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Health Happy Round-Up: Allergies

Health Happy Round-Up

Health Happy Round-Up

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.  If there’s a topic or recipe you’d like featured on Health Happy Round-Up, let me know!  [drgarnecki at gmail dot com].

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When I was in elementary school, nut allergies were practically unheard of.  Today, they are rampant among children in America.  My friend’s 3 year old is so allergic to peanuts that he’ll break out in a full-body rash if he merely touches peanut butter.

Common allergies aren’t solely connected to peanut allergies, but the most common allergies are dairy and grains (related to gluten and leptin).

To a certain extent, many allergies can be avoided.  If you haven’t already, check out my post on childhood vaccinations which references a correlation to allergies. j0433196

The American Academy of Allergy and Immunology states that a child’s chance of developing allergies is 25 percent if one parent has allergis and 66 percent if both parents have allergies.  Research cited in Medical Tribune found that mothers who breastfed their babies could decrease the likelihood that their babies would develop allergies by eating a diet low in allergens.(1)  The study followed 58 moms and babies who had a family history of allergies.  The control group consisted of 62 moms and babies.

The test group moms were placed on a hypoallergenic diet.  The test group moms avoided eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, wheat, or citrus (common allergens) for one year.  Also, their homes were  treated with products to control dust mites.

After one year, 40 percent of the infants in the control group developed allergies.  Yet, only 13 percent of the infants in the test group developed allergies.  Interestingly, the test group also had a lower incidence of asthma–only 7 percent compared to the control group’s 19 percent.

The study found that restricting the mother’s diet can lead to fewer allergies in children.  A huge risk factor related to childhood allergies is parental smoking.

42-16546468Recently, an article was published in the Los Angeles Times heralding Vitamin D and Turmeric as relief from allergies.  It’s not surprising when Vitamin D levels among most Americans is below normal.  Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory herb (it’s what gives mustard its yellow color).

When allergies result in symptoms (sneezing, coughing, rashes, watery eyes), it’s the body’s way of creating an inflammatory cascade to defend against a foreign body.  Countering the inflammatory effect of allergies requires building up the body’s resistance capability.

From the L.A. Times article:

In animal studies, turmeric prevents the release of histamine from mast cells (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, September 2008). If it works similarly in humans, this would prevent allergy symptoms from developing.

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects on smooth muscle cells in the airways (British Journal of Pharmacology, September 2008). This might help counteract asthma.

According to the Vitamin D Council, there are 3 ways to get adequate levels of Vitamin D:

  • regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible.
  • regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
  • take 5,000 IU per day for three months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.

5,000 IU of Vitamin D may sound like a lot, but to put things in perspective, you’ll get 10,000 IU of Vitamin D with 20-30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight during summer months.

For information on how to gradually increase your exposure to the sun with protective clothing, check out my post on Safe Fun in the Sun.

Your Turn:

Are allergies common in your family?  What has helped you and your family overcome allergies?

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

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