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Allergies (HC articles)

Misconceptions about Allergies

Children outgrow allergies

Some children do outgrow their allergies, but the majority retain them, especially if they're to foods such as nuts and fish. At least 50 per cent of allergies to pets, pollen and dust mites also persist into adult life.

Allergies are all in the mind

Allergies are potentially life-threatening reactions to common environmental substances and foods, resulting in allergic inflammation. Emotions can exacerbate symptoms but are never the main cause.

What is an allergy?

An allergy is an adverse reaction to a protein in our environment, such as those found on pets, and in pollen or nuts. These proteins are called allergens and are normally harmless.

In people with an allergy, the body reacts to a specific allergen by releasing histamine from mast cells in the skin, lungs, nose or intestine. This causes inflammation and swelling.

Symptoms can include itchy skin, tissue swelling and wheezing. In severe cases it can lead to full-blown anaphylaxis or even death.

Cashews cause worse allergic response than peanuts

Fri Aug 10, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Peanuts may be more notorious, but cashews seem to trigger more severe allergic reactions in children. In a study of 141 children with allergies to cashews or peanuts, British researchers found that cashew reactions were generally more serious.

Another reason for you to put the cat out

From The Times

July 2, 2007

David Rose

Keeping a cat can irritate the lungs and exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, even in people who have no specific allergy to the animals, researchers say.

Up to 15 per cent of people are allergic to them, with their sensitivity attributed to a reaction against at least one particular protein that is secreted from the cat’s skin.

<b>Mediterranean diet makes allergies vanish in children</ b>

Monday, June 04, 2007 by: Staff writer

Researchers studying children in Greece found that those who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and olive oil experience less respiratory allergies and asthma than other children. Dr. Paul Cullinan of Britain's Royal Brompton Hospital and National Heart and Lung Institute and colleagues in Greece and Spain studied 690 children aged 7 to 18 using a 58-food frequency questionnaire.

Nasal allergies significantly impact sleep quality

Thu Sep 28, 2006

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Allergic rhinitis affects all aspects of sleep, according to a new study.

"Allergic rhinitis is common and has been shown to impair social life and sleep," Dr. Damien Leger, of Center du Sommeil et de la Vigilance, Paris, France, and colleagues write in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Patients with severe symptoms may have more sleep disturbances than those with a mild form of the disease, but this has never been assessed using a validated tool."

Worldwide Rise In Kids' Asthma And Hayfever

Friday, 25th August 2006, 07:06
Category: Healthy Living
The number of children suffering from allergies such as hayfever and asthma has risen across the world over the past decade, a study shows.

And the survey of about 500,000 children, aged between six and 14, found the increases were most common among the youngest.

Food Allergies

A food allergy occurs when your immune system responds defensively to a specific food protein that is not harmful to the body.

The first time you eat the offending food, your immune system responds by creating specific disease-fighting antibodies (called immunoglobulin E or IgE). When you eat the food again, the IgE antibodies spring into action, releasing large amounts of histamine in an effort to expel the "foreign invader" from your body. Histamine is a powerful chemical that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system.

Try these tips to help with pet allergies

June 10, 2006

By Jennifer Gardner

Pet allergies are no fun. Even if you already have a pet, you can develop allergies to that animal. Some people feel they can never have indoor pets because of the misery caused by the animals’ dander.

To appeal to those who would love pets but can’t handle the allergens, a San Diego-based company called Allerca has unveiled a hypoallergenic cat.