There are now 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of allergies, and the number of allergy suffers in the country is continuing to rise year on year. These allergies can develop at any age, and it is possible for adults to develop new allergies, however it is most common for allergies and sensitivities to certain things to develop during childhood.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the environment in which you are situated (whether that be indoor or outdoor) is the most common cause of allergies and affects approximately 40 million Americans.
In layman’s terms this means that conditions such as hay fever, grass, tree or other pollen allergies are the kinds of outdoor allergies that most affect individuals. Indoors, their most common counterparts are allergies to dust mites, pet hair, moulds and other irritants. Removing these irritants from your environment is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to reduce your allergy symptoms, and avoidance of your known allergy triggers is the best way to take care of yourself.
Sadly, there is no known cure for allergies, however antihistamines are available in a wide variety of forms such as tablets, eye drops, nasal sprays and even injections for individuals who find they are unable to remove their irritants or control their symptoms simply by avoiding the product that they are allergic to.
Food Allergies and How to Deal With Them
As well as these common environmental allergies, food allergies are also very common, particularly amongst children, affecting 8% of children in the United States and 2% of adults in the general population.
Food allergies can make simply things like eating out very difficult, as you have to check the ingredients in everything and ensure that cross-contamination is avoided, or that there is no allergen in the wider environment.
However once an allergy is diagnosed it really is a relief, because as soon as you know what you are allergic to you can begin to avoid consumption of that allergen and begin to feel better very quickly.
Article by Guest Author Laura Barker
Photo by Tim Horton
Each Autumn and Spring I go looking for stored clothes with a musty odour. Some may have been sitting in the back of the cupboard waiting for their next wear. As the seasons change, our clothes change. It is the middle of Autumn here in Australia at the moment. The days are getting shorter and colder. We start to think of an extra layer of clothing to keep our body warm.
So, at this time of the year, I always go through my cupboard. First I look for any clothes that smell musty. These are put out for a wash instantly. I find that I cannot breathe properly if I put on a nightie that is slightly musty. I have to lie in it all night with it touching my skin and imparting its mustiness to the sheets and pillowcases. I don't want that. My winter singlets and nightwear get a wash. I don't want any old allergies or asthma to resurface.
Bedclothes get Musty too
Remember the sheets and pillowslips that you will sleep in. These, too, can take on a strong odour if unused for a few months. So out they go for a wash too. If the sheets are getting a wash, well the blankets must need a spruce up too. We use cotton blankets, so each of these is treated to water and sunshine.
In the 'olden days', the times of our grandmothers and great grandmothers, it was much more difficult to do the washing. It was all done by hand and hung on long lines in the open air. Sometimes special underclothes were spread across a convenient lavender bush to make it smell pretty.
Static Electricity and Synthetic clothing
Today, with the advent of the automatic washing machine, it is so easy to do a load of washing. However, spare a thought for all those people living in highrise apartments whose clothes never get to absorb the sunshine. They spread their clothing on clothes horses inside where the moisture slowly evaporates from them or throw them into a clothes dryer where they spin round and round for an hour or so, gathering static electricity.
Synthetic clothes are the worst for this. Synthetic clothing is made of acrylic, nylon, polyester, viscose and a few more varieties made from the oil and plastics industry. The best things to have your clothes made out of are cotton, wool, linen or bamboo. These do not attract static electricity and they are renewable.
We are so lucky here in Australia that so many of us have a clothesline in the backyard to dry the clothes. Make use of it and have fresh smelling clothing for winter.
Recovering from Major Illness
Natural supplements are a great way to improve our health especially if we are or have been very unwell. The medical profession have difficulty in diagnosing some illnesses. Just because doctors can't find what is wrong with you or put a name to it does not mean that you are not ill. There are many other health professionals who have expertise in other health modalities.
This why my favourite modality is Homeopathy. I call this the 'Designer Medicine'. The remedies are prescribed for you according to your symptoms, not the generalized symptoms of an illness. You may have more than one illness. There are over two thousand remedies.
My favourite supplement is N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC). This supplies the ingredients for our body to make glutathione, the major antioxidant in our body. Glutathione cannot be absorbed in our body if taken as a supplement therefore we need to give our body the basic ingredients to make it. NAC is very good for Depression or Bi Polar. Research studies have been done on this in Australia with positive results. Glutathione is found especially in the heart and the brain as well as all over the body.
Vitamin C is another important antioxidant. We have all heard of the importance of this for many years. We cannot make this vital vitamin in our body so must absorb it in our food or as a supplement. Most people will not get enough of this in their diet so supplementation in important. Vitamin C is found in the fluid in our eyes so to protect these important organs take some Vitamin C every day.
Minerals are the backbone of our body. We all know about Calcium and we know the names of many other minerals we need to keep us healthy. There is chloride, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. We also need iron and many trace elements. Trace elements are needed in very tiny quantities in our body, but we still need them.
What is the best way to get our minerals? By eating vegetables. The minerals have been absorbed by the roots of the vegetables and these are easily absorbed by our body.
Magnesium is my favourite mineral. It is wonderful to ease spasms. Spasms can manifest as cramps in the legs, period cramps, cramps in the gut in Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other bowel illnesses where the bowel goes into spasms. Magnesium also eases sneezing - a spasm, and coughing and asthma. It can help ease a migraine too. It also helps build our bones.
There are different ways to take magnesium.
Next time I will talk about other supplements that may help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. ME, CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, Adrenal Fatigue the Immune system and Thyroid problems.
Below are some other articles I have written about Magnesium
Feet and Leg Problems
How Tissue Salts Work
More about Magnesium and MS
Spring and Autumn are the two 'change of season' times of the year. These are preparatory seasons, seasons where we get ready for the hottest or coldest season of the year.
Springtime has traditionally been a time of the year when housewives took to cleaning. They cleaned out the dirt and the damp of winter, the spiders and cobwebs, they washed the smoke from the wood fires and the dust from the curtains and the walls and scrubbed the front doorstep.
These days houses are not locked up as much throughout the winter. We are lucky to have the cracks in our walls plastered and heating turned on. Not so many of us have wood fires for heat these days.
Change of Season
However at the change of season, whether it is the Autumn season or Spring season, we are changing our clothes and our bedding. Because I live in the southern hemisphere and it's Autumn time here, I'll talk about that.
Washing Stored Clothes
As the days get cooler we start to get out our lighter winter clothing - long sleeved T shirts, singlets, jumpers, long pants, socks and a jacket occasionally for the rainy days. Let's not forget the clothing we wear at night - pyjamas, nighties. Let's also remember the bedclothes we sleep in - sheets, blankets, doonas, underblankets.
These clothes and bedding have been stored in the cupboard for 4 - 6 months. They get musty. When clothes get musty they can affect out health. People who have a low immune system or allergies or who get asthma must be especially aware. Mustiness can affect our breathing. Just think of lying for eight hours in musty sheets and pillowcases and in musty nightclothes. Make sure to wash all these clothes before wearing them.
Children and Asthma
Autumn time is a time when people, especially children get asthma as the air gets damp, the nights get longer, the heating gets turned on and the winter clothing comes out.
Wash the Bedding Too
I always find it beneficial to use this time to wash the winter sheets and pillowcases before use and to vacuum the mattress and under the bed before putting on the new sheets. This cuts down on the dust that accumulates in the mattress and carpet and makes for a better sleep.
One day I was listening to a radio presenter who said that luxury to her would be fresh sheets on her bed every night. 'Yes,' I thought, 'we always sleep better in fresh sheets.'
By washing the sheets we get rid of some dustmites and dust. We get rid of the residues of our skin and hair. We encapsulate the sunshine and fresh air into the sheets. These deodorize the sheets. All round, a good exercise.
If you have children, make sure that you wash all their clothing and bedding too. This is more important the younger the child is as his immune system, being underdeveloped, is more susceptible to outside influences. If your children get a good night sleep then you get a good night sleep too. The children are happier in the daytime too, and so are you. It is worth doing that extra bit of work to have happier and healthier people in your family.
Dust settles in drapes. They are not a good idea for people with asthma
Dust is a Problem for Asthmatics
Dust settles on all items in a house. Dust can be a big problem for people who suffer from asthma, allergies, hayfever or allergic rhinitis.
Dust can cause coughing, wheezing in the lungs or asthma. Dust can also cause sneezing and runny eyes and nose and itchy eyes.
Places Dust can Settle
The obvious place dust settles is horizontal surfaces. A horizontal surface is the same plane as the floor, so dust can settle on floorboards, tiles and also on carpets. Carpets are bad news for asthmatics, especially if they are not vacuumed regularly.
The bed is another horizontal surface. Dust can settle on a doona, blankets or pillows. Woolen blankets can be dynamite here. The foot of the bed which may remain undisturbed is another resting place. Under the bed is another place dust likes to hide. It is often difficult to clean, or it is hidden and forgotten. The fluff from bedclothes drifts down to the floor and settles under the bed.
Drapes, curtains and blinds, especially venetian blinds are another place to look for dust. Curtains can be a great attractor to dust particles. When the window is open and they float in the wind, the dust is shaken from them. It floats around the room again till it finds a new resting place.
Venetian blinds have multiple flat surfaces. They are difficult to clean so remain dusty much of the time. Vertical blinds are a better choice. Drapes are bad news for those affected by dust. Dust settles in their folds. They rarely get vacuumed or washed so can be a home for dust particles.
Upholstered furniture can also collect dust so it is a good idea to vacuum your furniture regularly.
Open shelving and libraries are also dust collectors along with the books and knick knacks collected on these shelves.
For small children, soft toys are the worst thing. Wash them regularly and when dry, place them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a few hours. This will kill off the dustmite that is hidden in the dust.
The walls of rooms can also attract dust even though they are vertical surfaces. Remember to dust these occasionally.
Tables, benches and televisions and computer areas can collect dust. The static electricity that is given off by computers and televisions attracts the dust. These need wiping with a barely damp cloth regularly.
Improve your health by clearing dust from your home on a regular basis.
Sulphites in dried fruit can cause asthma
Food Preservatives can Cause Asthma
Sulphite preservatives are some of the worst additives that cause asthma.
'But I don't use sulphites or even know what they are!', I hear you say.
Well you don't have to know what they are but I bet you are probably eating them.
Sulphur dioxide - Preservatives 220-228
Sulphur dioxide, the same as sulphites, is preservative 220. You will find some preservatives or additives listed in the ingredients, mostly hidden away in small type on the back of food packaging. You will also see othe numbers between 220 and 228. Beware of all of these.
A person may get asthma from a food but not get the attack of asthma immediately. Sulphites build up in your system and when another trigger is added, eg exercise or cold air, the bronchial tubes can take no more and react, bringing on an attack of asthma.
Sulphites are Found in Everyday Food and Drink
Sulphites can be found in dried fruit including sultanas, raisins and apricots and in fruit flavoured drinks. It is also found in meat in sausages and rissole and often in minced meat. Adults who suffer from asthma may be surprised to know that the alcohol they drink in the form of beer or wine also contains sulphites. They are also found in french fries and hot potato chips.
If you think you may be affected by sulphites/sulphur dioxide, start eliminating these foods mentioned and start reading the labels on the food you buy. You may be pleasantly surprised to find your asthma ease and eventually be a thing of the past.
You are the person most interested in your health and that of those around you. Make a start to better health today. Happy detecting.
Rotate clothing in the cupboard to keep it fresh
Keeping your Cupboards FREE from Musty Smells
Have you ever experienced a draining feeling when you walk into an Op Shop (secondhand clothing shop)? Have you ever smelt an overpowering musty smell when walking into an old shed or basement? Have you started sneezing in these places?
Our cupboards can get this musty smell too and if they do it also gets into our clothing and sheets. Mustiness can bring on an asthma attack or overpowering sneezing and affect those with tendencies to great fatigue. We wish to stay as healthy as possible, boosting our health in we are unwell. Here are some tips.
Rotating Clothing & Linen
To keep your clothing in your cupbards free from that musty smell which is so bad for people with CFS, CFIDS, ME, Fibromyalgia and a load of other auto immune illnesses, rotating can help.
By rotating I mean when you replace your freshly washed clothing in the cupboard, place it at the bottom of the pile. Then use new clothing from the top of the pile. This way the older clothes are always at the top and you keep the pile of clothing cycling through.
This is also important in your linen cupboard and bathroom cupboard. Keep face washers and towel rotated, putting the freshly washed goods at the bottom of the pile.
Discard Unused Linen & Clothing
This rotation will not help you hugely if you have an enormous pile of sheets or clothes. Therefore, go through your cupboard twice a year and discard what you do not wear or use. Keep your stack of clothing and sheets small so that they are recycled regularly. If you have an excess quantity which you do want to keep, wash them regularly and hang them out in the sunshine to dry.
In the old days the washerwomen used to spread the delicates over lavender bushes to dry in the sun. This way they also smelt pretty when they were returned to the cupboard. You could add a few drops of aromatherapy oil to your wash load if it suits you.
Musty Cupboards, Allergies and CFS
Have a great day
Wash baby clothes so they stay fresh and clean
Time to wash all the clothes in my cupboard again!
I pulled a summer nightie out of the cupbaord last night and it had not been worn for six months. I am not the sort of fanatical housekeeper that washes all the clothes in my cupboard even though I do not wear them. They sit in my cupboard until the season is right and I am ready for them again. I am sure I am not the only person who does this.
However my breath is taken away when I take a stored item of clothing from the cupboard. Over the years I have had asthma attacks from this and become very ill from going through old boxes with musty odours. I recommend that people with allergies, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, CFIDS, ME and any other auto immune disease stay clear of anything musty.
If you have to sort through musty goods then use a mask to prevent inhaling airborne particles.
Things that go Musty
This includes clothing in a wardrobe, linen in a closet, musty books in boxes at home or in a Secondhand bookshop, or clothing in Op shops or anything stored in the back of your garage that has not been disturbed for a long time. All these have old stored goods and can get this musty smell. If you have a basement or unused shed in the back yard be aware of these too.
Precautions for Change of Season
When the season is changing it is a good time to take out all your clothing for the next season and give it a wash. Wash down the cupboard it is stored in then it will stay fresh for the next few months.
The same goes for the linen in your cupboard. Take out the stored sheets and wash them all, wash the cupboard and replace them.
I have had to do this for years, not because I am a fussy housekeeper, because, believe me I am not. I have had to do this for my health and for my family.
Occasionally I have forgotten to do this and needed a sheet for my bed or a nightgown that had not been washed for a few months. I have wondered how I would get through the night with this musty smell around me. So take precautions and care for your health and that of your loved ones.
Preparing for a new Baby
Young mothers often store clothing used by a previous child waiting for the next addition to the family. This can sometimes take a few years to happen. This clothing for a newborn needs extra care. A tiny baby cannot tell you that it feels unwell if you wrap it in a musty rug or lie it on musty sheets. Give these clothes and bedclothes and bunnyrugs extra care. Washing these clothes twice with a good airing on the outdoor clothes line in the sunshine for a couple of times makes extra sure the clothes are fresh for your new baby.
Often other young mums who feel they will not be extending their family give their used baby clothes to others. If you receive some of these gifts make sure this clothing and wrapping rugs are thoroughly cleaned too.
Have a great day and work towards being healthy.
Well, guess what! You have expert knowledge in the field of how you feel mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Remember our person is made up of all these areas.
Being the expert in how you feel physically gives you the power to decide what is best for you.
How to be your own Detective
With our busy life we can sometimes not realise what is going on within ourselves. It is a good idea to spend some quiet time each day, even 5 minutes to concentrate on how you feel. If you can find no other time, then even the 5 minutes of your shower time is a good time to think about your health.
How are you feeling in your body? How are you feeling in your mind? Do you feel happy? Do you feel sad? Can you avoid a certain situation that is causing you a problem? If you get in difficult situations throughout the day you can have physical symptoms of headache, asthma, palpitations or a cough depending on your weakness.
Start to notice when these symptoms occur and find out what caused them. What were you doing when they began? Were you arguing with someone? Spraying chemicals? Standing in the sun too long? Were you thirsty? Did you over eat? Did you have too much sugary food? Do you feel worse if you don't sleep long enough at night? Why don't you sleep longer at night? Can you do something about it?
Staying Healthy Naturally
We can support our body by eating natural foods, not junk food. We can limit alcohol and get rid of any drugs from our body. Natural supplements can help support our body.
Exercise can help our body work properly. When we go for a walk electrical impulses are triggered which strengthen our bones. Our bones are the structure our body is supported by so our bones are important to look after. Many minerals are held in our bones - calcium which we all know about and magnesium which is also very important for our bones are two of the major minerals stored in our bones.
It is important to take magnesium supplements because our western diet no longer supplies us with enough magnesium.
Take the responsibility to stay healthy by being aware of your body. Care for it. It is the only one we have. Do not give your power away to others. it is your responsibility to look after yourself.
Be your own detective! Happy detecting.
Magnesium supplements can be found here
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
Click here to see info on my book about Allergies and Chronic Fatigue
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always use your own best judgment and consult a medical professional when making important health care choices.