to the challenges someone could have if they had a gluten allergy or worse yet Celiac Disease. While living with a gluten allergy or intolerance can be a challenge learning how to manage it through your diet is definitely worth it.

Dog Skin Allergies – Yes They Do Get Them

Many people seemed to think that dogs are immune from many of our ailments but they are not. Dogs get skin allergies just like some of us do. Dog skin allergies can make your dog’s life miserable. Most dog owners think of their pet as a member of their family so you want to make sure that you help them feel better if you can. They can’t talk so it is up to you to notice their symptoms.

What Are Some of the Symptoms of Dog Skin Allergies?

If your pet is consistently scratching or sneezing whenever they come in from outside, or if you notice a rash on their skin, your pet may have dog skin allergies. Dog skin allergies can cause your pet to break out in rashes. In many cases they can even lose their fur in certain areas of their body. Depending on the severity of the dog skin allergy, you should take your pet into the vet at the first sign of an allergic reaction to determine what is causing your dog’s skin allergy.

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The Vet is Your Best Bet

A variety of things can be causing your dog’s allergic reaction. Only a visit to your veterinarian can confirm your suspicions. If this is the case, your vet can test your pet to see what he or she is allergic to and what is causing their dog skin allergic reactions. If it’s something that’s in your yard, such as a certain plant or flower, you should get rid of it immediately. Similarly, if it’s something in your house that is causing your dog’s skin allergy, you should remove that, as well. Your vet may also be able to prescribe some kind of medication, either topical or ingested, that can help to alleviate some of the symptoms they are experiencing.

Dog is man’s best friend and, for that reason, you want to make sure your pet is in top physical condition. If they are constantly suffering and you make no effort to find out why, you aren’t showing your pet the love they deserve. Make an appointment with the vet to see what is causing this discomfort. If your vet determines that your dog has dog skin allergies, ask what can be done about it. If something needs to be removed from your house or yard, then remove it, your pet is well worth it.

Your Dog Can Have a Normal Life

Dog skin allergies can affect the quality of your dog’s life. It is up to you to pay attention to them and examine them when they are showing symptoms of dog skin allergies. Your veterinarian will give you the strategies and treatment options to help you manage the dog skin allergies. It is up to you to make sure you do everything to make sure the canine member of the family is feeling as well as he can.