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Eggs: A Common Allergy Causing Food for Children

Egg allergy is caused due to our immune system reacting against the proteins in the egg – usually found in the white part. It is particularly seen in younger children starting from 6 months of age. Egg allergies can be either permanent or transient – in transient cases, children outgrow their egg allergy.

Some people have allergic reactions to egg upon skin contact but can ingest it because gastric digestion reduces the allergen of the egg proteins. Sometimes egg proteins can be resistant to the heat and digestive enzymes in the stomach causing an immune response.

For children with allergies, the reaction is usually within minutes to a couple of hours of ingestion of egg, with symptoms such as hives or swelling. Skin symptoms are most common, but other immediate reactions involving the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts are also seen.

egg child food allergy

Severity of reaction

Egg allergy has been implicated as a trigger for atopic dermatitis. Children who have egg allergies with atopic dermatitis response are more likely to develop asthma.

The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person, from episode to episode. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, and infants and children who are asthmatics are particularly at risk. Fatal incidents are few, but have occurred.

Allergic reactions are milder when ingesting cooked denatured egg, but stronger in case of eating raw or undercooked egg. Gastrointestinal inflammatory reactions are also present in some children showing up as allergic eosinophilic esophagitis.

Medical Treatment

Egg allergy can be verified by a variety of diagnostic methods. However, there is no permanent cure, so managing this involves:

  • Avoiding eggs – this can prove difficult as egg whites, shells etc. are in so many products including medicines and vaccines. Being vigilant becomes important.
  • For patients with a history of severe allergic reactions, having an epinephrine autoinjector at hand always.
  • Some studies have suggested kids fed egg at 4-6 months of age were less likely to develop an egg allergy.

When it comes to the adult population, occupational asthma has been seen in populations which work in egg factories or bakeries where egg is used commonly in aerosol form.

Reference:

https://www.livescience.com/56173-egg-peanut-allergy-risk-early-introduction.html

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What are 8 of the Best Pets for Allergy and Asthma Sufferers?

Does holding a fluffy dog make you sneeze and wheeze? If you’re suffering from dreadful allergies, you may think that it’s impossible for you to enjoy the heartwarming companionship offered by adorable pets. But fear not. All hope is not lost, as you can still cuddle that charming little fluffball when you choose the right pet for you.

What Is a Hypoallergenic Pet?

Pet dander — or dead skin cells — is a common, serious trigger for allergy symptoms, and it’s present even in hairless cats and short-haired dogs. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (aafa.org/page/pet-dog-cat-allergies.aspx), around three in 10 individuals with allergies experience allergic reactions to dogs and cats, and cat allergies are more common than dog allergies.

Hypoallergenic pets refer to animals that generally produce fewer allergens, leading to lower chances of triggering your allergy symptoms. However, no dog or cat is completely non-allergic. Your immune system naturally responds to proteins found in the dander, saliva or urine of animals to shield your body from illnesses. But in the case of people with pet allergies, their immune systems are more sensitive than others and are thus more prone to react even to harmless animal proteins. Thankfully, you can still care for an animal even if you have pet allergy once you find one that doesn’t cause allergic reactions.

Hypoallergenic Pet

 

“What are some of the Best Hypoallergenic Animals for Your Family?”

Best Dogs for Allergy Sufferers:

If you’re looking for a dog, the American Kennel Club (akc.org/about/faq-allergies/)

Recommends breeds with a predictable, non-shedding coat that creates less dander. Here are ideal hypoallergenic canine breeds for allergy sufferers:

  1. Afghan Hound — Typically reserved and composed, Afghan Hounds need regular exercise and grooming. You should bathe and brush your Afghan Hound twice a week to keep pet dander at bay.
  1. American Hairless Terrier — American Hairless Terriers are smart, energetic dogs that are perfect for kids and teens. They also are ideal for those living in bustling cities, as they require minimal outdoor exercise and do well with a lot of indoor playtime.
  1. Bedlington Terriers — Regular walks and indoor play can make a Bedlington Terrier fit and happy. If you want a hypoallergenic dog with a wooly coat, this breed is for you.
  1. Chinese Crested — A Chinese Crested is a wonderful breed if you’re looking for a dog that sheds little to no hair. It’s an attentive and active dog that loves to spend time with its owner.

Best Cats for Allergy Sufferers:

For cat lovers, the following feline breeds are considered hypoallergenic:

  1. Siberian Forest — Typically heavier than other cats, a Siberian Forest is strong and thick-coated. This cat breed loves to show affection and play with water.
  1. Balinese — Balinese cats are single-coated with less shedding. Resembling the Siamese, these cats have bright blue eyes, and they are lively, friendly and intelligent.
  1. Burmese — If you want an incredibly loyal feline that gives you plenty of affection, a Burmese cat is your best choice. This smart, playful, people-oriented cat is comparable to dogs.

Hypoallergenic Birds:

Unknown to many, birds also produce pet dander and may trigger allergy symptoms. But if you really want a feathered companion, you can choose birds that are hypoallergenic. Parakeets, also called budgies, shed minimal dander, making them an excellent option for allergy sufferers. Other recommended hypoallergenic birds include Eclectus, Pionus, and Toucans.

Small, Hypoallergenic Animals:

Aquatic pets are perfect for allergy sufferers, as they stay in the water and require no direct contact. Just make sure you don’t dip your hand in the water to prevent potential infections associated with aquatic environments. You may also opt for a pet reptile, which neither has fur nor the proteins known to cause allergic reactions.

“How to Know If a Pet Is Hypoallergenic?”

Before getting a new pet, especially if you’re planning to adopt a rescued animal, it’s important to determine first if the animal doesn’t trigger your symptoms. To do so, trial and error may be necessary. Visit an animal shelter, a pet store or a friend who has the particular breed you like, and spend time with your chosen animal for up to an hour a few times to check for allergic reactions. If you don’t cough, wheeze or show noticeably swollen body parts, you’ve likely found a hypoallergenic pet that’s suitable for you. Keep in mind to consult your doctor first, especially if you have severe allergies or asthma, to ensure your safety.

Also, before bringing home any pet, make sure you know exactly what you’re allergic to by going to an allergist and getting allergy testing if you haven’t done so already. This helps identify substances that you may need to avoid when choosing your pet’s diet or bedding. Once you get a hypoallergenic pet, make sure to prepare a separate room for it, wash its bed frequently and groom it as needed. By taking extra time and effort, you’ll be able to have fun with your pet without worrying too much about your allergies.

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Pins and Needles: The Allergy Skin Prick Test – What To Know!

For those unlucky Arizonans, seasonal allergies are the pits. The pollens that bring sneezing, itchy and swollen eyes, and all around misery can really put a cramp in our desert lifestyle. Many allergy sufferers will at some point wind up at doctors office for a skin prick test (SPT) to determine which pollens and allergens they are allergic to. The results of this test can help you avoid your particular triggers, whether it’s staying indoors during prime grass season or taking allergy medicine before you leave the house. The skin prick test itself is straightforward type of allergy testing, but knowing what to expect can help ease anxieties if the idea of getting this test puts you on pins and needles.

Allergy Testing to Determine Specific Type of Allergic Reaction & Treatment

Allergy Testing – What to Expect 

The first part of your appointment should be familiar. The nurse will take your height, weight and blood pressure. You’ll settle into a room and wait for the doctor. The allergist will come in and ask you questions regarding your symptoms and how you are feeling and will look in your eyes, nose and throat. He’ll also listen to your heart and lungs. This is the time to discuss how your current allergy medications are working for you and what you hope to gain from the appointment. The visit may lead to new medications or even allergy shots if your symptoms to certain pollens are severe.

After the allergy doctor talks with you, the nurse will give you some privacy so that you can strip down to your waist. You’ll put on a gown without a back and lie down on a table. When the nurse comes in, she’ll have with her all of the allergens that they will be testing.

 “For seasonal allergies, you can expect us to test your body on about 50 to 60 different types of allergens, mostly grasses, weeds, trees and a few molds.”

The nurse will quickly mark your back in rows with a sharpie or dry erase marker to create a map of sorts. The allergens are all sterile and are administered using a lancet, which barely breaks the skin. It is done very quickly and is usually over in about a minute. You may experience mild discomfort or even a ticklish sensation during the process. A control, which is always histamine, will also be applied. Everyone has histamine in their body, but it can affect them differently. Certain people don’t react to histamine right away, and this means that the test may be difficult to diagnose.

Allergy Skin Prick Test

You will be left for about 25 minutes while the allergens do their work and your body reacts. Once the allotted time is past, she will come back in with a chart and will check the results on your back and mark them down. Once finished, she’ll create a printout for you to keep that shows your results, and the doctor will come back in to talk to you. Your allergist will discuss your reactions to the various allergens, such as the size of the wheal and flare, which are the bumps and redness that your back will develop. He will also explain what the numbers mean for you and what treatments might be necessary going forward.

Having knowledge of what pollens and desert allergens affect your body will give you the power to ease your symptoms, whether it’s through avoidance or treatment. Allergy skin prick testing is complete and straightforward with hardly any discomfort to speak of.

Set up an appointment today for our skin allergy testing to find out what your triggers are so that you can put yourself back in the driver’s seat this summer.

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Gluten-Free Diet: Alternatives to Wheat in Menu Planning

If you suffer from celiac disease or a milder form of wheat intolerance allergy, planning a menu can become significantly more difficult. However, with growing numbers of people reporting some level of food allergy symptoms (wheat & being allergic to peanuts being quite common), it’s becoming easier than ever to eat well without feeling too restricted.

Gluten Free Oats

Cutting Out the Wheat when allergic to wheat

Here are some alternatives to wheat to build a healthy, delicious, and gluten-free diet around. And of course, we recommend that you see a gastroenterologist as well,  since these doctors specialize in celiac disease and are the best ones to diagnose it. 

Rice Flour

Rice flour is an excellent alternative to traditional wheat-based flours. This fine, starchy flour can thicken sauces and soups and is also a great substitute for using in baked goods. Just like wheat flour, rice flour’s mild flavor will not overpower your dish.

Corn Tortillas

In Arizona, corn tortillas and authentic Mexican tortillas can be found everywhere, at any grocery store. Plus, these easy-to-find snacks are extremely affordable. Corn tortillas are a great alternative to flour-based wraps and breads. The sweet, earthy flavor complements just about anything, so you needn’t stick to eating these only when making Tex-Mex food!

Baked Tortilla Chips

Baked Tortilla ChipsTortilla chips are a delicious gluten-free snack on their own. With a bowl of salsa or guacamole on the side, you can have a yummy snack that will satisfy your cravings. Tortilla chips are also extremely versatile in the gluten-free kitchen. Crushed tortilla chips make an excellent breading alternative for dishes like fried chicken and coconut shrimp. Plus, ground tortilla chips can work as a thickening agent for sauces and soups while offering a slightly sweeter flavor than flour.

Quinoa Pasta

Up until recently, those who avoided gluten had a difficult time finding an alternative to wheat pasta in the grocery store. However, quinoa pasta is now widely available in major outlets across the country. Quinoa pasta requires about the same cooking time as traditional wheat pasta, and its flavor and texture is basically indistinguishable from the original. 

Brown Rice

Brown rice is an excellent and nutrient-rich alternative to gluten-filled side dishes. You can enjoy brown rice on its own or use flour produced from it to make breads and pastas.

Popcorn

PopcornPopcorn is a delicious gluten-free snack that is extremely filling without necessarily being heavy on the fat and sugar. With just a little salt and olive oil, a big bowl of popcorn can be deeply satisfying.

Tamari Sauce

Many people are unaware that soy sauce contains gluten, which when combined with the ubiquitous noodles can make Chinese food a minefield for wheat allergy sufferers. Luckily, there is an alternative to soy sauce called tamari. Like soy sauce, tamari adds deliciously savory ‘umami’ flavor to any dish, yet contains no gluten whatsoever. If you’re an avid sushi or oriental food lover, tamari will be your new best friend.

Gluten-Free Oats

If you like your morning oatmeal, gluten-free oats provide the same texture and flavor as the traditional version. Plus, these oats can serve other purposes as well. For instance, if your meatloaf recipe calls for breadcrumbs, gluten-free oats make an excellent substitute.

Suffering from a wheat allergy can make life complicated in the kitchen, but if you want to avoid the unpleasant or dangerous symptoms, then it’s essential to cut out gluten completely. Luckily, these days there are many alternatives, and so there’s no need to feel your enjoyment of food is being restricted by your dietary requirements.

By the way, if you, or your loved one are needing food allergy testing, please contact one of our local Phoenix Metro offices for an appointment with one of our allergy specialists!

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5 FAQS to Know about Allergies and Allergists

Associates of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While that number is jarring, additional statistics show that approximately one out of six Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. The following information will describe what allergic rhinitis is, what triggers it and why consulting an allergist as opposed to your primary care physician is the best course of action to take if you believe that you may be living with allergies.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergy means “strange activity” in Greek. Rhinitis, also Greek in origin, literally means “condition of the nose.” Therefore, allergic rhinitis, which is also referred to as hay fever, can be defined as a condition in which irritants cause “inflammation of the nose or its mucous membrane.”

What causes allergies?

Pollen is a powdery fertilizing agent that flowering plants release in order to fertilize other plants. It helps create beautiful gardens, but pollen also makes it difficult for people with seasonal allergies to enjoy them.

Pollen, which is transported through the air, attaches itself to a person’s hair, skin and clothing. When people who are sensitive to pollen breathe in pollen-laden air, typical symptoms include “sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes and wheezing.”

Pollen and debris from an animal’s coat or feathers are two of the most common irritants that trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that pollen is not just limited to flowers. For example, certain trees, grasses, and desert plants like cacti are also pollen-heavy. Additionally, dust and chemicals from pipe, cigar and cigarette smoke are other windborne irritants, and all the above can be particularly tough on people living with allergies. This is just one reason why attempting to self-medicate with over the counter medicine is not advised.

Why do you need to see an allergist instead of your primary care physician?

Unlike general physicians, allergists are physicians who have completed additional training programs that allow them to effectively diagnose and treat asthma and allergic diseases. The following list describes some of the health issues that an allergist-immunologist treats:

.   asthma

.   hay fever

.   sinusitis

.   rashes

.   hives  (ACAAI)

What should you expect when you visit an allergist?

An allergist-immunologist will conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam. Skin and blood tests may also be incorporated in order to determine exactly what substances are causing allergic reactions. This is typically done in an in-house testing lab. The new client visit could take up to two hours. Once the irritants have been identified, allergists will create a treatment plan that may include dietary recommendations, inoculations and other medication specifically designed for their clients’ needs.

Is there a cure for allergies?

Unfortunately, no. However, immunotherapy and specialty medicines as well as education, can greatly reduce the symptoms that people living with allergies would normally experience by attempting to self-medicate, which can be dangerous. By consulting a top Phoenix allergist, these individuals can avoid wasting time, money and possibly putting their health at risk and focus on enjoying life.

References

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (n.d.). Retrieved from acaai.org/

Allergy | Define Allergy at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/allergy

Rhinitis | Define Rhinitis at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/rhinitis

American Board of Allergy and Immunology:. (n.d.). Retrieved from abai.org

Allergy Facts | AAFA.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx

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