Not real common, or innocent

Not real common, or innocent

Food additives are often suspected as a possible culprit for allergic reactions. A recent study done at LSU proves otherwise; that is, they are rarely a cause. Most food additives fall into one of seven categories: antioxidants, coloring, emulsifiers, flavorings, taste enhancers, preservatives or stabilizers. The three most common allergy troublemakers are two preservatives (sulfites and nitrites), and one taste enhancer (MSG – monosodium glutamate). Next most common are the dyes: carmine (red) and tartrazine (yellow). Other culprits include the…

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Quick Tips: Sjogren’s Syndrome

Quick Tips: Sjogren’s Syndrome

Another  recent study from that publication found that people with the chronic allergic “triad” of rhinitis, asthma and eczema have a much greater risk of developing Sjogren’s Syndrome (an auto-immune condition causing dry eyes and mouth) than the general population.

Celiac disease needs two genes and virus to switch on

Celiac disease needs two genes and virus to switch on

It has been known for some time that two HLA genes (DQ2, DQ8) predispose to celiac disease. What was recently discovered, and reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, is that is seems to take a virus to activate these genes that leads to the disease.  The research focused on the interplay between viruses and genes causing celiac disease, with its gluten sensitivity. The genes alone don’t cause celiac disease. The virus that appears to be the culprit is…

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Mighty mites proven peskier

Mighty mites proven peskier

Dust mites have long been known as the No. 1 cause for allergic asthma around the world. They are the “perfect respirable particle” – at only seven microns in size – and thus, easily inhaled into the lungs. Based on this information it has long been assumed that the development of dust-mite allergy must occur via breathing in the particles. Well, new research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris has found otherwise. It seems that the early development of dust-mite…

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Pets in home: many allergy studies, mixed results

Pets in home: many allergy studies, mixed results

By Sasha Klemawesch, MD Finally, scientific proof of dogs’ superiority! Research studies have reported a variety of health benefits provided to owners by their dogs; perhaps most pertinent to this newsletter being those related to allergies. A trio of studies in 2003, ’04 and ‘05 in various allergy journals (Current Opinions in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Current Allergy Asthma Reports) all reported that children who had dogs in their homes as infants were…

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Selfies

Selfies

Dear Dr. K: Among the many challenges and downsides of our smartphones, can you point to any not-so-obvious upsides to these instruments we glue our eyeballs to?   As it turns out, today’s craze in smartphone selfies may have some medical value that extends beyond vanity. To date, three medical conditions have been diagnosable from selfies: pancreatic cancer, skin cancers and oxygen desaturation. It seems other people’s scrutiny of selfies posted on social media can lead to changes being noticed….

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