Archive for the ‘Allergies’ Category

ALLERGY SHOTS: HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE IMMUNOTHERAPY PROCEDURES

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

There are a variety of unproven methods of administering immunotherapy being given patients today. These controversial methods are practiced almost exclusively by physicians who are not specialists in allergy and immunology, a comment that should speak for itself. So, if immunotherapy has been recommended for you or your child, ask questions:
- Is the physician providing the immunotherapy a specialist in allergy and immunology?
- If not, is there such a specialist in your area?
- Is the physician providing the immunotherapy using a method considered unproven or controversial by most allergy specialists? (Those using such methods ate fully aware of their unproven or controversial nature.)
- What are the reasons that the physician is recommending an unproven or controversial mode of treatment rather than using a scientifically proven method?
- What are the reasons that you or your children are not being referred to a properly trained specialist for consultation before such is undertaken?
This is no time to be bashful. Immunotherapy is an expensive, time-consuming form of therapy. Ask questions. If you are going to receive a controversial form of therapy, you deserve to know that it is considered controversial. So, get answers. It is only through asking questions and receiving answers that you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the recommended immunotherapy plan.
Unproven methods can be offered for several reasons, none of which are very flattering to the profession of medicine. First, neither the vulnerable public nor most of the non-allergist medical world have any ideas which methods are considered proven and which are not. Second, fear of restraint-of-trade lawsuits by physicians who employ unproven methods prevents local, state, and national medical societies that are aware of these problems from acting on their concerns. Third, federal regulations (imposed by the Federal Trade Commission) make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the medical profession to properly control the actions of its members. Unfortunately, it is the patients who suffer from all of this confusion.
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CHILDREN’S ALLERGIES: EGGS AND CEREAL GRAINS AS ALLERGENS

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Allergy to Egg

Egg allergy is less frequent than milk allergy, but it is a much more dangerous form of allergy because the touch of an egg, its smell, or the giving of vaccines made from it (such as flu, mumps, measles, and rubella) may cause allergic symptoms in an egg-sensitive child.

The dangerous part of an egg is its white albumin; the yellow yolk is not allergenic. It is important to remember that all egg white, whether it comes from a chicken, a duck, or a turkey, is equally dangerous to the egg-sensitive child.

These foods may contain eggs: souffles, fritters, and egg noodles; cake, cookies, doughnuts, macaroons, pastries, batters (pancakes and waffles), pretzels, French toast, pie crust, muffins, meringues; ice cream, water ices, and sherbets (unless made at home from an egg-free powder); mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, tartar sauce, salad dressing with egg) icing, marshmallows, nougats, fondants, chocolate creams, filled candy bars; Ovaltine, Ovomalt, and root beer; prepared flours such as Bisquick and pancake flour; sausage and meat loaf (unless ground at home with no egg) ; baking powder (except Royal and K.C.).

Allergy to Cereal Grains

Allergy to corn may appear after the child has eaten corn or corn-containing products (such as cornflakes, corn flour, corn oil, corn syrup, Karo, popcorn, fritters), has inhaled the fumes of popping corn or the steam of boiling corn on the cob, or touched starched clothing (starch is derived from corn).

The following items contain corn in small quantities: adhesives (envelopes, stamps, stickers and tapes), aspirin and other tablets, baking mixtures and powders, ices, chewing gums, soya milk, powdered sugar, some substitute egg yolks, and talcum.

Wheat can also be an allergenic food. It is used to make bread, coffee substitutes, thickeners for gravies, and crumbs for meat frying. The following food items contain wheat.

Breads: All breads (pumpernickel and rye), cakes, cookies, crackers, pretzels, pastry, pie, bread crumbs, batters (waffles and pancakes), ice cream cones, biscuits, muffins, and cereals.

Beverages: Postum, Ovaltine, malted milk, Vitavose, certain canned soups such as Campbell’s chicken soup, beer, ale, gin, and whiskey.

Breakfast food: Cream of Wheat, Pablum, Grapenuts, farina, Ralston’s Pep, Mead’s cereal, Pettijohns, Wheaties, puffed wheat, shredded wheat, Rice Krispies, and cornflakes.

Flour: Flour and flour products such as macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, vermicelli, ravioli, and corn, wheat, and rice flours.

Sauces: Chowders, soups, and gravies.

Others: Sausages, hamburger, meat loaf (unless ground at home without wheat filler), croquettes, fish rolled in crackers, Wiener schnitzel, chili con carne, canned baked beans, matzos, ice cream, mayonnaise, puddings, and zwieback.

These are other cereals which play a minor role in allergy.

Barley: Necessary to prepare malt, beer, whiskey, breakfast foods, or fillers in sausages.

Rice: Eaten as a staple food and used in cereal meals and pastries (such as rice cakes and puddings), to prepare vitamin B, and to make Japanese sake wine. Wild rice is used as a stuffing for turkey, duck, and other fowl.

Rye: Used to make rye bread, pumpernickel bread, rye wafers, crackers, Scandinavian Knackebrod, rye whiskey, vodka, or gin.

Oats: Found in cereal mixtures, wafers, cookies, and oatmeal porridge (they can be recognized by the presence of husks).

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SOME ALLERGIC SYMPTOMS MAY AFFECT THE BRAIN AND CAUSE MENTAL PROBLEMS

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Less controversial is the notion that some allergic symptoms may affect the brain and cause mental problems, these being ‘secondary’ to the allergic response itself. In those with severe asthma, for example, the reduction in oxygen reaching the brain can cause changes in mood and abnormal behaviour. Lack of concentration, poor memory, ‘slowness’, drowsiness, depression, anxiety and irritability can all result from lack of oxygen.

Hay-fever and non-seasonal rhinitis (constant runny nose) can also have secondary effects on the brain. The congestion in the nose may result in the normal breathing pattern stopping entirely during sleep (sleep apnoea). This wakes the patient up and breathing starts again, but if there are repeated attacks during the night this can produce severe fatigue and drowsiness during the following day.

Overall, the evidence suggests that IgE-mediated allergy probably can affect the brain, either directly or indirectly. But the mechanism of direct action is unknown and the subject remains highly contentious. Nevertheless there is considerable evidence that the immune system interacts with both the nervous system and the hormones. This evidence, which will be looked at in the next section, is an indication that a direct link between allergy and mental problems is not impossible.

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