How to Make Your Home More Comfortable for You If You Have Allergies

When the summer season comes, a lot of people are uncomfortable because they have allergies. The pollen and the heat will get to them and they will be miserable. People with allergies might not want to leave the house because of the pollen, but they are too hot to stay in.

This is not to say that allergies are bound to having an effect in the summer season. Some people suffer all year around and the winter is even worse. This is not because of the weather, but because they might stay home a lot and the dust in the air will get to them.

If this sounds like what you are experiencing now, then it might be that you feel lost and there is nothing that the doctors can do to make your life any easier. However, this is not the case and do not feel defeated just yet.

With advances in medicine and technology, there is something out there for everyone and you will find something that works for you. If you want some ideas on how to make your life a little bit easier, then read on.

1. Medicine – You can always go and ask your doctor to see if there is anything that they can do for you. Even if you have been before and tried everything, still try and go at least once a year because there might be some new drug that has passed that will work for you and you will not have to walk around looking like you have the flu all the time.

2. Alternatives – If you feel like you have exhausted the modern medicine path, then you can move onto alternative homeopathic medicines. There could be a natural pill or spray out there that will work for you. You may have to pay a bit extra for it but it will be worth the money if you get a better life out of it. Just drop in at some herbal medicine stores and see what they offer for allergies.

3. Air purifier – If your problem is with the dust in your home, even when you are ever cleaning up and doing your best to make sure that there is no dust, then you should look towards buying an air purifier. It will clean the air that you are breathing in and you will be a lot less likely to have a reaction when you are at home. You can buy massive systems that can be built into the air system in your home, or a portable one will do the trick. Portable ones might be a little bit better for you because you can take it to your friends or families homes, or you could even more it from room to room. Portable air purifiers are a lot cheaper than ones that need to be installed somewhere in your home.

4. Air conditioning – If the heat is your main problem, then you will need an air conditioning system in your home. If you live in a hot country, then there might already be one installed. But, if you have to get one yourself, then you should make the investment so that your home is cooler and can be a better environment for you to relax in. You have the option of having a wall mounted air conditioning system, or one that is built into the heating system in the house. It all depends on your budget. If you are really struggling, just pick one that you can afford and you can always save up for a better one later.

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What Are Common Allergic Reactions?

Do you sometimes sneeze when you smell flowers with pollens? Do you experience difficulty in breathing when you eat something that you are not allowed to eat? All these are caused by allergic reactions. It is important for you to understand what they are and how they affect your body in order to avoid further problems and serious complications from them.

Why do you get an allergic reaction? The main reason is because your immune system has detected some foreign bodies in your system and it is trying to get it out. That's right. These reactions are the reactions of the immune system to keep the body safe and health. Below are some of the most common ones that you may experience.

The first one is anaphylaxis. This is the reaction that is characterized by shortness of breath. Among all, this is probably the most serious one because it can cause death if not treated immediately. People who have asthma and other allergies that cause them difficulty in breathing such as seafood and peanut allergies should be very careful. They also need to have medications with them all the time to avoid life-threatening situations.

The second one is unconsciousness. Although normally this is not very serious, it can be life-threatening at times. In particular, it can be dangerous if the unconsciousness is brought about by shock. Shock returns to the sudden stoppage of organs from working because of low blood pressure. When organs suddenly do not receive blood from the heart, they will stop working and that can risk your life.

The third one is skin irritation. Many people who have allergies experience skin problems that can be annoying and irritating. Their skin may become red and may itch a lot. Others experience rashes and blistering. Some even have hives depending on the cause.

The fourth one is respiratory problem. This involves the lungs specifically the breathing. Some people feel difficulty in breathing while others cough uncontrollably. Others experience wheezing and tightness around their chest area.

The fifth one is problem in the head area. This allergic reaction does not only pertain to headache but also to problems with the parts of the head. The face and the tongue may swell and the neck may become stiff. Some experience sore throat and other irritations. Some have red eyes or watery eyes.

The sixth one is nose problem. Some allergens cause the nose to become stuff or runny. Others frequently sneeze as a body's response to getting out the allergen outside the nose.

The last one is stomach problem. Among the allergic reactions concerning the digestive system include diarrhea, vomiting and blood in the stool.

If you know these allergic reactions, you can suspect that your condition is caused by allergens. You can then consult with your doctor about the best way possible to over them.

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Allergy Medicine – What Are Your Options?

An allergy is worse than an illness. An illness heals after a course of antibiotics, but the former sits in wait for a triggering factor to rear its ugly head. The moment you come in contact with an irritant or allergen you start sneezing, coughing, itching or wheezing.

Allergy medicine available as over-the-counter and prescription drugs are not a cure for the condition. An allergic reaction is the result of a hypersensitive immune system. Genetic and environmental factors together cause such an abnormal reaction to reliably harmless situations. Therefore, medications prescribed by your doctor only help manage the symptoms. Over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicine is available in different forms. It includes tablets, capsules, liquid solutions, nasal sprays, eye drops, inhalers, skin creams and injections.

List of Allergy Medicines

  • Antihistamines –

Antihistamines are the most popular over-the-counter allergy medicine. They prevent the release of histamines in the sinuses. This chemical compound is released when you inhale an allergen or irritant. Histamines cling to receptors in the blood vessels causing them to swell. This leads to swollen eyes, itchy and watery eyes and a runny nose. Antihistamines are prescribed for long-term use. They are available as over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

  • Decongestants –

This is another over-the-counter allergy medicine. An allergen produces large amount of mucus in the sinus cavities. This causes stuffiness and a heavy head. Decongestants shrink the blood vessels and loosen and clear the sinus cavities. They are prescribed for use for a few days only. An antihistamine combined with a decongestant is an effective allergic rhinitis treatment. Decongestants are not recommended for pregnant women and persons suffering high blood pressure. They should be used in limited quantities as prolonged use causes further damage to blood vessels.

  • Corticosteroids –

Corticosteroids block symptom-causing chemicals during an allergic reaction. They treat symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and allergic conjunctivitis. Topical creams containing corticosteroids are used as a skin allergy treatment. Most corticosteroids need a prescription.

  • Bronchodilators –

Bronchodilators are used to treat asthma symptoms. During an asthma attack, a person experiences difficulty in breathing. This drug relaxes and widens the bronchi. It clears the lungs of mucus buildup and relieves chest tightness. Bronchodilators are prescription medications.

  • Anti-leukotrienes / Leukotrienes –

Leukotrienes are used to treat symptoms of asthma and nasal allergies. They prevent the activation of white blood cells.

  • Mast Cell Stabilizers –

Mast Cell stabilizers are prescription allergy medicines. It brings inflammation in the bronchial tubes. In the form of eye drops, mast cell stabilizers are used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. In the form of nasal sprays, it is used to relieve nasal congestion and in the form of inhalers it is used to treat symptoms of asthma.

Severe allergies may not subside with over-the-counter medications; it needs a stronger dose prescribed by a doctor. There are other precautions to follow when using OTC drugs. Medications should be used in controlled amounts. Some allergy medicines cause drowsiness. Here, you should be careful about driving or operating heavy machinery after you take a dose. If you observe severe side effects, seek medical help immediately. Although over-the-counter medications are tested for safety, it is always good to consult your doctor before you start using them. It reduces the chances of an overdose or drug interaction.

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The Best Way To Fight Bed Bugs

You have more than likely heard tales about little insects that feed on your blood at night. They normally attack when you are sleep and do not care if you are in a clean or dirty environment.

Humans appear to suffer most of this particular bug, but they are also prone to fever on other warm blooded hosts. They prefer living in temperate climates, but are often found in regions with warm climates. When they are present in warmer temperatures, they spread their infestation from humans to birds, bats and poultry.

The first sign that your home may have bed bugs are the bite marks on your body. These bites are distinctive. They will most likely appear in clusters on your body. The insects usually bite and only move a very small distance away for the next attack. This makes it quite easy to detect the bites as they will usually appear in a cluster or a distinct line. The bites are normally itchy, raised and red. If you find these types of bites on your body, you can be fairly certain that you have bed bugs in your home.

There are signs you can look for to determine if you have bugs or not. During the times when you change your bed linen, you should inspect your mattress, headboard and the bed base. The bugs are nocturnal, so chances are that they will not be visible when you check during the day. You will even notice their excrement along the seams of your mattress or the edges of the bed base and headboard. This will appear as tiny black dots.

The bugs shed their skin during the nymphal phase and this appears as a hollow insect. The eggs of the bugs are difficult to recognize. They normally resemble the shape of rice.

To prevent a bed bug epidemic in your home, you should take care with what you bring into your home. If you have been away on a trip, you should immediately wash all the clothing in your bag once you return home. Wrap your suitcase into a garbage bag for a number of days. This will kill any possible bugs that you may have bought with you.

When you are resident in hotels whilst on a trip, you should steer away from unpacking your clothing into the drawers provided. Do not leave your bags or clothing on the beds. Instead, place your suitcase on a hard, raised surface. This will ensure that bugs do not settle into your bag.

If you discover that you do indeed have bed bugs, your first choice should be call professional pest controllers. These are extremely difficult pets to get rid of and professionals avail of several methods to eradicate the infestation. They will more than likely pause by using a bed bug spray. This method gets rid of as many of the bugs as possible in a very short time.

They may also opt for heating or freezing methods of alienation. It is possible to raise the temperature in a room with heaters before sealing it. This method will not only kill most of the adult bugs, but also any existing eggs. There are home remedies for bed bugs, but for fast termination, professionals are the answer.

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Allergy Treatments for Sufferers

Allergy sufferers are familiar with the discomfort that goes with persistent runny noses, streaming eyes, sneezing and blocked sinuses. They're also used to suffering through these symptoms on their own, often without medical care, because it can take weeks to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician.

With urgent care clinics, there's no waiting for an appointment. In fact, there's no need for an appointment at all. You can simply walk in and see a doctor without a long wait. Urgent care clinicians accept most insurance plans and offer special low-cost treatment for people without insurance. Urgent care bills are typically one-fourth the cost of an emergency room visit.

Symptoms and Causes of Allergic Reactions

Because of their nature and duration, allergies are best treated in an urgent care setting. Without the allergic reaction is extreme and life threatening, the emergency room is not the best option for allergy treatment.

Symptoms of allergic reactions include:

Runny nose and sneezing
Irritation and redness of the eyes
Shortness of breath
Stomach pain or bloating
Diarrhea and vomiting
Rashes or hives; irritated, swilling or itching skin
Nausea or dizziness
Mental confusion, slow thinking, depression

Allergies can be particularly severe when they involve children and asthma sufferers.

Allergic reactions are caused by the body's immune system reacting to the presence of foreign particles. Some common allergens include:

Cigarette smoke
Certain types of food, such as shellfish or nuts
Insect bites
Dust, mold, or mildew

Allergy Testing and Treatment

Urgent care clinics provide on-site allergy testing services, with results available within just fifteen minutes. The skin test for allergies is painless and quick. Once the cause of the allergic reaction has been determined, doctors can prescribe treatment.

Allergy treatments may include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops, inhibitors, and allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a convenient and effective alternative to allergy shots for certain types of allergens, like ragweed, dust, pollen, pets and grass. Also known as allergy drops, they avoid the side effects produced by other allergy medicines. Allergy drops can be customized to treat individual patients.

Preventive allergy care may involve modifying the home or work environment to reduce or eliminate the presence of allergens. The use of dehumidifiers, air filters, purifiers and air conditioners can reduce indoor allergens.

Allergies are not fun. The one-stop convenience of urgent care centers means that your allergies can be brought under control and managed, to allow you to get on with your life. A professional staff will manage your scheduling efficiently, to ensure that you receive full follow-up care. When you put your allergies in the hands of a highly qualified staff, you have one less thing to worry about.

In case of a life threatening allergic reaction, like cramps and abdominal pains, sudden severe swelling that makes it difficult to swallow, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and shortness of breath, the patient should be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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Getting The Most From Your Air Purification System In the Home

Start With A DC Powered Blower Motor In Your Furnace

The blower system in your furnace is a key component when it comes to your air purification system. Furnaces used to be manufactured with cheap AC blower motors that cost over $ 1,000 a year to run.

Now, it's a good idea to buy a furnace system with a DC powered motor in order to save money on your utility bills. Some DC blower motor systems cost as little as $ 160 per year to run. With the DC powered blower motor, you can now install an air filtration system that will be far more effective than a regular air filter that you have to change every few months.

Air Filtration Systems Have Advantages Over Regular Filters

Regular air filters stop dust by trapping it in slightly porous filters. The less pores that the filter has, the more dust and dirt it can trap. However this can also hinder the air flow of your heating system causing the pressure to drop and less heat to flow into your rooms. The more advanced filtration systems that can be installed in your furnace can work more efficiently to trap smaller particles while still allowing the air to flow freely, heating your rooms more efficiently.

Think of the air filtration system as an investment up front, that will help you save money for years to come. You will see those savings immediately.

The DC motors work effectively with the air filtration system and are able to slow down down and treat it at 20-30 percent of capacity between heating and cooling cycles. Running at the slower speed allows the air to more slowly pass over the purification system, which in turn allows for the air to be much more effectively treated. This alone immensely improves the quality of the air within your home.

The DC blowers also change speeds slowly. The benefit of this is that it's easier on the ears. You will hardly notice that it's there. New furnaces are coming with these motors installed.

Modern Technology Offers Added Convenience

Today's thermostats are smart enough to run these devices from a computer, tablet, or phone. This gives you the freedom to be able to remotely adjust your environment from anywhere. If you have a newer furnace with an AC motor, you can make the switch for about the cost of the first year's electrical savings. Having a smart thermostat that works well with your furnace system is a great way to improve your whole house air purification system while saving money on the utility bills.

It's also important to make sure that your primary air filter is the best it can be. A room or duct purification system such as UV lights or a bi-polar ionizer trips a portion of the air, usually 10-20 percent, while the primary filter will treat up to 100 percent.

Systems such as the Trane Clean Effects air cleaner work hard to kill the germs and bacteria as they come in contact. They are great to have in the winter as people get sick, or any time there are a lot of bacteria or germs present. This particular system also has washable filters, so no more landfill waste, and you can save the cost of routinely buying filters, that does not really work effectively anyway.

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Allergy-Proofing Your House? 8 Things You Should Do Today To Prevent Common Household Allergies

Millions of people struggle with common household allergies. Allergy symptoms range from things like sneezing, sniffling, itching, and scratchy watery eyes, to more intense physical discomfort including asthmatic symptoms.

If you are allergic to dust, mold, mildew, pollen, pet dander, or other common household allergens, there are things you can do around your house to limit your exposure.

Common House Allergies – Things to Do to Protect Yourself

When you are allergic to common household allergens like dust or mold, it can be frustrating. Many times we are surrounded by these allergens and feel the negative effects. Fortunately there are some simple things you can do to cut down on your exposure to common allergens. Follow along for 8 suggestions to keep your house allergy free:

  1. Change your bedding regularly . Make sure you wash your sheets at least one time a week in hot water. According to the National Institute for Health, the water temperature must be at least 130 degrees or higher in order to effectively kill dust mites.
  2. Consider your flooring . Carpeting harbors a lot of dust and pet dander. Remove carpeting where you can and opt instead for area rugs that you can machine wash. If you can not remove carpeting, vacuum and shampoo it regularly.
  3. Opt for window treatments you can wash . Pick out curtain fabrics that are washable and consider shades that can be easily wiped and cleaned.
  4. Wash your pets . If you have a pet, make sure you keep it bathed and cleaned regularly. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), an estimated one out of ten people in the US suffer from some type of pet allergy. If you are allergic to your pet, consider keeping your pet out of your bedroom so that your allergy does not disrupt your sleep quality.
  5. Consider the quality of your air . If your house is damp, consider buying a dehumidifier to cut down on moisture. Make sure to empty and clean your dehumidifier regularly. Monitor the humidity in your house and keep it low so that mold does not grow. Also do not forget to change your furnace filters regularly.
  6. Buy a good mattress protector . Cover your mattress with a good quality allergy mattress protector that defends dust mites, bed bugs, and other common allergens. You may also want to consider zip-up pillow coverage to limit allergies. This is extremely important since the bedroom is one of the most common places for dust mites and bed bugs to live.
  7. Keep your fans clean . Fans can be a great way to circulate air in a house but they also harbor a lot of dust. Make sure to clean your fans regularly so that they do not generate a lot of dust in your house.
  8. Limit house plants . Soil can be a great place for mold to grow. If you are allergic to mold, you may want to limit your houseplants to just a few or choose plants that require very little water.

Allergies can be a drag on your energy and your overall health and well-being. If you are struggling with allergies, or have many symptoms but are not sure whether you have an allergy, it is always advisable to consult with a qualified medical professional for treatment. Fortunately with a little planning and effort there are things you can do to limit your exposure to common household allergies.

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Some Common Ways Of Treating Allergies

According to research findings, the number of people suffering from allergies are on the rise, with half of the number affected being children. The most common allergies are associated with pollen, pets (such as dogs & cats), mold, house dust mites, bees & wasps, foods (such as peanuts, milk & eggs) and industrial & household chemicals. They are also reported cases of people being allergic to fruits, metals (such as iron and nickel jewelry), rubber and medicine (such as penicillin). The common allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy skin rashes, running nose, coughing and wheezing.

Ways to treat allergies

Allergic reactions can be mild, moderate or severe, and in some unique cases, they can be life threatening (anaphylaxis), requiring prompt medical treatment. Some allergic symptoms, such as hay fever, asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, allergic eye disease and urticaria are in fact illnesses. Before taking an over-the-counter allergy drug to treat your condition, it is advisable to check with your doctor. This will help to avoid any drug interactions.

When you visit you doctor he / she will be able to pinpoint the exact trigger for your allergies. This will help a great deal in avoiding the triggers. In addition, the doctor will recommend a more targeted remedy for treating allergies. The doctor can also recommend some natural ways of treating your allergy, including:

· Keep windows / door closed

Pollen is a major cause of allergies. Therefore, it is important to minimize the pollen indoors by keeping the windows and doors closed. In addition, clothes which are covered with pollen should be left outside. Taking a shower after coming from the outdoors can also help. Furthermore, it is advisable to consider washing your towels, bedroom sheets and blankets regularly, in hot water. This can help a great deal in reducing dust mites and pollen in the home.

· Invest in a good vacuum cleaner

You may also consider investing in a high-efficiency particulate air filter for your vacuum. This will help to get rid of any allergens trapped in the carpet.

· Take enough rest

Fatigue often provides additional stress to the body and thus undermines the healing abilities derived from sleep. Therefore, it is important to get 6-8 hours of good night. This can help a great deal in giving your body rest to repair itself after a long, active day.

· Eat healthy

It is equally important to eat a healthy, balanced dish. A good diet will help to strengthen your immune system for purposes of contending with allergens.

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How to Properly Examine Food Labels for Hidden Gluten

Learning how to properly examine food ingredient labels for hidden gluten is a skill that you need to quickly learn when you're first diagnosed. In most cases, the ingredients that you need to avoid will be obvious enough but knowing the sneaky ones will make a huge difference. Sometimes the products that claim to be wheat-free might not be and this can be scary, especially if you have celiac disease! This is why learning to recognize the names is important.

Dozens of ingredients contain gluten. There are the obvious ones such as wheat flour or bran, but others can be extremely vague.

Red flag ingredients to look for when purchasing a product:
Barley (Latin name: Hordeum vulgare)
Barley malt or malt (Food examples would be Rice Krispies, Cornflakes and Lindt Truffles)
Bran (Rice and corn bran are safe)
Malt (Corn malt is safe)
Rye (Latin name: Secale cereale)
Soy sauce (Untitled specified gluten free, I got caught with this one!)
Spelt (Latin name: Triticum spelta)
Starch (Potato and corn starch is safe)
Vegetable protein
Triticale (Cross between rye and wheat)
Wheat (Latin name: Triticum vulgare)
Worcestershire sauce (This can be a tricky item since some contain gluten and others do not. Just make sure to double check!)

There are some ingredients that you see quite often and it's been debated whether they're gluten free or not. Dealing with these ingredients may be better avoiding just in case or you could always test them out to see if your body reacts.

Some of these would be:

Modified food starch / modified starch (Some companies will label whether the starch is something other than wheat, which would be safe)
Natural flavor
Artificial flavor

What kind of foods could have hidden gluten?

When I was first diagnosed, I would go crazy checking food labels with every product. It's a habit that I got into quickly and it proved to be useful in the future. I found out that there are a group of foods that will usually contain gluten even if you do not check out the label. Some of these would be canned soup, packaged soup mixes, sauce mixes, salad dressing, chips (there are some really yummy gluten free ones, like most Lays!) , Ice cream, noodles and any snack foods.

Another clue would be to examine the appearance of food. This could be useful in circumstances when you're traveling abroad and you may suspect a cross contamination.

I usually look out for:

Thick sauces (This could suggest that wheat was used to thicken the base)
Creamy soup (This could suggest that wheat was used to thicken the base)
Deep fried foods (could have been fried in the same fryer as gluten rich foods and could also be dusted with wheat)
Dark and salty sauces (This could suggest that soy sauce was used, which is a wheat heavy product)

It's important to check out labels before being a new product for any hidden gluten. As time goes by, you will be able to determine what is safe to eat and eliminate any gluten attacks. When in doubt, do not be afraid to ask a waiter, cook, or friend. It is your health that should always come first!

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Eating Out? What to Watch Out for With Gluten Intolerance!

So you've been diagnosed with celiac, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance and your friends have invited you to hang out at that classy restaurant downtown. You can not help but feel a little fear and anxiety rise in your throat at the thought of eating out. What if the restaurant has no gluten-free accommodations? What if you accidently get “glutened”? What if, what if, what if? The reality of dining out suddenly makes meeting your friends not so much fun and this absolutely sucks! When I was first diagnosed, I had become so suspicious and wary of restaurants that I avoided them completely. In the long run, it was cheaper but my social life became seriously impaired.

For the most part, I would stay stay in and cook my own food. But after months of living gluten free, I realized that eating out was not so hard as previously thought. Here are some tips that I've come across while ditching the fear of getting “glutened” and actually living.

Heading to that yummy Asian location?

I learned this one the hard and painful way. Asian food can be tricky and unless you're not having the completely authentic oriental dish, I wish you good luck in NOT getting glutened. Most Chinese takeout involves heavy gluten, from the soy sauce to deep fried anything. My hubby likes to take me to a great Chinese restaurant down the street from our apartment and I always stick with one dish. Rice with bamboo, garlic sauce, carrot, chicken, sprinkled with cashews and cilantro. Yum! I knew that this dish was safe because of the clean ingredients, of course I doubled and tripled checked with the waiter of the restaurant but anything with rice is reliably safe. Sometimes, I even bring my own gluten free soy sauce.

If you're really pinning for Asian food, then I suggest avoiding Chinese, since soy sauce is in almost every dish. My recommendations would be Thai and Vietnamese because most of the dishes offered are naturally gluten free.

Fries, wedges, chips, you name it …

If you're anything like me, I'm always down to eat anything potato related. It's cheap, fast and everywhere. When I first came to Berlin, I was amazed with the amount of potato dishes that I could indulge in, of course this was before I was properly diagnosed so when I needed to make the gluten food cut, my heart broke at the thought of departing with the common street food.

French fries and wedges are notorious for being covered in wheat flour, this is so that they do not clump together when they're frozen. If you're wondering if you can take the risk, the one clue to look for would be if they look like they're covered in a crispy texture. The freshly served ones look different in the way that they are simply cut and fried. Beside, anything that has been deep fried is a red flag to stay away!

Do not be afraid to speak up!

This is something you need to learn right from the start. Not being shy to speak up to the waiter, chef or even owner of the restaurant. At the end of the day, it's your health that matters. Ask for a gluten free menu, ask if a certain dish is safe to eat, ask if they can double check with the chef. Ask, ask, ask. Sometimes before I go to a restaurant with friends, I call the location in advance to see if they have gluten free options. This will not only give you a sense of security but also avoid the entire double checking if the dish is gluten free fiasco. Now-a-days, most restaurants will have an extra allergy free menu to give but if you're in a foreign country, like myself, they will not.

Make the suggestion!

Once you've become accredited to the restaurant locations in your area that carry safe dishes, making the restaurant suggestion to your friends and family may be the better option. For the most part Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants are great options. Thai specializes in fresh and healthy rice-based noodle dishes. If you like sushi, Japanese restaurants are the place to be for gluten free food but make sure to bring your own soy sauce! Indian restaurants also have many naturally gluten free dish such as Tandoori chicken, fish and shrimp with vegetable side dishes. However, make sure to ask about the sauces as some are thickened with wheat.

Planning a head is perhaps the most important tip. Call in advance, choose the location yourself and even check to see if the restaurants uploaded their menu online. At times, it can be a trial and error game but once you know what and where you can eat, life becomes much simpler. Almost like those good ol 'days of eating anything you wanted. The good news is even if you're stuck at a menu and wondering what to eat, you can always stick with a salad or a big fat steak.

What are your tips when going out?

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About Gluten Allergy Test

Someone that is dealing with a gluten allergy may find that the symptoms that they have are going to range from severe to mild. Not every person will be the same and the symptoms that are experienced can change from one person to the next. If you believe that you may be suffering from this type of allergy then you should speak to your health care professional. He or she may be able to order a gluten allergy test to help determine if that is what may be causing your symptoms.

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG-IgA) is a test that is considered to be the most sensitive when it comes to this type of allergy. When there are celiac screening events this test is often transported out. The test is used to search for the antibody IgA as this is an antibody that reacts to gluten. If you were to test positive with this test then you most likely have a gluten allergy.

Another test that is often used is the anti-endomysial antibody test (EMA-IgA). This is just one more test that is really sensitive. It is also very important to know that the slides that are viewed through a microscope. Because of this, it has been found that some people may end up with false positives when this test is completed. Different variations can occur depending on what laboratory is carrying out the slide readings.

There will be some very rare cases where an individual may go through genetic testing rather than having an antibody test performed. When this type of test is done you will see that it can either be performed with a blood test or it can also be completed with a cheek swab. This test is completed to look for DQ2 and DQ8. If it is found that you do not have these genes then the test will come back negative and you will not be at risk for this allergy.

When blood tests are carried out and someone actually does test positive then more tests will need to be completed to see if a gluten allergy is really present. One of the easiest gluten allergy tests that can be manufactured would be to eliminate certain foods from your diet. This is a test that you can implement on your own. It is recommended that you remove foods with gluten from your diet for two or three weeks to see if the symptoms improve. If you find that the symptoms do get better, or stop, and then reoccur once you begin eating these foods again then it would be very likely that you may be suffering from an allergy.

In the end, you may find that some of the symptoms can be frightening and they can be overwhelming at times. Therefore, it will be very important for you to speak with a health care professional. He or she will be able to help you identify the triggers to your symptoms and order any tests that you may need to help you recognize a gluten allergy.

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What Exactly Is Gluten Intolerance?

Over the past few years, we have all been hearing about going gluten free. Is this just another hyped-up diet fad or is there something more to it than that? Since the entire gluten free issue has been introduced to the public, there has been a mixed reaction to its validity in terms of being considered an actual health problem .

Some claim, including the media at times, that gluten-free is a myth. It's only another diet, money-making scam put out there for the hypochondriacs of the world. But others, including myself, have found that gluten is too real of a danger to ignore.In fact, to be able to really understand it, we must first understand what gluten is.

To put it bluntly, it is a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is responsible for that elasticity in dough, helping it rise and giving the final product that fluffy texture we all love. It is composed of four proteins: gliadin (a prolamin protein), gluteline (a gluteline protein), albumins, and globulins. Gliadin and glutelins are found in wheat and these are the proteins that directly affect health and create problems such as celiac disease.

Gluten intolerance also known as gluten sensitivity, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), or gluten allergy can have symptoms that range from gastrointestinal complaints, neurological issues and physical exhaustion. Most of these symptoms are different from person to person and this is why it can be so difficult to get a proper diagnosis. This condition has yet to be proven but there is no denying its existence.

Celiacs disease is the official medical term for an autoimmune disorder in which your intestinal villi becomes damaged when you eat gluten. It affects around 1 in 133 people in the United States alone, making it a common condition. The problem is that the symptoms treated from gluten intolerance are exactly the same as the ones that celiacs disease causes. The most common symptoms are constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, stomach cramps, fatigue, brain fog, headaches and joint pain. If you're experiencing these symptoms, the only way to know for sure is to take a celiacs test. But what happens when it turns out negative?

This is exactly what happened to me after getting tested for life-crippling symptoms. Even though my tests came out negative, I took it up myself to go gluten-free. Within a week, half of my symptoms subsided. Within a month, I was feeling almost back to normal. Many who cut out gluten from their diets, such as I, find relief from their symptoms and this is where the term gluten intolerance derives from.

If you receive a negative celiacs test, it is more than likely that you do not have it. (Although getting a second opinion will never hurt) There are still options you can pursue with gluten sensitivity testing. Such as taking blood tests that will look specifically for gluten antibodies in your blood. Of course, the more effective way would be to make a diet elimination test. Your dietary response based on gluten elimination will be the indication whenever or not you're sensitive to gluten.

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Weather Changes – The Culprit For Allergy Flare-Ups

An allergic reaction is an immune response to any foreign object object body views as a threat. Many people suffer chronic allergies and a vast majority of them swear that the weather plays spoilsport in their lives. A slight change in climate activates a dormant allergen and within moments that are seen sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itching, vomiting or battling severe cramps. The article explains “why” and “how” changing weather patterns affect our health.

Cold Climate
With the sunset of the winter season, the image of people coughing uncontrollably, sneezing and leaning to a runny nose is a common one. We often mistake the flu-like symptoms to be a cause of cold weather. However, in most cases, it is an allergic reaction to dust. Dust particles attract pollen, mites, insects and mold. It causes allergic symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and itchy skin. If you stay indoors for long periods of time, you continue to expose yourself to the allergy-causing dust particles and hence feel sick and lethargic.

Many insects such as ladybirds and bugs enter houses to seek Shelter from the chilly climate. The fluids they release cause allergic reactions in humans.

Warm Temperature
Warm climate is no lesser a culprit than a dip in temperatures. Increased humidity is the cause of summer allergies. As temperatures rise, the capacity of air to hold moisture also increases. A rise in the relative humidity impacts indoor air quality.

Warm temperatures coupled with damp conditions create a perfect breeding ground for mold and other disease-causing bacteria. It also grows in homes where there is a lot of darkness and improper ventilation. Mold is one of the factors responsible for allergies. High home humidity results in chronic cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. There are different indicators of high humidity levels in the house. These include damp spots on ceilings, peeling wall paint, condensation on water pipes, mold growth, wood decay and bad, musty odor.

Spring is another season that brings in warm temperatures. The abundance of flowers increases the amount of airborne pollen. The weather related triggers – mold and pollen also worsen asthma. Asthma sufferers report that their symptoms exacerbate during thunderstorms.

Measures to Minimize Adverse Allergy Symptoms
One can take certain precautions to prevent the sunset of or lessen the severity of symptoms. You should keep a record of the substance you are allergic to. It will help you determine if you are sensitive to weather changes or environmental allergens triggered by inclement weather. You should visit your doctor. He will guide you on how to manage allergic reactions and symptoms. Read the weather forecast daily.

Humidity trapped in the walls and other dark recess can also result in damage to your home. There are different methods to decrease humidity if the heating and air-conditioning ventilation is not available. This includes improving home ventilation. Open the windows to allow the air to circulate. Use exhaust fans in high moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Avoid hanging or drying wet clothes in the house. Hang them in an open space such as a balcony or on the terrace. One can use swamp coolers and dehumidifiers to decrease the amount of moisture in the air.

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The Effects of Metal on Your Health

What if there was a killer in your closet, right now? Or hiding out in the bathroom, right in plain sight?

Toxic metals are not anything new: you probably know about the hazards of lead paint or welding fumes. But what if there were small amounts of metals in household items you use every day? While they are not in amounts high enough to cause serious damage, their usage over time could have potential effects on your health. Here's a list of these killer common items and what to look out for:

· COPPER: You knew the cheap fashion ring would leave a green ring around your finger, but what else could it do? According to Natural News, it could lead to mental disorders, autism, copper deposits within your liver and kidneys, as well as heart problems and insomnia. Copper is not just found in cheap jewelry, either: some plumbing systems and hot water heaters use copper piping. It can also be found in certain frozen and canned greens, meats, and alcoholic beverages.

· LEAD: You may know about lead paint, but did you know it's estimated to still be in 64 million homes within the United States? It's also found in auto exhaust, some antique plumbing, insecticides, shellfish, and even some cosmetics. Cooking utensils, wines, commercial baby milk, and cigarettes are also found to have small levels of lead. Aside of more minor effects like nausea and constipation, lead can also lead to anorexia, seizures, anemia, learning difficulties, and thyroid dysfunction.

· CADMIUM: What if your soft drink could also give you a kidney damage? If the drink dispenser has high enough levels of cadmium, it certainly could. Cigarettes, fertilizers, water pipes, and certain refined foods may also cause health problems such as emphysema, colic, and liver disease.

· ALUMINUM: While this metal may seem safe enough, its possible effects on your health may have you thinking differently: dementia, seizures, and motor and behavioral dysfunction can arise from too much aluminum in your system. Some deodorants, cookware, baking powder, salt, and cheeses may contain small levels of aluminum which could have been harmful if used for long periods of time.

· MERCURY: This may seem like another no-brainer chemical: you were warned as a child of mercury's lethal effects on your body. Birth defects, kidney damage, mental retardation, and chromosome damage are just a few of the horrific conditions that could happen. But mercury is found in just more than old-school thermometers: things like dental fillings, adhesives, cosmetics, and fabric softeners contain levels of mercury.

Do not panic! While this information may have you ready to run to your doctor's office for testing, it's important to know that although levels of these harmful metals have been found, they are not lethal in small doses. With as many products that use small amounts of metal, it can be impossible to avoid it. However, if you should start seeing signs of illness following introduction to a new product (cosmetic, food, softener) you may visit your doctor with your concerns. A simple blood test will reveal the levels of minerals and any possible metals within your body, and can be evaluated appropriately.

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Winter Allergies

If you are like me and suffer with pollen allergies in the summer, you probably look forward to winter. Winter generally reduces allergy symptoms when the weather outside gets cold and frosty. But, if you have allergies to molds and dust mites, you may find no relief during the winter months.

Here are some factors to consider that can trigger winter allergies.

When the temperature drops and your furnace starts to run, it sends mold spores and the dust that has accumulated in the various parts of your heating system into the air of your home. This can trigger an allergic reaction in many people.

To help this situation I always run the furnace for 10 to 15 minutes in the fall when the windows can be opened wide to allow fresh air to remove any allergens generated.

Do not forget to change the furnace filter on a regular basis.

Allergy symptoms caused by dust and mold in the home include coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.

These symptoms, although similar to those of a cold or flu, will last longer than the usual 7 to 10 days. Allergy systems can hang on for weeks or even months. Also, allergies are not accompanied by a fever or body aches and pains.

If coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing last for more than a week, it is best to see your doctor. He will refer you to an allergist who will do a skin test to determine exactly what allergens are affecting you. This is a very simple test that only takes 30 minutes to complete and is not at all painful.

Once the particular allergens that are causing your reactions are found, the Doctor may prescribe antihistamines to reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching and decongestants to relieve nasal congestion and swelling.

Another avenue of treatment may include taking allergy shots. These injections expose the body to gradually increasing doses of the allergen. This allows your immune system to build up a resistance to the specific allergen. This can reduce your winter allergy symptoms for a longer period of time.

I personally found these shots to work very well, my symptoms were significantly reduced.

There are some other things that you can do to help give away your winter allergy symptoms.

Consider purchasing a HEPA air filter system to clean dust from the air. This is very effective when used in the bedroom to help relieve night time congestion.

If the humidity in your home is above 45 to 50%, a dehumidifier will help control mold growth.

Remember that dust mites thrive in humidity over 60 percent and temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get rid of any items that show mold such as bathroom shower curtains and any carpets that may show signs of dampness.

Check your basement for areas of mold growth. Wash all areas found with a solution of 5% bleach and detergent and take further steps to reduce the humidity in these areas.

Wash all bedding in hot water (135 F) each week to reduce dust mites and their droppings.

Other considerations that will help alleviate winter allergies include using an artificial Christmas tree and washing all of your Christmas decorations before putting them out. Real trees can have pollen and molds, and washing the ornaments will remove the build up of dust that has accumulated.

Clean, dust, and vacuum regularly, using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, allergy free, New Year.

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