Archive for April 9th, 2012

Learning About Food Allergies

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Food allergies affect approximately 4 million Americans with symptoms that can include difficulty breathing, an outbreak of hives, asthma, vomiting, and even death. Oftentimes food allergies are confused with an inability to tolerate certain foods. Food intolerance usually brings about an entirely different set of symptoms including a bloated feeling, gas, or other similar type of discomfort. Food Allergies or Food Intolerance An easy way to distinguish food allergies from food intolerances is to understand that an allergic reaction actually originates in a person’s immune system. A severe allergic reaction can result in suffocation when the throat or the tongue swells so much that a person cannot breathe. Given the fact that approximately 150 people in the United States die each year from food allergies, this condition is no laughing matter. Individuals with known food allergies usually inherit this condition from another member of the family. When food allergy patients are studied, it is common to see that conditions such as eczema, hay fever, and asthma affect other family members. Foods That Cause Allergies A few different kinds of foods seem to trigger the most allergic reactions. And it seems that adults and children each have a different set of foods that cause problems. The majority of food allergy cases in children involve peanuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat. In adults, the foods most involved with allergies include shellfish (such as shrimp, crab and lobster), peanuts, walnuts, eggs, other fish and nuts that grow in trees. Food allergies are so serious in some people that even smelling the food can trigger an allergic reaction. However, food allergies mostly become an issue after a person has eaten a food to which he or she is allergic. Symptoms can begin right at the point of entry with lips that begin to tingle or a tongue that begins to itch. Gastrointestinal trouble follows with cramping, or the need to vomit, or the development of diarrhea. As the troublesome food breaks down and enters the bloodstream, it travels towards the lungs and at that point conditions such as asthma, eczema, shortness of breath, or low blood pressure can all develop. Dealing with Food Allergies To protect themselves, people with known allergies to food simply have to avoid coming into contact with these foods. That sounds easy enough, however the reality is that it is not always possible to avoid the foods that cause problems. Processed foods can contain so many ingredients that sometimes the food culprit is buried deep in the fine print. Legislation aimed at improving food labeling as it pertains to food allergies has recently been enacted and hopefully these new labeling requirements will better protect those with food allergies. Keeping children away from food allergens is difficult unless a parent is vigilant about what goes into the child’s mouth. Parents of children with food allergies must inform everyone from school officials to neighbors about the child’s food allergies and even then, accidents happen. Fortunately for children with food allergies, most will outgrow this condition.

Treating Crohn’s Disease With Nutritional Change

Monday, April 9th, 2012

It should be understood that Crohn’s Disease can not be cured or treated with nutritional change. Food intake or allergies also do not cause Crohn’s Disease. However, after the disease is present, certain foods may aggravate the effects of Crohn’s and may be eliminated to reduce side effects. There is no special diet Crohn’s sufferers should follow. For the most part, you should monitor your diet and the results of such on your body. One way of doing this is by utilizing a food diary in which you log such information. This way, you can keep track of any negative effects certain foods may have. Furthermore, the part of your intestine that is affected by Crohn’s may determine how your body reacts to certain foods and these results may change as time goes by. Certain diets are being advertised as being effective in treating Crohn’s disease, such as “The Specific Carbohydrate Diet”. However, diets that make such claims are only supported by testimonials and have no scientific support. This should be considered in the validity of the diet. However, certain claims of the diet may be accurate, such as reducing gas and bloating by eliminating hard to digest foods. It should be understood that while certain side effects of the disease may be reduced, it does not actually lessen inflammation or cure the disease. However, there are certain factors that should be kept in mind in regards to Crohn’s Disease and nutrition. One of which is malnutrition. Due to inadequate food intake, poor absorption, and a combination of diarrhea and vomiting, sufferers often do not have proper nutrient levels in their body. Therefore, special care should be taken to either take supplements or to maintain a proper diet. Also, dehydration is a very serious concern. Excessive diarrhea, as a result of the emptying of the intestines and inadequate absorption of liquids in the large intestines, may lead to dehydration which, in turn, can cause dysfunction of the kidneys or excessive weakness. A possible treatment to aid in proper vitamin and mineral intake, nutritional support may be utilized. This is the use of a feeding tube through the stomach or small bowel to assure adequate nutrition. New research is being done in the area of nutritional therapy. The use of fish or flaxseed oils has been shown to decrease inflammation in the digestive tract. The use of probiotics, or good bacteria, has also shown promise in restoring balance to the intestine.

Knowing More About Goitre

Monday, April 9th, 2012

This disease affects the thyroid gland, which happens to grow in size due to lack or excess of some key ingredients. The thyroid gland resides at the front of the throat, below the larynx also known as the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland plays a very important function in our system. It makes thyroid hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which spreads in the body through the bloodstream. Thyroxin helps to keep your body functions in proper condition. Some of the signs and symptoms which would help you detect goitre are the enlargement of the throat which can differ in size from a lump to a huge mass of flesh. You will face problems while swallowing your food due to enlargement as well as breathing problems. As the enlarged tissue presses on to the windpipe and oesophagus it becomes difficult to breathe and swallow. Some of the very common causes for goitre are: Insufficiency of iodine in your diet Consuming foods which negate the iodine factor of your diet also creates pathways for goiter Intake of drugs such as lithium and phenylbutazone is also a one of the cause is also a one of the cause The effects of thryoid cancer Growth of nodules on the thyroid gland Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) There are two types of goitre which can be classified as Endemic Goitre and Sporadic Goitre. Endemic Goitre – It can said that this type of goitre is similar to an epidemic where in not an individual is affected but the whole area or community residing in a specific place gets affected. The lack of iodine is the major cause and in far-fetched places it becomes even more difficult to provide the proper care. Sporadic Goitre – Here an individual is affected and the reasons could be as common as family history, lack of iodine in diet, and women succumb to goitre more than men. Some of the treatment options you can try for the patients are Intake of iodine-rich diet By using drugs as mentioned by your doctor, you would see a change in your health  Removal of the nodules present in the system either by medication or surgery

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