Spring Allergies

Yes, we all celebrate the arrival of the spring season, but for some of us, spring is also synonymous with sneezing, watery and swollen eyes, and even hives on the skin … that is, synonymous with allergies!

As they say, April’s showers bring May flowers, but those flowers may bring nightmares to millions of people around the country. Actually, and according to experts, around 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and they can experience discomfort and symptoms from now until the end of the summer.

Usually, spring allergies are related to trees, dust, grasses, flowers, and pollen particles that travel through the air causing terrible symptoms. Now, the problem is when you have symptoms but you are not sure where are they coming from. In a few words, the key for you is to know the cause of your allergies.

Doctors and experts recommend visiting your physician as soon as you experience the first symptoms. There are different tests that your doctor could order to determine with clarity the allergens that are making your life messy and miserable.

Once you know your specific allergies, it will be easier to have the symptoms under control, and the treatment depends on how serious are your allergies, or what kind of approach you want to take to defeat them.

The bad news is that there is not a cure for spring allergies but thanks to science we have several options to treat and reduce the discomforts caused by them.

Over-the-counter medicines are always an option but you have to be careful because there are different options, with a big variety of components that attack specific areas and symptoms. Once you know what are you allergic to, your doctor will prescribe the medicines that you need, and immunotherapy could be also a good idea. Immunotherapy is known as allergy shots that can be tailored to your specific needs.

The most important thing to have in mind is to attack the problem as soon as it shows up. Don’t let allergies to take over your beautiful spring season.


Alternative Milk Vs. Cow’s Milk

Years ago, the closest thing to the dairy variety was simply having the option of using whole or reduced cow’s milk in some percentage.

We are talking about the time when all those who suffered from lactose or other milk protein intolerance should simply avoid consuming it. Today, however, the story is very different.

Cow’s milk comes in different varieties that include lactose-free, whole milk, 2 percent, 1 percent, skim (fat-free), and more calcium or more vitamins.  

But despite the varied offer, a line of consumption has opened and it attracts millions of people who are either vegan, has allergies, or simply seek to stick to a different lifestyle, closer to foods derived from plants.

For all of them, the market offers all sort of kinds of milk based on rice, coconut, almonds, and soybeans. Each one of them promotes different benefits, and the truth is that they provide different levels of nutrition, depending on your own needs.

According to experts, children older than two years, teens, and pregnant women need proteins, calcium, and vitamin D, all of them are abundant in cow’s milk. Now, if you are looking to reduce the caloric ingestion in your diet, have in mind that a cup of whole cow’s milk ( 8 ounces), contains 150 calories, 12 grams of sugars, 8 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein. On the other hand, the same amount of unsweetened soy milk, which is one of the most popular alternatives in the market, contains 80 calories, 1 gram of sugars, 4 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein.

Eight ounces of unsweetened almond milk contains 40 calories, 0 grams of sugars, 3 grams of fat, and 2 grams of protein.

As you can see, the best source of protein is the cow’s milk, but again, all depends on what are you looking for, and what are your own nutritional needs.

The most important thing about how to choose your milk is to take into account that it’s only a small portion of your daily consumption of vitamins, proteins, fat, carbs, and calories. Balance should be your keyword when making the decision on what to choose. Specialists in nutrition say that you can reduce your intake of protein through the milk in order to reduce also calories, sugars and fat, but then, you would need to supplement with other foods the essential vitamins and protein that you are missing.

Before making drastic changes to your diet, talk to your doctor. Ask about your best options, and make safe and smart decisions.


Is it a cold, or are they allergies?

Who knows, right? Symptoms are so similar and both of them are very common at this time of the year. A runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, sensitive and watery eyes…how can we know if we need an antihistamine or a medicine against the cold symptoms?

Well, it could be tricky, but is not impossible, and it’s important to know the difference in order to get the appropriate treatment.

Now, allergies, cold, and flu, all affect the respiratory system, but each one of them has specific symptoms that differentiate from the others.

Let’s start by saying that when you are suffering from allergies your body’s immune system is fighting against an allergen, which means that you will experience the symptoms for as long as you are in contact with the trigger, or the element that you are allergic to. If you are allergic to a specific flower, or to pollen, for example, your allergies are going to be present while those allergens are around you. We can be talking about an entire season of many weeks or even months.

When we talk about a cold or even the flu, two weeks should be the regular time that takes to fight against the virus, because instead of trees, dust or animals, the cold is generated by a virus.

Besides a runny nose, the watery eyes and the other symptoms that are easily confused with those of the allergies, when you have the flu or a cold, you will probably present fever, fatigue, and body ache.

Even though there are some over the counter medicines that offer relief for the cold symptoms, there is no a real “cure” for a cold, and most people could recover on their own without the need to visit a doctor.

There are also non-prescription medicines to help with the allergies, but in most cases, it’s important to consult a specialist in order to know what are you allergic to and maybe to explore a long-term treatment.

The main message here is to be careful and to listen to your body. Don’t use medicines if you are not sure about the origin of your symptoms and always, always, consult a doctor if those symptoms persist more than normal.




What You Need to Know About Food Allergies

When your body reacts to a food in a bad way, you may be experiencing a food allergy, and it’s something that you need to take seriously.

Food allergies can be deadly, but you can manage them with the help of specialists like allergists, dermatologists, and others.

The first thing you need to know is that a food allergy is different from a food intolerance. Food allergies are life-threatening because your immune system identifies a food protein as a threat to your body and proceeds to attack it releasing chemicals. Your reaction to those chemicals is what we can see as the allergy reaction.

It is important for you to know what is the food allergen causing your reaction. The best and more accurate way to know that is with the tests that an allergist can perform. So, once you experience the first allergies symptoms, look for a specialist People can be allergic to any food, however, in U.S there are eight main foods that cause most of the food allergy reactions: peanuts, eggs, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.

Now, once you know what are you allergic to, it’s important to take care of everything you consume. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Always read every food label
  • Carry your epinephrine auto-injector all the time
  • At restaurants always ask for possible cross contact of ingredients
  • Let your loved ones know about your allergies and what to do in case of a reaction
  • Wear medical IDs with all your information. This is especially important when you travel

To be informed, to plan ahead and to learn about your allergies and reactions, is the key to succeed in the treatment and fight against allergens. Don’t be afraid of them, just cautious.

If you think that you might have a food allergy or you don’t know if it is instead, a food intolerance, visit your doctor as soon as possible. As we said, food allergies are serious, but a good management of them can be decisive in your effort to avoid severe reactions.