Friday 30 March 2012

North Texas Area-Allergy Season-Warm Weather-Mosquitoes-Ticks

Family and health: Tips for allergy sufferers

Life in our north Texas area is so busy; life is hectic all over and there's no way around it.A Living in the big city of Dallas, living in one of the surrounding suburbs or even way out in the country, we all love tips to makeA our life just a little bit more manageable. read more..

Warm Weather Triggers Early Allergy Season

Sneezing isn't the only concern, with ticks and mosquitoes already active read more..

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center-Allergic Reactions-Genetic Signature

New Regulator Identified In Allergic Diseases

Researchers have taken a critical step in understanding how allergic reactions occur after identifying a genetic signature for regulation of a key immune hormone, interleukin (IL-13). Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say the finding opens the potential for new molecular targets to treat allergic disease... read more..

Standard test may miss food ingredients that cause milk allergy

The standard test used to detect milk-protein residues in processed foods may not work as well as previously believed in all applications, sometimes missing ingredients that can cause milk allergy, the most common childhood food allergy, which affects millions of children under age 3, a scientist has reported. read more..

Thursday 29 March 2012

Allergy Season-Record Books

Allergy season starts off at a run

With the past winter one of the warmest in local record books and an uncharacteristically warm spring, Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines said so far the season has been tough for the allergy prone. read more..

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Adverse Food Reactions-Catalogue Cards-Foodcards

Delicardo Contest

News from DELICARDO Foodcards
We now offer foodcards in French and Italian as well as German, English and Spanish. There is also the option to have personalized Configurator cards or standard Catalogue cards specially translated.
We are also offering foodcards in new materials, such as more durable plastic cards and PDFs for people who need a DELICARDO foodcard in a hurry.
We have created the DELICARDO foodfan in cooperation with BEHR’s Publishing House for the gastronomy industry. The DELICARDO Foodfan contains an info booklet with helpful information on preparing food for people with adverse food reactions, the DELICARDO Foodfan with precise details on what ingredients to use and not to use for 17 allergies and intolerances and a poster so that staff can quickly inform themselves on the allergies and intolerances. Currently this is only available in German but can be translated upon request.
Additionally we will be running an Easter Giveaway, this will take place from the end of the month. The competition will be in English and in German and involve various prizes. The English competition page can be found here
DELICARDO Foodcards A very helpful little card for people who suffer from adverse food reactions.”
Recipient of the ECARF Quality Seal. read more..

Environmental Health Sciences-National Institute-Secondhand Smoke-Air Pollution

Early-life exposure to secondhand smoke affects girls more than boys, new study suggests

Epidemiologists with UC's Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study , funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences , found that children exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke who also had allergic sensitizations during early childhood are at greater risk for decreased lung function at age 7 compared to children ... (more) read more..

University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine-Negative Health Effects-Allergic Inflammation

Gut Bacteria Control Allergic Diseases

When poet Walt Whitman wrote that we "contain multitudes," he was speaking metaphorically, but he was correct in the literal sense. Every human being carries over 100 trillion individual bacterial cells within the intestine - ten times more cells than comprise the body itself... read more..

Inner weapons against allergies: Gut bacteria control allergic diseases, study suggests

Researchers have found that commensal bacteria in humans might play an important role in influencing and controlling allergic inflammation. The study suggest that therapeutic targeting of immune cell responses to resident gut bacteria may be beneficial in treating allergic diseases. read more..

Early-life exposure to secondhand smoke affects girls more than boys, new study suggests

The negative health effects of early-life exposure to secondhand smoke appear to impact girls more than boys -- particularly those with early-life allergic sensitization, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. read more..

Sunday 25 March 2012

Dairy Free Whipped Cream-Lemon Curd

Gingerbread Cake

I made this cake for Thanksgiving and it was delicious.  I served it with dairy free lemon curd and it could also be served with dairy free whipped cream or topping.  Another great way to utilize this cake is to cut it into squares and create a trifle with it.  I would layer the gingerbread with some type of raspberry or cranberry sauce and a dairy free whipped topping that is flavored with lemon or lemon curd.
This recipe came from the Food Network Kitchens, but was made dairy free by me.
Unfortunately, this was the best pic I snapped.  Shown with lemon curd.Gingerbread Cake
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-1 cup vegetable oil-1 cup sugar-1 cup unsulphured molasses-1 to 2 tablespoons minced crystallizedginger-2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightlybeaten with a fork-3 cups all-purpose flour-1 tablespoon ground ginger-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon-1 teaspoon fine salt-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves-1 cup water-1 tablespoon baking soda
Lightly grease or butter (with dairy free butter) a 9 by13 by 2-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment or waxpaper (I used a bunt pan and baked as turned out great!).  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl,whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses, and crystallized ginger.  Add the eggsand whisk until smooth.
In another largebowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk the molasses mixture into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
In a small saucepan,bring the water to a boil (I boiled the water in the microwave to save time).  Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water into the batter until just combined.  Transfer the batterinto the prepared pan.  Bake the cake in the center of the oven, until atoothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Cool thecake in the pan on a rack.
This cake is a definate crowd pleaser and would nicely finish off any holiday meal.  Enjoy! read more..

Saturday 24 March 2012

Peanut Allergy-Food Allergies-Food Allergy-Epinephrine

Food Allergy Deaths Are Tragic and often Preventable

I had planned to begin the new year with an uplifting New Year's post about how far my family and daughter have come in dealing with food allergies. I wanted to share some positive stories and tips that we've learned over the years.
And then I read the latest news story about a food allergy death in Virginia. A 7-year-old girl became ill and died from an apparent peanut allergy reaction on her first day back at school. My heart goes out to the family and I am very sorry for their loss.
This tragic story called to mind other recent food allergy deaths, one of which involved a 6-year-old girl at a school in Quebec. I was reminded of a 7th grader in Chicago who died in December 2010 from a peanut allergy reaction. Of course there have been others but these two stick out in my mind because they happened at school and in both cases epinephrine autoinjectors were not available to the students. With food allergy deaths, the lack of epinephrine autoinjectors or their usage is a common theme. It's worth checking on your prescriptions right now and making sure that they are accessible to your child at school and anywhere else for that matter, at all times.
Accidents can happen and no one can prepare for every circumstance, but so much can be done to minimize the risk of these deadly reactions ever occuring in the first place. As much as we are shocked and horrified by these deaths, I hope we will all take the time to review our own food allergy policies and procedures at school (and everywhere else) and make sure that everyone involved is ready, willing and able to carry out emergency plans if needed.
Another hope is that we will be unafraid to teach our kids how to handle food allergy situations. Even very young kids can be taught what to do. Just like fire drills, you can have food allergy drills where you talk about how to avoid food and what to do if your child feels sick at school. This process doesn't have to be scary or terrifying, but it can be empowering. Our ultimate goal is that kids will self-advocate and self-administer medications as they get old enough.
That's just one piece of the puzzle. I urge everyone, especially those of us with young kids, to check in with the school and make sure everything is up to date with regards to medications and emergency procedures. Issue reminders and provide additional information or medications if necessary. I like to check in with the nurse after winter break just to make sure all of my medications are up to date, for example.
For those of us with older kids, ask them to practice using an epinephrine autoinjector and go over basic food allergy rules about safe foods, remembering to carry their medications, whatever you feel they need a review in.
Another thing you can do is support the epinephrine bill for schools. This link will take you to a page where you can find a sample letter of support for this bill and it will help you to find names and addresses of your local senators. It doesn't take long to customize one of these letters and if this bill becomes law, it can save lives of precious children.
It's natural to wonder what went wrong in tragic food allergy deaths so that you can better prepare yourself and your kids for mistakes or allergic reactions. But there is a flipside to this that is also tragic (to me, anyway) -- and that's the notion of living in fear.
Some of us might be tempted to think that school or other activities are simply not safe and that we must either be constantly terrified and/or take our child out of educational settings or activities that are enriching to them. We might become unduly negative towards the idea of our child becoming independent or trying new activities.
While food allergy deaths are horrible, it's good to remember that education can save lives and readily available, quickly administered epinephrine can prevent deaths. Learning to avoid allergic reactions is also key -- such as avoiding unsafe read more..

Christmas Dinner-Christmas Eve-Fish

Christmas 2011

Christmas always seems like such a whirlwind to me.  This year, the time leading up to the big day flew by too.  Although it went by rather quickly, it was filled with love, family, and faith.  Can't ask for more than that!
Christmas Eve we went to 4:00 pm mass.  Since my husband and I were both serving we decided to get there early so we could be sure to get a seat up front.  Surprisingly mass was crowded this year but not as crowded as it usually is.
After church we headed home to finish cooking dinner and to heat up the things that I already prepared.  My husband is used to having fish on Christmas Eve.  I'm not a fish eater (except for Sushi) so I leave all of that up to him.  I buy the fish, and make the breading (this year we used 1 cup of GF Bisquick, 1 cup GF corn flake crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper) and he cooks it.  Because we can't bread with egg, we used Redbridge on some and cocoa nut milk on the rest.  It turned out very well (or so I'm told).  The boys loved the fish this year too.  He cooked baccala, smelts, and calamari in the deep fryer.  Then we also had shrimp cocktail.  Due to the fact that I don't eat fish, I made GF gnocchi with red sauce and an antipasti salad.  We had a lot of food and a lot of left overs.
   Here we have the last man at the table.
Relaxing by the fire and waiting for Santa.
 It's milk and cookie time!
 We added carrots for the reindeer and lots of candy too.
 A little snuggle before bedtime.
 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
After the kids were in bed it was time for mom to relax by the fire and watch It's A Wonderful Life.
Christmas morning started at 6 AM with the Little Man saying that he heard Santa downstairs and he was talking to the elves.  So down we went to see what he left.
 Santa left a lot of stuff
 Of course he left Lego's.
 The 3DS was a big hit
 As was FIFA Soccer 12 for Wii
 Here they are opening the box where I put the "Disney Trip".  You know how you see those commercials were the kids open the Disney Trip on Christmas day and they all go crazy?  Yea, not so much at our house.  They are really excited about it and they get more excited every day but all they said was "Are we going to Disney"?  Slight let down for mom :)  I wanted the craziness that you see on T.V.
Later that day my parents came over with more presents and we had Christmas dinner.  Then that evening we went to my in-laws for more gifts and Christmas festivities.  And the next day we headed to my brother's house for more celebrating with my brother, sister in law, and sweet nephew.
It was wonderful!  But now I'm tired.  I'm using this week to recharge my batteries.  Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. read more..

Thursday 22 March 2012

Food Allergies And Universal Studios-Universal Studios Orlando-Shellfish Allergies

Food Allergies and Universal Studios Florida

We've known that Walt Disney World is great when it comes to dealing with food allergies. I wasn't sure about the other Orlando area parks.
Recently our family went to Universal Studios Orlando with dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergies. I contacted Universal by e-mail before we went and I got both a voice mail and e-mail response. Each messages assured me that the chefs and managers at the Universal parks, City Walk and Universal hotels were well-equipped to handle food allergy concerns. I was told that eating at a full-service restaurant where we can talk to the chef directly might be our best choice.
So, how did we make out, you ask? Very successfully, I'm happy to report.

  • We had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrinp Co. on Universal's City Walk We spoke to our server and then the manager about food allergies. They brought out packages for us to read labels and talked to us about preparation. They communicated with the chef throughout. My son had a burger, jell-o and orange wedges. He had to pass on the fries as they are fried with shellfish items.
  • We had dinner at the Buger King Whopper Bar on CityWalk at Universal Studios. We knew Whoppers were safe, so I just confirmed their cooking practices and ingredients and informed the staff of the food allergies.
  • We had a wonderful lunch poolside at our Universal hotel, Loew's Royal Pacific. The chef and manager talked to us, along with our server. The chef said he could make anything from scratch for our food allergic son and would use a separate kitchen to ensure there was no cross-contamination. He chose chicken tenders and french fries. Both were freshly made and served in a huge quantity. We all picked off my son's plate. It was fun for his menu choice to be the favorite.
Universal made this an easy vacation for us. I only brought snacks for our two days there and our family was really able to practice talking to the right people and making sure that everyone understood what we needed. This was a good lesson for my food allergic tween who will need to manage his allergies at restaurants on his own in the coming years.

Allergy Season

Allergy Season Comes Early

"Just the spring time when the seasons change I generally get running noses and I've been experiencing it a lot sooner with the seasons changing a lot sooner," said Alexandra Fowler, who suffers from allergies in the spring. read more..

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Allergy Medications-Indoor Environment-Pseudoephedrine-Furnace Filters-Prescription

OTC Allergy Meds and Controlling Allergies

Like anywhere in the US, there are a variety of over-the-counter cold/flu and allergy medications that can be found in nearly any convenience store, pharmacy, or supermarket. Currently 41 of all 50 states have laws specifically regulating pseudoephedrine, including GA. However, some states, like Oregon and Mississippi have taken this a step further and required prescriptions for the purchase of OTC medications that contain pseudoephedrine. This includes things like Sudafed, Actifed, Allegra D, Claritin-D, TheraFlu and MucinexD.With more states leaning towards requiring a prescription for these types of OTC, conventional wisdom would say that getting Claritin-D to tamp down allergic reactions is going to get more difficult. Rather than need immediate allergy relief but be stuck trying to schedule a doctor's appointment to get a prescription, it might be a good time to consider taking control of your indoor environment.By properly maintaining your indoor environment, even during allergy season you can remain reaction free, healthy, and breathing easy. For seasonal allergies, there are a variety of ways you can prep your home, and with a very mild winter this year, allergy season is literally already here for many part of the countryOne of the least expensive ways to immediately improve indoor air quality is to replace your furnace filter. Most replaceable furnace filters are electrostatic and due to the nature of this type of filtration, by three months, most are to the point where they simply cannot filter anymore allergens. Alternatively, permanent filters, like Newtron filters can be rinsed, air dried, and used over and over again.If you plan on opening the windows to allow the spring breeze in, you may want to consider a window filter. With replaceable filter media, REP filters are quick and easy way to keep most of the pollen out of your home while allowing air to circulate.As the pollen counts start to soar, if you need to spend time outdoors, a mask is a simple but effective way to block allergens. There are a variety of masks that target particles allergens like grass and tree pollen, dander, and ragweed.One of our favorites is the Silk Mask. The reason why we like this mask so much is that it's likely the most comfortable mask you'll ever wear, it is hand washable and thus reusable, and lastly, it's very effective in blocking particle allergens. It also folds easily and stores well in your pocket or purse.For more effective personal filtration, there are tighter sealing and NIOSH rated respirators and masks, like the AllergyZone N95 mask, Respro Allergy masks and a variety of 3M products.So regardless of what your state's legislation determines in regards to pseudoephedrine, you can relief allergies effectively without pharmaceuticals by controlling your indoor environment and limiting exposure to allergens and irritants. read more..

Corn Allergy Symptoms-Elimination Diet-Allergic Colitis-Food Intolerance

Differentiating Corn Allergy Symptoms from Corn Intolerance

What we may perceive as maize or corn allergy symptoms can often be quite similar to symptoms of corn or maize intolerance. However the causes of an allergy are quite different from food intolerance, because with an allergy, the immune system is involved (a mistaken response of the immune system to a harmless substance), whereas [...] read more..

Should I breast-feed a baby with food allergies?

I am exclusively beast-feeding my 4-month-old baby, who was diagnosed with allergic colitis at 3 months. I have been off dairy and soy for eight weeks now. We still see blood specks in his poop. He is gaining weight, albeit very slowly. Question, is it beneficial for me to be on an elimination diet and figure out what he is allergic to or is a hypoallergenic formula the answer? Has any research been done on this? My baby won't take those formulas and I am torn on what to do. Is breast-feeding detrimental in this case or will he outgrow it eventually in six months or a year? Please advise. read more..

Musical Instrument-Skin Condition-Weekend Hobby-Musicians-Risk

Musicians at risk for common skin condition

Whether you play a musical instrument in your school band, as a weekend hobby, or as a professional, you may be at risk for a common skin condition. Contact dermatitis is characterized by a rash that can occur anywhere on the body (typically the hands and face in musicians) and is caused by something that comes into contact with the skin, which makes the skin become red, scaly and inflamed. read more..

College Basketball Fan-Valentine's Day-Syracuse Orange-Ncaa Tournament-School Employee

When Valentine's Day is dangerous for kids

Today on Valentine's Day, my daughter and I will sift through the candy she receives from her third-grade classmates and throw most of it away. Although the tradition of trading chocolate and sugared hearts seems harmless, it actually poses a risk to my daughter and the millions of other American children who suffer from severe food allergies. read more..

Preschooler's Homemade Lunch Replaced by Cafeteria Food

A North Carolina preschooler was given cafeteria chicken nuggets instead of her homemade lunch because a school employee said the homemade lunch was not nutritious. The girl's mother had packed a turkey and cheese sandwich, chips, and fruit....Read Full Post read more..

‘SU Orange’sicle Sorbet

March gets closer and closer everyday. And if you’re a college basketball fan, you’re probably like me… you’re anxiously awaiting the NCAA tournament. This year, I have more reasons to be excited. I’m a Syracuse fan. They happen to be 27-1 as of today. Not too shabby, I must say. The Syracuse Orange won the [...] read more..

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Canadian Medical Association Journal-University Of British Columbia-Traditional Physicians

Warm Weather Leads to Longer Allergy Season

Pollen is spring's worst allergen and it is already blanketing the Mid-South. Experts say this could be the worst year yet for allergy-sufferers. More than 17-million people in the U.S. will make a trip to the doctor's office this year due to allergies. read more..

Antibiotics Disturb Normal Gut Bacteria, Increase Severity Of Allergic Asthma

Widely used antibiotics may increase incidence and severity of allergic asthma in early life, according to a University of British Columbia study. The study, published in the journal EMBO reports, shows that certain antibiotics that affect intestinal bacteria also had a profound impact on allergic asthma... read more..

Diagnosing Sensitivity, Allergy Or Intolerance To Food Via Blood Tests

Blood testing to determine a link between food and illness is increasingly common, but some tests are not considered diagnostic and can lead to confusion, according to a primer in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Both traditional physicians and holistic medicine practitioners may offer blood testing to diagnose adverse reactions to food... read more..

Stainless Steel Wrist Bands-Medical Id Jewelry-Leather Sports-Jewelry Makers-Dog Tags

Vote for the Best Medical ID Jewelry of 2012

Medical IDs are no longer plain dog tags or stainless steel wrist bands (though you can still buy those too if you wish!) Leather sports bands, crystal beaded bracelets, and gold and silver charms are just a few of the options that jewelry makers are offering....Read Full Post read more..

Hay Fever Symptoms-Allergy Medicines-Allergy Season-Primary Doctor

Choosing an Over-the-Counter Allergy Medicine

Spring allergy season is nearly upon us, and my waiting room is already full of people with itchy eyes and runny noses. Many people flock to their primary doctor or allergist this time of year in an attempt to find relief from their spring hay fever symptoms. Some people, however, don't have the time or resources to see a doctor, and just suffer through their symptoms. Fortunately, there are many effective allergy medicines available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription, but the choices can be daunting. Choosing the best OTC allergy medicine depends on a person's symptoms. For example, if sneezing and an itchy nose are the main symptom, an antihistamine is a good choice. If congestion is the problem, an oral decongestant (with or without an antihistamine) or a nasal spray such as NasalCrom may help. If itchy eyes are the main symptom, the right OTC allergy eye drop should help. Given the numerous OTC allergy medicines available, relief from hay fever should be within reach for most everyone....Read Full Post read more..

Monday 19 March 2012

Allergic To Water-Water Quality-Allergies-Eczema

Better Water Quality And Its Effect On Eczema And Allergies

When my fourteen year old son heard that I’m writing about water today, he asked what the connection could possibly be to allergies. You know how curious I am, so I searched “allergic to water” on the Internet, and I found out about a rare condition called aquagenic pruritis, which results after exposure to water of any temperature.Symptoms develop within  continue reading... read more..

Delicious Recipes-Healthiest Diet-Chicken Meat

Allergy to Chicken: Do You Have It

As you may already know, chicken and fish are two of the healthiest diet options. Compared to pork and beef, chicken meat is relatively lower in fat yet just as rich in protein. Besides, there are many delicious recipes which involve chicken and turkey. You can whip up a variety of meals with just chicken [...] read more..

Food Allergies-Peanut Butter-Sweets

Vote for the Best Allergy-Friendly Sweets of 2012

Everyone needs a little sweetness in life. For those of us with food allergies, safe sweets can be hard to find. Luckily there are some allergy-friendly companies that are making baked goods and candies that are so wonderful even your friends without allergies will want them.

...Read Full Post read more..

Vote for the Best Peanut Butter Substitute of 2012

Tell the world which peanut-free spread rocks your sandwich. Vote for the best peanut butter substitute of 2012!You may be allergic to peanuts or live with someone who is. Or your kids may go to a peanut-free school. How do you satisfy your cravings for a sweet nutty spread?...Read Full Post read more..

Antibody Deficiency-Newborn Screening-Immunodeficiency-Antibody Titers-Allergists

Immunodeficiency - Twitter summary from 2012 #AAAAI meeting

This summary was compiled from the tweets posted by the following allergists/immunologists who attended the 2012 annual meeting of the The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI): Dr. Melinda Rathkopf ?@mrathkopf, Nathaniel Hare M.D. ?@DrNathanHare and Yesim Y Demirdag ? @DrYesimDem. The tweets were labeled #AAAAI. The text was edited and modified by me.
Dr Tom Fleisher on flow cytometry: useful in PIDD for diagnostic work up, assessment for biologic effect and functional testing.
How to evaluate cell med immunity in kids: start with quantitative first, then move on to functional evaluation if the child is small (there is an issue with the amount of blodd needed).
T cell functional studies include: mitogens, recall antigens, alloantigens. Pha and Con-A are T cell mitogens. Pokeweed is a T-cell-dependent B-cell mitogen.
The amount of oxidative burst is related to morbidity in CGD.
T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs)
The target condition for newborn screening for PIDD is SCID. Secondary conditions are other PIDD with lymphopenia. Other conditions that may be picked up by NBS for SCID include chylothorax, Jacobsen syndrome, cartilage hair hypoplasia, trisomy 21.
Initially, SCID prevalence was thought to be 1 in 100,000, but now after the preliminary data from NBS it is about 1 in 40,000.
Newborn screening for T cell developmental defects implicated in SCID includes TRECs (T cell receptor excision circles). TRECs occur during thymic T cell receptor rearrangement. Naive T cells demonstrate TRECs, memory T cells do not.
Quantitative PCR detects frequency of TRECs. Four U.S. states use TRECs for SCID screening currently, more to follow. More than 10 states are in the process of starting newborn screening for SCID.
If the first DBS (dry blood spot) PCR for TRECs is abnormal, repeat it from the same blood spot with a control gene PCR (beta actin).
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) - 4 groups according to T/B/NK cells (click to enlarge the image).
Approach to evaluation of PIDD in adults
The approach to the evaluation of PIDD in adults was discussed by Drs. Joyce Yu and Zuhair Ballas:
The most common cause of immune deficiency is secondary, not PIDD. PIDD presentation is more subtle in adults than kids. Think about unusual: infection/ organism, duration, complication, failure to thrive in adults. Then consider immune evaluation.
If there is poor wound healing, dentures at early age, wound dehiscence - check the immune system.
Consider medications and malignancy, in patients with rec infections. Immunosuppressants and chemotherapy can easily cause problems. Antipeliptics can cause hypogammaglobulinemia. Tegretol is the only antiseizure medication that is not yet associated with hypogammaglobulinemia.
Rituximab (anti-CD20) is used for autoimmune diseases such as ITP. B cells are wiped out with anti-CD20 and may take 6 months to recover. Plasma cells are long-lived. Pt on rituximab have normal IgG and IgA but low IgM. Rituximab patients don't make new antibodies, but old antibody titers are not generally affected.
Pneumococcal titers
Typically, adults respond to Pneumovax until age 85. A subset of patients only have temporary polysaccharide response, so if concerned about the patient, follow the antibody titers.
Pediatric patients: check pneumococcal titers for serotypes to Prevnar.
Adult patients: high pneumococcal titers may not be truly protective. For example, with HIV there are high antibody titers, but as CD4 cell count drops, they can't make new antibodies.
Pneumococcal titers: if pre-immunization titers are above 5, the patient is not likely to respond for those serotypes.
The consensus is that 50% response in kids, and 70% response in adults to Pneumovax is considered normal.
Specific antibody deficiency with normal immunoglobulin lev read more..

Peanut Allergy Product Review-Double Chocolate Brownie-Chocolate Chip Cookie-Delicious Products

Peanut Allergy Product Review: Enjoy Life Cookies!

I've been a HUGE fan of Enjoy Life - I probably go through a bag of their chocolate chips a month (if you're interested in the tastiest non dairy chocolate mousse you've ever had, leave me a comment!).  And you can be sure that any birthday party B attends, she's got a Choco-Boom bar with her just in case the dessert/snack is off limits. 
If you're not familiar with Enjoy Life, here's a bit about them:
"At Enjoy Life, our whole business is making smile-good foods that keep people’s insides happy. That’s why all of our foods are specially made to be gluten-free and free of the 8 most common allergens. Our goal is to make delicious products that just about everyone can EAT FREELY. We promise they’ll make you smile inside out!"Most of their products are also free from: casein, sulfites, potatoes, and sesame.  How cool is that??
So when they asked if I would try out some of their new soft baked cookies it was a no brainer - of course I said yes!  Lo and  behold a few weeks later a box arrrived carrying three flavors for Miss B to review.
The first thing we noticed with each box was the overwhelming (in a GOOD way) smell of the main ingredient of each flavor.  When you opened the brownies, you smelled CHOCOLATE!  And with the snickerdoodles CINNAMON!  And the lemon cookies LEMON!  It wasn't just a sickly sweet smell (like you get with, say, Oreos).
So what did B think?
Double Chocolate Brownie
I thought for sure this would be B's favorite, but it wasn't.  It was MINE though.  This is a really satisfying, chocolatey, chewy cookie.  I plowed through the majority of these.  Even though I had no self control, I did like that the package was separated into little sections that contained 2 cookies each.  It gave me a little bit of hope that I would only eat 2 at a time (fat chance, though, they were too good)!
Don't get me wrong, B liked the chocolate, but her favorite was.....
These little cinnamony (is that a word?) gems were the definite favorite for B (which isn't a surprise since she LOVES the caramel apple bars they make - which also contain cinnamon).
The last ones we tried were the lemon.  I have to be honest, I'm not a HUGE fan of lemon cookies.  Give me a chocolate chip cookie over a lemon bar any day.  But I think these may have converted me.  I loved the little nuggets of lemony goodness in the cookies - so tasty!  Even B agreed.
So would we buy them for ourselves?  Absolutely!   Definitely a 3 out of 3!! And I'm not just saying that because they sent me 3 free boxes of their cookies (note: that was my disclaimer).  There are plenty of companies that send me products that are awful that I don't bother talking about on this site. 
Thanks, Enjoy Life, for giving us a chance to taste your soft-baked cookies - we're adding another Enjoy Life product to our list of favorites!
p.s. be sure to visit their site to download a coupon for 55 cents off a product! read more..

Watercolor Paint-Pencil Sketch

Homeschool: Week 17

Introduce Blends: st, gr, sp, br
Add to Families using Blends: stick, Stan, stand, still, stop, stock, stuff, stack, Greg, grill, spit, spin, spun, speck, spill, spot, spent, brick, Brad, brand, brag, Brent
Writing: br, gr, ?, sp, br
Reading: On the Trail
Graham picked this up off the shelf instead of painting like Miles. I loved the initiative and the concentration! He stuck with this through several puzzles. I love watching his little fingers squish all the pieces together just so when he's done...making sure there's no space.
Since Miles doesn't quite write his numbers correctly, I'm trying to start Graham a little earlier. So far he enjoys tracing and writing them. Dry erase markers are always fun, too. Check out that tongue.
FIAR: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I wasn't sure how much the boys would dig the poetic style to this book, but they loved it. We paid a lot of attention to the pencil art, and that really intrigued them.
Miles even asked to make his own version. Here is his pencil sketch of snowy woods with a colored image of the man in the poem. I absolutely love this! The ear muffs are a great touch. :)
We made snowflake baked tortillas. Mmmmmm!
We went to the IL State Museum with some homeschool friends. The children's room is fantastic. The boys did some fossil digging, looked through powerful microscopes, and Miles took apart and reassembled this foam skeleton. I am so proud of his desire to learn and explore.
Graham also paid very good attention to the tour guide.
Miles wanted to watercolor paint after he gave pencil sketching a try. He tried to do black and white paint with a splash of color, just like in our FIAR book. But he got a little frustrated that it was harder to do with paint than with pencil, because paint is his favorite.
Miles loves homemade bread and asked if we could make it every day. So I thought it would be fun to teach him how to make it. We wrote out a "kid friendly" recipe card so he could make it later "by himself". We shared this first loaf with our Bible Study so we could have a reason to make more soon. In the next few days, Miles did make a batch pretty much by himself. I just had to make sure he used the right measuring cups and spoons. But it turned out great, and this may be one of his new "jobs". :)
Jeff and I teach the Sunday School class once a month. So I took some pictures the last time we were in there. We are so glad the class is "food-free" so Miles is safe in there. It only took 6+ years for us to finally feel good putting our kiddies in a church room without us. At our church, Miles will be back in the service with us soon. But for now, he is enjoying this time with his friends and learning about Jesus. It's a sweet time for all of us. read more..

Sunday 18 March 2012

Eczema Sufferers

Warm Weather "Managing Eczema - Guest Post

Spring and summer can bring out the worst in some eczema, while fall and winter can be harder on others. Regardless of which season affects you the most, here are some warm weather tips to help keep your eczema under control.

  • Go to the Beach - Salt water has been known to work miracles on eczema. Like many mysteries sounding eczema, no one really understands why salt benefits eczema skin, but there are theories the magnesium in salt helps soothe dry skin. A word of caution, although therapeutic for some, salt can be painful to others with eczema, particularly if there are open wounds. If you're beach bound, test the waters and listen to your body.
  • Spend Time at the Pool - At home chlorine baths are sometimes recommended by physicians to kill bacteria on the surface of eczema skin. Since the pool is essentially one big chlorine bath, it's no wonder that some eczema sufferers find much needed relief poolside.
  • Time in the Sun - The sun is another natural wonder for eczema. For many, the sun seems to dry up their eczema and leave them flare free, most likely due to the body's spike in vitamin D production after time in the sun. What about sunscreen? This is a tricky one. Applying sunscreen is important to block the damaging UVA and UVB rays, but sunscreen can also reduce the amount of vitamin D the body produces. Although it will be tempting to soak up hours in the sun in hopes of banishing eczema, limit this time (15 minutes) if you don't apply sunscreens and stick to early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun's rays are weaker. For prolonged exposure in the sun, or during peak hours, find a good sunscreen and lather-up. Yes, eczema is a beast, but skin cancer is deadly.
  • Choose Sunscreen with Caution - Many sunscreens can burn or sting delicate eczema skin. The best bet for choosing a gentle sunscreen is to look for one which creates a physical barrier on your skin, rather than a chemical sunscreen, which destroys the absorbed UVA/UVB rays. The barrier versions usually contain zinc, which is great in treating eczema. Also, read ingredient labels for any known allergies or triggers. And always stay away from fragrance or perfume. Natural, unscented, zinc based sunscreens with as few ingredients as possible, are safest.
  • Wear SPF Clothing - If you're not the sunscreen type ? either can't be bothered or nervous about finding the best one for you, then SPF clothing is the answer. SPF protection is now available in all sorts of clothing ? hats, shirts, pants, socks, bathing suits. You name it. Look for clothing made from natural fibers when possible and be sure the SPF rating is from the tight thread weave and not from a chemical added to the fabric.
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize - Spring and summer bring humidity, which helps skin retain its moisture. However, don't be fooled as these months also bring more time under the sun, at the beach, and at the pool, which can all be very drying. So, stick to your daily moisturizing routine and keep an extra bottle of your favorite cream handy to apply after prolonged exposure to the sun, or after a dip in the sea or the pool.
Wishing you all a wonderful flare-free summer!Author Bio: Jennifer is a mother of two. One with severe eczema, food allergies, and asthma. One with mild eczema. She writes about her family's journey with these health conditions at It's an Itchy Little World. She is also the founder/owner of The Eczema Company which provides specialty clothing and natural skincare for children with eczema. read more..

Alcohol Allergy Symptoms-Allergic To Alcohol-Ethyl Alcohol

Identifying Alcohol Allergy Symptoms

As in the case of so many foods and drinks, it is also possible to be allergic to alcohol and to suffer alcohol allergy symptoms as a result. There are some who may be allergic to the actual alcohol (ethyl alcohol), but more often it is other ingredients in the beverage such as the hops, [...] read more..

Weight Loss

Low calorie snack: Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas

The last two weeks, I’ve been counting calories for weight loss. So far so good! The main issue I come across is being hungry. And I hate being hungry. Food becomes my obsession, either when I’m snacking or just thinking about snacking. Sticking to a low calorie structure, it’s hard to find filling tasty foods that are [...] read more..

Allergy Sufferers-Allergy Symptoms-Allergy Season-Allergy Shots

Runny nose? Itchy eyes? Join the club; allergy season picks up

: Local , Health , Community , Environment , Weather , Outdoors , News , Allergy Season , Allergy Season Picks up , Amarillo Allergies , Amarillo Allergy A.R.T.S. , Allergy A.R.T.S. , Allergy Symptoms , Allergy Symptoms Pick up , Springtime Allergies , Allergy Sufferers , Allergy Shots , Allergy Pollens , Allergy Winds , Amarillo Wind , ... (more) read more..

Penicillin Allergy

Kids' Penicillin Allergy May Not Signal Other Drug Reactions

Study finds no greater risk of allergies to other meds in kids who test positive to common antibiotic read more..

Friday 16 March 2012

Seasonal Allergies-Seasonal Allergy-Pit Bull-Dog

Go, Dog, Go!

I'm a normal guy. I like to walk around my neighborhood naming other people's dogs under my breath. I once called a pit bull Mighty Aphrobitey. My wife pegged a poodle Bebe Rebozo. Then there was t... read more..

Erie's mild winter no relief for seasonal allergy sufferers

The seasonal allergies that make her eyes water, nose run and head throb in the spring and fall go away from Thanksgiving through St. read more..

The Substitute Teacher-Toilet Water-Plumber


I began Halloween being splashed with toilet water, and not the fancy kind.  Our toilet was leaking down through our kitchen ceiling onto the counter.  GAH.  I called our beloved plumber's wife, who said she'd let him know.
Meanwhile, Eli had his first substitute teacher experience.  His Kindergarten classmate who likes to tell him, "I'm going to kick your butt," took this opportunity to repeat his threat. 
Me: What did you do?
Eli: I raised my hand.
Me: What did the substitute teacher do?
Eli: She didn't see me, so I said, "Excuse me but I need to tell you something."
Me: What did she say?
Eli: She didn't answer me.
Me: !!!  So what did you do?
Eli: I just tried not to look at [Bully].
We recounted the story to Katherine when she got home. 
Katherine: What was her name?
Eli:  Mrs. ___________
Katherine, with big eyes:  Mom!  That's the SHHHH!!!!!! Lady!
[Scott: I can think of another name for her.]
Katherine: She's the one who doesn't know the school rules and just says SHHHH!!!!!! all the time.
Poor Eli.  At least he has a big sister who commiserates with him.
That evening, I was on the phone and wasn't able to switch over to an incoming call fast enough.  The message said, "Sarah, this is [Plumber].  I was just finishing up a job on your street and thought I'd check in, but I guess you're not home, so I'll call y--"
I hung up on voicemail and went running outside just in time to see his truck turning off of our street.  I went running down the street after him, yelling, "MR. [PLUMBER]!!!"
In the rain.  In my socks. 
"Is this Sarah?"
She did call him, and he spent the evening fixing the leak. 
And that was a scary enough Halloween for me. read more..

Thursday 15 March 2012

Food Allergies

2011: The Year In Review

The Resolutions
Resolutions?  Yes, I've made a few.  So how did I do?
1.  Get Organized: I did not get more organized.  I tried, but there's still work to do.  I shouldn't say that I totally failed at this one.  I did get a smart phone in 2011 and use an incredible calendar app and now I feel like my schedule is more organized.  Organization is a work in process.  I'm still working on that so stay tuned.
2.  Exercise More:  It was a bit sporadic but I really did exercise more.  Did I lose weight?  No, I gained it :(
3.  Menu Plan:  Again, it was sporadic, but I did menu plan more.  It makes dinner easier to get together, but I don't save any money by doing it.  Clearly I need to revamp what I'm doing.  Again, a work in process
Most of the trees made it back including my river birch.  2 of the trees we ended up ripping out in the spring anyway as they were contributing to ice damming in the roof and thus our attic was wet and full of mold.  There were other issues that factored into this, but the trees played a part so even though it was painful, we cut them down. (We also had to add ice guard and some other roof work along with mold remediation and it's all better now)
Spring Cleaning and St. Joseph's Day At School
I totally got the entire main level spring cleaned.  The upstairs, not so much.  I ran out of daylight.  Maybe this year.  Hubs and the Little Man had a wonderful time at the St. Joseph's Day event at the school.  I worked the whole thing and made the Little Man his own food so it was allergy safe for him.
Food Allergy Blood Work (RAST Testing)
Nothing changed.  He didn't add any new allergies, but numbers didn't go down either.  It was disappointing.
The Little Man Talks About Food Allergies
You get it straight from the source.
The Father's Day/Fishing Lure In The Leg Incident
Not how they intended to spend Father's Day... in the ER.
I love the beach!
The Little Man Starts Tae Kwon Do
And he still loves it.
Soccer and Ohio State
Good times were had by all.
Halloween is BIG at our house.
Thanksgiving 2011
I made it through and it really was a wonderful day.
It truly was a wonderful holiday.
Looking back throughout the year helps to solidify the knowledge of how blessed I am.  Yes, we had some mishaps (trips to the ER... 3 in all I believe... all the Little Man...) but we had much more good times than bad and we had a lot of fun along the way.
I hope 2012 brings more of the same... for us and for you. read more..

Opposite Of Coffee-Alanis Morissette-Correct Answer-Fourth Grade-Pediatrician


Dear Fourth Grade Spelling/Vocabulary Book,
When you ask "What is the opposite of coffee?" the correct answer is not "Tea."  That makes no sense and brings up all of my Alanis Morissette irony issues. 
The Black Fly in Your Chardonnay
When you have to step in at my child's checkup because the pediatrician had an emergency, kindly do not recommend an unnecessary invasive medical procedure.  It makes me angry and my child hysterical.
Tiger/Bear/Some Sort of Large Mammal Mom
Dear Pediatrician's Office/Pediatrician,
Thank you for not charging me a co-pay for our follow-up appointment.  And thank you for listening to our concerns and agreeing that the PA was wrong.  Now, go lecture her.
Dear Kindergartner,
I am so glad you love school and are doing well.  But this morning when you said, "You can stop here, Mama," and walked up the school sidewalk by yourself, my heart broke a little.
I'm Not Crying, It's Just Allergies
P.S. I still stood there and watched you walk in.  It's a free country. read more..

Spring Dehumidifier Maintenance-Comments Section-Dehumidifiers-Air Filter

Spring Dehumidifier Maintenance

* Editor's Note: We apologize, but there seems to have been a glitch with the comments section on our blog. It's fixed now, but we?ve missed out on some really interesting comments from our readers! So keep it up, and you should start seeing your comments appear. Enjoy today?s post!While it is only March but, Spring is well upon us. The trees and flowers are in bloom; pollen?s in the air, and it seems like it might be a good time to pull the dehumidifier out of winter hibernation to prep for this spring and summer. Maintenance is not extensive, but it is important in keeping your dehumidifier running properly throughout the wettest part of the year.Depending on where you have been storing the unit, it?s always a good idea to do a visual inspection, and for good reason. One spring I pulled my dehumidifier out of an out-building I had been storing it in, only to find the power cord had been chewed into thirds. You will also want to check the tank, and while many have smaller openings, it never hurts to inspect for? critters or things that might be nesting.A cloth dampened with warm water or a mild soapy mix will remove most markings, dirt or debris on the exterior, and it never hurts to spray parts of the dehumidifier tank that touch water with Vital Oxide. I have found this to be an indispensible tool when sanitizing or removing mold around the house.Most modern dehumidifiers come with an air filter. Some, like Aprilaire dehumidifiers are styled similar to your HVAC filter, and work well at trapping large and medium sized particles that can accumulate and damage the motor and fan. Others are simply a mesh type filter meant to really only keep dust bunnies and hair out of the unit. Replace the filter if needed or simply use compressed air to blow the filter out.For larger dehumidifiers, you may have easy access to the coils or motor. If so, now is the perfect time to again use compressed air to blow out debris, dust or dirt that may be accumulating around the coils or motor. Take care to use a lower pressure air as not to damage the soft copper or aluminum coils.After you?ve reassembled the dehumidifier, you?re all set to try it out. Before you start the machine, be sure that is has sat in the normal, upright, operating position for 24 hours (particularly if it has been stored on its side or for some reason, upside down.... don't ask). With all the complete, plug it in, and turn it on. If you have any problems, check the tank. An improperly seated water tank is the most frequent and easily remidied problem. Next, take a look at the troubleshooting section in the user manual. If you don?t have the manual, check the product page on our site, as each will have a copy. If all else fails, contact us or the manufacturer to try and resolve any issues.A dehumidifier is an important part of many households across the country. So when the humidity goes up and the rain falls down, keep mold growth and dust mite levels in check by maintaining the proper relative humidity with a home dehumidifier. read more..

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Indoor Chlorinated Swimming Pools-Airway Inflammation-Swimming Training

Indoor chlorinated swimming pools are associated with airway changes in “healthy” swimmers

Airway disorders are common in regular chlorinated swimming pool attendees, particularly competitive athletes.
Are there airway changes in “healthy simmers?
This study evaluated airway inflammation and remodeling in 26 elite healthy swimmers, without history of asthma, and 20 controls (10 with asthma and 10 health subjects).
Swimmers had increased airway mucosa eosinophil and mast cell counts. They also had more goblet cell hyperplasia and higher mucin expression. However, exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and airway responsiveness to methacholine did not correlate with the inflammatory and remodeling changes.
The authors concluded that intense, long-term swimming training in indoor chlorinated swimming pools is associated with airway changes similar to those seen in mild asthma, but with higher mucin expression. The long-term clinical consequences need to be clarified in future studies to determine of these changes could lead to asthma.
Editor's note: Although interesting, there is no actionable information in this report. It is also good to remember that exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is much more common in athletes than in the general population (click to enlarge the image):
Airway remodeling and inflammation in competitive swimmers training in indoor chlorinated swimming pools. Valérie Bougault et al. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 129, Issue 2 , Pages 351-358.e1, February 2012. Posted at Allergy Notes. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. read more..

Kids Art Contest-Food Allergy-Entry Form-Artwork

Kids Art Contest for

I realized recently that it's my 4th season collecting peanut-free baseball info on!  I think it's about time for to have its own avatar/profile image, to use on Facebook and Twitter, etc. So, why not have a contest to find the image?
I love kids' artwork. You should see my house--it's a veritable museum of my sons' creations! I think it'd be fun to use a picture drawn (or painted) by a kid who appreciates peanut free baseball games for the avatar/profile image. Since avatars and profile images tend to be quite small, a simple picture without too much detail will probably look best online. I'm always amazed at the artwork kids produce! If I knew how to draw well enough, I'd do it myself, but I never progressed past stick figures! (and all my stick figures look identical; it's kinda sad.)
When the winner is announced, I would like to share the winner's name and state or province. You can tell me if you prefer using only your child's first name or initials as opposed to their full name. You'll see on the entry form, I am asking for an address as well. Depending on how many entries we receive and my own creativity, I think it'd be especially nice to send each artist an acknowledgement of their effort. (maybe a note or a certificate)'s the scoop! I have put the contest entry form on Google Docs. It needs to be submitted with the entry, either electronically or via postal mail. A parent or guardian's signature MUST be on the entry form.
The contest rules are below. Good luck!!! Can't wait to see those entries!
Food Allergy Buzz &'s Kids Art Contest Rules  
Purpose of Rules:The rules below will govern the Food Allergy Buzz/ Kids Art Contest as a means of collecting artwork that may be temporarily displayed and not returned to the artist. Artists will be asked to draw a picture that reflects the theme, "Food Allergy Friendly Baseball 2012." The website url must be included somewhere on the picture.
Contest Deadlines: The contest will officially begin on February 20, 2012. All artists submitting an entry must submit their entry via email or regular postal mail. The email address is  jennifer[at]foodallergybuzz[dot]com.To obtain the postal mailing address, please contact me at jennifer[at]foodallergybuzz[dot]com. Entries must be received or postmarked by March 19, 2012. The winner will be announced on Food Allergy Buzz on March 30, 2012. 
Contest Eligibility:Children who are in grades K-5 are eligible to submit an entry. 
Entries will be judged on the following three criteria:
1. Originality2. Artistic composition3. Content appropriateness for intended viewer
Technical requirements for design or entry:Paper to be no smaller than 8" x 10", no larger than 9 x 12". Composition may be vertical or horizontal orientation. Artists may use any colorful medium that includes markers, paint, pastels, colored pencils, or crayon. Final piece of artwork must be two-dimensional and appropriate for mounting. All entries must be submitted with a Contest Entry Form.
Please do not mount or frame artwork. Artwork that is mounted or framed will be disqualified.
Restrictions on subject matter of entry:The artwork must depict images appropriate for children to view. The design must be the contestant's own original creation and may not be copied, traced, or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs. Submissions must have been completed within the past year. One submission per child. Submissions may not be photocopies of the original artwork.
Selection and ownership of contest entries:All entries selected to be displayed will become the property of Food Allergy Buzz and Artwork will not be returned to the artist. read more..

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Prolonged Exposure To Sublingual Immunotherapy-Allergic Reactions-Food Allergies

Prolonged Exposure to Sublingual Immunotherapy Improves Safety of Oral Immunotherapy study, JACI

Interesting press release from the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI):
March 5, 2012 - Follow up story on Experimental treatment may help food allergies
One step closer to treatment for food allergy
ORLANDO – Currently, there is no cure for food allergy and no medication to prevent reactions. The only way to avoid a reaction is strictly avoiding the trigger food. This can be tricky because you have to carefully read food labels and ask about ingredients when eating food prepared by another person.
Yet, thanks to research from the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), more clues are falling into place regarding the prospects for safe treatments for food allergy.
Two potential treatments are sublingual immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy. The goal of immunotherapy is to build up your immune system. Your body responds to gradually increasing doses of the allergen by developing immunity or tolerance to it. The difference between sublingual and oral immunotherapy is that the allergen is held under the tongue with sublingual, where the allergen is simply swallowed with oral immunotherapy.
New research from the 2012 AAAAI Annual Meeting found that children with severe milk allergy who received a longer schedule of sublingual immunotherapy and then moved to oral immunotherapy had less respiratory reactions along with less frequent use of certain medications.
“While the overall result of the study, which was recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that oral was far more effective than sublingual immunotherapy, it was also clear that oral was associated with more significant allergic reactions to the treatment,” said senior study author Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, director of Allergy & Immunology at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
In their previous research, sublingual was compared to oral immunotherapy after a short period of increasing sublingual doses. To add another piece to the puzzle, the same researchers from Johns Hopkins and Duke University decided to see if a longer period on sublingual and then oral immunotherapy would improve the safety of the treatment.
Thirty children with cow’s milk allergy were randomly placed into two groups that received either a short or longer sublingual schedule followed by oral immunotherapy. Eight sublingual subjects 
moved over to oral immunotherapy. After comparing reactions across the doses, the study authors concluded that the longer sublingual schedule before moving to oral immunotherapy appeared to improve safety although it did not eliminate all symptoms. Symptoms occurred with approximately 25% of 2,251 doses.
While the overall rates of reaction between the two groups were similar, the longer sublingual immunotherapy group followed by oral immunotherapy had fewer lower and upper respiratory reactions and used antihistamines and inhaled beta-agonists less frequently.
“We continue to search for the best approach for the treatment of food allergy. This study shows that for at least some children, especially those with more frequent or severe reactions to oral immunotherapy, beginning treatment with sublingual might be beneficial,” emphasized Dr. Wood.
The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has nearly 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.
Editorial notes:
•    This study was presented during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) on March 2-6 in Orlando. However, it does not necessarily ref read more..

Melissa And Doug

Melissa and Doug need to pay me rent

I've been working on a post about toys that have stood the test of time in our home because I LOVE reading posts about toys people recommend.  (HINT. HINT.)  I have purchased so many great items on Swistle's recommendations alone.  Then I saw that today is a one day 50% off sale on Melissa and Doug items on Amazon.  Although, as Mir says, you have to be vigilant with the prices.  We lurve Melissa and Doug toys.  Yes, even though they are made in China.  This is not sponsored or compensated FTLOG, although it should be based on the number of their toys littering my floors.  The links are through my Amazon thingy but by all means bypass it. 
The current favorite is the Slice and Bake Cookie set.  The three-year old plays with this all. the. time.   And the other kids do, too.  And possibly the grownups.
A close second is the Birthday Cake set.  Or, some odd candle/cake/cookie combination of the two.  We celebrate a lot of events with them these days.  The server comes to take your order on a pad of paper with a crayon, and your choices are cookies, cake, or drink.  Currently your choices are Christmas cookies, Christmas cake, or Christmas drink, but they're pretty much the same as the regular ones.  For some reason, the baby doesn't put the round pieces in his mouth.  Go figure.
We also have the cutting foods box, and I see that they now slice the carrot lengthwise instead of into little choking-hazard rounds that my babies DO like to put in their mouths and walk around with, as it is in our set.  Which is why our carrot lives on a shelf.  But it is a fun toy, and the sound of the knife 'cutting' through the Velcro is very cool.
I was about to list all of the Melissa and Doug items we have that aren't 50% off, aaand  then I realized just how many things that is.  Stamp sets!  Magnetic dress up dolls!  Paint your own train!  Pull frog! An easel!  Man, we have a lot of toys.
So let's just keep it to food: we also have the food groups set (Don't worry, my kids assure me the cheese is dairy free) and the fill and spill picnic basket.  Because even though three-month old Graham didn't need or want any Christmas gifts last year, there had to be something under the tree for him.  The grape soda bottle is his favorite part; he still carries it around chewing on it.  He also actually does like to take everything out of the basket and put it back in.  The other kids use the Velcro sandwich parts a lot in their 'cooking.'
Under the Christmas tree this year, Helen will find the grill set. I'm sure the skewers are going to have to be put away immediately, but I couldn't resist.  She will also find this sticker book because I needed a quick, cheap replacement for a game I planned to give her that her uncle gave the kids instead.
I have debated forever about the cupcake set.  So cute!  But...the icing markers!  So messy!  But Swistle recommended it!  Helen will get it for her birthday.  Because I am a sucker.
I wanted to put photos in, too, but you should go look before the sale items are gone, and I need to get out of my PJs and go pick up a preschooler at her Happy Birthday, Jesus party. read more..

Allergy Association-Food Allergy-Afaa

Annual Food Allergy Awareness Event

Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA)
Saturday, March 24
Mall of America- 1st floor, Macy’s court
Hey Diddle, Diddle, Help Solve the Food Riddle! Join us at the Annual Food Allergy Awareness. Register day-of or visit to register online.
Proceeds from the Food Allergy Awareness Walk will go to the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA). AFAA is a Minnesota 501(c)3 non-profit organization with school, restaurant and medical policy accomplishments; allergen-free activities for children and families (including the first food allergy camp in the U.S.); and widespread educational outreach efforts that reach more than 19,000 people in person per year. read more..

Monday 12 March 2012

Usp Hospital Santa Teresa, Spain-Symptoms Of Allergies-Hygiene Hypothesis-Allergy Symptoms

The allergy symptoms increase with stress, exercise and laughter

March 11, 2012 According to Dr. Joaquin Martin, an allergist of USP Hospital Santa Teresa, Spain, "Stress, exercise or laughter can worsen allergy symptoms, most do not know, and could affect half the population in 2050". "The main symptoms of allergies are itchy eyes and nose, watery eyes, sneezing and increased nasal mucus. read more..

The Hygiene Hypothesis Updated

What is causing all these food allergies? One explaination is the hygiene hypothesis: the theory that increased rates of asthma and allergies among children is due to our decreased exposure to farm animals as an increasingly urban and sanitized world....Read Full Post read more..

Seasonal Allergies-Procrastination-Spring Breezes-Air Filters

Are you making your spring allergies worse?

Fruits and veggies, air filters, spring breezes, procrastination and self-medication - each can delay relief from a stuffy nose, sneezing, sniffling or other symptoms if you're one of the more than 35 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. read more..

Personal Care Product-Persistent Problem-Baby Products-Non Toxic

Ava Anderson Products – Allergen Alert

I was drawn to check out Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products when I came across a Facebook post stating that they’re non toxic and they now even have baby products. I appreciate a good personal care product line that’s free of harmful chemicals, but a persistent problem I’ve discovered is that such product lines often include food allergens, so I had  continue reading... read more..

Randomized Controlled Trial-Treatment Of Sinusitis-Bacterial Infection-Amoxicillin Dose

Antibiotics could be useless in 95% of cases of acute sinusitis

1 in 5 antibiotic prescriptions given to US adults is for treatment of sinusitis, but in most cases, the medication does not provide symptom relief. Almost 90% of patients who go to the physician’s office with sinusitis will walk out with a prescription for antibiotics.
This randomized, placebo-controlled trial included 166 adults with uncomplicated, acute rhinosinusitis from 10 community practices in Missouri over 3 years (JAMA, 2012).
10-day course of either amoxicillin (1500 mg/d) or placebo administered in 3 doses per day. Editor's note: the amoxicillin dose is low. Epocrates quotes amoxicillin dose of 1 g PO q8h x10 days, Max: 4 g/day; Alt: 1.5-4 g/day PO div q6-8h.
Here is the JAMA video which includes a brief interview with one of the authors:
The primary outcome was improvement in disease-specific quality of life after 3-4 days of treatment assessed with the Sinonasal Outcome Test-16 (Snot-16). Editor's note: All diagnoses were based on symptoms, no CT imaging was done. It is not even clear if the patients actuall had sinusitis or not.
Among patients with acute rhinosinusitis, a 10-day course of amoxicillin compared with placebo did not reduce symptoms at day 3 or day 10 of treatment.
In most cases, sinusitis develops after a cold, and this viral infection will be complicated by a bacterial infection - which can respond to antibiotic therapy - in less than 5% of cases. So, that means that antibiotics could be useless in 95% of cases of acute sinusitis.
However, considering the limitations of this study (low antibiotic dose, no imaging), I would await the results of a more rigorous trial before making significant changes to the current standard of care.
Amoxicillin for Acute Rhinosinusitis. A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2012;307(7):685-692. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.138
Author Insights: Treatment of Acute Sinusitis With Antibiotics Often Futile. JAMA Blog.
Comments from Twitter:
CERTIFIED Allergy @allergysa: Disappointed more well-designed studies haven't been done. But even air-fluid levels won't necessarily point to BACTERIAL infection
Matthew Bowdish MD @MatthewBowdish: Lots of limitations RT @Allergy "Antibiotics No Help for Sinusitis" - however, read last few paragraphs for limitations
Carlos Mijares @carlosmixares: Agreed in viral rhinosinusitis!
Murfomurf @Murfomurf: Any antibiotics, when it's an infection, NOT just allergy?? Posted at Allergy Notes. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. read more..

Robert Frost

In honor of Valentine's Day...

My favorite poem.  I hope you are all very loved today!!
The Telephone, Robert Frost'When I was just as far as I could walk
From here to-day,
There was an hour
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
Don't say I didn't, for I heard you say--
You spoke from that flower on the window sill-
Do you remember what it was you said?'
'First tell me what it was you thought you heard.'
'Having found the flower and driven a bee away,
I leaned my head
And holding by the stalk,
I listened and I thought I caught the word--
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say--
Someone said "Come" -- I heard it as I bowed.'
'I may have thought as much, but not aloud.'
"Well, so I came.' read more..

Sunday 11 March 2012

Peanut Allergy Product Review-Crunchy Cookies-Chocolate Chips-Sugar Cookie

Peanut Allergy Product Review: Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies!

I must admit, when I walk into my office on the one day a week I work there (yay for telecommuting!) I get a thrill when I see a box sitting on my desk!
Last week was no exception.  I had a box from the good people at Enjoy Life and it was filled with...
Crunchy Cookies!
 I was a good mom and waited until I saw B to tear these open. 
It would have been irresponsible for us not to try at least two of each to make a qualified decision about which flavor we liked the best, right?
 Sugar Crisp!  This is a cookie that you would think was just a regular sugar cookie from any manufacturer - but it's better because it's top 8 free!!
Runner up:  Chocolate Chip.  Their chocolate chips are in it, so no wonder they are great too!
This isn't to say that we didn't love the Vanilla Honey Graham or Chocolate chocolate chip, mind you.  Those are excellent as well.
Thanks Enjoy Life for sending me these samples! read more..

Quick Blog

Just a quick blog post...

I'm here - I'm alive! 
B started second grade last month - can you believe it???  She had a rocky start with drop offs.  Tears!  I know it's due to the separation, but even when you know the reason, it's still hard to see your usually confident little girl break down each day when you leave. Thankfully, drop off is MUCH better - I get a few hugs and kisses and off she goes to learn.  The last few weeks it's been about Whales (and Narwhals - did you know these things were actually real?  I sure didn't!).
Other than that, we're just settling in to the school year.  I'm settling in to my new normal as a single woman - it's bizarre and empowering all at once.  My new normal is becoming, well, normal for me.
On the peanut front, we'll be heading to the Bay Area FAAN walk in a few weeks - hopefully I'll run into some of you there.
I've got a few product reviews in the works and a book review.  Stay tuned! read more..

Saturday 10 March 2012

Chicago White Sox-Peanut Allergies-Free Games


CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox will host a “Peanut-Controlled Zone” on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:10 p.m. against the Baltimore Orioles. To provide fans who suffer from severe peanut allergies with the safest environment possible, no peanuts, nor anything containing peanuts, will be allowed or sold ... read more..

Asthma And Allergy Foundation Of America-Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet-Autism Spectrum Disorder

Forum Flash | Springtime sneeze hit parade

The menu at Patrick O'Shea's, the new downtown outpost of the O'Shea family of Irish pubs, nods... The latest comes from Waterpik, in partnership with The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which ranks the Falls City third on the list of the 100 'most challenging' cities to live in with spring allergies. read more..

Common Winter Allergies and What You Can Do About Them

When we think of allergies, we generally think of spring and fall because these are the times when pollen counts are highest. But winter allergies are something that most of us would do well to find out more about because many experts now think that our winter sniffles are caused by irritants rather than infections. [...] read more..

Gluten-free, casein-free diet may help some children with autism, research suggests

A gluten-free, casein-free diet may lead to improvements in behavior and physiological symptoms in some children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to researchers. The research is the first to use survey data from parents to document the effectiveness of a gluten-free, casein-free diet on children with ASD. read more..

Democrats And Republicans-Unnecessary Tests-Electronic Access-Health Spending-Health Records

EHRs Do Not Deter Testing, Spending

Electronic health records have long been touted by Democrats and Republicans alike as a sure-fire way to lower health spending. When doctors have easy electronic access to a patient's records, advocates argue, they are less likely to order the duplicative and unnecessary tests that drive up the cost of health care in America.
Kaiser Health News read more..

Journey To The Center-Company Announcement-Asthma Medication-Earl Ray Tomblin-Pseudoephedrine

ALK's partner in North America, Merck, presents data on...

Abello Company Announcement ALK's partner in North America, Merck, presents data on investigational ragweed allergy immunotherapy tablet Merck plans to file registration applications to the US Food and Drug Administration for Ragweed and Grass AITs in 2013. read more..

Lawmakers tighten pseudoephedrine limit in drug bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State lawmakers modified Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's sweeping substance abuse bill Monday night, slashing the monthly amount of pseudoephedrine -- a popular cold and asthma medication that's also used to make methamphetamine illegally -- that consumers could buy in West Virginia. read more..

Travels With My Cooler: Disney World

I recently returned from a journey to the center of the food allergy dining universe: Disney World. By now you've probably read loads of articles about how wonderful Disney is for folks with food allergies and sensitivities. It's all true....Read Full Post read more..

Natural Antihistamines-Antihistamine Tablets-Hay Fever Relief-Extreme Reaction-Meat Substitute

Hay Fever Relief: Do Natural Antihistamines Really Work?

If you suffer from hay fever, you probably run to the pharmacy to get a new batch of antihistamine tablets at the first sight of pollen… and the fact that researchers don’t really know why your body has such an extreme reaction to such a harmless product is probably no help at all! You may [...] read more..

Creating A Vegetarian Cutlet

It looks like a cutlet, it's juicy and fibrous like a cutlet, and it even chews with the consistency of a real cutlet - but the ingredients are 100 percent vegetable. Researchers are using a new method to prepare a meat substitute that not only tastes good, but is also environmentally sustainable... read more..

Valentines Day-Husband-Casey

Senate passes bill limiting cold meds

Tornado Watch issued March 2 at 1:03PM EST expiring March 2 at 9:00PM EST in effect for: Adair; Allen; Anderson; Barren; Bourbon; Boyle; Breckinridge; Bullitt; Butler; Casey; Clark; Clinton; Cumberland; Edmonson; Fayette; Franklin; Garrard; Grayson; Green; Hancock; Hardin; Harrison; Hart; Henry; Jefferson; Jessamine; Larue; Lincoln; Logan; Madison; ... (more) read more..

Squeeky Clean Secret Messages

This year was my first valentines day with my newly acquired husband (woot!). So I felt that it was only fitting for me to do a few new things that expressed my love. Things I’d never tried or done before. And I’m not traditional when it comes to romance, by any means. The idea of [...] read more..

Granulated Sugar-Cookie Platter

Holly Confections

Hello!  Sorry I have been so quiet was finals week last week and, this week, I have been running around with holiday errands.  Now it's time to get back in the swing of things!
This recipe comes from my grandmother and has always been a family favorite.  I could not describe these treats better than my grandmother does on the type-written recipe, "Holly confections look almost like ceramics--pretty garnish for cookie platter."
Holly Confections
-30 large marshmallows (or 3 cups mini marshmallows)
-1 stick (or 1/2 cup) or your favorite dairy free butter
-3 cups corn flakes
-1 1/2 teaspoons green food coloring
-Red cinnamon candies or red granulated sugar
-Small splash of vanilla (optional)
Melt marshmallows and dairy free butter in the top of a double boiler.
Stir in coloring; remove from heat.  Add corn flakes; mix gently and quickly until completely coated.
Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper.  Sprinkle with cinnamon candies or granulated sugar.
Let sit for a few hours until completely cool and the hollies have set.  Store in an airtight container.
Like I said earlier, these are a great little garnish for a cookie platter, or are perfect on their own!  Enjoy! read more..

Friday 9 March 2012

Real Food Allergy-Food Allergies

Food Allergies on Facebook

Are you using Facebook to connect with other food allergy folks? Many fan pages are available with help and support in the area of food allergy. Here are some new (or new to me) pages I've run across recently:
The Allergy Menu
Food Allergy Families
Food Allergy Confessions
Food Allergy Connection
Real Food Allergy Free
Food Allergy Daily
The Food Allergy Forum
Food Allergy Mom Doc
And, sorry for the shameless plug, but there is always great info on Food Allergy Assistant's FB page.
So, "like" your favorite pages to get updated food allergy information delivered right to your Facebook feed.
Did I miss any of your favorites? read more..

Emory University-Food Intolerance-Food Allergies-Food Allergy

Food Allergy Videos by Emory University

The social media team at Emory University interviewed the allergist Dr. Karen DeMuth to create a series of Food Allergy Videos:
Food Allergies and Their Symptoms. What are food allergies? What are typical symptoms? What is an exercise-induced allergy? Dr. Karen DeMuth, Emory University, answers these and other questions.
Diagnosis. How are food allergies diagnosed? And how do you know the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?
Food Allergy Versus Intolerance. What's the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance? Dr. Karen DeMuth, Emory University, answers these and other questions.
Treatment. What treatment is available for food allergies? If a person ingests a food they are allergy to, what is emergency treatment? What do parents have to do know about emergency treatment?
Myths. Answers to common questions about food allergies, including the truth behind various food allergy myths? Topics include: 1) most common food allergies, 2) allergy shots for food allergies, 3) oral allergies, 4) children "growing out" of food allergies, 5) adults developing food allergies, and 6) food allergy vs. food intolerance. Dr. Karen DeMuth, Emory University, answers these and other questions. Dr. Karen DeMuth is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine, Emory University. She is also a pediatric allergy specialist at Emory-Children's Center. Posted at Allergy Notes. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. read more..