Archive for the ‘Allergies’ Category

posted by admin on Dec 12

The dust in your house is the sum of your environmental accumulations. It is a mixture that can include dried food particles, outside dust, pollen particles, mold spores, fibers, insect parts and droppings, pesticides, hair, shed skin cells, and dried saliva and urine from indoor pets.

What Is It In House Dust That Causes Allergies?
In laboratories around the world a debate has raged for years: Is there an allergen in house dust that is unique to dust, or are the symptoms caused by an allergy to one of the already – recognized agents comprising the dust – the most commonly suggested culprit being the house dust mite? Although the answer is not completely resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, it appears that most allergic reactions to dust are due to an allergy to one of its constituents, most commonly the house dust mite. However, any of dust’s constituents can be the cause of your symptoms: other insects and their droppings (most notably those of the cockroach), as well as animal (cat and dog) dander particles. Unfortunately, many allergic people are genetically disposed to react to more than one component of their house dust. They may, for example, react to mites, mold spores, pollens, and cat saliva.

How To Tell If You Are Allergic To House Dust
If when you vacuum, sweep, dust, and clean (or are present when this is done) you get a runny, itchy, stopped-up nose and a sneezing spell, you are probably allergic to something in house dust. The exact dust components causing your allergy can be determined by allergy testing, either of your skin or your blood serum.
If you are allergic to house dust, your symptoms tend to occur both in and out of the pollen seasons, are worse inside your home than outside, and seem to be more of a bother the longer you are indoors. It is common for dust-allergic symptoms to be worse on awakening in the mornings. Sleeping in a dusty bed or with a dusty pillow or bedding can contribute to your symptoms, as can the ceiling or oscillating fan that keeps the dust in your room suspended in the air while you sleep. Symptoms caused by something in house dust frequently lessen or clear when you go on vacation, then worsen when you return home.

posted by admin on Dec 11

I just found out that I’m allergic to elm pollen. Does that mean that the other tree pollens will trigger my allergy symptoms?
Elm pollen is unique and is unable to cross-react with any of the other tree pollens. As a result, other tree pollens will not cause symptoms because of your allergy to elm. If you begin having symptoms at times when elm pollen is not in the air, re-consult your allergist, as it is likely you have become allergic to another tree or to other types of pollen.

My friend says that she can’t go to San Antonio from December through January because of the mountain cedar pollen. I didn’t think that trees pollinated at that time of the year in Texas or anywhere else. Who is correct?
Your friend knows a lot about pollen. Although, in general, trees pollinate from the early spring to midsummer, in south central Texas, mountain cedar pollinates during December and January -and does so with a vengeance. This is an exception to the general rule that trees pollinate only in the spring.

I’ve heard that if you are allergic to grass, you shouldn’t eat breakfast cereals (barley, oats, corn, wheat, rice), because these cereals are in the grass-family and cross-react with grass pollen. Is this correct?
While cereals are in the grass family, breakfast cereals do not bother people who are grass allergic. Being allergic to pollen from the cereal plants does not necessarily mean that you will be allergic to the food grains produced by the plant. The situation is the same for pecans and pecan tree pollen. You can be allergic to the pollen and still enjoy the nut.

My hay fever is a problem just about the time that the goldenrod begins to pollinate, but my doctor told me that I couldn’t be allergic to goldenrod. I don’t understand.
In all likelihood you are actually allergic to ragweed pollen, which is the major airborne pollen at the time that goldenrod pollinates. You may not have noticed that the ragweeds are also pollinating at the same time as the goldenrods. They do not take on the bright gold color of the goldenrods so their pollen status is not as obvious. However, your doctor may be only partially correct. Ragweed and goldenrod are very closely related. If you are allergic to ragweed, it is highly likely that you will exhibit allergic symptoms if you are exposed to goldenrod. Still, because goldenrod pollen is quite heavy, it is normally carried by the wind only a few feet from its plant. Therefore, you would almost have to physically bump into the goldenrod plant to expose yourself sufficiently to its pollen to have symptoms. Although this seems unlikely, it can happen, as many a hiker and hunter can tell you.

posted by admin on Apr 20

Food allergy, especially the immediate-reaction type, is usually lifelong. Food intolerance, on the other hand, tends to diminish if the food is avoided for a while. After a period of months, or sometimes a year, the same food can be eaten without ill-effects. But the potential for a reaction remains: if the food is eaten on a daily basis again, the intolerance is likely to reappear within a month or so. A viral infection can also spark off food intolerance again.

Sometimes intolerance reactions disappear very quickly after avoidance of the food, and do not reappear even though the person returns to their previous diet.

In general, the longer offending foods are avoided, the better the patient becomes (as long as other foods are not eaten too regularly or in too great a quantity). With improving health, the person is better able to cope with both their diet and other environmental factors – airborne allergens, for example, or synthetic chemicals. Just as there was a gradual decline into ill-health, so there is now a steady recovery, with the body becoming stronger and less sensitive at each step.