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1 year ago
Allergies: Lifestyle Tips

  • Spotting hidden food allergens-know their hiding places

    One type of allergic response, anaphylaxis, is a sudden and sometimes deadly
    drop in blood pressure that can potentially stop the heart or close air
    passages, causing death by suffocation. Avoiding foods that you know you're
    allergic to is the first step to preventing a serious allergic reaction. The
    most common food allergens are milk, egg, peanut, wheat, soy, shellfish, fish
    and tree nuts. But, beware of the hidden sources of your food allergens:
    unlabeled ingredients in processed food; milk toppings on specialty or bar
    drinks that can contain eggs; deli slicers used for both meat and cheese
    products; ethnic dishes that use peanuts and peanut oil can contaminate dishes
    prepared without nuts.

  • Mold allergies-some tips for coping

    Damp, shady or dark areas of the home and garden harbor molds-a common
    allergen for many people. Take these steps to "air out" mold and avoid those
    damp and musty places if you can: Use a dehumidifier to dry out damp basements;
    open a window or use a fan after a steamy bath or shower to allow the humidity
    to escape. Don't store clothes or other frequently used possessions in damp
    basements. Avoid moist, shady areas outdoors, garden compost piles and
    greenhouses.

  • Asthma and allergies can go hand-in-hand

    According to the American Academy of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology, as
    many as 78 percent of individuals with allergies also have asthma, a condition
    in which the airways of the lungs narrow, resulting in wheezing and problems
    breathing. Twenty percent of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Experts
    say that allergies should not be treated as a trivial problem. Untreated,
    allergies can lead to the development of chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the
    sinuses) and asthma. Once diagnosed, a combination of medications may be
    recommended to relieve seasonal allergies. These medications include
    antihistamines, topical nasal corticosteroids, cromolyn sodium nasal spray,
    decongestants and immunotherapy. See your doctor to assess
    your symptoms, if you think you might suffer from seasonal allergies, or if the
    steps you take to relieve your symptoms aren't working.

  • Love your pet, but can't stop sneezing?

    All pets can cause allergies-except, perhaps, a fish. Pet dander, skin
    flakes, saliva and urine can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to
    these allergens. Another big source of discomfort for pet owners with allergies
    is the pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens brought inside on your
    animal's fur. If you can't bear to give up your fur-bearing friend, try these
    strategies to minimize your allergies:

    • keep your pet out of your bedroom, where you spend the most time

    • wash your hands after handling your pet to avoid spreading the dander

    • have someone else bathe your pet weekly and brush it outdoors several times a
      week

    • have someone else clean the litter box and store it away from forced air
      heating and/or central air conditioning vents.

  • Asthma and pregnancy-hormonal shifts may improve asthma or make it
    worse

    It's probably no surprise to women with asthma to hear that hormonal shifts
    affect their asthma symptoms. Up to 40 percent of women with asthma find that
    their symptoms worsen just before and during menstruation, then improve once
    their periods end. Asthma may get worse during pregnancy-a time when hormones
    fluctuate greatly-but asthma symptoms may also improve or stay the same when
    you're pregnant. Most asthma medications can be continued during pregnancy,
    under the supervision of your health care professional. If you nurse, it's best
    to nurse your baby before taking your medicine and then don't nurse again for
    several hours, since nearly all asthma and allergy medication enters breast
    milk, though infants are exposed only to minute amounts.

  • This content was provided by National Women's Health Resource Center


    More information on allergies and asthma:


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