Am I a gluten for punishment? Living in the Pacific Northwest w is wonderful, but behind every wonderful there is an unsavory side, and for me that is the dampness that gives us our lovely moss covered forests and temperate climate.
When dampness is prevalent --- so is mold, spores, pollen, dust mites....Unfortunately for me and the 9 million+ inhabitants of the PNW, we are living in an allergen nightmare. Not only do we have mold, but pollens specifically found only in this Northwest corner of the United States.
Throughout the late years of my teens and into my adulthood I have been on a roller coaster ride of allergen induced symptoms. From skin to respiratory to full on facial swelling, which recently, of course led to an emergency trip to the ER. All these symptoms were caused by a growing list of things that either fall into one of these
categories: animal, vegetable, chemical, mineral or environmental. that I am "sensitive" to or painfully allergic to.
Needless to say this has caused me to have to document any symptoms I have. I urge anyone who thinks they, or their child has an allergy to document :
- Symptoms ? Be descriptive - whether or NOT you feel they are related to an allergy.
- The symptoms duration - How long do these symptoms last?
- Where were you when the symptoms occurred? The environment (inside / outdoor) (was it sunny or wet) etc. Be descriptive!
- What were you doing when the symptoms occurred? Be descriptive (eating - what? / sleeping- on? /petting cat - long hair?) [ The product you were using (hair gel / chemicals)]
Eliminating those allergens in your life can sometimes be overwhelming and frustrating to think about. But if you stick to an allergen journal - slowly things come into perspective, and it makes this task allot easier.
The research about allergies is staggering.
- it is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions.(S)
- The cost of allergies in the United States is more than $10 billion dollars yearly.(S)
- Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies) affects about 35 million Americans, 6 million of whom are children.(S)
- Asthma affects 15 million Americans, 5 million of whom are children.(S)
- The number of cases of asthma has doubled over the last 20 years.(S)
- Dust Mites & their waste can remain airborne for 15 minutes, after being disturbed.
- The male/female ratio for asthma is 3:1.
- Asthma accounts for almost 5,000 deaths a year
There are some ways to combat Allergies, I have found some interesting links with some good info on allergens. Here are a few quick tips I have found helpful.
Simple Ways To Combat Common Allergens:
- Keep the home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F);
- Maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%);
- Make certain there is good ventilation.
- If you have allergies - don't vacuum, if you must use a mask.
- Stay out of the vacuumed area for 1 hour.
Also - You can invest in a air filtration system - you can find these in varying prices and strengths, they really do work! In both portable versions or One installed into the duct work of your home. One example is AccuClean™ Whole Home Air Filtration System, According to their website :
Key Benefits:See more info here: http://www.americanstandardair.com/HomeOwner/Products/AirCleaners/AccuClean.aspx
- Removes over 99% of the common flu, or influenza A virus, from the filtered air in your home.
- Removes up to 99.98% of allergens from filtered air
- Catches particles even smaller than .1 micron in size
- 8 times more effective than the best HEPA room appliance
- 100 times more effective than a standard 1" throwaway filter or ionic-type room appliance
- Delivers cleaner air, and more of it
- Reusable filter is easy to vacuum or wash
Links to Further Your Allergy Knowledge:
- Allergy Treatment Begins At Home
- How can people with allergies ideally control the air quality and climate in their homes?
- Worst Cities for Spring Allergies
- The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Drug Allergies- All you Need to Know about Allergic Reactions to Medicines
- Allergies and Intolerances
- Asthma in Children
- Allergy Sufferers, Allergy Triggers at Home
- Asthma/Allergy Childcare Setting Quiz
- allergies a-z list
- Allergy Center - MayoClinic.com
- Allergies to Pets | The Humane Society of the United States
- Seasonal Allergies , Allergy Relief, Pollen Forecast - weather.com
- Allergy Discussion Group, Prevention, Self-Care, Mutual Help
I have reason to believe I have food allergies also , and later I will going to an allergist for the first time and most likely go through a series of allergy tests. Since this is a food blog I wanted to highlight the dangers of food related allergens. I am a mom and I am amazed that not more parents are aware of food sensitivities and the symptoms.
Food Allergens - A Growing Trend
In the last twenty years, the US has seen an epidemic increase in allergies, asthma, ADHD and autism, including a:
Signs of Food Allergy
- rash (eczema)
- behavioral/temper changes
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or eyes
- itching and tightness of throat
- difficulty breathing (asthma)
- in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock.
Links to improve Food Allergy Knowledge:
- Defining Food Allergies
- Recommended Food Allergy Resources From AllergyKids.com
- New Ways to Fight Nut, Milk Allergies
- The Food Allergy Initiative
- Food Allergy Awareness, Support and Training
- AllergyFree Passport - How to Eat Out with Food Allergies
- Robyn O'Brien on Food Allergy Kids & Advice for Parents
- Food Allergy
- allergies a-z list
- The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
- Food allergy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Ask the Dietitian - by Joanne Larsen MS RD LD - Allergies (Food)
- US FDA/CFSAN - Food Allergies Rare but Risky
- Grocery Shopping for a Food Allergic Child: tips for success
Hopefully these links will help someone take control of the allergies that are plaguing them or a family member. Educating yourself should always be the first step to controlling any condition.