Allergic clock might tick in our favor

Allergic clock might tick in our favor

Research scientists in Tokyo have been working on resetting the allergic clock in mice to lessen their tendency to allergy. Our daily circadian clock, which is critical for many of our biological systems, is located in a special area in the hypothalamus of our brain called the light-sensitive central oscillator. It is programmed by the varying exposure to light and dark. In turn, it signals all the peripheral oscillators (clocks) found in individual cells throughout the body. This includes the…

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Caring for childhood eczema clearer

Caring for childhood eczema clearer

Just-published research of eczema in children – and the accompanying sleep interruption it causes the kids and their parents – has led to a recommended treatment. University of Nevada researchers compared the benefit of antihistamines versus topical steroids to control the itch/scratching in children with eczema. They found that both forms of therapy were effective. In fact, they were equally good in preventing sleep disturbance from nocturnal itch – a particularly vexing symptom for families because it causes significant loss…

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Dear Doc: Exercise-induced symptoms confusing

Dear Doc: Exercise-induced symptoms confusing

Dear Dr. K: Dear Dr. K.: My husband and I both have allergies and we are both triathletes. When we exercise my husband’s nasal congestion always improves, while mine seems to get worse. What’s going on? The answer to your question is statistics. Your husband is on the good side of statistics and you are on the bad side. What I mean is that in the majority of people with allergies exercise helps open the nasal passages. It does this…

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Growing up on a farm can protect against allergies

Growing up on a farm can protect against allergies

  It has been observed for many years that living on a farm reduces the risk for children to develop allergies and asthma. To better understand this protective effect, researchers at the University of Munich conducted a study of thousands of children from birth to age 6. It turns out that a major protective factor was the consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk, as opposed to pasteurized milk. Before addressing the milk issue, readers should know that growing up on a…

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Singing lessons prove big benefit

Singing lessons prove big benefit

An amazing 96 percent of patients with lung conditions attending a “Singing for Breathing” program in the United Kingdom (UK) report improvement. Research done by UK scientists has shown that singing therapy can improve lung function in a variety of conditions including asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. The program consists of six weeks of twice-weekly voice lessons, followed by once-a-week maintenance classes. It is sponsored by the British Lung Foundation and is held at 55 clinics across Great Britain. The…

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Q – Tips: Ragweed Season

Q – Tips: Ragweed Season

This is ragweed season. Remember that certain foods can boost allergic symptoms to ragweed if eaten during this season: Melons, especially cantaloupe and honeydew; bananas, and chamomile – whether taken in food or drink, or even in personal products such as shampoo.

Chicken or egg? 5-year-old not confused

Chicken or egg? 5-year-old not confused

Poets and philosophers long have argued chicken/egg algorithms. And scientists have argued food allergy/eczema scenarios. For years it was felt food allergy was the seminal event preceding eczema. The natural history and logic of this position are hard to dismiss. Even a 5-year-old who recently completed his allergy testing to better understand his skin rash, (which showed strong positives to both egg white and egg yolk), asked me why he needed to have these tests for his “eggs-ema.” Wasn’t it…

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Allergenic children born that way

Allergenic children born that way

Infants who have food allergy display a pro-inflammatory profile at the time of birth in their umbilical cord blood. So say research scientists at the University of Melbourne. They found that the length of a woman’s labor seemed to lead to greater numbers of white blood cells that produce inflammatory proteins (called cytokines). In other words: short labor also leads to less chance of food allergy; long labor leads to a greater chance of food allergy.

Dear Doc: How long can I count on my Epipen?

Dear Doc: How long can I count on my Epipen?

Dear Dr. K: I keep an Epipen for “just in case,” but so far I have never had to use it. I keep replacing it when it expires, but it is expensive. Is it possible to use it past its expiration date?  The answer is “yes, probably.” The “probably” is based on the clarity of the liquid. If, when you look through the syringe and the medicine is clear, then it’s both safe and effective. If the liquid is yellow…

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