Come March and blooming trees, picnics in the park, pastel colored fields can be as mesmerizing as an Impressionist painting or terrifying sources of allergy symptoms like puffy eyes, sneezing and sleepless nights.
The beginning of spring puts everybody into a happy mood. The flowers bloom and Mother Nature opens her arms, sharing the brightest colors and balmiest temperatures.
The days last longer. We can enjoy the resplendent sunset after a full day of work. And our children can spend more time outdoors running and playing after a full day at school. It’s all about connecting with our surroundings after a long, indoor winter season.
All of the above feels like an idyllic scenario, until you discover you’re allergic to pollen.
Yes. If you are already on shots you will have to keep on the same dose once you find out to not build up to higher doses, which will involve higher risks for possible shot reactions. This way we prevent the risk of an allergic reaction to shots which can in turn affect the baby. If you know you are already pregnant before starting shots then it is much better to wait until the baby is born to start immunotherapy.
In general, allergy shots can be started after 2 years of age and continued until 75 years old. However, as with any medical treatment, there are sometimes exceptions which vary on the individual needs of the patient; there are cases when patients younger than 2 or patients older than 75 can be on allergy shots.
Ever paid close attention to the details of our company logo? Well if you have, you already know it contains 4 distinct icons – each one representing a type of allergy we treat. The BEE represents allergy to insect bites and venom.
Today we have decided to showcase our BEE and make it a bit friendlier for all of you. Here’s a BEE-fitting treat (cookie recipe) for all to enjoy!
We have chosen from the best, Cybele Pascal, the guru of all-things edible allergy-free, author, mother, baker and also allergic herself. Whether you have received the bee-shaped cookie cutter from us or not, just follow the instructions below for a batch of delicious allergen-free cookies.
Make sure you tweak to your allergy needs or the ones of your loved ones, indulge over the holidays, and share the pictures of your creations (if you want) on the comment section of our blog below. We’d love to hear from you.
Ingredients: (makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies)
*Basic Gluten Free Flour Mix
To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag; Shake until well blended; Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal (Celestial Arts; 2009). Allergy-Free Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies ©2010 by Cybele Pascal.
Disclaimer: Please note that [the] recipe is completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let Mrs. Pascal know and she’ll help you find it.
Safety Note: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption.
Do you suspect you may have food allergies? Avril of New York suspected she may have had food allergies:
“There were certain days when I would have digestive issues and be incredibly tired, even if I had a good 8 hours of rest the night before”.
Avril started a journal and it didn’t take long for her to recognize patterns.
“The diary allowed me to pay closer attention to the foods I was eating and I noticed certain foods would give me the exact same symptoms every time I ate them, I knew I had to see a doctor after that”.
She had a consultation with her local allergist and showed the logs to her doctor.
“He was so impressed that all my foods and symptoms were easily accessible. I ended up being allergic to gluten; it was great to finally figure out what was wrong and discover the solution to feeling better”.
Have you ever had any symptoms that lead you to suspect you may have food allergies? They may be so random, that the first thing you will be required to do is to keep a detailed food journal. With technology ruling our life there’s only one thing available day and night more than a journal and a pen, and it’s our phone.
What better than an app? ALLERGY JOURNAL is the new one.
The ALLERGY JOURNAL app is the perfect tool for anyone who suspects they may have allergies and wants to log their food intake for their doctor, anyone who knows they have allergies and wants to pay closer attention to their diet, or for someone who simply wants to utilize a diet-tracker. The ALLERGY JOURNAL app was created by IBKR and is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
Food allergies affect approximately 8% of children. The 4 major food allergies in children less than 18 years of age are peanut, milk, shellfish, and tree nuts. Most fatal food reactions occur with peanut and tree nuts. Severe food allergies are highest in the 14-17 year age group. Most food allergic reactions occur in the classroom, not the lunchroom!
Children with multiple food allergies have a three-fold increased risk of a severe reaction. Children with food allergies and asthma tend to have more severe reactions. Administration of an antihistamine (e.g. Benadryl), and delay of administration of epinephrine is the #1 error in treatment of severe food allergic reactions at school. In the event of a serious allergic reaction, follow three simple steps:
When in doubt, administer epinephrine! There is NO absolute contraindication for epinephrine when treating anaphylaxis. Administering epinephrine in time will save someone’s life.
When you suffer from food allergies or are the parent of children with food allergies, the always impending question when holiday season kicks in is: “why is there food everywhere?” Here are a few Do’s and Dont’s of a gracious allergy-free holiday party…
You are told by your allergist to:
However, there are so many factors when it comes to delivering the message to friends and family members who only see you once a year. Where’s the limit between communicating with good intentions and looking like a control freak?
It may seem redundant, but 2 key steps to communicate one’s allergies properly are: avoid and teach.
Learning how to avoid the all too common cross-contamination reaction is very important, especially so, during festivities where “food” is the main attraction. Serving tools, dishware, napkins, trays, essentially anything that comes and goes from/to the kitchen can accidentally come in contact with an allergen if not previously inspected and communicated. The goal of a host is to entertain their guest(s) as best as possible so with strict guidelines and accurate communication set in place, your allergy-safe lunch/dinner party can go on without a glitch.
Teaching your child(ren) with food-allergies and friends/family how to properly read food labels can be a life saver. Nowadays many allergens (eggs, soy, milk, nuts, etc.) are mixed with other seemingly “safe” foods, so carefully examining every food label can avoid everyone an unwanted allergic reaction.
Bottom line is, despite your food allergies, the holidays can still be a happy and a healthy time of the year. Nonetheless, some planning ahead of time, education and a few tweaks on common traditions will be necessary for a merry old time!
MYTH. Choose to say yes to washing your hands for the entire length of the Happy Birthday tune (after all that’s what surgeons do before putting on their gloves). Say yes to disposable hand wipes when it comes to wiping surfaces; No to hand sanitizers and sponges which spread bacteria instead of getting rid of them.
MYTH. Cross contamination can be as dangerous as direct contact. It is always advisable to “preview the crime scene” and make sure that there are no allergic traps anywhere. Pulling the peanuts out of the store-bought nut mix or taking the eggs out of the Cobb Salad is not a safe option EVER. Once the culprit ingredient has touched a surface or any other food… and faster than you can say “oh no they can’t eat that!”, cross-contamination has already taken place. The safest best is to alert the food-allergy sufferer not to eat from that particular dish.
TRUTH. Having food allergies doesn’t mean not being able to enjoy the delicious array of once-a-year foods. Simply, take your time to find allergy-safe alternative recipes to those loved traditional dishes, so everyone can enjoy the holidays.
Some recurring questions our doctors are asked (they were also addressed at the “Navigating the Holidays” webinar conducted by Kids with Food Allergies Foundation), and are mentioned here too!
Explain the restrictions with time, make the host comfortable, allow an open conversation, offer to bring your food if it would make things easy without compromising the hostess’ pride in her best turkey or mashed potatoes.
Kids running and playing with “PB&J hands”, grandparents kissing and holding their grandchildren after having had a bunch of nuts from the adult’s room: skin contact can trigger not only reactions, but also those unpleasant family reunion discussions and misunderstandings if not diplomatically addressed. Food allergies come with you wherever you go, facing them and having to live with them can be stressful and scary at times, often at the very beginning when you realize that your kid’s life will always be different. To let festivities unfold in the most pleasant and memorable manner, the other parents will have to be informed with clarity what contact to an allergen can cause to your kid and the consequences that the whole party of guests will have to go through.