Jun 21, 2013

Allergies

Have you met anyone lately who doesn't have allergies? Whether it's hay fever; food allergies; or allergies to dogs, cats, or cockroaches, it seems nearly everyone is sniffling and blowing these days. It's not your imagination; the incidence of allergies -- including adult-onset allergies -- is up in developed countries. The reasons are numerous: too much time spent indoors, higher levels of pollutants, "too clean" environments in our childhoods that led to confused immune systems. People with allergies are three times more likely to develop asthma and to have sinusitis.

What Causes it
Your immune system overreacts to irritants such as dust, pollen, dander, mold, food proteins, or insect venom, releasing inflammatory chemicals that trigger allergy symptoms.

Symptoms to watch for
Runny nose and itchy eyes, particularly during high pollen seasons; sneezing; hives and/or trouble breathing after eating certain foods, such as peanuts or shellfish; red, dry; itchy skin.

Newest Thinking
British researchers have discovered a protein called p110delta that plays a key role in triggering allergy attacks. Drugs that target it could prevent allergies, leaving existing allergy medications - which mostly reduce symptoms once the allergic reaction has occurred -- in the dust.

Stinging Nettle
58% percentage of people rated stinging nettle effective at relieving their allergy symptoms. (‘Simple Health Secrets’, by Reader’s Digest)