April 2019

Tips For Managing Food Allergies

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Dealing with food allergies can be daunting. The effects of a reaction range from somewhat bothersome to potentially deadly. There is no cure, so anyone with a food allergy must vigilantly avoid the foods that trigger a reaction.

 

So how best to protect yourself? These six tips can help you create a system that can feel manageable, even routine.

 

 

Always read labels. Today, food labels include important allergy information such as whether any additives contain milk protein or byproducts of wheat, or whether a food was produced in a facility that processes nuts. Still, you need to read every label, every time — even if you have purchased the item hundreds of times before. Manufacturers frequently change ingredients and an allergen may be part of a new formulation.

 

 

Take care when cooking. If everyone in the household isn’t following an allergen-free diet, you want to be sure to avoid cross-contamination. It’s a good idea to have two sets of cooking and eating utensils — one exclusively for the allergic person — so that a knife used to cut a peanut butter sandwich isn’t inadvertently pressed into service buttering the toast of someone who’s allergic to peanuts. All dishes and utensils should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water between uses.

 

 

Dine out defensively. It’s wise to let the manager or chef know about your food allergy before you order. People with food allergies often carry a chef card — a printed note specifying all the ingredients you are allergic to as well as a request that all dishes, utensils, and preparation surfaces be free from traces of that food. You can customize a template of such a card on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Web site, www.foodallergy.org. Fast food restaurants and coffee shops are no exception. Read labels and ask questions before deciding what to eat and drink.

 

 

Formulate an action plan. Make a list of steps to take should you accidentally eat the food you are allergic to, and carry a printed copy of the plan with you.

 

 

Wear a medical ID bracelet. Make sure it lists relevant information about your food allergy.

 

 

Always carry your medication, ideally two doses. If your doctor has prescribed emergency medication for you (EpiPen or TwinJet) always take it with you and always carry two to be sure you’re prepared in case you get into trouble. Some people with food allergies also carry antihistamines. Don’t leave home without your medications.

Article by Harvard Medical School

Home Remedies For Eczema

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Home Remedies For Eczema

 

Home remedies and natural treatments can soothe the dry, itching skin that comes with eczema. Natural substances, such as aloe vera gel and coconut oil, can moisturize dry, broken skin. They can also combat inflammation and harmful bacteria to reduce swelling and prevent infection. Natural remedies cannot cure eczema, but they can help manage the symptoms and prevent flares. This article looks at the best natural remedies for eczema.

 

1. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is derived from the leaves of the aloe plant. People have used aloe vera gel for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. One common use is to soothe eczema. The antibacterial and antimicrobial effects can prevent skin infections, which are more likely to occur when a person has dry, cracked skin. Aloe’s wound-healing properties may soothe broken skin and promote healing.

 

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for many conditions, including skin disorders. The National Eczema Association (NEA) report that apple cider vinegar may help with the condition. However, they recommend using caution, as the vinegar’s acids can damage soft tissue.

 

3. Colloidal oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal, also known as Avena sativa, is made from oats that have been ground and boiled to extract their skin-healing properties. A 2015 study reports that colloidal oatmeal lotion had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in improved skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity.

 

4. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains healthful fatty acids that can add moisture to the skin, which can help people with dry skin and eczema. A randomized clinical trial looked at the effects of applying virgin coconut oil to the skin in children. The results show that using the oil for 8 weeks improved the symptoms of eczema better than mineral oil.

 

5. Honey

Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, and people have used it to heal wounds for centuries. Conclusions of a review confirm that honey can help heal wounds and boost immune system function, which means that it can help the body fight off infections. Applied directly to eczema, honey could help prevent infections while moisturizing the skin and speeding healing.

 

Outlook

There is no cure for eczema, but people can often manage their symptoms with home remedies, including natural gels and oils, medicated baths, and dietary changes. If eczema is severe or does not respond to home treatments, it may be a good idea to see a doctor.

Article by Jennifer Berry