Soy Allergy: Symptoms, Treatments and Hidden Ingredients

Soy allergies is one of the most common, yet one of the most understood, allergies that exist today. Most doctors know the triggers for this allergy, yet cannot figure out why it effects humans the way it does. You may think that the reactions come from the actual soybean, but that is not entirely correct, rather the allergens spring from the soy protein. Because of this, believe it or not, some people may be alright with soy sauce due to the processing soybeans go through (though I don’t suggest trying it).

Unfortunately, many types of food have soy, some of which do not even state it. If you do have this allergy you should stop eating at fast food places, as their buns are made from soy flour, the meats include soy protein, and they are commonly cooked in soy oil. For those eating vitamin E supplements, you may want to stop that as well, as it commonly contains soy.

Soy products not listed as an allergy, but would still be in the ingredients list is: soya, edamame, gylcine mix, lecithin, vegetable oil, natural flavoring, and vegetable gum to name a few. So read everything with an analytical eye to ensure you cut off all soy consumption, even the hidden types.

Why does this allergy effect people and how can you stop it? Again, the reason why it occurs is debated over, but what is known is that people who are allergic treat soy as an enemy. Their bodies believe it is like a virus, and deploy histamines to destroy it, thus causing the reactions. Rashes, swelling, itching, diarrhea, and some wheezing. The more severe cases are: trouble breathing or constricting or airway, anaphylaxis shock and passing out.

If you know someone who goes into shock like this they need to go to the hospital immediately! There they will administer epinephrine to take them out of the shock. Though commonly not fatal, people with this severe a reaction can indeed die, so if you are living with someone who has a soy allergy don’t be irresponsible and cook soy because you think they are overreacting. While most people are only allergic to ingesting soy protein, there are a few that are allergic to it becoming airborne (the reason is that there would be a lower concentration of soy in the air and most people with the allergy have a higher threshold than what their body would take in. But again, those with severe soy allergy and low thresholds will have the same allergic reaction as if eating the soy).

To help stop the symptoms, for the more severe cases, you should carry around an EdiPen or an EdiPen Jr, both of which contain an injection of epinephrine. Consult your doctor to know what use is appropriate. You could also try using antihistamines to block the histamines causing the effects on your body, or allergy medication to ease the effects. If you are not in the severe category then staying away from consumption should be enough, just be sure to read every ingredient and don’t risk it if you think the food may have even traces of soy in it.

And don’t forget your cosmetics and skincare products! Soy is everywhere. We suggest going with a trusted allergy free provider of skincare products for sensitive skin such as Allergy Free Me.

Allergy Preventables

If you’re like me and get allergy shots every ten days, there are still things you can do to make your life easier at home when it comes to these nasty bugs.

Use a dustbuster and keep batteries charged. (Source: Dr. Robert Fenton).

On the bed cover with hypoallergenic blankets, pillows, sheets, and pillow cases, use anti-dust mite bedding, mattresses, encasings, mattress toppers, protective covers, box spring encasings, keep your car vacuumed, and have two pet sponges to remove pet hair. You can buy the latter at Linens n’ Things. If you can afford it, get a Hepa Air Cleaner, take sleep supplements at night, and wash all non-encased bedding in hot water at a temperature of at least 140 every ten to 14 days.

Buy a mold tester for the home, only have hyporallergenic plants inside, bathe pets weekly if you don’t want to get rid of animals, use allergy-free soaps and towels, and avoid foods that allergist tells you you’re allergic to.

If you have the money, shop at your local health food store, take allergy pills if they’re still working and you can’t afford shots, flea bomb the house without pets present, and treat your yard for fleas. (Source: National Allergy).

Use filters over incoming vents or use a whole house furnace filter. Have only wood, leather, vinyl, or rattan furniture.

If you don’t have a nebulizer, get one like the Aeroneb Go Portable Nebulizer Compressor found at erclk.about.com, a Doser Inhaler Usage Counter (see doser.com), a Whistle-Watch Peak Flow Meter (look it up at medindustries.com/peakflow.htm), or an OptiChamber Inhaler Spacer also found at erclk.com. (Source: asthma.about.com).

If you’re familiar with Flovent, the popular asthma medication, the company who makes the product released a new formulation of it called Flovent HFA two years ago. You can find out about it at medisave.ca. (Source: Shane McGlaun).

For those who own a nebulizer, it’s important to keep it clean to keep them working efficiently and reducing the chances of infection from dirty equipment. It usually takes at the most 30 minutes to clean.

Use Nasonex nasal spray which you can get samples of from your allergist if you can’t afford to pay for it. Always make sure, too that you stay on schedule with your allergy shots.

Sweep and dust the house regularly. (Source: Dr. J.M. Garmendia).

Make your cigarette-smoking friends partake in their habit outside.

Plan your defense against winter’s bugs by eating well, exercising, not smoking, and getting plenty of rest to make your body strong.

Save Money by Using Generic Allergy Medicine

Allergies can make you miserable, especially when you don’t use any allergy medicine. That said, with the cost of medication being what it is-sometimes two or three dollars per pill-how can you afford to buy it? The answer is simple: buy generic allergy medicine. People often have a fear of generic products, seeing them as inferior to name-brand products. This fear is usually unfounded however, and generic allergy medicine is no exception. This article will clear up some issues regarding generic allergy medicine and tell you why it’s a good idea to use it.

Why is Generic Allergy Medicine Cheaper than Name-Brand Medicine?

Pharmaceutical companies must go through a great deal of research and testing before they are able to put a new drug on the market. This is a very expensive process. After developing a new drug, the pharmaceutical companies must charge rates that not only allow them to make back the money they put into research, but also to make a profit. Allergy medicine is therefore-like most medicine-relatively expensive. Generic allergy medicine can be produced without much expense, as little to no research goes into its creation-the research has already been done by the pharmaceutical companies. It is for this reason that generic allergy medicine is less expensive than name-brand allergy medicine; this is not an indicator that generic allergy medicine is of poor quality.

Is Generic Allergy Medicine as Effective as Name-Brand Medicine?

Generic allergy medicine is absolutely as effective as name-brand medicine. This is because the two allergy medicines are actually made with the same active ingredients. If you examine name-brand and generic allergy medicine together, you will see this. The dosage and active ingredients are almost always identical. The only time they differ is when a compound is currently patented, and even then the difference is usually an inactive ingredient in the compound.

How Much Cheaper is Generic Allergy Medicine?

Generic allergy medicine is usually less than one-fourth the cost of name-brand allergy medicine. If the generic allergy medicine is a prescription drug, the savings are often even greater. Many pharmacies offer one-month supplies of generic medications for under ten dollars, while their name-brand counterparts may run close to $100.

Generic allergy medicine is for many reasons a better choice than name-brand allergy medicine. It is just as effective at providing allergy relief, and it is a small fraction of the cost. Rather than suffering through your allergies or spending hundreds of dollars a year on allergy medicine, be sure to give generic allergy medicine a try-you won’t be disappointed.

Plavix Lawsuits

Plavix is an antiplatelet medication prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi/Aventis, Plavix is a thienopyridine drug that inhibits platelet activation by blocking the ADP receptor on platelets and costs $4 per pill. This medication has been promoted to medical professionals as a superior drug over simple aspirin in preventing blood clots that can cause heart attacks and stroke for anyone at risk. Manufacturer representatives have convincingly claimed that there is no other medication as effective as Plavix for use after stent placement. The side effects listed on the patient medication guide include increased risk of heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, severe ulcers, and a serious blood disorder called Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Pupora (TTP).

Several individual lawsuits and class action lawsuits have been initiated since 2010. The lawsuits allege that the makers of Plavix falsely promoted this medication by claiming it has far more benefits than simple aspirin. The suits claim the manufacturers were more interested in increasing sales revenue than providing safety information to both patients and doctors. In the class action suit was filed on behalf of 11 patients in several states who suffered excessive bleeding, heart attacks, strokes, and needed stent replacement while taking Plavix. The lawsuit also claims some patients experienced disfigurement, loss of earning a living, increased medical expenses and permanent heart damage.

Although thousands of patients have been taking Plavix since it was introduced in 1997, there are an increasing number of studies indicating Plavix may have no significant benefit over aspirin, with one study of over 22,000 patients showing only a slight benefit of Plavix versus aspirin. For individuals with high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, this drug may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, a serious bleeding event or TTP. Studies have also shown that some people may have a genetic factor that reduces the ability of Plavix to prevent blood clots. There is a test for the CYP2C19 gene variant which should be given to patients before starting Plavix. This information is indicated in a black box warning required by the FDA in 2009.

The FDA issued a reprimand in 1998 to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi for promoting the use of Plavix for patients who received stents when it wasn’t approved for that application. Another warning letter was issued in 2001 when the manufacturers’ advertising presented favorable information to physicians while ignoring unfavorable data and serious side effects. Federal investigators are continuing to monitor this medication and the claims made by the manufacturer.

Aspirin is a salicylate acid derived from processed plants such as the willow tree. Discovered in Europe in the 19th century, it treats not only fever, forms of arthritis, headache and pain, but it is also an antiplatelet that has been used for years for heart and stroke patients. It inhibits production of a chemical called thromboxane that binds platelets together to create clots and only costs 4 cents per pill. The main side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal ulcers and stomach bleeding, which may be controlled by using coated aspirin and over the counter heartburn medications.

I’m writing this article because I had to do some research before having a lung biopsy to avoid hemorrhaging due to the blood-thinning effects of Plavix. I was prescribed Plavix and aspirin when I had a stent placed after my heart attack in February. I was not tested for the gene variant and wasn’t even informed that there was a test. My cardiologist insisted that Plavix was the only medication available for me even though the cost is almost $190 as a Medicare recipient. My pulmonologist obtained permission from my cardiologist to take me off both medicines. Today, the pulmonologist informed me that in his research and his conversation with the cardiologist he found that Plavix has only a 15% benefit over aspirin in preventing blood clots. It was his opinion that aspirin works almost as well and the benefits and side effects of Plavix aren’t worth the price. I happen to agree.

Sources:

http://www.heartheavy.com/plavix-law-suit-claims-strokes-heart-attacks-internal-bleeding/

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000802/

Gluten Allergy vs. Celiac Disease

People allergic to gluten are not necessarily sufferers of celiac disease. Although both must follow much the same diet, the person only slightly allergic to gluten can have small amounts of gluten as long as they can tolerate them. The person suffering from celiac disease, must stay away from all gluten and gluten-laden products and by-products, including anything that contains natural flavorings, hard candy dusted with flour to prevent sticking although the flour is not listed on the ingredient list, many vinegars and soy sauce. If you suffer from gluten allergies, you must be aware of the products that have gluten even if the ingredient list does not state gluten.

The degree of the allergy ranges from mild to severe. Many symptoms are not noticeable. The symptoms range from irritability, to constipation or diarrhea, stomach pains following eating gluten-laden products, chronic fatigue, mouth ulcers, short stature in children, anemia, Crohn’s disease, skin problems and autism. Some of the symptoms may seem contradictory but you can get any of them at different times in reaction to the different forms of gluten you ingest.

Many small children that have a reaction to foods containing gluten will outgrow the allergy. Some of the symptoms that are immediate include swelling of the face, hives, asthma, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms may take days for a reaction although this is less common. Many allergies are just a wheat allergy and not a gluten allergy.

Gluten is the ingredient in bread and baked goods that hold it together. Without gluten, breads would not be as airy and would be dense. Gluten is in many spices to prevent them from clumping and listed as natural flavoring on the ingredient list.

The only way to be sure, if you are allergic to gluten or if you suffer from celiac disease, is to be tested by your doctor. It may only take a skin prick test to test for the allergy or a blood test. Reducing your intake of gluten products can be enough for the person that only has a mild allergy to gluten. For the more severe cases, eliminating gluten and its by-products completely from your diet will be necessary. Supplements and/or allergy shots to bring your nutrients back to the proper level in your system may be necessary. Your doctor, allergist or nutritionist will guide you to the proper treatment.

Celiac disease affects those of European descent and is genetic. It affects the lining of the small intestine. Furthermore, gluten allergies can affect anyone and do not cause the damage that celiac disease does. If you notice that after eating gluten-laden food that you become uncomfortable or have stomach problems, or any of the above listed problems, try an elimination process in your eating habits. Take wheat, barley, rye and flour products out of your diet. If you begin feeling better, you may only have an allergy to gluten.

Source:
The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Peter Green

Honey as Pollen Allergies Home Remedy

I get sneezing fits or hay fever during spring season and many drugs do not work or feels worse than not taking them. So I decided to try out the common belief of getting my body acclimatized by taking honey.

Basically there has been few studies done about using honey as pollen allergies homeophatic remedy. And the few that do conclude that it doesn’t work. I however, do want to try it out myself. Simple logic being it might not relieve 100% of the symptoms but if it just reduce the amount of hay fever or sneezing fits that happen, I would conclude that its partly useful for me.

This article for me explain it quite well http://www.pioneerthinking.com/to_honey2009.html. Allergies are an overreaction of body system. Its not exactly a bad thing. So as long as the symptoms are not crippling, I am actually fine with dealing with them.

So as many has suggested, I start drinking honey couple of weeks before the season starts. I try to get honey manufactured at least in the region, and I put honey as replacement for sugar in my drinks. I also drink a honey water mixture first thing in the morning.

As for the result, I still have running nose and itching eyes. But so far the sneezing fits are few and not as bad. No hay fever, swollen eyes. So as far as I am concerned it works!

Sinus Proof Your Home

Are you the spouse of someone who suffers from sinus allergies? Problems with sinuses are troubling for the sinus sufferer and the one who has to live with them. The sinus sufferer may be tried, stuffed up, sneezing, and wheezing, which can prevent everyone from getting the rest that they need. You may ask is their some way that I can help my mate who suffers with sinus? Actually there is and it doesn’t consist of you constantly nagging them too take allergy medication. The two of you can work together to allergy-proof your home. The way you allergy -proof your home is to identify the triggers present in your home that may initiate sinus activity in your mate and work to remove them.

Allergy proofing a home consist of more than vacuuming on a regular basis. Incorporate these strategies to help in making your home allergy free:

Declutter your possessions. Examine the items that you have an determine what you really need and what should be thrown or given away. If your home is full of stuff dust and dirt will have multiple places to hide and opportunity too cause irritation.

If you have beautiful hardwood floors under that carpet, show them off. Surfaces that you can mop and clean are easier to maintain as dust-free than carpet.

You will want to use zippered bedding covers. The mattress and all pillows (especially those made of feathers) should be zipped up and covered. Pillows that contain feathers will attract dust mites and trigger issues for your mate.

Purchase a fan-based purifier and place it in the most lived in areas of your home to trap and collect dirt before it settles on furnishings.

When cleaning up it is best to use micro-fiber cloths or an electrostatic duster, they pick up better instead of simply redistributing dust around the room.

It is also a good idea to limit the number of indoor living plants because soil promotes the growth of mold.

Limit or eliminate all together the amount of scented products and perfumes/colognes you use within the home. People with sinus are hypersensitive to the smell of highly scented products. Most manufacture’s provide a non-scented option. Cologne/perfume use may have to be limited too outside of the home.

Of coarse this list is not all inclusive, but it is a start to providing a healthy environment that your mate will not have to suffer as much with allergy sinus triggers, and both of you can get some much needed rest.

Why Have an Allergy Skin Test?

Millions of American suffer from various forms of allergies. At different times of the year our allergies can get stirred-up and make life uncomfortable for us and even those who live around us. If your allergies are severe enough it may be necessary for you to make an appointment with your physician. If you what your actually allergic too has never been identified than the doctor may chose to perform an allergy skin test. Allergy skin test can be used for people of all ages including infants. During a skin test areas of the persons skin is exposed to various allergens to determine which ones cause a reaction on the skin. The doctor at that time will likely want to know about your family history concerning allergies. The information gathered by your doctor will help them to better determine what coarse of action will best treat your symptoms.

The only risks associated with allergy skin testing is that it is likely for the tested areas to turn red, with itchy swollen bumps. These bumps often disappear after a few hours, but can linger for a few days. A mild cortisone cream can be used to relieve the discomfort.

Be prepared to inform your doctor of any genetic history of allergies, and any other medical concerns that you may have that will help them to determine your treatment plan. They may through medical history and physical examination be able to determine the trigger or cause for you’re allergies. Making sure your doctor knows of what medications you are on whether prescribed or over the counter is other vital information that must be gathered. Most medications are out the body within days so they may ask you to prevent from taking some medications to see if your problems begin to clear up and improve.

There is no need to become upset or apprehensive about the skin testing procedure. It normally will take place in a doctor’s office and be performed by a nurse. The doctor then will interpret the results. The three major test types include:

Puncture or percutaneous test

Intradermal or intracutanious test

Patch epicutaneous test

Some test detect for immediate reactions and other will test for reactions over several days.
These test are not painful and are rather quickly administered. If a reaction is noted by an irritated area of skin the information is recorded and used to determine which form of treatment would be best.

So if what you have been taking over the counter is not adequately dealing with your allergies a allergy skin test may be needed to better pin point what is causing the reaction, and how to treat it.

Source: mayoclinic.com

Is Goat Cheese a Dairy Product?

There are many similarities between goat’s milk and cow’s milk, but there are also some differences that may be important to people with dairy-related dietary restrictions. The similarities mean that most kinds of cheese made with cow’s milk can also be made with goat’s milk. The differences mean that some people with lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, or other dietary considerations may be able to eat goat cheese. Is goat cheese dairy? Keep reading to find out.

Definition of “Dairy”

A dairy product is generally considered to be anything made of the milk of an animal. Because goat cheese is made of goat’s milk, it is technically a dairy product. However, most people who want to know if goat cheese is dairy are really wondering if it has the same properties as other cheeses, made from cow’s milk, that they are unable to eat.

Lactose Intolerance, Dairy Allergy, and Goat Cheese

Lactose intolerance and dairy allergy are two different beasts. If you are lactose intolerant, you are unable to consume products made with cow’s milk because you have trouble digesting lactose, or milk sugar. If you have a milk or dairy allergy, you are unable to consume these same products because your immune system reacts negatively to milk proteins (caseins and/or whey).

Because goat’s milk and cow’s milk have different lactose and protein contents, people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies may be able to consume products made of goat’s milk even though they are unable to consume products made of cow’s milk.

Amount of Lactose in Goat’s Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

Is goat cheese lactose free? No. But it might contain less lactose than cheese made of cow’s milk, so it may be easier to tolerate for some people.

According to the Dairy Research and Information Center (DRINC) at the University of California in Davis, the concentration of lactose in goat’s milk is usually lower than in cow’s milk. The DRINC also points out, however, that inconsistent methods of measuring lactose levels in goat milk create some uncertainty. Also, different goat breeds and even different animals within the same breed may produce milk with varying lactose levels. Still, the average amount of lactose in goat’s milk is generally reported to be slightly lower than what’s in cow’s milk.

Milk Proteins in Goat’s Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

All milk contains several different kinds of proteins, but no two mammal species produce milk with the same combination and concentration of proteins. Because a person may be allergic to one or more of the proteins in cow’s milk, that same person may or may not encounter the same problem with goat’s milk.

According to the DRINC, there are some similarities and some key differences between the proteins contained in goat’s and cow’s milk. The proteins in each are composed of similar amino acids, in similar amounts. Structurally, however, the proteins are quite different. Because of this structural difference, the proteins in goat’s milk may not trigger an allergic reaction, even in someone with a milk allergy.

Conclusions

Is goat cheese dairy? Yes. Goat cheese is a dairy product, and it does contain lactose and milk proteins. If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, then you could potentially have the same problems with goat cheese as you do with products made of cow’s milk. However, the differences between these products might be enough to make goat cheese a good alternative for you.

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Sources:

Bruhn, John C., “Dairy Goat Milk Composition,” The Dairy Research and Information Center.

Hurley, Walter L., “Milk Composition – Proteins,” Milk Composition amp; Synthesis Resource Library.

“Lactose Intolerance,” National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, NIH.

“Milk Allergy,” KidsHealth.org.

Why I Quit My Asthma Medication

We Americans love our drugs. Be they over-the-counter or prescription, we pop pills constantly, filling our bodies with chemical brews in hope of alleviating what ails us. At age 24 I decided to cease the last of my asthma medications, albuterol and Singulair, and become pharm-free. While this is, of course, not an option for many users of prescription drugs, I found that I prefer handling my exercise-induced asthma naturally instead of through the use of inhaled or ingested medication.

A doctor once told me that I could build up a tolerance of running, though at the time I was skeptical. I was a teenager and hated running. I could only run a little bit before my airways began to close up. By the time I was sixteen I had had several major asthma attacks. When I began running for exercise as a teen I loathed any suggestion that I try to run for longer distances. I could make perhaps a third of a mile before my asthma symptoms began to kick in.

After my sophomore year of college, by which time I was a regular runner, my asthma symptoms began to decrease. By the time I was 24 I was still taking albuterol before every run…but one day decided to abstain from the stuff.

And I did just fine.

I never went back. I was no longer on any medication, over-the-counter or prescription. The only tablet I took was a daily multivitamin.

Two years later I have no ill-effects from ceasing asthma medication, though a brisk run on a cold day will still restrict my airways.

I put up with the occasional tightness in my chest and the sniffles in my nose because I prefer them to a taking a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals.

According to researchers today, Americans are on more drugs than ever before. Pregnant women are taking record-amounts of medication, and children and seniors are also consuming more prescriptions than ever before. We all have allergies, asthma, ADHD, pain, etc. We all want a pill for what ails us. And it seems normal, doesn’t it?

As a child and teenager I did not mind all the medications. Not until I was older did I suddenly have the desire to quit taking all medication entirely. Fortunately, it worked for me. I know it will not work for everyone, or even most people.

I feel better being off medication, more in control of my life. My performance is up to me, not some concoction of chemicals. I prefer the occasional sniffle to popping an antihistamine pill that may have a whole slew of unintended side-effects. With a chemical-free body I don’t have to worry about strange or unexpected mixtures creating harmful reactions or worrisome behaviors.

So if you have some summer allergy sniffles, consider reaching for a box of tissues before calling the doc for a potent prescription – if you have the option, I’m sure you’ll feel better in the long run.

DISCLAIMER: I am not one of those anti-medication radicals…if I need medication, I will take it. I get an annual flu shot and am a firm believer in vaccinations and prompt medical care.

SOURCES:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110525/hl_nm/us_medications_pregnancy

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110526/hl_time/httphealthlandtimecom20110526whychildrenandtheelderlyaresodruggeduponantipsychoticsxidrssfullhealthsciyahoo

http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20110527/hl_hsn/listsofprescriptionmedssideeffectskeepgrowingstudy