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Identifying Chocolate Allergies

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Image is from Huffington Post

Chocolate is a food craved by many, but someone cannot eat this sweet treat do to a food allergy. Food allergies occur anytime the body’s immune system reacts to a protein that it sees as harmful, when it is not. Those reactions can range from mild to severe. The only way to know the severity of the food allergies is with allergy testing or by eating the food and discovering bad reactions that follow afterwards. To help you identify if whether you have a food allergy to chocolate or not here are some of the symptoms that can occur.

Migraine Headache

One of the most common symptoms related with a chocolate allergy is a migraine headache. Migraine headaches cause pain in the front or sides of the head. They can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, tingling in the arms and feet, body aches and chills and pain within the jaw and teeth. They come on suddenly, but typically occur after eating or drinking a food substance that causes it. The best way to treat migraines is with rest, drinking plenty of water, taking pain relievers, and avoiding the substance that causes it such as chocolate.

Hives or Rash

Skin issues such as hives or rashes are other issues people experience with food allergies. This is because the body is trying to rid the substance from the body through the skin. Sometimes eczema can occur as a longtime allergic reaction symptom if chocolate is eaten daily. To soothe and heal skin issues such as these, oatmeal baths and coconut oil seem to help greatly.

Difficulty Breathing

Wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and closing of the airways are serious allergic reaction symptoms that can occur with chocolate allergies. These typically occur within minutes of consuming the food, and most of the time need to be treated with an EpiPen and medical treatment from a doctor.

Swelling of Body Parts

Swelling and itching of the lips, mouth or tongue right after eating chocolate is a way of identifying a chocolate allergy. If this happens visit a medical professional immediately for treatment. Sometimes the hands can swell too, but it depends on the severity of the allergies.

Digestive Issues

Tummy troubles are another common sign of a chocolate allergy. Some of the digestive issues that you may experience are diarrhea, stomachache, and vomiting. Avoiding chocolate will stop these symptoms from occurring, but what will ease them are chamomile tea, papaya fruit, peppermint tea, antacids and antihistamine medication.

Runny Nose with Sneezing

A runny nose with constant sneezing while or after eating chocolate means it is probably time to stop eating this sweet treat. Antihistamines are the best treatment for easing these types of allergy symptoms.

Watery Eyes

Dripping watery eyes is an allergy symptom most suffer from with not only chocolate allergies, but with all allergies. Again, antihistamines and eye drops can help ease this allergy symptom. Sometimes itchy eyes can occur as well along with the watery eyes.

Bottom Line for Identifying Chocolate Allergies

Knowing these symptoms can help you identify these common chocolate allergy symptoms. Once they are known, it is best to avoid chocolate all together, but if for some reason, you do develop a severe allergic reaction go to the emergency room immediately for treatment. If there isn’t away to get to the ER call 911 immediately for help. After all, some food allergies without treatment can be deadly. If you are unsure if you have a chocolate allergy or not even after eating it and experiencing symptoms it is best to visit your doctor for allergy testing.

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Understanding the Swine Flu

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Image is from Flowing Data

Obtaining A Diagnosis

The only way to accurately diagnose swine flu is through a flu test. This is because the symptoms of swine flu look exactly the same as those found in conventional strains of influenza. Even differences of severity aren’t always indicators of one strain or another. While it is possible to see increased symptomatic characteristics stemming from swine flu, it’s just as possible to acquire this strain and feel as though you’ve contracted a regular bout of the flu. How you are affected will depend largely upon your personal constitution.

The extremely young and extremely old, like with conventional strains of the flu, will be at increased risk; likely experiencing more severe symptoms. This is because older and younger populations have immune systems which aren’t as strong as those in the prime of life. That said, if you live an unhealthy lifestyle replete with regular contact to diverse people groups, lack of exercise, and a ubiquity of vice (like smoking and drinking), you’re at an increased risk of contracting more severe influenza strains.

A Distinct History

There are actually quite a few different kinds of swine flu, including:

  • H1N1
  • H1N2
  • H2N1
  • H3N1
  • H3N2
  • H2N3

Primarily, the strain commonly referred to as “Swine Flu” is the H1N1 virus. This is that which caused a pandemic which quickly became global seven years ago, in 2009. Since then, this strain of flu has become seasonal in humans, though it still regularly circulates in swine populations. Thankfully, if you’re planning on eating pork, so long as any pork products you consume have been properly prepared, you won’t get the virus. Proper preparation includes cooking; so if you like your bacon soft and rubbery, you might have to give that up to avoid swine flu.

Avoiding Swine Flu

While properly prepared pork will not get you sick, it’s very possible to acquire the virus through poorly prepared pork products. If you can tone down your pork intake during flu season, it’s a good idea; even though you likely won’t catch the flu this way. It’s more likely to get transmitted by a sneeze, a cough, a loud phlegmy laugh, or contacting a door handle/table/hand-rail that’s been touched by an infected individual. Regular hygiene practices go a long way toward preventing influenza. That means washing your hands when you’ve come into contact with areas that may have been compromised, eating a diet high in non-processed foods that include fruits and vegetables, regularly exercising, and retaining a high level of fluids.

Additional Preventative Measures

Getting a swine flu vaccine can definitely help reduce your risk of contracting this specific strain of the flu. But to get that vaccine, you should be advised that peak health is to be recommended. A vaccine initiates an immune system response which bears some characteristics of the sickness itself. This is because an inert (or weakened) antigen is injected into the body, giving the immune system a chance to deal with it and prepare for a future incursion of the same.

Times Of Maximum Risk

Flu season conventionally begins toward the end of September, though it can begin as early as late August. It usually lasts through early spring. Conventionally, you’ll find that influenza season picks up at the end of Summer/the middle of Autumn. Several things which contribute are regular vacation travels, the new school year, and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving where disparate people groups regularly mingle. For you and your family, retaining good eating and fitness habits, as well as a proper inoculation regimen, are great ways to combat this increasingly prominent strain of the influenza virus.

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4 Illnesses That Are Common in the Winter

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Images is from Live and Learn

Learn about the most common winter illnesses and what you can do to fight them.

As the leaves began to fall off the trees and temperatures drop, illnesses such as the flu peak. Many viruses are more likely to spread in the winter. There are several reasons for this. Dry cold air makes it easier for viruses to get into your nasal passages and some germs, such as influenza, are more stable and stay in the air longer when the air is dry and cold. Plus, more people are indoors in the winter. Being indoors with all the doors and windows shut make it more likely that you will be exposed to germs. Here are some of the most common winter illnesses and ways that you can prevent them.

Flu

Influenza, also called the flu is a respiratory virus that is caused by influenza. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the flu virus is at its peak from November through March in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu is prevalent from May through September.

Symptoms of the flu include body aches, high fever, coughing, sore throat and runny nose. Flu is contagious and spreads from person to person by sneezing and coughing. It may also spread through infected surfaces. Populations most susceptible to serious complications from the flu include the elderly and very young as well as those with impaired immune systems.

The best way to prevent the flu is to make sure that you and everyone in your house is vaccinated against the flu. The flu can be treated with Tamiflu if it is diagnosed within 48 hours. Otherwise, the illness has to run its course.

Asthma

Cold air can trigger asthma symptoms and causes wheezing and shortness of breath. Allergens are often a major contributor to asthma. Being indoors leads to breathing in mold, dust and dander, all of which are asthma triggers. Wind and rain also stir up allergens. Working out in the cold weather can also exacerbate asthma, making it more difficult to breathe. Ways to deal with asthma in the winter include:

  • Understand and avoid your triggers-If you are allergic to dust mites or mold, keep your house cool and dry.
  • Exercise indoors
  • Cover your face when you go outdoors

Norovirus

Noroviruses, also known as the “winter vomiting bug” is notorious for ruining cruise passenger’s vacations and causing entire ships to turn back around for port. Noroviruses strike not only cruise passengers, but those on dry land, as well. It is common on cruise ships due to the fact that they are highly contagious. Noroviruses spread through contaminated food and surfaces. Cruise ships provide the perfect setting for noroviruses due to the large number of people confined to a relatively small area. The symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. The best way to prevent norovirus is to wash your hands frequently.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is the irritation and swelling of the air passages of the lungs. This illness most often occurs in winter and is often a complication of another illness, such as the flu or asthma. Frequent coughing is the most common symptom of bronchitis. Although it is usually not a serious illness in healthy individuals, it can lead to pneumonia in certain individuals. If the condition does not go away in two weeks, contact your health care physician. To reduce the risk of bronchitis, wash your hands frequently and get vaccinated for the flu.

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What Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans?

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Image is from www.bbc.com

Blood Connoisseurs

Some people just have all the charisma with vampire bugs. Mosquitoes prefer certain bloods. Approximately 10% of people are highly attractive to them. Is it how they wear their hair? Are mosquitoes like frat guys who have a particular “type”?

Well, the frat thing probably isn’t the case; the mosquitoes that bite you are female. This is because laying eggs requires blood–but not just your blood; she’ll settle for animals, too. It’s just, if she could have steak or a Slim Jim, she’s going with the steak every time. Wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, if you’re attractive to mosquitoes, you can’t just “hide” from them. It’s in your genes, at some level. According to WebMD, only 15% of factors influencing mosquito susceptibility are in our control.

The 15% You Can Control

You can do a few things to ensure that only one out of the ten in your group bears the brunt of the mosquito assault. Things which attract mosquitoes and are controllable include:

  • High levels of cholesterol remaining on the skin’s surface after it’s been processed
  • Steroids
  • Excess amounts of uric acid
  • Large emissions of carbon dioxide

Mosquitoes can “smell” you from up to fifty meters. If you’re sweating profusely and exhaling profusely, you’re easier to smell. You’ll be putting off more carbon dioxide. The larger you are, the easier you are to smell, because you are putting off more carbon dioxide. When moving, your body may also begin to heat up. This likely also will produce higher quantities of uric acid through your sweat. And if you’ve used steroids to help you work out, it doesn’t matter how low your cholesterol is; the bugs will be after you. Additionally, the thing about cholesterol which attracts mosquitoes isn’t the aspect which may clog arteries in the wrong quantities. It’s rather how cholesterol is processed by your body, and the residue left on your skin after the fact. Since pregnant women are liable to produce more carbon dioxide than normal, mosquitoes love them, and will come in for a bite extremely often. This doesn’t bode well in areas where the Zika virus has been detected.

Repelling The Blighters If You Are In The 10%

Mosquito repellent with DEET will keep the bugs off you about five hours, but DEET is a chemical repellent which, though statistically minimally, has been known to cause medical issues in some. What’s becoming en vogue today are mosquito traps, which can knock mosquito populations down and help everybody; not just the guy with the tasty blood. There’s also permethrin-laced clothing, which puts the repellent chemicals on the garments rather than the body. Another means of cutting down on mosquito populations includes reducing areas of standing water. Water is where they breed–you’ve seen the little larvae jerking spasmodically around in puddles before. It does not take them long, either; and they’ll keep breeding where the water is. If they find water that isn’t in a pond, it’s to their benefit–there’s a decreased likelihood frogs will eat them.

It’s Not Just Zika

West Nile Virus, Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Zika are all diseases that result from mosquito bites. While most of those have only been seen in America among statistically minimal segments of the population, why put yourself at risk? It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in the 10% of people more attractive to mosquitoes. The listed diseases affect all 100% of the humans who have been bitten. Granted, some will be affected worse than others, but prevention is still the best option. Eliminate standing water, dress accordingly, and use repellent. (There are organic repellent options.)

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