Bald and Beautiful

Allergy and Immunology Clinic is proud to participate in the

Bald and Beautiful program. Please donate if able.

Bald and Beautiful 2

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Filed under Uncategorized

Air filter

Air filterAir filters are useful in removing airborne allergens from the environment. When choosing an air filter, it is important to look at the clean air delivery rate or CADR. CADR measures the amount of air that can be effectively filtered. For example, if you buy a palm sized air filter, it will be unreasonable to expect it to filter the amount of air in your living room.

Another important point to mention is to be careful when buying air filters with ionizer features. The reason is that ionizers can produce ozone and inhaled ozone is not good for the respiratory airways. Please look at the article that was issued by consumer reports.  Article (click to download)

If you are looking to purchase an air filter or deciding on aeroallergen control measures, please see The Allergist for proper advice.

Homemaster does offer good products and if you are a patient of The Allergist, please mention it to them for discount.

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Filed under Allergy Treatment

Building Tolerance for Allergens

Allergies are a serious concern and unfortunately, allergens come in all forms. Peanuts, prawns, pollen, penicillin. Even sweat and semen. Conventionally, we are told to avoid allergens, but a new study from the UK suggests we should instead tolerate allergens instead of avoiding them. Scientists found that eating peanuts early in life can prevent the development of peanut allergies later. We speak to The Allergist to understand the implication of this defining study and allergies in general.

The interview was done at BFM radio. Please feel free to click on link below:

BFM Radio Interview

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Filed under Food Allergy, General Allergy and Medicine

Vaccines do not cause Autism

There have been a lot of misinformation on vaccines and thus it is important that the proper facts are presented.

The cartoon clip below is taken from The-Nib:  Vaccines Work, Here Are the Facts. (If you click on the cartoon, it will link you to the full site)

Vaccine and autism

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Filed under Immune system

Want to prevent peanut allergy?

Peanut

We are all very excited about the recently published study from the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at early introduction of Peanut to at risk children (these are children with severe eczema, who are at risk of developing peanut allergy). What this study found was that avoidance of peanut did not prevent peanut allergy. In fact, children that were given peanut had a 86% reduction in peanut allergy compared to those that practised avoidance.

Overall, studies are now pointing that the allergen avoidance strategy that were employed in the past did not prevent allergy. We are now understanding that the immune system needs to gain what is known as immune tolerance in order to not develop allergies.

Do note that what we are finding out is that avoidance does not prevent allergy but once allergy has developed, avoidance is the best management strategy.

Please see a qualified Allergist if you and your family have a strong family history for allergies and want to know more about allergy prevention strategies.

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Filed under Food Allergy

Prevention of allergy with probiotics

With the increasing prevalence of allergic diseases affecting the world, we should also focus on prevention strategies. One of the exciting frontiers of research is in the role of bacteria and how it affects our body’s immune function. We are only starting to understand the human microbiome and the role it plays in modulating our response to diseases and  influencing our metabolic and physiologic function.

Probiotics are defined as safe, helpful bacteria which can confer health benefits. Research is now looking into how probiotics can be used to prevent or modulate allergic diseases. Probiotic for allergy

What the current data show is that probiotics can prevent eczema. However, not all probiotics are equal and not all probiotics confer the same benefits, so we need to interpret the data carefully. As far as we can tell, the benefits are strain specific. As far as prevention of allergy is concerned, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has the most data.

If you are interested in knowing more about probiotics and allergy, please do not hesitate to contact The Allergy Clinic

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Filed under Allergy Treatment

Chronic urticaria and autoimmunity

Urticaria 4

Chronic urticaria (CU) also known as hives, is a common disease in which at least 50% of cases are considered to be idiopathic. 20-40% of patients with CU may have autoimmune urticaria. One form of recognized autoimmune urticaria consists of the development of antibodies against the IgE receptor that can cause urticaria via histamine release. However, autoimmune urticaria might also signal the possibility of other autoimmune conditions.

This study collected data on 12,778 patients given a diagnosis of CU by either allergy or dermatology specialists during 17 years in a large health maintenance organization.

Having CU was associated with an increased odds ratio for:

– hypothyroidism
– hyperthyroidism
– antithyroid antibodies

Female patients with CU had a significantly higher incidence of:

– rheumatoid arthritis
– Sjögren syndrome
– celiac disease
– type I diabetes mellitus
– systemic lupus erythematosus

These conditions were mostly diagnosed during the 10 years after the diagnosis of CU.

This study suggests that chronic urticaria might be the first manifestation of an autoimmune disease. However, it is important to understand that not all patients with chronic urticaria will develop autoimmune disease. For majority, urticaria might be all there is. If you have urticaria/hives lasting for more than 6 weeks, an Allergist can help.

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Filed under Hives/Urticaria