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14/Oct/2019

If you are a chronic allergy sufferer, you may manage your allergies effectively because it is a part of your daily routine — but you may experience more symptoms from the food you eat. Whether you manage allergy symptoms year-round or occasionally, you may encounter additional symptoms despite your attempts to manage allergies with medication or immunology treatments such as shots or sublingual drops. With Halloween approaching sweet treats are apart of the fun, however, the sugar that you consume can also be a culprit to your allergy problems.

This does not mean you are allergic to sugar, but there is a correlation with peak allergy season and certain foods like ones that contain high levels of sugar.

Inflammation

When sugar enters the body, it causes inflammation no matter if you have allergies or not. This inflammation may not be something immediately noticed however, if allergies are a concern — it is your allergic reaction to the environment that will be worse. For example, mold, ragweed, and even dust cause allergic reactions — but when allergens increase, this can send your immune system responses into a heightened state when combined with an increase in inflammatory foods that contain sugar.

Children & Sugar

When you have a child who has environmental allergies, it is essential to keep in mind the impacts of eating those Halloween treats. You may notice that your child feels worse after eating sugary snacks — fatigue and they may struggle to focus in class or on other tasks.  Refined sugar will pull double duty on stuffy noses and raise blood sugar levels. Even an increase in blood sugar levels causes additional inflammation and limits the body’s ability to fight off the allergens.

Reducing Symptoms

If you and your children plan to enjoy Halloween trick-or-treating, then there are some ways to reduce the impacts of the increased sugar and environmental allergic reactions.

Make sure you or your child take any prescription medication as recommended by your doctor.

If you are not on a prescription, then you should consider an over-the-counter medication a week before Halloween festivities begin. Be mindful of the side effects such as drowsiness, excitability, or dry mouth.

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Be mindful of other foods you eat the week before Halloween. Reduce any other sugary foods and snacks prior to trick or treating.

After Halloween

  • Limit the number of candy/sugary snacks in one sitting.
  • If it is your child, then limit his or her treats to after a meal.
  • If you or your child have just come in from the outdoors and notice that allergies have flared, avoid sugar altogether.

If you notice that your child’s allergy symptoms increase during times like fall and spring and more so when they eat certain foods, make an appointment to visit with our staff and discuss testing and treatment options. If you suspect food allergies, there are tests that you and your child can have completed by the doctor. Stay healthy and safe this Halloween.

 


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09/Sep/2019

Histamine intolerance is a build-up of histamine, and your body cannot expel excess histamine.   What is histamine? Histamine is a substance that is stored in some of the body’s cells.  According to The International Society of DAO Deficiency, “Histamine is a molecule derived from an essential amino acid, histidine, and it is produced by decarboxylation through enzyme L-histidine decarboxylase.”

When the body recognizes a foreign substance in the body as a threat, the immune system reacts. The cells release histamine into the bloodstream to fight the foreign substance. Other conditions, such as nutrition, medical problems, and drugs, can also contribute to histamine intolerance.

Symptoms

Your doctor or a dietician needs to test you to confirm if you have histamine intolerance.  However, there are specific symptoms to look for. Keeping a journal or record of your systems based pollen counts and your allergies may better help your doctor.

  • Headaches and even migraines.

  • Nasal congestion.

  • Digestive issues.

  • Skin rashes or eczema.

Other conditions can also contribute to histamine intolerance.  This is from an enzyme deficiency.  Your body produces an enzyme that is a natural histamine blocker called Enzyme Diamine Oxidase or (DAO).  When the body is deficient in this enzyme and elevates histamine, this creates similar symptoms as histamine intolerance. However, they may be more pronounced, accompanied by additional symptoms.

Enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO)

There are specific foods that block DAO, and certain foods cause the body to release histamine.  It is challenging to diagnose DAO deficiency because of the vagueness of the symptoms. Some symptoms we can associate with other illnesses.  However, it has been associated with children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

Symptoms of DAO Deficiency

  • Headaches & migraines.

  • Hypotension, hypertension, and arrhythmia.

  • Nasal congestion and asthma.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, stomach pain, and nausea.

  • Fibromyalgia and muscle aches.

  • Osteopathic pains.

Management

If you know what you are allergic to, then during times of elevated pollen or other environmental allergies it is best to avoid foods that elevate histamine for foods that reduce histamine and promote DAO production.

Taking a vitamin C tablet and increasing vitamin B2 will help keep your immune system in balance.  Foods low in histamine and promote DAO enzyme are fresh meat, fish eggs, vegetables (except spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and eggplant).  Fresh fruit, (except citrus and some berries) are a good choice. Adding coconut and olive oils, rice, quinoa, corn, teff, and millet will help with enzyme balance.

If you suffer from chronic allergies, speak with your doctor about histamine intolerance and your options for testing. If you have not had your allergies tested, this may be a good time to discuss testing options.


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19/Aug/2019

 

Fall is gorgeous.  The beautiful color of the leaves, milder temperatures, and a great time to get outdoors.  Fall activities such as attending a football game, hiking or taking your family to the park are fun activities toward the end of the year.  If you suffer from allergies, particularly in the fall, enjoying these things is more laborious.

Many people who have year-round allergies are accustomed to the constant battle, but it may be harder for those of you who fight them seasonally.  Fall and spring bring their allergens out, and if you are allergic to ragweed, cedar pollen, and mold, then you know what it feels like.

Nutrition

It seems like an outdated concept when it comes to nutrition.  We hear how diet is essential to our health, but maybe we don’t realize precisely what this means.  The food we eat and the benefits aren’t just limited to vitamins and nutrients.  The food we consume provides a wealth of benefits from vitamins and can reduce inflammation in the body that comes from allergic reactions to our environment.

Battling Fall Allergies

Battling fall allergies require proactive measures, and this means eating right as soon as possible and as much as possible.  Everyone wants to indulge in their favorite sweets; However, keep in mind that doing so during fall can aggravate your allergies more.  If you can opt for fall dishes that include low inflammation alternatives.

  • Sweet potato has beta carotene and fights off allergies.
  • Spinach is a wonderful addition to your meal and keeps allergies at bay.
  • Add a dollop of honey to your green tea. Both are inflammation and allergy fighters.
  • For a sweet treat, add cocoa to your diet with hot cocoa.

In addition to healthy eating is taking your prescribed or over-the-counter medications before the fall pollens begin.  Depending on which part of the county you live in, will start in late July and early August and continue through the first freeze.

Fall Pollen

  • Many environmental allergens can send you into a fit of sneezing with watery eyes. The top three, however, are dust mites, mold, and ragweed.
  • Dust mites live in dark places like ducts, so when the heater comes on, you will stir them up.
  • Mold thrives indoors in basements, appliances, and showers. Outside, it thrives in dark, moist places and on leaves.  So mold allergies will increase when the leaves fall off their branches.
  • Ragweed is a major culprit in moist soils, marsh areas, vacant lots, and near beaches.

Victory

You don’t have to lose the war on allergies.  It is an ongoing battle; However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping abreast of the fluctuations in pollen can help you stay proactive.  Remember, keep up to date on what is in the air, continue your vitamin routine and include extra Vitamin C, and make an appointment with your ear nose and throat doctor to see what else you need if you feel that nothing is working.  The victory is knowledge, and with that will help you along during fall.


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