By Dr. Jeremy Johnson, BioVeda of Spring Hill, TN
Allergies may seem straightforward: You’re exposed to allergens like dust, mold or animal dander, you get watery eyes, you sneeze and you feel miserable. But you may be surprised to learn why some people suffer more than others. Here are some shocking facts about what may really be making you feel bad.
1. It may not be your pet that’s causing your allergies.
“It could be something else entirely,” says Jeff May, an indoor air quality expert and coauthor of Jeff May’s Health Home Tips. “Dust mites from your animal’s bed (or yours), or mold underneath antiques in small spaces” are possible culprits, he says. Even homes without pets can have a pet allergen problem. In fact, a study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that more than 99 % homes in the U.S. have detectable cat or dog allergens even though less than half of those homes have a dog or cat living there. Allergens can hitch a ride on other people’s clothes and they’ve been discovered in schools, hospitals, shopping malls, cinemas – and even in the offices of allergists.
2. Obese children and adolescents have a higher risk of allergies.
Especially food allergies, a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology notes. Researchers analyzed date from over 4,000 subjects ages 2 to 19, and discovered that obese participants were about 26 % more likely to have allergies than children of normal weight. The rate of food allergies was especially troublesome – 59 % higher for children who were obese.
3. Your sneezes around your daughter’s new kitten may be more than just a cold.
“You can grow up with pets and still develop allergies to them as an adult”, says Morris Nejat, MD, of the New York Allergy and Sinus Centers. “Having a pet gives you an immunity that can be lost when you leave that environment – to move away and start your own life, for example. If you then bring an animal into your own home, you may have lost your immunity and developed an allergy to your new pet.”
4.Plants aren’t as healthy as you think.
Unfortunately, “plants do not purify the air” Jeff May says. James M. Seltzer, MD, chairman of the Indoor Environment Committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends “Put a thin layer of gravel on top of each plant’s soil – this helps keep debris in the plant, protecting you from mold allergens.” According to Dr. Seltzer, even silk plants can cause mold.
5. Trouble breathing? Don’t look to your lungs, look to your gut.
Upsetting the normal balance of micro-flora in your stomach and intestines can change your entire immune system, researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School report, intensifying your body’s response to common allergens like pollen or animal dander. According to scientists, our modern diet and increased use of antibiotics may be at fault. Safeguard your health with a diet low in sugar and high in raw fruit and vegetables, especially following treatment with antibiotics.
6. Allergies can trigger bad breath.
“For some people, a dry mouth, caused by taking antihistamines for allergies or by the postnasal drip that streams down the back of your throat during allergy attacks, can result in bad breath, ” says Cyril Meyerowitz, DDS, director of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. “Sometimes tiny pieces of food lodge on the tongue or in the crevices of your tonsils and cause a nasty odor.”
We will discuss how to alleviate these issues in our next post. There are answers to your suffering – visit our testimonial page to see what our patients are saying!