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Monthly Archives: July 2018

MD AllergyPro Rhinitis Testing

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Rhinitis is One of the Most Frequently Reported Conditions in the United States

  • Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching of the nose
  • Allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis overlap, have overlapping symptoms, making accurate diagnosis a challenge
  • Headache, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbance may occur, leading to significant detriments to quality of life and performance at school and work

Allergic or Nonallergic?

  • The prevalence of allergic rhinitis (in patients with rhinitis symptoms) has been estimated to range from as low as 9% to more than 40%
    • Only 35% of patients taking non-sedating antihistamines were found to be allergic via IgE blood testing
  • Routine history and physical examination alone may not always provide accurate evidence to distinguish specific allergic conditions
    • Diagnostic accuracy rarely exceeds 50%

Appropriate management of rhinitis is an important part of effectively managing comorbidities, including asthma.

 

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Complete Pathogen Detection from MD GeneticPro

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48-hour Results

Get right to the source of infections with our comprehensive infection management program, utilizing rapid molecular diagnostic testing to quickly identify over 90% of the pathogens that cause two of the most common and life-threatening infections in long-term care; respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

Results produced within 48 hours give clinicians the ability to accurately determine treatment paths based on the specific infectious agent rather than based only one clinical symptoms.

Advantages to Pathogen Detection Testing  

  • All-in-one test in one sample within 48 hours compared to separate tests in 3-5 days for cultures
  • Identify causative co-infections with the same sample in the same test
  • >95% sensitivity and specificity compared to the low sensitivity and high false negative rates of cultures and other methods

 

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The Main Causes & Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

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Juvenile arthritis is a disease that affects children ages 16 and under, and it involves inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of the joints. This tissue is called synovium.

What are the Causes?

Most forms of juvenile arthritis are caused by a malfunction of the immune system, which places it in the category of autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks it’s own healthy cells and tissues. The result is inflammation of the synovium.

However, not all cases of juvenile arthritis are autoimmune. Another cause is labeled an autoinflammatory condition. The disease process behind an autoinflammatory condition is different from that of an autoimmune disorder.

While autoinflammatory conditions result in inflammation and involve an overactive immune system, the similarities between it and an autoimmune disease end there. With an autoimmune response, the body releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack the body. An autoinflammatory condition involves a more primitive part of the immune system, and the reason it malfunctions remains unknown.

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the commonly accepted term for the seven different types of arthritis that affect children. These are:

  • Systemic
  • Oligoarticular
  • Polyarticular with a negative Rheumatoid factor
  • Polyarticular with a positive Rheumatoid factor
  • Psoriatic
  • Enthesitis-related
  • Undifferentiated

What are the Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

General symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling

These symptoms last for more than six continuous weeks. The following symptoms are specific to each type of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis:

  • Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis symptoms with or preceded by an intermittent fever that lasts for at least two weeks. One or more of the following symptoms accompany it: lymph node, liver, or spleen enlargement, inflammation of the lining of the lungs or heart, a flat, pale, pink rash that does not itch and can move from one part of the body to another.
  • Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis affecting one to four joints for the first six months of the disease.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Negative Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and all tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are negative.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Positive Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and two out of three tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are positive. Tests must be taken at least three months apart.
  • Psoriatic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Patient has both arthritis and psoriasis or arthritis and at least two of the following: a relative diagnosed with psoriasis, nail splitting or pitting, or inflammation of one entire toe or finger.
  • Enthesitis-related Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – This occurs where a joint capsule, tendon, or ligament attaches to the bone. The most common locations are the Achilles tendon behind the ankle and around the knee. Both arthritis and inflammation must be present or either one with at least two of the following: inflammation of the sacroiliac joint with inflammatory bowel disease or acute inflammation of the eye, enthesitis arthritis, arthritis in males over six years, a positive HLA blood test, a family history of ankylosing spondylitis, or inflammation at the base of the spine or in the lower back area.
  • Undifferiented Arthritis – Symptoms do not fit with any of the six previous categories.

Researchers now believe that both environmental and genetics play a part in the development of juvenile arthritis.

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Understanding Sickle Cell Disease

Microscopic view of sicke cells causing anemia disease.

There are many kinds of diseases that are associated with blood. Some are contagious diseases. Others are developed within the body because of lifestyle or unhealthy habits. On the other hand, there are also such diseases that are inherited, and one of these diseases is sickle cell.

What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease, or SCD, is a red blood cell disorder that is passed on from parents to children. This red blood cell is identified as sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. There are many people with abnormal hemoglobin such as hemoglobin S, but the most common type of SCD is hemoglobin SS or sickle-cell anemia.

Overview

Our body tissues require oxygen, and this is being supplied by our hemoglobin or red blood cells throughout our body. Since hemoglobin has a round shape, it becomes flexible enough to easily flow through blood vessels. It’s soft and elastic, so it can fit freely flow along with other red blood cells.

Meanwhile, sickle cell has a sickle shape similar with that of a leech. Inside the sickle cell, there are strands that form such a shape, and these stands are hard. As a result, sickle cells don’t easily flow through blood vessels. Instead, they stick to the wall and block the blood vessel. Because of this, the supply of oxygen to our tissues are slowed down or even blocked completely.

When your body tissues don’t have enough supply of oxygen, you may suffer from severe pain crises. Such pain comes without early signs or warning, and this usually ends up being sent to the hospital for immediate treatment. In some cases, it can also harm or damage organs such as lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, and liver.

Causes

SCD is only inherited from a parent as it’s not contagious nor developed overtime. Nevertheless, the probability of inheriting sickle cell disease is low because even if your parent has SCD doesn’t necessarily mean you have also inherited it. There are factors that affect the transfer of SCD such as another parent’s condition. This means that both parents should have SCD in order to pass it on to their children. If only one of the parents has SCD, the disease will not be passed down.

Symptoms

There are different symptoms of sickle cell disease, and they vary from one patient to another depending on health condition. Nonetheless, these are some common symptoms you should observe:

  • Eye Problems
  • Slow Growth
  • Infections
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Swelling takes place in hands and feet; however, chronic pain is usually experienced by young adults who have SCD. If not managed properly, it may lead to bone damage and ulcers. Meanwhile, vision problems happen when eyes have the lack the supply of blood as a result of sickle cell blockage.

When You Should See a Doctor

Symptoms may be a false sign or just a sign of another different disease. It’s difficult to predict until you see a doctor. Visit a doctor if you see and experience the following signs:

  • Yellow Skin
  • Frequent Fever
  • Abnormal Swelling
  • Episodes of Pain

Treatment

The only cure for SCD is stem-cell transplant or bone marrow transplant. However, it has a lot of challenges to do so. Aside from the fact that it is difficult to find a donor, only those who are16 years old or below are able to undergo such an operation. Moreover, the operation is risky, and it sometimes leads to death. Nevertheless, antibiotics are administered to cure the crises or pain.

 

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Difference Between Having a Rash and Having Eczema

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Eczema,is a reaction to an external or internal allergen stimulus. There are listed, according to the Eczema Association, at least eight various kinds of eczema, and each type of eczema warrants a different healing option.

Understanding Eczema

Eczema considered chronic and long-term forms red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin that can range from mild to more severe.

The itching that develops can cause eczema can get so severe that the areas start to bleed. Intense skin scratching, in turn, places you at risk for secondary skin infections.

Eczema develops anywhere on the body, such as the face, arms, neck, legs, and chest. Symptoms vary from person to person. Eczema is migratory and frequently does not attack the same part of your body.

Eczema at its worse looks bad to other people to the point that people think you have a condition that they can catch. Eczema is not a contagious disease, but puts you in a heartbreaking dilemma.

Eczema is found to be hereditary or stems from an allergic reaction to some substance, and your doctor determines which type of eczema is bothering you, what triggers your eczema, and what healing methods are best to eliminate your eczema problem.

Eczema is a common problem in today’s society with many people like you trying to conquer its effects.There are no medical options that eliminate eczema in its entirety, so the goal is to manage this disease and keep it at bay.

Once a baby is said to have eczema, the chances are that this condition follows them as they grow and remains with them into the adult years. You do not have to have eczema as a child to develop it in your adult years.

If you experience any or maybe all of the following symptoms, you may be dealing eczema. Your doctor must determine which type and what health care options to use.

  • Patches of red skin
  • Skin that is dry and sensitive to touch
  • Notices dark patches of skin
  • Skin areas take on a rough, scaly look
  • You rusting on the top outer layer of skin
  • Have areas of swelling

Eczema is hard to deal with because when you think you have eliminated this condition it flare-ups once again.

Rash

You can develop a rash from an unlimited number of sources such as the environment, medication, cleaning supplies, stress, heat, cold, fevers, pet hair, food sources, and more.

Sometimes you may develop a rash without any indication of why or how the rash developed. In all instances, you just have to wait for it to disappear. No one can catch a rash from you.

A rash, not considered a chronic condition is short-term. General signs and symptoms include changes to the skin in color, appearance, or texture.

A rash can develop any place on the body at any time. A rash stems from your skin coming in contact with an external allergen or when you ingest something causing an allergic reaction, such as a drug or food you know you have an allergy. You have a rash if you notice,

  • Changes in skin color
  • Warmth to the area
  • Bumpy areas or hives
  • Chapped skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Blistered skin

Types of rashes are extensive and varied. You may know what caused your rash, such as, you are allergic to fish and you eat fish, or you have a fever of over 101 degrees, or you were in the sun too long. Certain conditions cause rashes such as the chickenpox and measles.

There are over-the-counter preparations to eliminate itchy skin such as antihistamine pills like Benadryl and itch-relieving creams.

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Taking Care of Your Bladder

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Your bladder is a hollow organ that holds the urine that is produced by the kidneys. The urine remains stored in the bladder until you go to the bathroom. If you don’t take care of your bladder properly, there are certain conditions that you can suffer from both now and in the future. A few of the most common bladder issues include:

  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Interstitial cystitis: A chronic bladder condition that causes bladder pain and frequent and urgent urination.
  • Overactive bladder: A serious condition that squeezes urine out of the bladder at inopportune times.
  • Urinary incontinence: A condition where a person is unable to control their bladder.
  • Bladder cancer

To avoid these conditions and to ensure the health of your bladder, there are a few tips that you should follow.

#1 Let It All Out

Women are especially susceptible to urinary tract infections that involve the bladder. Frequent infections of the urinary tract and the bladder can cause permanent damage to your bladder over time. When you go to the bathroom, it is important to empty your bladder completely each time. If you tighten up your muscles and you stop urinating before your bladder is empty, the urine that didn’t make it out of the bladder will bring bacteria back into the urinary tract and bladder which will cause an infection.

#2 Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids will help to flush out your bladder. It will also flush your urinary tract, preventing you from developing an infection. It is recommended that you drink six to eight glasses of water each day. If you find that you are urinating too often, cut back slightly.

#3 Get Moving

If you spend your day sitting at a desk, fluid can build up in your legs during the day. At night, the fluid build-up will cause you to empty your bladder. The longer you leave the fluid in your bladder, the higher the chances are of developing an infection. To prevent this, try walking throughout the day. You can also try raising your legs to your waist and flexing your calf muscles.

#4 Avoid Tobacco

Each year, over 50,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. According to a recent study, cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers. If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. It will greatly reduce your risk of developing bladder cancer and a variety of other health conditions.

#5 Drink Cranberry Juice

The best way to avoid bladder infections is to drink cranberry juice. The ingredients in the juice can keep harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. This will keep the bacteria from moving up into your bladder. If you don’t like cranberry juice, you can also take cranberry tablets.

#6 Watch What You Eat

There are certain foods that can cause bladder pain and frequent urination. If you suffer from these issues, avoid acidic food such as orange juice and tomatoes.

#7 Drink Less Before Bed

It is not healthy for your bladder to remain full all night. This is why you should drink fewer fluids two hours before bedtime. Also, avoid caffeinated drinks before bed because caffeine will make you urinate more often. If your bladder remains empty at night, the chances of an infection greatly decrease.

If you want to avoid bladder infections and chronic bladder problems in the future, you should start taking care of your bladder now. Each of the tips listed above will ensure a healthy bladder now and in the future.

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5 Tips in Treating Allergies

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Options

There’s more than one option in methods of treatment for allergies. Following is a list of five strategies you can use to help curtail symptoms and survive this year’s allergy season.

Know The Weather

Dry and moist weather can change the pattern of pollen release in plants. An exceptionally wet spring can lead to extended pollination, which leads to allergic reaction. Meanwhile, an incredibly dry spell during Summer can also negatively affect sinus function, which can also lead to an allergic reaction. Knowing the season will help you prepare secondary measures. One good way to get through a dry Summer is Flonase. Though it’s over-the-counter, you should still double-check with you doctor to ensure it’s right for you. This solution isn’t a permanent fix, but it does aid in coping.

Local Honey

While some dispute the veracity of this cure, many vet it. The idea is similar to that of vaccination. Local honey made from local flowers has components of local pollen, which when ingested by your body and processed by your immune system can be “uploaded”, as it were, into your body’s “approved” list. Allergic reaction happens due to overt immune system response; local honey can help dampen this response.

Medicinal Solutions

Antihistamines act as a decongestant and are recommendable for allergy sufferers in moist climates. Decongestants in general are also very helpful; but these solutions do depend on your personal conditions, tolerances; etc. For example, Benadryl works, but it knocks most people out like a light. Know yourself, and ask your doctor for recommended medicinal aids. While these can lessen allergy symptoms, they can also foster dependency.

Self-Hypnosis

Believe it or not, you can cut down your allergic symptoms through an act of will via self-hypnosis. In combination with other treatments, this method has proved somewhat successful in clinical studies.

Environmental Control

If you know what gives you an allergic reaction, you can avoid that allergen. For example, a feline allergy can be avoided by keeping your distance from cats. The same is possible with dogs. Pet dander in general can be eliminated as an allergic inciter if pets are eliminated from the place in which you live. If you have extreme Summer allergies, stay indoors as much as you can and where a mask from the office to the car, or something of that ilk. The main drawback of this technique is effectiveness. Certainly, it’s effective when used; but you can’t always control your environment. If your car breaks down in a field that is pollinating, and you have to change a tire, you’re going to have to deal with an allergic reaction on top of it.

Can Allergies Be Cured?

WebMD doesn’t think that allergies can be cured. The rest of the internet has other opinions, including things like a nasal flush. There are some who say that allergies can be cured through a regiment of removing all allergy-inciting agents and exposure to those same agents after the fact. There are even stories of acupuncture being the one thing that saved the day. The truth is, allergic reactions can come and go on their own. Youth who’ve been allergy free for twenty years can move and wake up with perpetual sniffles, then transition to middle age and find the allergies recede. Ultimately, the best way to deal with allergies is to know yourself and to prepare beforehand. Except for severe allergic reactions, oftentimes the pain comes from itchiness that can’t be ignored, and increasingly raw skin as a result. Refrain from scratching, and where possible control your environment. Certain treatments also help assuage the pain.

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Signs of Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer does not have a lot of noticeable signs in the early stages. Most people do not usually get a diagnosis until when the disease has progressed. However, there are signs you can look out for that will show if you have lung cancer. Noticing the signs can help you get diagnosed at the early stages.

Unending cough

You should be keen on any new cough that is prolonged. A normal cough that is associated with a cold or respiratory infection is likely to go after a week or at most, two weeks. However, a persistent cough can be a sign of lung cancer. If you notice a cough lingering for more than two weeks, you should visit your doctor to have more tests done.

Cough changes

You should also pay attention to your cough if it starts changing. It is especially the case if you are a smoker. Some things to look out for is if your cough gets deeper if you get an increased amount of mucus or start seeing blood.

Breathing changes

A lung tumor can cause fluid buildup in the chest, and the cancer can also block or narrow an airway. One way you can identify this is if you notice that you start getting easily winded or have extreme shortness of breath.

Pain in the chest area

Lung cancer is known to cause chest pain in some patients. The chest pain may be sharp, constant, dull or intermittent. It can also occur throughout the chest or can be confined to one spot. The pain can be due to enlarged nymph nodes or metastasis to the lining around the lungs, the chest wall or ribs.

Wheezing

You experience wheezing when the airway becomes constricted, inflamed or blocked. It can be easily diagnosed as a symptom of allergies or asthma and treatment is simple. However, if the cancer blocks the airway, wheezing might also occur and should be taken seriously.

Drop in weight

One common symptom of any type of cancer is loss of weight. If you notice that you have lost about 10 pounds without trying to lose weight, you should find out the reason.

Bone pain

If the cancer progresses, it might spread to the bones leading to bone pain. The pain might increase and usually gets worse at night. You should take note f any unexplained neck, back, chest, shoulder or arm pain that worsens at night.

Headache and fatigue

If the cancer spreads to the brain, you might experience headaches. However, it can also mean that the cancer is putting unnecessary pressure on the superior vena cava that triggers the headache. Another thing to look out for is fatigue even when you have not done any work. If the fatigue does not wear off even after resting, then you should visit your physician to find out the cause.

Nervous system problems

There are patients who experience nervous system problems when the cancer causes the immune system to start attacking parts of the nervous system. It can lead to muscle disorders characterized by difficult getting up from a sitting position, loss of balance and lack of steadiness in the arms and legs, weakness in the hips and trouble swallowing.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit a physician as soon as possible. Early screening is important especially if you are at high risk of getting the disease.

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What is the Prognosis and Life Expectancy of a Hepatitis C Patient?

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Hepatitis C is a very serious condition that not only affects the liver, but it is a powerful disease that can have other significant complications and problems within the body. Many people could be infected and living with it and not even know at first because the symptoms are initially mild. However, as Hepatitis C continues to grow and progress within the body it can lead to onset liver disease and cirrhosis. The important thing for anyone is to be able to understand not only what the disease is, but also how they can take precautions to protect against it.

Infection and Transmission

While there are always potential issues that could happen with respect to medical accidents, for the most part there are only two major reasons why anyone would come into contact with Hepatitis C. In the developed world there are issues with drug and needle sharing that could cause problems with respect to transfer of the disease itself. There are issues in the undeveloped world that could be a problem because of the lack of hospital controls and cleanliness or sanitary issues. In short, it is absolutely a blood problem and that is where you need to be aware. You cannot get Hepatitis C through casual contact, but through personal contact or contact of personal items you could see an infection.

Prognosis

The long term effects could be problems of the liver including liver failure and / or cirrhosis. There could also be drug treatments, but when you consider the fact that Hepatitis is not fully curable at this point there is little hope as of now that it will be. Consider the fact that it is also a virus, and there is no actual cureas of now that needs to be even considered because it is not feasible at this time. There are some trials and FDA approvals, but those are uncertain and unproven. Throw in the side effects which are common such as flu-like symptoms, hair loss, low blood count, fatigue, trouble thinking, nervousness, and even depression, and you can see why this is such a dangerous disease to live and cope with.

Prevention

While Hepatitis C is a very powerful disease, there are methods to avoid it. When you consider the main causes of infection and transmission can be protected against, the most important thing is simply being cautious. Not only are there a tremendous amount of screening and detection methods able to be performed so you know who is infected, but you will also want to go to extreme measures to ensure you are not putting yourself in harms way when it comes to risky behavior with infected people. When you also consider the potential of the disease being undetected early on, the consequences of risky behavior in general could still be problematic because you may not know who is infected and who isn’t.

Life Expectancy

Hepatitis C is not just a powerful disease, it is one that can take as many as fifteen years off of the back end of your life. This is assuming you don’t already have any other problems or conditions. When you think about the potential problems that can come about as additional complications, or the hardships you can face if you actually have other diseases or medical issues, and it can be a very powerful problem to try and deal with.

At the end of day, you need to continue to try and protect yourself from Hepatitis C. Even though you might be able to deal or cope with the disease, you do not want to risk it.

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Prevent Food Allergies

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There are a range of allergies, and food allergy falls among them. A food allergy is described as an abnormal response to the food eaten at that given time. Not all allergies are identical, as their indications maybe be minor or other times severe.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

The major symptoms of allergies may include among others the following:

  • low blood pressure
  • itchiness
  • diarrhea
  • itchiness

Most of the time it varies from different people. Some react within minutes, and others react within a couple of hours after exposure. However, when the condition is severe, it is referred to, as anaphylaxis.

Methods of Preventing Food Allergies

You can curb food allergies through the following ways:

Keep Away from Trigger Foods

It is also advisable to do away with trigger foods from the kitchen counters. Due to the fact that certain types of foods may cause allergy, keeping them around in the kitchen maybe lure one to consume the food, either intentionally or otherwise hence leading to allergic reactions. Exercising this may greatly reduce your risk of consuming allergic foods. Some of the most known foods to cause allergies include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts

Be Keen on Ingredients

Another useful precaution is to throw away any food products that you are not certain of the ingredients. Always keep it a practice to read food labels as possible as you can. This requires you first to identify the ingredients that often cause allergic reactions and avoid foods with such contents. Most developed countries require manufacturers to label their food containers with the top ten allergenic foods on food containers. Most allergens have code names for allergens an example is lactose, whey or rennet casein for milk.

Let your Baby Suckle

Medical experts advise that a mother should breastfeed her infant for at least 4 months of age, this helps in preventing allergies such as cow’s milk allergy, wheezing and atopic dermatitis.

Replace your Stock with Trigger Free Food or Their Alternatives

Removing your favorite foods because of allergy maybe not be an easy thing to do but alternatively, you can keep your pantry full of alternative foods thus minimizing the risk of consuming food with allergic content. In case you are in an environment around those who freely consume your trigger foods, you might want to consider storing your food separately.

Other times it causes no harm to walk around in stores to check for products specifically for folks with allergies, this may be a good idea because many manufacturers are considering that trend.

Limit Cross Contamination

In many typical homes, it is not so accidental to get into contact with trigger foods through cross contamination. This, however, can be prevented by being on the look lout on what you bring home and how you store and even cook it. Some precautions may include; using different utensils from others, owning your own cooking appliances such blenders and lastly cleaning your hands properly before handling any food stuff.

Put Down Your Meal Plans

If you constantly prepare your meal yourself, at a personal level, you stand a chance of reducing the risk of consuming trigger food. This also goes a long way in ensuring you get the right amounts of required vitamins and keep fit. This can occasionally be, maybe once a week. Take keen notice on meals you often miss at home. If you get to a restaurant, it is advisable to check the menu first.

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