Toll Free: 1-877-335-2455
Fax: 877-889-9157

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Catch the Signs of Cancer Early

Cancer Cells

Image is from Humans Are Free

No matter how healthy you are, it is important to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of cancer. This will enable you to prevent it or treat it as early as possible if you happen to have cancer. Moreover, your doctors can have solid information on your condition. In this way, a more accurate method of cancer treatment can be applied to cure it.

There are many signs and symptoms of cancers you should watch out for. Below are the ones both men and women should take note:

Pain

Pain is the most common symptom in many illnesses. But when it occurs, many people would suspect it to be associated with cancer, especially if the pain is unusual and excruciating.

There are different types of pains you can experience depending upon the type of cancer you have. If you have a brain tumor, you may experience a severe headache all the time. If you have testicular cancer or bone cancer, you will experience the pain right in the beginning stage of these cancers.

Weight Loss

Weight loss has several factors. There are some illnesses that can reduce your appetite for food. As a result, your reduced diet makes you lose weight. However, there are illnesses that can automatically make you lose weight quickly without affecting your diet. The most common of which is cancer.

Cancer consumes a lot of protein. This is because the immune system produces antibodies that also require these proteins. This process inside the body is constant, and it eventually depletes the fats and the protein in the body.

Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom of cancer. Although it can also be a symptom of other illnesses, the fatigue of a cancer patient can experience is somewhat regular. There are times you feel so stressed you almost would like to vomit. Moreover, you will notice that you easily get tired even during even simple movements.

On the other hand, there are also times you seem so tired even without doing anything. This is probably because your heart pumps more frequently than normal.

Fever

Fever that occurs out of nothing means you have an infection inside your body that is growing and spreading. When your body is being attacked by bacterial or cancer infection, our body naturally fights them. Our immune system uses the available resources we have in our body. As a result, our body seems to feel stressed and weak. This condition also weakens our immune system in the long run, so we tend to suffer from fever.

Skin Degeneration

If you have cancer, your skin degenerates. It gets dry and pale, and you will also notice some moles, marks, or bumps. Your skin texture changes depending on the type of cancer you have. Some cancer patients notice their skin to be yellowish while others become red or hairy.

Sores

Sores do not automatically appear when you suffer from cancer. However, they don’t seem to heal when you accidentally have some. This is also the same case with diabetes. The reason behind it is that your antibodies are busy fighting the cancer cells. As a result, less and less antibodies are assigned to heal the sores.

Conclusion

Symptoms may vary from one person to another. In addition, some symptoms may be associated with another illness. Furthermore, every symptom has different levels or degrees of severity. The above signs and symptoms may help you determine whether or not you suffer from cancer. Nevertheless, it is recommended you consult your doctor if you experience such early signs and symptoms.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Radiation Therapy

Radiation-Therapy

Image is from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Benign Tumors

Cancer-Cells-12

Image is from Articles Web

Anyone diagnosed with a tumor will always have that moment of terror before the doctors can finalize with the tests and classify the tumor. While malignant tumors are a nightmare, benign tumors are not cancerous and easier to deal with.

All tumors share similar characteristics. They are all cells your body doesn’t need but are not destroyed at the right time. They might be old, damaged or deformed cells that don’t do your body any good. These unnecessary cells will then accumulate leading to a growth (tumor) that will vary in size depending on the seriousness of duration of the problem.

How Are Benign Tumors Different

Benign tumors are simply non-cancerous. The cells in the tumor might be abnormal but they don’t possess the power to travel to other parts of the body. The tumor becomes a contained mass of cells that will stay and affect its immediate environment.

The fact that a benign tumor will not spread is good news in itself. This, however, doesn’t make malignant tumors safe. If they grow too big and put undue pressure on a primary nerve, a main artery or compress the brain, the results could be catastrophic.

Popular Causes of Benign Tumors

The most popular causes of such growths include trauma to tumor location, chronic inflammation, undetected infections or improper diet. This makes tumors a threat even to people whose genealogy doesn’t have tumor histories.

A protective sac often surrounds such tumors. The sac is the body’s immune system trying to segregate the growth and its malformed cells from the rest of the body. While this rarely contains the situation, it makes it easier for surgeons to get rid of the tumor during an operation.

The most common types of benign tumors include:

  • Adenomas that affect epithelial tissue covering organs
  • Meningiomas that affect the brain and spinal cord
  • Fibromas or fibroids in organ connective tissue and common in the uterus
  • Hemangiomas that affect the skin and blood vessels

What to Do After a Benign Tumor Diagnosis

If diagnosed with a benign tumor, your doctors will first monitor it and identify its immediate danger to the body. While the tests are running, it would be wise to shift to an anti-cancer regimen since some benign tumors could easily turn malignant.

The ultimate way to getting rid of the tumors is through surgery. If all goes well, the surgeons will get rid of the growth at first attempt. There might not be a need for repeated chemotherapy and radiotherapy since all the infected cells can be removed in a single operation.

Benign Tumor Symptoms

Symptoms are hard to master especially if the tumor lies a distant from major nerves, organs or blood vessels. The first kind of symptoms to expect are bodily pains. The pain will be local to the affected region. If you are dealing with a brain tumor, expect constant headaches while fibroids will lead to pains in your womb.

The most common symptoms that cut across the table regardless of the tumor location include:

  • Headaches
  • Itchiness
  • Hormonal syndromes
  • Anaemia

Talking to your doctor once a scan turns positive on a tumor is the best way to identify the way forward. While some malignant tumors are ignorable, doctors will always advise on getting rid of the growth if you can. Benign tumors rarely respond to chemotherapy hence you will have to undergo some form of intrusive surgery. This is always the best way out especially if the tumor is in an operable part of the body.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Chemotherapy

242210881

Image is from Hello Doctor

There are many different types of illnesses we should be aware of in order to prevent them. However, prevention may be too late if the illness is severe. Some illnesses can be treated by regular medicines while others are so serious a different type of treatment is needed such as chemotherapy.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is known to be a method for treating for cancer. However, it can also be used in several types of illnesses such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill cancer cells. This can be administered in several ways such as through:

  • Intravenous Fluid
  • Injections
  • Pills
  • Liquid form
  • Topical Cream

Whatever the method is, the purpose of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. This won’t happen overnight as the ultimate objective is to kill the cells, there are three levels of treating cancer:

  • Palliation
  • Control
  • Cure

Palliation

When cancer has already grown malignant, many symptoms start showing. These symptoms are very inconvenient as most of them are painful. One example is infection that causes discomfort and pain. Through palliation, these symptoms such as infections and tumors can be treated separately to provide temporary relief.

This method doesn’t actually eliminate cancer nor weaken it. It focuses on immediate effects of cancer. Any kind of treatment that aims to reduce only the symptoms is called palliative care.

Control

Control is another method of treatment that does not also eliminate cancer. In this method, it may be considered during a particular stage when the cancer starts spreading. The purpose of the control method is to contain and reduce the growth of the illness in order to prevent further symptoms.

Just like diabetes and heart diseases, cancer also has a control stage where patients take some maintenance pills. There are times that the cancer seems to have gone away because there are no more symptoms present. However, it may come back in an instant without any warning. If this happens, a control chemotherapy will be performed again.

Cure

This method of chemotherapy may be obscure as the term “cure” is still theoretical. It means there is still no exact cure for cancer, but this method aims to cure it. It aims to kill and eliminate cancer.

This is possible in some cases especially at a very early stage. There are cases that cancer is cured on this method. However, there is always no guaranty that every cancer can be eliminated this way. This is why this method is called curative intent.

When to Start Chemotherapy?

If you suspect that you have cancer, it is recommended you look for cancer doctor called an oncologist. It is your oncologist who will determine the diagnosis and the proper treatment.

When your oncologist found that you have a cancer, they will then prescribe which combinations of medicine to use in a particular chemotherapy and which method of therapy should be used.

If your cancer is already malignant, your oncologist will ask you to undergo certain surgical operations to remove some tumors. However, if the stage is still early, the curative intent may be applied.

Conclusion

Chemotherapy is still the ultimate method of treatment for cancer. While research on cancers cure is still ongoing, this medical method proves helpful. However, not all patients can undergo this process because it is very expensive. If you have a cancer, it is better to immediately control it before you reach the palliative stage. Nevertheless, prevention is the best method.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cancer Warning Signs

Cancer-In-The-US

Images is from Infographics

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for Americans and can take many forms. When cancer is present in your body it can create a host of symptoms. While annual physicals can help to detect certain types of cancer, it is important to know some of the warning signs that are associated with cancer so that you can address them with your doctor early. The earlier cancer is detected and your treatment begins the better your chance or remission. Some warning signs of cancer that should be addressed with your doctor include.

Sudden or Unexplained Weight Loss

While weight loss can be attributed to dieting, stress, or hormone changes, any sudden loss of appetite or weight loss that does not seem to have a reason should be further investigated.

Change in Bladder or Bowel Habits

Your digestive system will often react to stress as well as the foods you eat, but if you experience problems with producing urine or frequent urination, long bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or incontinence, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Change in Size, Shape, or Color of Moles or Beauty Marks

Any moles, beauty marks, or warts should be monitored for changes in shape, color, or any swelling or spreading. Also marks that have atypical shapes should be brought to your doctor’s attention.

Problems Swallowing

A warning sign of throat and esophageal cancers can include difficulty or pain when swallowing. If you have issues with swallowing, you should contact your doctor immediately as an airway can become closed quickly.

Unusual or Excessive Bleeding or Bruising

While bruising easily or bleeding more than normal can be a symptom of blood disorders or anemia, it can also be an early warning sign of cancer. If you find unexplained bruises or seem to bruise more easily or excessively with minor injuries schedule a visit with your physician.

Lumps on Your Body That Can’t be Explained

Anytime you notice a lump on your body that is not associated with an injury, it should be checked by your doctor. Most often these lumps will appear on your breasts, testicles, or lymph system. If malignancy is suspected your doctor will perform a biopsy to confirm.

Pain

There are many reasons you may be experiencing pain, but if you have pain in an area that is not relieved by rest or explained by injury, it is worth bringing up with the doctor. Abdominal pain can be the result of a number of conditions including pancreatic and other cancers.

Fatigue

If you are getting plenty of sleep at night, but are still feeling severely fatigued during the day, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. While fatigue can be a symptom of many conditions it is also an early warning sign of some cancers.

Repeated Infections

Repeated infections can be a symptom that your immune system is not functioning as well as it should. This could indicate a low white blood cell count which can be an indication of cancer in the body.

Coughing up Blood

If when coughing you produce blood or blood tinged phlegm, address the issue with a doctor. Coughing up blood can be a symptom of many severe lung conditions as well as lung cancer.

Being in tune with your body is important to maintaining your overall health. If you notice any of the above symptoms or feel that something in your body is outside the norm, it is important to address them with your doctor as soon as possible so that proper treatment can be sought.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Causes and Risks of Heart Disease

1453814365797

Image is from Fox News

Heart disease (also called Coronary heart disease) is the leading cause of death among adults in the USA. Learning about its causes and risk factors may help you prevent heart problems.

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease typically occurs when plaque (a waxy substance made up of fatty molecules, minerals, and cholesterol) develops in the blood vessels and arteries leading to the heart. The plaque ends up blocking oxygen and vital nutrients from reaching your heart. Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, cigarette smoking, and high blood pressure usually destroy the inner lining of an artery thereby providing room for plaque to accumulate.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Several risk factors play a significant role in determining your chances of developing a heart disease. Out of the many factors, few stand out since they are beyond your control. These are age, gender, post –menopausal, and heredity. Men are more likely to get heart disease than women. The risk of Coronary Heart Disease intensifies when men are around 45 years, and women are around 55 years of age. The latter implies that the risk of women increases after they reach menopause. If you are related to close family members with a history of the disease, your risk may be greater. Other common risk factors for heart disease include the following;

  • eating unhealthy diets
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • Age
  • being physically inactive
  • clinical depression
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • diabetes or insulin resistance

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

Living an unhealthy lifestyle can also play a huge role in increasing your risk of developing a heart disease. Some of these unhealthy lifestyle choices that can contribute to heart disease are:

  • excessive drinking
  • smoking
  • Lack of proper stress management techniques while living in a stressful environment
  • lack of enough physical exercise and living a sedentary lifestyle
  • eating an unhealthy diet that contains high sugary foods, fat proteins, sodium, and trans fats
  • not managing or controlling your diabetes

Depression

Several studies have shown that people suffering from depression are at higher risk of developing heart disease than the general population. Depression can result in some changes in your body that can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Consistently feeling sad or too much stress can elevate your blood pressure and your levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is typically a marker for inflammation in the body. CRP levels that are higher than normal have shown to predict Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Type two diabetes

Doctors estimate that individuals with type 2 diabetes (especially those at middle age) are twice likely to experience a stroke or get a heart disease as individuals who don’t have diabetes. Diabetic adults tend to have multiple heart attacks if they have high blood glucose levels or insulin resistance

How to avoid heart disease

Though heart disease is catastrophic, it can be prevented in most cases. By maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle, everyone would benefit. However, it would be more advantageous to those with increased risk. The following strategies can help you avoid heart disease:

  • drink in moderation
  • stop smoking
  • take supplements, as recommended by your doctor
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • reduce stress in your life
  • exercise on a regular basis
  • maintain a healthy diet
  • Learn the warning signs of strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks
  • get annual physicals from your doctor to assess risk factors and detect abnormalities

One of the most effective ways of preventing stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease is by living a healthy lifestyle as mentioned above. Preventing heart disease should be a priority regardless of your age.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Risks of Anaphylaxis

slide_5

Images is from theheartysoul.com

Anaphylaxis is Deadly

Simply put, the first risk for Anaphylaxis is death. Anaphylaxis propels you into a life-threatening allergic reaction. This allergic reaction occurs by ingesting food, medication, through insect stings and latex use.

Causes of Anaphylaxis

If you have an allergy to any of these substances and come in contact with them, they can affect you to the point where you fight for your life. A person who is allergic to a substance has an overreaction to that substance when ingested or injected.

This highly allergic substance releases a chemical in your body that causes dramatic allergic reactions of which anaphylaxis is the last response before death which affects several areas of the body. Immediate treatment must be started right away to prevent anaphylaxis shock, resulting in death.

When you have asthma, allergies, a family history of anaphylaxis your risks run higher them other people. Each anaphylaxis reaction your body fights only enhances and increases your chances of another more severe reaction.

If you have asthma and allergies, you must monitor your intake of allergens that you know causes you allergic reactions.

Time is Vital to Seeking Immediate Medical Help

When you anticipate you have come in contact with a toxic substance to your body, time is of the essence in seeking medical help. You only have a matter of minutes to get emergency help to counteract these signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Never leave these signs and symptoms go untreated, as your life depends on getting medical help as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Possible Anaphylactic Reaction

The pre-symptoms for an anaphylactic reaction may not seem significant enough to seek medical attention. However, these symptoms soon become severe.

Listed are some symptoms you may experience before the anaphylactic reaction occurs. You are at high risk for a follow-up anaphylactic reaction in a few hours, so you must monitor yourself carefully or be under the care of emergency professionals.

  • A runny nose and Sneezing
  • Skin Rash
  • dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing on breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • Weak pulse

One and Only One Treatment for Anaphylaxis Reaction

The usual treatment for an anaphylaxis reaction is an injection of epinephrine at a medical facility. If you have experienced an anaphylactic reaction in the past, it is advisable that you carry on your person a few doses of epinephrine.

You may hear the words of Anaphylactic shock. Few people go into this type of shock that robs the body of blood circulation, nutrients, and oxygen. You can stop an anaphylaxis reaction before it becomes a shock situation.

Anaphylaxis History – Carry Two Doses of Epinephrine Pens at all Times

Epinephrine pens can reverse your risks for anaphylaxis reaction in a matter of seconds. If you administer a dose of epinephrine and it is not effective in a matter of seconds, you administer the second dose right away.

Certain medications prove ineffective in reversing an anaphylaxis reaction. Medication such as an antihistamine will not help you.

If you have a history of anaphylaxis reaction, you need to make people around you aware of your history. Wear a medical alert bracelet.

A True Anaphylaxis Reaction

Medical professionals can determine if you at risk for anaphylaxis with signs of low blood pressure, dizziness, shortness of breath, rash, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Having these symptoms after coming in contact with an allergen seals your chances for anaphylaxis.

In Conclusion

When know you are allergic to bee stings, fish, and any other substance that allows severe reactions to your body, avoid at all cost these problematic issues.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Treatment for Eczema

dry-skin-5

Image is from Wonder Wardrobes

Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation. When diagnosed with eczema, it is important to keep your symptoms under control. Knowing what triggers your outbreaks are vital so that you can prevent them. Some common triggers are stress, allergens, irritants, and dry skin.

What You Can Do

Most cases of eczema are manageable with a proper skin care routine. The following practices will help you control your eczema symptoms:

  • Establish a Daily Skin Care Routine – This is sometimes in conjunction with prescription therapy. Try not to miss any treatments so that your eczema doesn’t flare.
  • Be Aware of your Stressors – Avoid as many stressful situations that you can, and learn stress management techniques to help you with the ones you can’t. You can learn these techniques from a doctor or psychologist.
  • Try Not to Scratch or Rub your Skin – Be aware of what materials or substances that irritate your skin and avoid them. Avoid itchy fabrics, like wool, and dress in soft, breathable clothing.

Treatments and Medications

There are many different options available to treat your eczema. These include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies
  • Medications available by prescription.
  • Phototherapy
  • Alternative therapies

The Most Common Treatments

  • OTC Products – These are medications and products that you can buy without a prescription. They include mineral oil, tar-based products, petroleum jelly, and gentle cleansers that do not contain soap. These treatments moisturize, treat symptoms of itching, and gently cleanse your skin to avoid infection.
  • Prescription Medications – Your doctor can prescribe systemic oral drugs, topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), and topical corticosteroids.
  • Bathing – This is one of the most effective ways to treat your dry skin. Soaking in a warm bath is very therapeutic. You can add one of the following items to your bath water to treat your specific symptoms: baking soda, oatmeal, salt, vinegar, or bleach. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and moisturize immediately afterward.
  • Moisturizing – If your skin gets too dry, your symptoms can flare. Washing without moisturizing afterward, harsh soaps, cold temperatures, low humidity, and even wind can dry out your skin.
  • Phototherapy – A special machine is used that emits ultraviolet B (UVB) light onto your skin. This increases bacteria-fighting systems in the skin, increases vitamin D production, and reduces inflammation and itching.
  • Alternative Therapies – Stress reduction techniques, supplements, acupuncture, plant-based topicals like coconut oils, biofeedback, and meditation have all been shown to reduce your symptoms.

Remember, symptoms of eczema are different for everyone and not everyone will respond to the same type of treatments. It is best to familiarize yourself with all available options and discuss them with your doctor, so you can customize a plan that works best for you.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What to Avoid: Gluten Allergy

gluten-625_625x350_41428314990

Do you or a family member suffer from frequent or infrequent brain fog, lethargy, painful stomach maladies or a combination of each? The struggle is real. The acknowledgement of gluten allergies in the last decade has recently illuminated the often debilitating symptoms that affect upwards of 18 million people in the United States. One grain of wheat could make the difference between a better quality of life and barely getting by. So what can you do to stop something so seemingly insignificant from negatively impacting the way you live? Discover what to look for and what to avoid in your day-to-day routine to avoid needless pain and suffering.

Show Me the–Ingredients

When going gluten-free, consummate foodies may find the “food lifestyle” change a little daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can satisfy your taste buds and avoid the dangers gluten allergies can bring to your everyday nutriments.

1. Be vigilant. It’s simple, read the nutritional information! Do this and at the very least you will be aware of the possibility of gluten in your food choices.

2. Don’t just read the ingredients, read by the asterisk. For gluten sensitive stomachs, cross contamination of food items in factories that also process nuts, soy and wheat products can affect the most sensitive of stomachs. Many packaged products have additional information marked by an asterisk at the beginning or end of their ingredient list. If the product is produced in the same building as wheat products, you may want to set the food item back on the shelf.

3. Know your trigger words. Dextrin, barley, bleached flour, bulgur, beer, brown flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, various malt products and yeast products in food can cause the troubling and debilitating symptoms of a gluten allergy attack. If you see any of these in the ingredients, it’s best to steer clear and opt for a clearly marked “gluten-free” substitution.

4. Stay positive and look for options. The more options you find to replace gluten-rich products with gluten-free delicious alternatives the less tempted you’ll be to indulge in that little bit of tainted decadence that can bring on fogginess, cramping, nausea or shooting pains.

5. It is best to abstain. If you can’t find the information you need to determine without a doubt that what you put in your mouth is untouched by gluten, don’t bite. If there is a snack you just can’t live without, do the research. With gluten allergy awareness quickly becoming a must-have for food-producing companies in the current market, food companies post gluten information on their websites for quick and easy answers.

6. Expect nothing. What you may think as naturally gluten free, may be contaminated in processing and packaging. Gluten-free products are not guaranteed to remain gluten-free. Some companies may change the ingredients they use at their own discretion. Many companies engage in their own comprehensive food-testing and may have discovered gluten contamination in the process. If you peruse the numerous gluten-free food lists online that are periodically updated online, what was once gluten free could now be off the list.

Gluten isn’t just found in various foods. Shampoos, cosmetic products, medications, vitamins and even stamps and envelopes may all contain a form of gluten. From hot dogs to precooked flour dusted French fries, gluten is an ingredient that continues to find its way into our lives, but it is possible to avoid it. Thankfully as awareness grows, so does the list of food alternatives. Protect yourself by never making assumptions and you’ll be able to exemplify what it means to live a gluten-free life!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Milk Allergy

Raw-milk2_406x250

Image is from Food Safety News

One of the most common food allergy in infants and young children is milk allergy. Common symptoms can vary from mild reactions such as hives to severe ones such as anaphylaxis.

It is approximated that around 2.5% of children below the age of three years are allergic to milk since most children who suffer from this condition do so in their first year. The allergy however, dissipates as children grow older depending on the milk antibodies in their blood. It therefore means, that it is possible for your physician to determine whether your child will outgrow the milk allergy by simply measuring these antibodies.

The sensitivity to these allergy varies from one person to the other. There are those who experience a severe reaction upon ingestion of a small amount of milk whereas there are those who experience a mild reaction after consuming a moderate amount. However, some reactions can be life-threatening and this is why this allergy can not be taken so lightly.

 

Differences between lactose intolerance and milk allergy

Lactose intolerance should not be confused with milk allergy. A food allergy has to do with the immune system, which overreacts upon the introduction of a specific food protein. When the food protein is consumed, it triggers an allergic reaction that ranges from hives, rashes, itching, swelling, wheezing, breathing difficulties and even loss of consciousness.

Food intolerance, on the other hand, does not involve the immune system. People who suffer from lactose intolerance simply lack an enzyme called lactase, that is responsible for breaking down a sugar found in dairy products called lactose. Consequently, a lactose-intolerant patient will be unable to digest any food that contains lactose and may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps and nausea. While this condition can be very uncomfortable, it is not life threatening.

 

Formula for infants with milk allergy

Infants who are allergic to milk are supposed to be fed with a formula that contains milk which has been hydrolyzed. This means that the protein contained in the milk has been extensively broken down which makes it different from the protein found in your normal milk and therefore causes no allergic reactions. Some doctors also recommend soy-based formula on condition that the child is not allergic to soy.

A milk-free formula is supposed to be used past the one year mark as it contains essential nutrients that are necessary for children who have a restricted diet due to food allergies. It is always recommended to consult with a doctor or nutritionist so as to ensure that you meet the nutritional requirements of your child.

 

Management and treatment

The only way to control a milk allergy is to avoid milk products altogether. It is therefore, crucial for parents of children who have milk allergy to read product labels very carefully. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) dictates that all food products sold in the USA with mild products must be labeled with the word “Milk”.

There are two common types of milk proteins; whey and casein. Whey is found in the liquid part of milk and constitutes 20% of all the milk proteins while casein is found in the solid part of milk and contains the other 80% of the milk proteins. Milk proteins can be found in many products, some of which are unexpected. For example, sausage, canned tuna, meat and even some beverages such as energy and body building drinks. Therefore, if symptoms of milk allergy occur, track your diet for the culprit and report to your allergist.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,