Archive for December 2013

Eating Nuts In Pregnancy Lowers Risk of Nut Allergy in Children

Pregnant women who eat more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might be less likely to have nut-allergic children, a new study suggests.

The research, published last week in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, supports the recent findings among medical professionals that delaying the introduction of nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and other highly allergenic foods in young children doesn’t prevent the development of food allergies, said Michael C. Young, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a senior author of the study.

The findings inversely link a pregnant mother’s consumption of peanuts or tree nuts with the onset of nut allergies in her child. The more nuts the mother ate while pregnant, or within a year before or after pregnancy, the lower the risk that the child would go on to develop nut allergies, Dr. Young said. The study doesn’t demonstrate a causal relationship between a pregnant mother’s diet and the onset of nut allergies in her offspring, he said.

The researchers stopped short of advising pregnant women to eat more nuts. Further interventional studies—in which researchers would separate participating pregnant women into groups and prescribe their diets, rather than simply track their consumption—are required before they can make such a recommendation.


Only 50% of asthmatics receive flu injection- Acc’d to CDC

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) only 50% of asthmatics received the influenza injection during the 2011-2012 influenza season. The The CDC goal is to vaccinate at least 90% of asthmatics and others with chronic lung conditions such as COPD.

Asthma was the most common underlying condition among persons hospitalized with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in 2009. Although persons with asthma are not more likely than others to get influenza, influenza can make asthma symptoms worse, trigger asthma attacks, and lead to pneumonia or other complications that result in hospitalization and even death.

Influenza virus is safe and effective to prevent most influenza infections. There is no live virus in the influenza injection so no one can develop the flu from the vaccination. Side effects are usually involve discomfort or swelling in the arm. It is not too late to get your flu injection for this year!


The Greatest Allergy Myths- debuncked!

At the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in November 2013, Dr. David Stukus reviewed common public misconceptions about allergies. They are worth reviewing:

1. I’m Allergic to Artificial Dyes – There is no scientific evidence to support a link between exposure to artificial coloring and allergies. Controversy exists regarding evidence for artificial coloring and behavioral changes in children, as well as dyes causing chronic urticaria and asthma.

2. I Cannot Have Vaccines Due to an Egg Allergy – Egg embryos are used to grow viruses for vaccines such as the flu, yellow fever and rabies shots. However, it’s now safe to get the flu shot, which can help prevent serious illness.

3. At-Home Blood Tests Reveal All You’re Allergic To – These tests might be able to reveal sensitization, but being sensitized to a certain allergen, like milk, doesn’t mean you’re allergic. These sort of at-home screening tests are not reliable and can often lead to misinterpretation, diagnostic confusion and unnecessary dietary elimination.

4. Highly Allergenic Foods Shouldn’t be Given to Children until 12 Months of Age – For most children, there is no evidence to support avoidance of highly allergenic foods past four to six months of age. New evidence emerging shows that early introduction of highly allergenic foods may promote tolerance.

5.I’m Allergic to Cats and Dogs, but can Have a Hypoallergenic Breed – Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat. Allergens are released in saliva, sebaceous glands and perianal glands. It’s not the fur people are allergic to. It is true that some breeds are more bothersome for allergy sufferers than others.

6. I’m Allergic to Shellfish and Cannot Have Iodine Imaging – Radiologists and cardiologists often use iodinated contrast during CT scans and other procedures for better imaging. Since shellfish contain iodine, many physicians have linked a contrast reaction to a shellfish allergy. However, this is false, and a shellfish allergy has nothing to do with the reaction. In fact, iodine is not and cannot be an allergen as it found in the human body.

7. I Can’t have Bread, I’m Allergic to Gluten – You can have a gluten intolerance, but it’s extremely rare as an adult to have a true allergy to wheat.


Allergy injections during pregnancy may decrease allergies in their children

Allergy injections given to pregnant women may decrease chance of their children developing childhood allergies. At the American College of Allergy and Asthma meeting in November 2013, Jay Lieberman, MD reported the results of his study. ” Our research found trends suggesting that women receiving allergy shots either before or during pregnancy reduced their child’s chances of having asthma, food allergies and eczema.Prior studies have suggested that mothers can pass protective factors to their fetus that may decrease their child’s chance of developing allergic disease”.

Studies with larger number of pregnant women on allergy injections and longer followup of their children are needed to confirm this hypothesis.


Rhinitis Symptoms now linked to Migraine Headaches

Twelve percent of the US population have migraine headaches. A new study done at the Albert Einstein Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, published last month in the neurology journal  “Cephalalgia” for the first time links symptoms of nasal congestion and irritation to the frequency of migraine headaches. This applied to patients with both allergic and non- allergic rhinitis. What wasn’t clear in the study was whether the nasal symptoms caused more frequent migraines or vice versa.  However, clearly there is a link between the two as the data in this study indicate.


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