The Definition of the Term “Allergy”

Many people struggle with allergies. But where does the term “allergy” come from and how is it properly defined? What is the difference between an allergy and a response to a stimulus? Is the term “allergy” over used?

When I was first diagnosed with an allergy there were a ton of questions that cam to mind. After doing some of my own research, I was very surprised that many things people consider to be an allergy really are not at all. To better understand what an “allergy” really is, a person should first take the time to know were the term comes from.

An “allergy” was first described at the beginning of the 20th century by a pediatrician named Clemens von Pirquet. The term mean “changed activity” and described changes that occurred after contacting a foreign substance. Two types of change were noticed. The first was beneficial. The benefit occurred from the development of protection against a foreign substance after being exposed to it. This response advances us from developing many infectious diseases for a second time and provides the scientific basis for most immunizations. The other type of response that is not seen as beneficial is known as a hypersensitivity response, and it is the response for which the term “allergy” is most commonly used today.

Allergies are now known to be possible even without previous exposure to a substance. Everyone is capable of having an allergic response. A basic example; everyone would have an allergic response if they were given the wrong blood type during a blood transfusion.

I believe the term “allergy” is over used. When your eyes bother you when you drive through a congested city with smog, they are not allergic to the air but are experiencing a direct chemical irritation from the pollutants. Similarly, skin coming in contact with some plants or chemicals experience direct damage and not an allergic response. In infusions, doctors often blame milk or food allergy for vomiting, colic, crying, irritability, diarrhea or sneezing. An allergy can absolutely cause these reactions but there are countless other reasons for these symptoms.

If you do feel you have an allergy from a simple rash to being gluten intolerant , you should consult your physician right away. There is no reason to suffer. There are many tests available that can accurately diagnose whether you have an allergy or not. This will then help you to know the proper medical action you should take.

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Food Allergy and Food Intolerances

Food allergy and food intolerances are becoming more broadly recognized among other nutritional and conventional medical practitioners. Food allergies can be quite a serious condition, such as a child having an allergy to nuts and when consuming them they could go in to anaphylactic shock that could be life threatening. Less seriously they could suffer from a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing or wheezing.

A food allergen causes an immune response wheree IgE antibodies attack the allergen and release histamine which causes the symptoms described above. These IgE mediated food allergies could manifest themselves in conditions such as asthma, eczema or hay fever as well as recurrent colds and infections.

Another food mediated immune response is known as a food intolerance. This happens when there is an IgG or IgA response to food associated with degranulation of basophils and mast cells that create inflammation. Considered to be less severe than a food allergy, food intolerances can manifest as low grade “silent inflammation” with sub clinical symptoms such as brain fog, irritable bowel, headaches or low energy. These IgG mediated food intolerances may also create no outward symptoms at all but can be creating havoc on the inside. Research from the Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics in Austria have shown that obese children have significantly higher IgG antibodies against certain foods than normal weight children. These IgG antibodies are associated with thickening of the common carotid arteries. The authors state that these findings raise the possibility that IgG mediated food antigens are pathogenetically involved in the development of obesity and atherosclerosis.

Unfortunately, many conventional doctors and dieticians may tell you there is no such thing as food intolerances; however you can easily test yourself with a reliable home test kit called a York Test. You can also see that food manufacturers are now embracing the idea of ​​food intolerances and are providing foods that are gluten, wheat or dairy free.

The most common food intolerances are wheat, gluten, cow's milk, eggs, soy and yeast. These foods are found in bread, pasta, bakery products, dairy products and soy products. If you can not afford a food intolerance test (as they can be between £ 170 and £ 265) then you can do an elimination diet.

For 2 weeks eliminate all potential food intolerances and just eat the following foods – all meat, seafood, poultry and fish (except tuna, and swordfish) as your source of protein. Chicken, turkey, seafood and white fish are generally lower in calories and fat, although you should still eat oily fish a couple times a week and can sometimes have dark meats such as lamb or beef. Combine these protein sources with unlimited amounts of vegetables such as artichokes, avocado (1 a day), asparagus, aubergine, bamboo shoots, beetroot greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, raw carrots, celery, chard, collards, cucumber, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce leaves (all types), mushrooms, olives (3 a day), onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radiates, sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts and watercress. During this 2 weeks do not eat grains, fruits, dairy, starchy vegetables or drink alcohol. This will help your immune system to calm down, it will allow your gut to heal and you will also lose a little weight.

After the initial 2 weeks of food elimination you should follow what is known as a Palaeolithic diet for a further 2 to 4 weeks. This will further allow your immune system and gut to heal and still excludes many common food intolerances. This part of the elimination diet includes:

• All the meat, fish, seafood and poultry you can eat
• Unlimited vegetables
• All fruits
• All nuts
• Olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, herbs and spices.
• No grains, dairy or legumes
• If you suffer from or have a family history of autoimmune disease then no eggs, nuts and seeds, tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine or peppers.

You can also eat ginger, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, basil, thyme, oregano, black pepper, sage, cardamom, as well as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, horseradish and pickles to add flavor and variety to your food . After this time of food elimination it's time to start reintroducing some of the foods you have been avoiding, one at a time, to see if you start getting some of your old symptoms back again. For example continue eating the Paleo way but add back to your diet some dairy for a week, re-evaluate how you feel, if some of your symptoms return remove dairy again and try adding back grains for a week. Keep either removing offending foods or adding back non-offending foods until you feel happy with how you look and feel.

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Understanding the Benefits of a Dust Mite Mattress Cover

Your bedroom and your bed are your sanctuary at night. As you can imagine people want their sleep to be comfortable and undisturbed. This is why people spend so much time searching for the perfect mattress yet it is often hard to achieve. Once you have found the mattress of your dreams you should protect it from those microscopic bedroom invaders by investing in a dust mite mattress cover.

They are quite possibly one of the most unwanted quests in homes all over the world. No matter where you go or what economic level you have, your mattress can be susceptible to dust mites. They are often irritating critters that cause much inconvenience to anyone who just wants to relax and enjoy their soft and warm beds. As they are microscopic, one would not really be able to see them. Once they are there your choices are limited. You can either try to treat them with cleaning products or replace your bedding and mattresses.

Dust mites feed on organic detritus that they find lying around such as flakes of your very human skin that have been naturally shed. In addition to being a nuisance these organisms can also cause allergic reactions on some people. Allergic symptoms including asthma are often agitated by the presence of mites. Even their feces can be another common cause of allergic reactions to your skin and or respiratory system. The safest route is to avoid any issues at all by just buying a dust mite mattress cover.

After a long day spent at work you should not have to wonder about microscopic pests that may be active as you lay in the comfort of your warm, soft bed every night to rest. Understand that while sleep you are at your most defenseless. Imagine how you would feel if you knew that dust mites thriving on your bed were probably crawling all over you. You would not be able to have restful sleep at all.

If you have ever experienced itching or started scratching different body parts in bed for no particular reason at all, then you should consider getting a dust mite mattress cover. In the long run you will save money from having to clean it frequently or ever having to replace it.

When you get a dust mite mattress cover, you are more than assured that you will be protected and be able to sleep soundly at night. You can avoid any allergic reactions or problems that these mites can actually cause, and it will make you feel more secure too.

In some instances however although you do not have a budget to replace your mattress. The best way for you to keep them off the mattress is prevent them from showing up in the first place. Purchasing one of these allergy mattress covers is the only way to go. These protective mattress covers are made from high tech breathable fabrics including treated cotton and synthetic fibers. They all serve the purpose of preventing communities of mites from penetrating your mattress. Click the links below to find the best deals on a dust mite mattress cover and you can be sure to sleep better after your purchase knowing that you are protected.

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Minimizing Indoor Allergens -10 Tips for Reducing Airborne Allergens In Your Home

Since most of our lives are absent indoors, indoor air quality is directly related to our health and well-being. Unfortunately, as we have grown more sophisticated in insulating our home, we have also made it possible for allergens to build to an unhealthy level. The EPA states that indoor air is 20 more unhealthy than outdoor air. Here are 10 easy tips to help you bump up your air quality level for healthier living.

1. Install high efficiency particle arresting (abbreviated as HEPA) on your central air and heating units. Make a note of the expected filter life and make a note of it on your computer so that you are automatically reminded to change the filters.

2. Rethink you indoor décor. Use furnishings that allow you to wipe off dust and clean thoroughly. Substitute blinds, shades, or shutters for draperies.

When possible, opt for wood floors, tile, linoleum, and area rugs. These are better than carpet because they do not trap and hold allergens, and they can be cleaned easily with less expense and effort.

3. Get rid of the clutter. Piles — whether they are books, newspapers, clothes, mail, toys, or knick knacks on shelves-collect dust. And dust is a major allergen. Keeping the clutter to a minimum reduces the amount of dust that can go airborne with cleaning and everyday activities

4. Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum. This type of cleaner filters the air before it leaves the unit and traps allergens rather than blowing them back into the air.

5. Use water to clean rather than sweeping or dry dusting. A damp cloth to on furniture, hard surfaces such as mantles and woodwork, and damp mopping floors will really take dust and allergens out of circulation.

6. Use cheesecloth as an additional filter over vent openings. Cut it to fit under the grates so that is less noticeable.

7. Cover bedding with allergen proof covers. Dust mites are on of the most potent indoor allergens known. Encasing pillows and mattresses will keep them from making a home in your bed.

8. Wash bed linens weekly in water that is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. This is sure to kill the mites. Keeping your bed to air out will also reduce the mite population because they are killed by sunlight.

9. Clean your space regularly to prevent a build up of any particles that enter from the outside as you come and go, and to minimize any that have been circulated.

10. Use a portable HEPA air purifier to further reduce allergens. The bedroom is an excellent place for this type of filtration. 2 hour filtration would make this haven and insure that body has a chance to rejuvenate naturally with a good night's sleep every night.

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Allergies: Homeopathy Treatment

Homeopathy is very effective for treating allergies as it works with the natural responses of one's whole body and strengthens the body's defense mechanisms. For this reason, homeopathy treatment relating to allergies may be the most effective for you simply because it allows you to fix the imbalances inside your immune system and reduces your body's reaction to items contributing to allergies (allergens).

Individuals battling with allergies usually experience a few discomforts like a drippy nose, congestion, itchy and reddish eyes, constant sneezing and so forth. These individuals often try several treatments but struggle to get rid of allergies entirely. For anyone who is additionally fed-up due to frequent cases of allergies then here's an allergies homeopathy treatment for you. Having said that, prior to learning how homeopathy therapy enables you to eradicate allergies, it will be more beneficial if we actually go over the concept of homeopathy.

Precisely what is homeopathy?

Homeopathy is really a science, that involves treating disorders by making use of medicine created from smashed herbs, minerals in addition to animal materials. Additionally, it involves healing diseases by enhancing the body's restorative components that assist to improve health. The primary basis of employing homeopathy to deal with medical conditions is it allows you to eradicate not merely the symptoms but the complete problem as a whole.

The goal of homeopathy therapy for allergies

The leading goal of allergies homeopathy treatment is to bolster the inner self of the man or woman, ie the body's defense mechanism and then make an individual undergoing the therapy self dependent. When a man or woman becomes self-reliant he / she is actually able to react to a situation effectively and while not suffering from the ill-effects of the environment. To paraphrase, homeopathy strengthens the spiritual core of the individual thereby leading them to be healthy and balanced enough to fight just about any illness.

A number of homeopathy therapies for allergies

The following are several of the natural herbs, minerals which have been included in homeopathy treatment for allergies.

• Common salt: Also referred to as Natrum Muraticum, it is quite possibly the most effective homeopathy treatments for allergies, which assists an individual to remove nasal congestion.

• Eyebright: Technically identified as Euphrasia, it is the perfect homeopathy treatment for allergies such as swollen eyes, coughing, burning tears and watery nasal discharge.

• Phosphate of iron: Also, it is referred to as Ferrum Phosphoricum. The major benefit of applying this is that it decrees the allergic responses. It is additionally useful in the first stages of inflammation.

• Poison Nut: Better known as Nux Vomica, it functions best in healing allergies which include runny and tickling nose.

• Red Onion: Generally known as Allium Cepa, this is an effective homeopathy treatment which enables one to eradicate allergies which include consistent sneezing, frontal headaches, continual urge to rub eyes, burning eyes as well as nasal discharge.

Above was some of the homeopathy treatments for allergies. From these, red onion or Alium Cepa is among the top natural herbs, that countless homeopaths use to help men and women eradicate allergies. The first thing you need to know is you need to pick the right solution according to the symptoms and signs you experience and that you think is the most suitable to suit your needs.

In summary, homeopathy treatment is quite promising in curing allergies. Practically all kinds of allergies can be treated through the help of homeopathy. Having said that, it could take a couple of seasons for the individual taking homeopathic treatment to eradicate allergies altogether. For better outcomes, it is usually advisable for you to go through allergies homeopathy treatment under the assistance of an experienced homeopath.

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Everything You Need To Know About Summer Allergies

Summertime for children means that their freedom has been restored: freedom from school, and most importantly, the freedom to go outside and have as much fun as they can. Unfortunately, this season also means that summer allergies will also make their return, and can potentially turn your child's summer vacation into a miserable experience. As a parent, there are a lot of things that you can do to make this time easier on your child, and we will go over what you need to know so that you can understand what causes them, the symptoms, how they are treated, as well as some tips that can help your child avoid the usual triggers.

Causes

Nature itself is the largest source of triggers for summer allergies, literally everywhere you look. The number one allergy prevalent during the spring and summer months are pollen allergies, caused by several types of pollen given off by trees, weeds and grasses. These plants shed pollen in different cycles, so that there is literally a trigger somewhere around outside no matter what time of the year it is. If this was not bad enough, there are two other common allergy triggers that can be found outside: air pollution and insects. Smoke, ozone, even the fumes rising out of the grill can trigger an attack. Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets account for nearly a third of every seasonal allergy attack during the summer, and for some children, a single sting can be life-threatening.

Indoors is not exactly trigger-free, either. Mold loves to live in damp areas, like around bathrooms and basements. Pet dander can be controlled by washing your pets more often, and it is often mistaken for the true culprit behind most allergy symptoms found in children who spend any significant time indoors: dust mites. They can get into the air, in the carpet, in the bedding, and even into the toy box and closet. Summer is especially bad for the little, invisible creeps, because they thrive in warm and humid temperatures.

Symptoms

Pollen allergies are often lumped together under a condition known as hay fever, and have very definite allergy symptoms:

* Runny nose
* Watery eyes
* Sneezing
* Coughing
* Itching in the eyes and nose
* Dark circles under the eyes

If pollen should get into any food that is ateen outdoors, it can also cause some serious internal symptoms, which usually appear after that food has been eaten. If your child develops an itchy or swollen throat, then they are suffering from a condition known as Oral Allergy Syndrome, and should seek medical attention immediately. The types of food generally tainted with pollen include bananas, melons, cucumbers and berries.

Allergens that are airborne like dust and mold can also cause your child to develop asthma symptoms, which makes their airways narrow, leading to coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Insect stings can cause itching and swelling, but more serious symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and swelling of the throat or tongue. If you are not sure that your child is allergic to insect stings, take them into the doctor immediately, just to be safe.

Treatment

Allergies are treated the same way, spring or summer, with any number of over-the-counter or prescription medications. Your pediatrician will advise you on what types can be used to help treat whatever allergy your child may have, and it is always best to follow their advice.

Antihistamines will reduce the symptoms of sneezing and itching, while decongestants are generally given to reduce swelling and congestion of the nasal passageways. Always talk to your pediatrician about potential side effects, especially if there is the potential for adverse effects if your child is on other types of medication at the time of treatment.

Summer Survival Tips

Since triggers for summer allergies are literally everywhere, it can be difficult to avoid all of them. If the local news tells you that pollen counts are high, keep the kids indoors as much as possible. Clean the air filters more often during the spring and summer months. Vacuum and wash clothes and bedding more often. Outside, avoid areas where stinging insects congregate, avoid bright colors and spotted lotions and sunblocks.

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Skin Disorders, Hives and Allergies

Let's start with a question. Do you know which is the largest organ of your body? Think on that a bit … then I'll go ahead and tell you. It's your skin; the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue, all 3 layers make up the largest organ of our body. Our skin is responsible for many different processes required to keep us safe & healthy. It is the primary defense mechanism between the inner workings of our strange body, and the outer, sometimes harsh, environment we live in every day.

Through our pores, and hair follicles, fluids can pass in two directions. We all know that when we exert ourselves physically, we sweat. Conversely, when we come into contact with other airborne, waterborne, or personally applied substances, we absorb whatever is contained in that external material. Studies have shown that the contents of anything that we apply to our skin, ie lotion, sunscreen, make-up, etc, gets absorbed into our blood stream within 20 minutes.

For people who have allergies to certain foods, a diet regiment can be put in place. The same is true for those people who may be allergic to certain liquids. But what about those of us who have allergies to airborne particulate. Or, those of us who have hypersensitive skin. We take medicine in hopes we can build up a defense. Or maybe we have isolated certain particulars, like pet dander, grasses, maybe a certain type of clothing material. Well, we can avoid some things on our own. But at the end of the day, we must go out to work, shop, play, and generally live.

I have been taking a specific medication for about 10 years now. Although it has been predominately successful, I still have had several trips to the emergency room with massive hives, dangerously low blood pressure, false spells, and the occasional bout with breathing difficulties. If you've experienced this, you know the feeling. If you have not, trust me when I tell you, it's not something you want to go through.

Over the years I have monitored my locations, exposures, seasons, times of day, activities, all in an effort to learn more, so that I may one day avoid these repetitious & frightful events. One thing I never wave much thought to was soap & detergents. I do not know why exactly, I just did not, until recently.

I started thinking about when I had gotten most of my allergic reactions. For me, it was not seasonal. But it was predominately during hot spells in the weather. Summer, of course, and during the Santa Ana winds of Fall where I live, and sometimes we would get an Indian Summer, a really hot period in the middle of Winter. Either way, I would be outside & very hot. I would begin to sweat, my shirt would get soaked, and then within 1/2 an hour, I'd start with an outbreak of rash & hives the likes of which I had never seen in all my day. Within the next hour I'd be passed out and waiting for an ambulance to take me off to the emergency room.

Well, about 6 months ago I was introduced to a new Green Technology for my home, it's called 'Laundry Pure'. It was explained to me that if I connected this device to my washing machine, I would no longer have to use detergent to get my clothes clean. A bold statement, to say the least. I had been using detergent to clean my clothes for over 50 years, and I learned that from my parents, who used it all of their lives, and they learned it from their parents … get the picture. I was a little suspect at the outside, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured I had nothing to lose, and if it worked, I had so much to gain. So I got one.

Let me share with you that I have not felt this good in a long, long time. I started putting all the pieces of the allergy puzzle together, and I believe I have come across an actual solution to the problem. A real preventative measure to better health, not just something the doctor gives me to mask the symptoms. My skin does not flake anymore (Eczeme), I do not get hives anymore, and I have not been to the hospital once since I made the switch away from detergent and over to 'Laundry Pure'.

I've also experienced the most unexpected side benefit. Since I do not use detergent anymore, I do not have to buy detergent anymore. I also quit using, and buying, fabric softener. And, after installing the unit, I discovered that I do not have to use hot water anymore either. The savings have been awesome! The unit will pay for itself in the first 9 months. So I'm not only getting healthy, I'm saving money, I'm reducing my “carbon foot print”, and I'm doing my part to help clean the environment, all at the same time.

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Food Allergies at a Glance

The topic of food allergies is murky and confusing. Many reactions reported as allergy to a food product are really mere intolerance, over-eating or other factors. True food allergies are thought to occur in 8 percent of children under age 5 and only 3 to 4 percent of adults. The frequency of allergies does not vary much around the world while both genders are equally affected. True food allergies can cause reactions that differ from mild digestive issues, rash, hives or difficulty breathing. Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction with inflammation within 20 minutes of ingestion that progresses rapidly resulting in hives, shortness of breath, dizziness and rapid pulse. Although estimates of life occurring reactions vary widely, it compresses only a small number of the overall allergic reactions to food. True food allergies usually occur within 2 hours or less after ingesting the food. Onset of waving or tingling around the throat, lips, face or hives and itching are early signs. It can progress to dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or difficult breathing. Which symptoms and how quickly it progresses may be different in one person to the next.

Food intolerance is only sensitivity to a food that is driven by a different physiologic mechanism that causes much milder symptoms and does not lead to more severe reactions. A good example of the latter is lactose intolerance or sensitivity to milk and dairy products. Due to an enzyme deficiency it often results in abdominal gas, discomfort, cramping and diarrhea. It is a lot more common and vastly different than a true food allergy.

The most common food allergies are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts (ie walnuts, pecans) wheat, and shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab, clams). Regular fish and chocolate are much less common allergens than common anecdotes suggest. Food intolerance can be confused with an allergy. Only a small amount of a food can trigger a severe allergic reaction. Food intolerance, food poisoning, stress, a virus, medications, food additives (preservatives, coloring) can all produce similar but milder symptoms particularly intestinal problems. So it can be confusing at times to ascertain what the origin of the reaction may be. A family history of food allergies, asthma or eczema increases the risk of true food allergies. Allergic individuals may cross react between certain allergens. Some of those sensitivities can extend between dissimilar items that may not be obvious. Consulting your health care provider, an exam and possible testing may be able to provide peace of mind, appropriate treatment and identify what to avoid in the future.

The most important aspect of managing food allergies is avoidance . Unfortunately there is no specific treatment. Antihistamines are still the first line of defense in both children and adults at the sunset of a food allergy. If severe, prompt medical attention may be needed. Food allergies in children often change over time. The sunset is most common in the first few years of life but can occur at any age. Allergies do get better in some children as they get older. Research shows there is no relationship between allergies and when new foods are introduced after 6 months of age. Variation in personal experience seems to be the rule. Family and personal history of allergies are stronger predictors of future course. The severity of a past reaction can not predict the severity of a future reaction. When in doubt about food sensitivities or allergies simply avoid it! Consult your health care provider and share the confusion.

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Shopping for Organic Bedding

There are many reasons to consider purchasing organic bedding. More and more studies are being produced on the benefits of organic products. Some of the toxicology reports on typical non-organic products like bedding are starting to say the least. Cotton used to produce bedding is treated with pesticides which have been shown to cause cancer, respiratory diseases, behavior, and learning disorders. They have also been known to cause nervous system disorders. Thinking about how much time you and your children spend snuggled up under the blankets, breathing deeply while sleeping, has suddenly turned frightening, has not it?

Knowing the risks of non-organic products is one thing, but what about the benefits of going organic? Organic comforters and organic sheets are hypoallergenic and chemical free. This means that allergy sufferers, the chemical intolerant, and people with sensitive skin can rest easy. Typically the materials used are pesticide-free cotton, organic wool, and in some cases a foam material. An added benefit that some people may not even think about is the circulation improvements in organic comforters and organic sheets. Traditional bedding does not allow the air to flow freely and can cause a person to have uncomfortable night sweats. Organic bedding is very effective at maintaining proper air circulation which can greatly increase your comfort.

Shopping for organic bedding can get pretty confusing though, so where should you start? Some products may claim to be “natural” or “green” but that does not necessarily mean that they are organic. The USDA does implement standards on the production of organic materials. If the product states that it is certified organic then it is made up of 100% organic materials. If the product states that it is made with organic materials then it must be made up of at least 70% organic materials. Stick with those two labels to ensure you are getting the highest quality and purest materials.

Knowing that you can greatly reduce the amount of exposure to toxins and chemicals your body encounters along with a 300% decrease in allergens in your bedding are pretty convincing reasons to start shopping for organic bedding today! It should also be noted that organic sheets and comforters are low maintenance and only need to be spot-cleaned. Certified organic bedding will be more expensive but your health is worth it. Remember to look for the certified organic statement on your purchase and you will be sleeping safe and toxin free in no time!

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Understanding the Benefits of Hypo-Allergenic Mattress Covers

If you are suffering from persistent allergy attacks and you want to sleep more comfortably at night, you have to consider investing in hypo-allergenic mattress covers. They can create a strong barrier that protects you from allergens, bed bugs, and dust mites that can trigger allergy attacks. Aside from their reasonable price, they are also compatible with most sizes of mattresses. On those particular hot days they are equally helpful because they can stop body moisture from penetrating your mattress.

Special mattress covers can stop allergic reactions through the small, microscopic holes on its surface. These pores allow your mattress as well as its fabric to breathe while still protecting. Typically, these small pores are measured in microns. When shopping for the best covers, you have to pay attention to their micron size because smaller micron sizes will allow fewer allergens to penetrate your mattress.

Hypo-allergenic mattress covers can instantly serve as a barrier that stops dust, pet dander, mites, pollen, and other allergens from penetrating your mattress. No matter how well you take care of your mattresses, these allergens will still infest them if you are not able to cover and protect them. If you have allergies then you know these allergens will make you more susceptible to allergic reactions.

Although plenty of allergy control products are already available in the market, not all of them can give you the best value for your money. You have to compare them and pay attention to their features if you want to make a purchase that you will not regret in the future. There are several factors you need to consider before buying the hypo-allergenic mattress covers that you have been eyeing.

Quality and pore size are two of the most important factors that will greatly affect your satisfaction with the mattress covers you decide to purchase. Compare the efficiency of their allergen barriers and make sure they are high enough for you to be comfortable at night. To block the allergens from dust mites, you have to look for mattress covers with pore sizes that are smaller than ten microns.

Allergy free bedding is also available in different types of fabric. Membrane, membrane-free, organic, and microfiber fabrics are just a few of options you can explore. Hypo-allergen mattress covers with membrane fabrics usually have a breathable blend of 50% polyester and 50% cotton. However, its inner membrane is made from laminated urethane so you may find it too warm or noisy when rolling around at night. On the other hand, membrane-free fabrics can effectively block out allergens with their average 3.9 microns of pore size. They are also quieter and cooler than membranes fabrics because they do not have a urethane lining.

Microfiber fabrics are also membrane-free because of their advanced microfiber construction. They are usually considered to be the coolest, softest, and most breathable fabrics for hypo-allergenic bedding. The weaving technology it undergoes can also provide maximum protection from unwanted allergens without causing too much noise or heat. Organic fabrics are typically non-treated, non-dyed, and free from chemicals.

Hypo-allergenic mattress covers are designed to be very easy to slip over mattresses of all sizes. Once you have found the best cover that suits your needs, you are ready to put it on your mattress. Who needs to be bothered with allergic reactions at night? Cover your mattress with allergy free bedding and sleep well knowing you are protected from those uncomfortable allergic reactions. Make the change today to invest in hypo-allergenic mattress covers and create a cleaner and healthier environment for yourself in your bedroom.

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Five Common Allergy Medications – Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

If you suffer with allergies, depending on the severity, you may at some point need to consider medications to help you manage symptoms. Here are 5 of the most common medications used and the pros and cons of each.

Antihistamines – These are probably the most widely used and well known of the medications we will discuss in this article. They can be bought over the counter at drug stores and super markets under various brand names. But the bottom line is that they contain Diphenhydramine.

This drug relieves watering eyes, sneezing, itching, runny nose and swelling of nasal tissue, and reduce mucous production and post nasal drip. And while these are all great, they often cause sleepiness. For others they can also result in hyperactivity, nervousness, and constipation.

Decongestants – The active ingredients are Pseudoephedine and ibuprofen. These reduce the size of the blood vessels which in the nasal cavity means a reduction of congestion because of the reduction volume of fluid that is able to get out. And being able to breathe through your nose again is great.

The down side is that they can pose an added risk for those with high blood pressure because making the blood vessels smaller increases blood pressure. Used over a long period of time, over the counter decongestants can cause an increase in congestion. Those that are prescribed by a doctor can be used for a longer period of times without this side effect.

Inhaled Anti-Inflammatory – Allows more air into the nose by reducing inflammation of the soft tissue. The active ingredient is Cromolyn. And the good news is that this drug has relatively few negative side effects.

Leukotriene Modifiers – This medication work to stop symptoms before they occur. When the body of an allergic person encounters an allergen, the chemical leukotriene is released into the blood as a defense and cause muscles to contract, an increase of fluids from blood vessels, and an increase in inflammation. The modifiers neutralize leukotriene and that often results in fewer symptoms.

This type of drug can react differently and / or poorly with other drugs including aspirin. Nausea, infection, and headache are a few of the side effects that can result.

Nasal Steroids – Steroids reduce inflammation, and when sprayed into the nose they reduce mucous production as well as nasal inflammation. They are absorbed fairly quickly into the body and give relief for allergic rhinitis. Using them for some may result in irritation and bleeding of the nose.

Different people are affected by medications differently based on their body make – up and other medications that they may be taking. But knowing what is available gives you the most options for getting relief that will let you manage your life regularly allergies.

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4 Types of Hay Fever That Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

Do not be too sure you can laugh at hay fever. One day you too could wake up with a stuffy nose, weepy eyes and a bad case of sneezing.

No matter how many years you have lived without a symptom, you can get the curse suddenly and at almost any time. And the outlook is bad if your parents had it or if you have some other form of allergy.

Of course you do not have to get it in August – that's just the most common time. Actually there are four types of hay fever, each with different season and with a different cause. The name itself incidentally is an inaccurate one: the affliction is not necessarily caused by hay and is rarely agreed by fever.

Spring Hay Fever

If you come down with your sniffles between April 1 and June 1, you are probably allergic to the pollen of trees – maple, elm, oak, poplar, ash and hickory.

Summer Hay Fever

The Summer fever is also misnamed rose fever. The season begins around May 15 and lasts until July 15. The villain in this case is not the rose, which blooms at the same time, but the pollen from grasses, especially timothy and blue grass.

Fall Hay Fever

The fall fever is by far the most common type of allergy in the United States. It is caused by pollen from ragweed, and the season lasts from August 15 to September 30.

Perennial Hay Fever

The poor fellow who has this really has something. He's allergic to mold spores (which are practically everywhere), animal furs, feathers or house dust. His problem can come at any time and may even last a year round.

All types of fever act similarly. You will not get hay fever the first day or first time you encounter the stuff. The process of getting sensitized may take months or even years. One unlucky day, when your antibodies to ragweed have develop satisfactorily, the blood vessels in your nose let loose fluid, your bronchial tubes constrict – you sneeze, you weep.

That day, you got your first allergic attack.

After this first go-round, you'll probably be a slave to the malady for the rest of your life. There's no short cut to relief, so you'll probably take your drippy nose to the doctor. Once he has determined which substance gives you the trouble, it's probably time for antihistamine drugs to be a new close friend.

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Allergies – Help! My Eyes Itch All the Time!

A great part on the topic of itchy eyes has to do with avoiding and preventing the emergence of these allergens. There are both the indoor and outdoor environments which one should be careful about. For seasonal allergies commonly occurring during spring time it is good to check out the pollen count before heading outdoor. However, in the event that all the preventive measures are in vain the proper treatments have to be sorted out.

Following are the list of commonly available treatment and relief options to alleviate the symptoms of itchy eyes;

Eye Drops

Eye drops are widely available over the counter in almost any pharmacy stores. These are less expensive and offer a quick relief option in alleviating the itchiness in the eyes. There are 2 categories of eye drops; the non medicated and medicated eye drops. As the name suggest, the non medicated eye drops do not contain medicines but are purely an eye wash solution to lubricate the eyes.

The medicated saline-containing drops are commonly used in treatment of specific eye problems. These may contain antihistamines, steroids, beta receptor blockers, prostaglandins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) depending on the conditions of the eyes being treated. Eye drops are preferred as they have a lesser risk of side effects compared to oral medicines.

Antihistamines are a commonly used substance for a fast relieve to the many symptoms of itchy eyes caused by allergens.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a prescribed drug that can relieve the swelling and inflammation of the eyes. It is normally used to treat seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (hay fever).

Self Help

Usually this itchy eye ailment will go away in a week or so up to 2 weeks. In the exception of seasonal allergies conjunctivitis that could last as long as the pollen season.

• Do not rub the itchy eyes.

A little self help is helpful. In all circumstances, avoid rubbing the eyes to get rid of the itchiness. As this has the effect of worsening the already itched eyes. The hands are also a medium for spreading the infection especially if this is contagious as in the case of pinkeye.

• Clean the eyes regularly with a warm moist cloth

Use a piece of warm moist and clean cloth to remove any discharge at the sides of the eyes.

• Home remedies on compresses

Use a warm or cold moist cloth to compress the affected eyes. A clean warm or cold moist cloth can be applied on top of the eyes for about 5 minutes for a quick relaxing and relieving effect. There are other home remedies and relief methods using refrigerated cucumber slices as well as used tea bags for cold compresses.

Rest and More Rest

More often than not, the itchy eyes are a result of a lack of adequate sleep, too much hours on the computers or television or gaming machines. These strain the eyes and at the same time weakened the person's immune system, rendering them more susceptible to viral and bacterial attacks. Here, it is also a sign that the body as well as the eyes needs a good and adequate rest.

Millions of people suffer from eyes diseases. Eyes are one of the most important organs of the human body, and it is vital that these eyes are well taken care of.

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Natural Health Tips for Hayfever

Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis) is caused by allergic reactions to airborne substances such as pollen or spores. These enter the upper respiratory paths leading to irritation and inflammation. The nose, throat and eyes are affected. Hay Fever is a common condition, affecting 20% ​​of the population in the UK alone. Most commonly, hay fever is caused because of pollen and spores in the air. Trees and grasses generally pollinate in Spring and Summer. These seasonal changes cause hay fever in people who show allergic reactions to these air borne substances.

Hayfever is an allergic condition and so symptoms can worsen if suffering with stress, or if the immune system is weak. Focussing on diet and ensuring you are getting plenty of zinc and vitamin C will help.

Around 1 in 4 adults in the UK now suffer with hayfever to some extent and quite often conventional over the counter remedies do not provide a very satisfactory solution – they may make people drowsy or do not work for very long. Many people have reported that homeopathy and natural remedies have helped them. Some of the most common remedies you may wish to try are:

Allium Cepa – made from red onion, which based on the principles of like cures like, will help with hayfever where the predominant symptoms are streaming eyes and nose (as if one had just chopped an onion). The discharge from the eyes and nose is often burning and can leave sore patches below the eyes and on the upper lip.

Sabadilla – covers another very annoying symptom of hayfever – sneezing fits! The discharges are also very profuse and watery and eyes may be red and itchy.

Euphrasia – also called “Eyebright” – a clear indication of its main area of ​​action which is on the eyes. Euphrasia is very helpful when the eyes are sore and feel as if there is grit in them. There will also be intolerance to bright lights, as well as sneezing and a runny nose.

Arsenicum Album – also has a burning discharge but with a feeling of obstruction in the nose. These people will generally also be restless, fastidious and feel chilly.

Nux vomica – is suitable for people who push themselves hard at work, using coffee and other stimulants to keep themselves going. They will also be chilly and are often very short tempered . The Nux Vomica picture has lots of sneezing first thing in the morning and is much worse for any draft – or air conditioning.

Arundo – has terrible burning and itching of the palate and conjunctiva as well as lots of sneezing and discharge.

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Three Reasons To Use Organic Gluten Free Foods

Often people considering a gluten free diet plan want to know if organic gluten free foods are really necessary. That is a good question to ask and we will discuss the reason for going organic, as well as, gluten free.

1. Why go gluten free?

If you are starting a gluten free diet you are probably allergic to the gluten protein in wheat, rye and barley. All grains contain the gluten protein, but, for some reason, the gluten in some grains are allergenic.

You may think that the world is being unfair to you, because almost every prepared food contain some type of gluten grain. Instead, you should be thinking your lucky stars. Why? Because, now you will be conscious of a healthy diet, which may add several years to your life and give you a much better lifestyle while you are living.

This event gives you the opportunity to explore the world of truly healthy foods and other lifestyle changes that can make a dramatic improvement in the way you feel and the success in life that you can enjoy.

2. What is organic food?

You have, probably, heard about organic foods, but just never give it much thought. You just continue your routine of going to the grocery store and picking out whatever your taste buds dictate.

Organic is a term applied to foods that are raised without chemicals. Think about it, our ancestors all ate organic. Because modern farming methods proved to be faster and easier we have adopted practices that are starting to prove to actually harm our health instead improve it.

Modern day farming practices require huge amounts of chemicals to make a plant grow, keep weeds at bay and kill off any insects. One source estimated that 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides were used every year. That may not be a true number, but it points out the fact that there are tons of chemicals being beloved on our environment and our food gets a large portion of that.

Organic foods are produced by growing crops with composting methods that build soil humus and improve the soil. It has been stated that our foods today do not contain near the minerals that they had a few years ago, because we continuously take the same nutrients out of the soil and put few back.

Yes, organic food usually cost more, although that is not always true. One of the best places to buy your produce is the local farmers market. In our society we want to take very good care of our homes, cars, the lawn mower and all the other toys we have, but when it comes to our bodies we can buy the cheapest foods that we can find with no thought to what it is doing to our health.

If you are changing to a gluten free diet I would highly recommend that you start using organic foods to assist your body in healing from the damage done by the allergy to gluten.

3. Being conscious of your health.

When it comes to being healthy there is not a magic pill or potion. You need a balance in lifestyle (stress), food consumed and exercise. Your body was designed to live on food produced by nature and you had to gather your food by hand. Today we sit most of the day and eat processed foods that little food value in them.

It is time you started to research what it really is best for your health and life. You will not only feel much better, but your life will be better.

There are three things to think about if you are having a problem with a gluten protein. I hope this will lead you to start thinking about your lifestyle and the kind of life that you desire to live. Putting organic gluten free foods into your health plan may be the ticket you need to a better life.

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