Gelatin: Mmm…Mmm…Not So Good for Food Allergies
I remember as a kid watching actor/comedian Bill Cosby use his funny smirk to show how delicious and nutritious Jello-O pudding was to eat. Cosby’s famous line: “What does your mouth say when you eat it?” The kids answered, “Mmm, mmm, good, Jell-O pudding!”
Well, as we came to realize Jell-O (with all it’s sugar) isn’t the best snack a parent could choose for their child. However, now more information is coming out that Gelatin, a main ingredient in Jello-O and a lot of other candies, foods and vaccines, is a cause of allergic reactions. Read the rest of this entry »
Follow Your Gut Reaction: Allergies & Digestion
We have all experienced stomach pains at one time or another: a bad meal, or worse, a case of food-poisoning. However, if abdominal pain is a regular thing for you, a more thorough evaluation is warranted.
I typically see a patient with chronic abdominal pain after they have been evaluated by a gastroenterologist. If necessary, the gastroenterologist will perform an upper endoscopy, or a lower colonoscopy to rule out inflammatory bowel disease, which can lead to serious complications if untreated. If the gastroenterologist doesn’t find an answer, then I do my detective work. Read the rest of this entry »
Your Cat Can Save Your Life
I never thought I would write the heading:
Your Cat Can Save Your Life!
But I just had a patient that told me her recent experience.
My patient had been suffering with chronic sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue for several months. I was concerned at first that she was allergic to her cat, and that her cat allergy was responsible for her symptoms. As an allergy detective my first instinct is to blame the cat, of course. However, the patient’s cat allergy test was negative, but she did have a positive test to dust and mold spores. Read the rest of this entry »
Asthma Sufferers Saving Money with Allergy Drops
Headline in The New York Times this past Sunday: The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath The article detailed the high cost of asthma medications and the hardship this poses to families who have sufferers. Asthma is noted as the most common chronic disease affecting Americans of all ages (about 40 million people). Today’s asthma medications are effective at controlling asthma, if they are taken regularly; however, these medications only control the disease, they do not reverse the disease. Read the rest of this entry »
What’s the Right Flu Shot for You?
It’s that time of year again. Your co-worker doesn’t look so good. He’s sporting a runny nose, and in between sneezing fits he turns and says, “Does it feel really hot in the office to you?”
Yes, that sounds very much like the beginning of Flu Season. Fortunately in our office and in the metro area, flu season hasn’t hit too hard and now is definitely the right time to get vaccinated against the influenza virus. When you go to your local pharmacy these days, they are always quick to ask you:
“Would you also like a flu shot?”
Dr. Mitchell’s recommendation is to ask:
“Which one?” Read the rest of this entry »
Peanut Allergy Tragedy: What Can Be Done Next Time?
I heard the news on TV in passing: a child dies of peanut allergy in California. I thought to myself,
“Oh no, not another mistake causing a child to lose their life to a food allergy.”
Later, I learn the details from the Internet and I’m even more stunned: a precious, strawberry blonde 13-year-old girl with a warm smile, Natalie Giorgi, ingests a homemade Rice Krispies bar that has peanut butter in it. Within minutes her life is in jeopardy and eventually lost.
She had all the X factors that should have saved her. Her family was with her at the family summer camp. Her father is a doctor, and gave her Epinephrine (Adrenaline) within minutes of her realizing she didn’t feel well after eating the Rice Krispie treat. Unfortunately, she went into anaphylactic shock (the most severe type of allergic reaction) and her airway closed up and she suffocated. Read the rest of this entry »
Stop & Read: #1 Lesson for Preventing Allergies
During one of the first lectures I ever attended in allergy fellowship training was from esteemed Professor Vincent Beltrani, from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons,a double-boarded allergist and dermatologist (one of a handful in the entire country.) In a room full of young allergists, Dr. Beltrani roared in his Brooklyn accent:
“Just remember to tell your patients that they are never allergic to anything the first time they are exposed to it…whether a food, pollen in the air or an insect sting. It is only from repetitive exposure that an allergy can develop.” Read the rest of this entry »
Allergy Alert for Hampton Goers:
Watch out for Red Meat Allergy (hint: it’s not in the meat)
The old saying: ” There is nothing new under the sun…”
Well, in medicine new developments happen right under our noses every day. Since 2007, allergy researchers at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville reported cases of an unusual allergy in patients eating red meat from areas along the east coast from Virginia, Eastern Long Island and as far north as Nantucket. Read the rest of this entry »
Pollen Plague: What is Your Best Defense?
Offense (Global warming) vs. Defense (Allergy drops)
The recent cover of USA Today’s weekend edition on May 31st, 2013 read:
Pollen plague: How Climate change is Affecting Every Breath You Take.
The reporter chose to focus on Chicago as the location where Dr. Joseph Leija has been recording pollen counts for 24 years on the roof of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Dr. Leija and other pollen counting stations are reporting rises in the pollen counts over the past decade. The reason seems to be fairly clear: global warming has been causing increasing carbon dioxide in the air, which influences the pollen released by nature. Dr. Leonard Bielory, a well-known allergist at Rutgers University’s Center for Environmental Prediction, noted that the pollen count has doubled in the past five years, with the highest levels reported this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Avoid the “D” in Allergy Treatment
The past few weeks the spring allergy season has been in full force. I’m seeing adults and children coming in with severe nasal congestion and sneezing. If you have ever experienced this or even a severe cold, you know how uncomfortable these symptoms can be. Today, many allergy medications are available over-the-counter without a prescription. This can be good and bad. The good is that you don’t have to make a doctor’s appointment to get medicine for relief of your allergy symptoms. The bad is that some of these medicines have side-effects which, if you are using them regularly, you should be aware of. Read the rest of this entry »