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Allergies

Fibre Helps Asthma

A potential ground breaking treatment for asthma has been discovered by scientists from Switzerland. The treatment simply involves eating more fruit and vegetables. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggested a connection between the boost in processed food consumption and the increase in asthma rates over the last 30 years. The team of scientists from the University of Lausanne conducted tests on mice and the results found that those with high fibre diets were less likely to suffer with serious inflammatory respiratory symptoms. The team found that the extra soluble fibre, found in fruits and vegetables, was converted into short chain fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory action. Whilst adding more fruit and vegetables to the diet is an ideal way to get more fatty acids into the system, an omega 3 supplement would have a similar effect. For further information on the link between asthma and diet please read: Does fast food really increase the risk of Asthma? Can Vitamin D Reduce Asthma Symptoms? Vitamin C helps Childhood...

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What is Gluten Allergy & Intolerance?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, oats, rye, barley and oats. You will find gluten in foods such as bread, rolls, cakes, flour, pasta, biscuits, pastries, noodles, pizza, muffins and couscous. These are just a few examples, but you can see that gluten is present in many foods that are consumed in a western diet. We are exposed to a lot of gluten on a daily basis, which may explain why gluten intolerance and allergies are being increasingly diagnosed in the western world. Most people who have gluten intolerance are actually not aware that they have this condition. Before we continue, it is worth noting the difference between an allergy and intolerance. A gluten allergy results in a condition called coeliac disease. If we were to eat a food that we are allergic to, the body immune system reacts in such a way as to protect itself. The immune system produces antibodies (IgE antibody), in response to the allergic food (the allergen). The IgE antibody triggers the release of histamine from mast cells, which are found in the nasal passages, throat, eyes, intestines and other body tissues. This results in the usual allergy symptoms of runny nose, swollen throat and gastrointestinal upset. People who are diagnosed with coeliac disease should avoid gluten. You should also consult a qualified nutritionist or naturopath to help you manage the condition. There are many gluten free foods available in most grocery stores. David Reavely, author of The Big Fat Mystery has a number of practical gluten free food recipes. Gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and can cause inflammation and swelling of the lining. The lining of the small intestine is covered with tiny villi that become damaged by the gluten. These villi are essential for the absorption of nutrients from our diet. This damage can also lead to more foods allergies and leaky gut syndrome. The symptoms of coeliac disease are general indigestion, diarrhoea, loss of weight, abdominal swelling, cramps, and depression. This disease, if left untreated can lead to various health problems such as osteoporosis, nerve damage, kidney disease and diabetes. Most people who have gluten intolerance are actually not aware that they have this condition....

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Alternative Hay Fever Treatments

Alternative Hay Fever Treatments

Hay fever has had a strong year so far, with more people affected than before. The changing and erratic weather has resulted in the simultaneous release of grass and tree pollen. The pollen season usually follows as: Tree Pollen – Late March to mid May. Grass Pollen – Mid May to June Weed Pollen – End of June to September The result of the recent weather has been that people who usually suffer in March and April have had a longer exposure to tree pollen as well as grass pollen. Conventional medicines for hay fever are anti-histamines, steroid nasal sprays and eye drops containing sodium cromoglycate. Many hay fever sufferers are finding that conventional anti-histamines are no longer working. Doctors are prescribing anti-histamines such as cetirizine, chlorpheniramine and loratidine in very high doses just to control the symptoms. Most hay fever sufferers take a combination of these products on a daily basis just to get through the day. Even the collective use of tablets, nose sprays and eye drops does not help many hay fever sufferers. These medicines do also have a number of side effects, and some people do not find them very effective. The main side effects are drowsiness and dry eyes.   A new device that claims to relieve allergy symptoms is the Allergy Reliever made by Lloyds Pharmacy. This device claims to be an effective treatment for the irritating symptoms such as sneezing and itchiness that are associated with hay fever. The Allergy Reliever uses red light therapy to stop the cells releasing histamine. Histamine is released from the mast cells in the lining of the nostrils and eyes which causes many of the symptoms of hay fever. The device works by using phototherapy of two different wavelengths. One wavelength promotes increased blood flow and circulation and the other stops the mast cells from releasing histamine and reduces inflammation. This product can be used safely alongside conventional antihistamine hay fever treatments and other complementary remedies for allergies. Each treatment lasts for approximately three minutes and the portable device can be used up to three to four times a...

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Top Tips For Preventing Hay Fever

There are some important tips to follow to avoid having your summer ruined by hay fever this year. Apart from taking your natural hay fever remedies, it is useful to follow some general recommendations so that you can enjoy the weather this summer. Avoid drying your clothes outside as the pollen collects on the surface of the fabrics. Shower and wash your hair thoroughly when you come indoors after being outside to remove the pollen that collects during the day. Change your clothes after coming in from outside as the pollen sticks to your clothes, and wash these clothes before wearing again. Shower before going to bed, as the pollen sticks to your skin and hair. Keep all car windows closed when driving. Use a good quality air purifier and air filter at home. This will help to filter out pollens and pollutants from the air. Eat healthily, with plenty of fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables to help maintain a healthy immune system. Mow your lawn regularly before the grass flowers and releases its pollens. Avoid tobacco smoke which can also irritate your lungs and eyes. Try and minimise the time you spend outdoors, especially during the day, and early evening, when the pollen count is at the highest. Increase your intake of Vitamin C. This has natural anti-histamine properties. Take a teaspoon of honey every morning. Increase the amount of live yoghurt or probiotics to boost your immune system. Studies have found that eating yoghurt every day reduced the incidence of hay fever attacks. Garlic, apples and onions are a good source of quercetin, which is known to reduce the symptoms of hay fever. Eat plenty of blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, cherries and grapes. These foods contain bioflavonoids that help to protect the mucous membranes from the effects of pollen. Improve your summer by following our top tips for preventing hay...

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National Allergy Week

National Allergy Week

Monday 23rd April marked the start of National Allergy Week. Latest figures show that allergy cases in the UK are the highest in Europe. The worrying fact is that this problem is worsening. Hospital admissions for anaphylactic reactions have increased 7 times since 1990, and the number of cases of food poisoning has increased 5 fold in the same period.The NHS spend on hayfever medicines is currently at around £61 million, and this is increasing at a rate of 2% a year. All of these statistics point to a worrying trend. As there are so many potential causes of allergies, there is not a general remedy or supplement that can provide an overall treatment.Natural remedies for the treatment of allergies such as hay fever are mentioned in a separate article. The most important thing to do first is to identify the allergen. This may be something straightforward as pollen in hay fever, but can sometimes take some investigative work. This is especially true in food allergies. The best way to identify a food allergen is to eliminate certain food groups over a period of a week and record any symptoms that occur. For example if an allergy to lactose is suspected, foods such as cheese, milk, ice cream, butter and yoghurt should be avoided for up to a week. The treatment of long standing allergies should be done with the supervision of a practitioner such as a doctor, nutritionist or homeopath. There are some natural supplements that will provide support to the immune system if you suspect an allergy. Probiotics and Digestive enzymes will provide support for the digestive system and will facilitate the breakdown of food in the stomach so as to minimise the risk of an allergy occurring. Bromelain is an natural anti-inflammatory and also important for the breakdown of protein in the diet. L-Glutamine: This is an important amino acid that is required in the treatment and prevention of leaky gut syndrome. This is characterised by food particles, allergens, bacteria being passed through gaps in the gut wall. L-Glutamine works by filling these gaps and thereby minimising the risk of these allergies. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine without having the side effects of conventional anti-histamine tablets....

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Probiotics for Hayfever

Probiotics for Hayfever

Probiotics have traditionally been used for digestive complaints and as supplements for the immune system. New research has found that these supplements can reduce the allergic symptoms of grass and tree pollens. Hayfever is an allergic reaction to pollen that causes the immune system to release histamine which causes many of the symptoms such as itchy sore eyes, sneezing, runny nose and itchy throat. Conventional medicines for hay fever are anti-histamines, steroid nasal sprays and eye drops containing sodium cromoglycate. I have noticed, in my work as a pharmacist, that these medications are not as effective as they were a few years ago. Doctors are prescribing anti-histamines such as cetirizine, chlorpheniramine and loratidine in very high doses just to control the symptoms. Most hay fever sufferers take a combination of these products on a daily basis just to get through the day. These medicines do also have a number of side effects, and some people do not find them very effective. The main side effects are drowsiness and dry eyes. A clinical trial was performed on 47 school children in Finland who had an allergy to birch pollen (the most common tree pollen offender in the UK). The group was split into two, one group took a placebo, and the other a combination of Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Lactis. The results found that during the month of May, the probiotic group had less symptoms of runny nose and in June the group had three times less nasal congestion than the placebo group. Other studies have confirmed that probiotic supplements are also effective at reducing the symptoms of hay fever caused by grass...

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Natural Remedies for Hay Fever

Natural Remedies for Hay Fever

Most people can’t wait for the start of summer, but if you are one of the 25% of the population that suffers with hay fever, then this time of year can be miserable due to the high pollen count. The hay fever season usually starts in March, but some people are affected earlier in the year. People who have symptoms from March are usually affected by tree pollens. Grass pollens are released from April- May onwards and affect most people. The symptoms of hay fever are very similar to a common cold. The common hay fever symptoms are red, itchy and streaming eyes, sneezing, itchy throat and tiredness. All of these symptoms are due to the release of histamine from the mast cells in our body. Hay fever is affecting more people every year. The reason for this is as yet not known, but may be related to the fact that more people than ever have allergies. This may be due to the multiple vaccines that are administered to children and young adults. These vaccines do not allow our own natural immune systems to fully develop. Another possible reason could be the stringent methods of cleanliness that we now have in modern life. It is interesting to note that allergies are not very common in developing countries, where people spend most of the time outdoors and do not take much conventional medication. Conventional medicines for hay fever are anti-histamines, steroid nasal sprays and eye drops containing sodium cromoglycate. I have noticed, in my work as a pharmacist, that these medications are not as effective as they were a few years ago. Doctors are prescribing anti-histamines such as cetirizine, chlorpheniramine and loratidine in very high doses just to control the symptoms. Most hay fever sufferers take a combination of these products on a daily basis just to get through the day. These medicines do also have a number of side effects, and some people do not find them very effective. The main side effects are drowsiness and dry eyes. There are a number of natural remedies that you can take, which are free of side effects. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that works by stopping the manufacture and release of histamine...

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Natural Remedies for Allergies

As there are so many potential causes of allergies, there is not a general remedy or supplement that can provide an overall treatment. Natural remedies for the treatment of allergies such as hay fever are mentioned in a seperate article. The most important thing to do first is to identify the allergen. This may be something straightforward as pollen in hay fever, but can sometimes take some investigative work. This is especially true in food allergies. The best way to identify a food allergen is to eliminate certain food groups over a period of a week and record any symptoms that occur. For example if a allergy to lactose is suspected,  foods such as cheese, milk, ice cream, butter and yoghurt should be avoided for up to a week. The treatment of long standing allergies should be done with the supervision of a practitioner such as a doctor, nutritionalist or homeopath. If you are looking for natural remedies for allergies, there are some natural supplements that will provide support to the immune system if you suspect you have an allergy. Probiotics and Digestive enzymes will provide support for the digestive system and will facilitate the breakdown of food in the stomach so as to minimise the risk of an allergy occurring. Bromelainis an natural anti-inflammatory and also important for the breakdown of protein in the diet. L-Glutamine: This is an important amino acid that is required in the treatment and prevention of leaky gut symdrome. This is characterised by food particles, allergens, bacteria being passed through gaps in the gut wall. L-Glutamine works by filling these gaps and thereby minimising the risk of these allergies. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine without having the side effects of conventional anti-histamine tablets. It stops the histamine reaction that occurs in allergies. This supplement has been found to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of hay fever. Fish Oils / Flax Seed Oil: Both of these are an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. These essential acids are a good to reduce inflammation that occurs in...

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What causes allergies?

What causes allergies? An allergy is occurs when the body’s immune system reacts and produces antibodies in response to an allergen, even though it may be harmless. It produces the antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) to fight the allergen. When the body comes into contact with this allergen again, the body will produce these antibodies, IgE, in larger quantities than normal. This in turn causes a release of Histamine to fight off the allergen. The most common allergens are: ·         House dust ·         Pollens ·         Certain metals (especially nickel) ·         Some food additives ·         Medications (such as Penicillin, Aspirin) ·         Foods (such as milk, seafood, soya, wheat, eggs, nuts) ·         Latex ·         Animal Fur ·         Washing up powder / liquid ·         Moulds ·         Bee / Wasp stings Some people are more prone to acquiring allergies than others as it is hereditary in some cases.  Children who are exposed to pollution also have a greater risk of developing...

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What are the symptoms of an allergy?

Allergies can start at any age. They commonly start in childhood but can also occur during adulthood. The typical symptoms of an allergy include itchiness, swelling and irritation in the body tissues. The most common symptoms are: Itchy eyes, skin, tongue, lips, palate Sneezing Hives / Urticaria / Nettle Rash Dry mouth Runny Nose Watery Eyes The symptoms above could also be related to some prescription medications so please check with your GP or Pharmacist if you are not sure what is causing the symptoms. In rare cases, an allergy can lead to an anaphylactic reaction which is a severe allergy.  An anaphylactic reaction occurs very suddenly and affects the whole body. This type of reaction usually happens within a few minutes from exposure to the allergen. The usual symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction are: difficulty breathing difficulty swallowing or speaking swelling of throat and mouth a rash anywhere on the body flushing and itching of the skin This type of reaction requires immediate medical attention. If the person has a known history of an anaphylactic reaction, they will usually carry an Adrenaline injection. This will need to be used as soon as...

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Homeopathy for Hay Fever

Hay Fever is a form of allergy due to pollen of flowers, grasses, trees and other plants. The main symptoms are itchy, watery eyes, runny nose or blocked nose, itchy throat and symptoms of sneezing. Hay Fever is also known as Allergic Rhinitis. The Hay Fever season usually starts in March and ends in late summer, although this may vary between individuals. Some individuals suffer with the complaint all year round. Hay Fever affects 20% of the population in the U.K.  The symptoms usually start in childhood, but more adults are increasingly beginning to experience this illness. Different plants can cause problems to hay fever suffers at different times. The tree pollens usually cause problems from February to late May, then the grass pollens appear from May to late summer.  Most people suffer from an allergy to grass pollens. The body recognises these pollens as allergens, and stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to fight against the pollens. This stimulation causes the release of histamine from the nasal passages, eyes and mucous membranes. This in turn causes the symptoms that are commonly present with hay fever sufferers. Remedies There are a number of homeopathic alternatives to conventional antihistamines that can be used for hay fever. The most commonly used ones are mentioned below, with brief descriptions of their symptom pictures: MIXED POLLENS AND GRASSES 30C This is usually a good starting point. The remedy is made from a combination of tree, grass and plant pollens. It works on the principal of Isopathy (taking a remedy made from the specific allergen). ALLIUM CEPA 30C This remedy is characterised by watery eyes and nose. The eyes are itchy, red and sensitive to touch. The eyes also stream but the  tears are bland, and do not burn. The eyes may also be sensitive to light. There is also a profuse watery discharge with sneezing. The nasal discharge is normally watery and causes burning to the nose and upper lip. EUPHRASIA 30C This is the main remedy for the eye symptoms. The eyes water continuously  and  will be burning. The eyes will also be red and the lids will become inflamed. There is usually a lot of discharge from the eye which is yellow...

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What is an Allergy?

The word allergy is used to describe an adverse reaction by the body to a substance in the environment known as an allergen. These allergens are not normally harmful. The most common example of an allergy is Hay Fever. Most people are not affected by the pollen (allergen) in the trees and grasses, but those who have an allergy produce a reaction. An allergy will develop when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen and produces antibodies to fight this allergen.  The immune system will remember this allergen for next time the person is exposed to it. This is called the immune response. The next time that person comes into contact with that particular allergen the, immune system will produce more antibodies to fight the allergen. This results in the release of Histamine from the body, which causes the allergic...

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