Sunday October 22, 2017

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October 24

Anaphylaxis Tips to remember

Anaphylaxis: Tips to Remember

Anaphylaxis (an–a–fi–LAK–sis) is a serious allergic reaction that typically comes on quickly and may cause death. This medical emergency requires immediate treatment and then follow-up care by an allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist.

Many people may not realize they have an allergy until they experience anaphylaxis. An allergist can examine you and make a proper diagnosis. If warranted, your doctor will prescribe injectible epinephrine to use in an emergency.

Anaphylaxis is triggered when the immune system overreacts to a usually harmless substance (an allergen such as peanut or penicillin) causing mild to severe symptoms that affect various parts of the body. Symptoms usually appear within minutes to a few hours after eating a food, swallowing medication or being stung by an insect.

Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including an injection of epinephrine and a trip to a hospital emergency room. If it isn’t treated properly, anaphylaxis can be fatal. Sometimes symptoms go away, and then return a few hours later, so it is important to take these steps as soon as an anaphylactic reaction begins and to remain under medical observation for as long as the reaction and symptoms continue.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
• Breathing: wheezing, shortness of breath, throat tightness, cough, hoarse voice, chest pain/tightness, trouble swallowing, itchy mouth/throat, nasal stuffiness/congestion
• Circulation: pale/blue color, low pulse, dizziness, lightheadedness/passing out, low blood pressure, shock, loss of consciousness
• Skin: hives, swelling, itch, warmth, redness, rash
• Stomach: nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhea
• Other: anxiety, feeling of impending doom, itchy/red/watery eyes, headache, cramping of the uterus

The most dangerous symptoms are low blood pressure, breathing difficulty and loss of consciousness, all of which can be fatal. If you have any of these symptoms, particularly after eating, taking medication or being stung by an insect, seek medical care immediately (call 911). Don't wait to see if symptoms go away or get better on their own.

Common Causes
Foods: Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but foods that cause the majority of anaphylaxis are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnut, cashew, Brazil nut), shellfish, fish, milk, eggs and preservatives.

Stinging insects: Insect sting venom from yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, hornets and fire ants can cause severe and even deadly reactions in some people.

Medications: Almost any medication can cause an allergic reaction. Common medications that cause anaphylaxis are antibiotics and anti-seizure medicines. Certain post-surgery fluids, vaccines, blood and blood products, radiocontrast dyes, pain medications and other drugs may also cause severe reactions.

Latex: Some products made from natural latex contain allergens that can cause reactions in sensitive individuals. The greatest danger of severe reactions occurs when latex comes into contact with moist areas of the body or internal surfaces during surgery.

Exercise: Although rare, exercise can cause anaphylaxis. Oddly enough, it does not occur after every exercise session and in some cases, only occurs after eating certain foods before exercise.

Treatment and Prevention
If you (or anyone you are with) begin to have an allergic reaction, use your autoinjectible epinephrine and get to the closest emergency room. The sooner the reaction is treated, the less severe it is likely to become. If you have taken medications and are feeling better, go to the hospital anyway to be sure your reaction is under control.

Once you've had an anaphylactic reaction, visit an allergist to get a proper diagnosis. The allergist will take your medical history and conduct other tests, if needed, to determine the exact cause of your reaction. Your allergist can provide information about avoiding the allergen as well as a treatment plan. Avoiding the allergen(s) is the main way to remain safe, but requires a great deal of education. Specific advice may include:
• Food: how to interpret ingredient labels, manage restaurant dining, avoid hidden food allergens
• Insects: not wearing perfumes, avoiding bright colored clothing and high risk activities; wearing long sleeves/pants when outdoors 
• Medications: which drugs/treatments to avoid, a list of alternative medications

In some cases, your allergist may suggest specific treatments, such as immunotherapy (allergy shots) to virtually eliminate the risk of anaphylaxis from insect stings, or procedures that make it possible to be treated with certain medications to which you are allergic.

Your allergist may also prescribe autoinjectable epinephrine. If so, be sure you understand how and when to use it. Always refill the prescription upon expiration. This medication should be carried with you at all times.

Your allergist may also want you to wear special jewelry that identifies you as having a severe allergy. This ID can provide physicians and others with important information about your medical condition.

If you have had an anaphylactic reaction, inform family, healthcare workers, employers and school staff about your allergy.

Healthy Tips
• Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly, causing at times severe symptoms that affect various parts of the body.
• The most dangerous symptoms are low blood pressure, breathing difficulty and loss of consciousness, all of which can be fatal.
• The most common causes of anaphylaxis are foods, medications and insect stings.
• If you (or anyone you are with) begin to have an allergic reaction, call for medical help to get to the closest emergency room.
• See an allergist for follow-up care and developing a treatment plan.

Feel Better. Live Better.
An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is a pediatrician or internist with at least two additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of problems such as allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and the evaluation and treatment of patients with recurrent infections, such as immunodeficiency diseases.

The right care can make the difference between suffering with an allergic disease and feeling better. By visiting an allergist, you can expect an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan that works and educational information to help you manage your disease.


October 22

Climate Change - Not Exaggerated

New methods and new data, same conclusion: the Earth is warming, according to a new study, funded in part by climate change skeptics.

The study was organized in 2009 by University of California physics professor Richard Muller in response to the “Climategate” scandal, in which the emails of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were hacked and posted online in an effort to expose supposed data manipulation that exaggerated the planet’s warming trends.

“I was deeply concerned that the group [at UEA] had concealed discordant data,” Muller told BBC News.

But the new study puts such claims to bed. With funding from an unlikely source—billionaire US industrialists known to support groups that lobby against man-made global warming—the Berkeley Earth Project used up-to-date techniques and data to determine that previous estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and others are accurate. Specifically, the researchers, including this year’s Nobel Laureate in Physics Saul Perlmutter, documented changing water temperatures in the north Atlantic, as well as an overall warming pattern since 1800. The study further discounted the accusation by bloggers that weather station data only documented a warming trend because of their location in or near cities.

“Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK,” Muller told the BBC. “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.”


October 21

ASchizophrenia Drug and Anaphylaxis

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved asenapine maleate (Saphris, Merck) in 2009 for treatment of adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Known risks of the drug stated in the prescribing information have included an increased risk for cerebrovascular events in elderly patients with dementia-related psychoses treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs, as well as neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, hyperglycemia and diabetes, weight gain, and other adverse events.

Review of the Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) has recently shown the potential for severe hypersensitivity reactions to asenapine maleate, including anaphylaxis and angioedema necessitating hospitalization or emergency department visits in some cases. The drug label has therefore been revised to include information about this risk and notes that the drug should not be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to asenapine maleate.

 


October 17

Insect Allergy

Allergic reactions occurring due to a hypersensitivity  reaction to stinging insect venom may occur after a sting from a :

  • Bee
  • Wasp
  • Yellow jacket
  • Hornet
  • Fire ant

Most people are not allergic to insect stings and may mistake a normal or local reaction for an allergic reaction. By knowing the difference, the patient can prevent unnecessary worry and visits to the doctor’s office or hospital emergency room.

The severity of an insect sting reaction varies from person to person. There are three types of reactions:

  1. A normal reaction may result in pain, swelling, and redness around the sting site.
  2. A large local reaction may result in swelling that extends beyond the sting site. For example, a person stung on the ankle may have swelling of the entire leg. While it often looks alarming, generally, it resolves on its own and does not progress to a systematic reaction.
  3. The most serious reaction to an insect sting is an allergic one (described below). This condition requires immediate medical attention. 

October 13

Breast Feeding - How long does it take to make an impact on asthma ?

Breast-feeding appears to be linked with a decreased risk for childhood asthma-related symptoms. Asthma symptoms in children, known to be a leading cause of morbidity, have been linked in previous studies with lower rates of breast-feeding, but a recent study has shown that  an association between the length of time a child was breast-fed and the number of wheezing episodes the child experiences. Children who are never breast-fed versus those who are breast-fed for 6 months and children who are not exclusively breast-fed versus those who are exclusively breast-fed for 4 months have increased risks of wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough, and persistent phlegm during the first 4 years of life. The association of an increased risk for asthma-related symptoms in preschool children with a history of shorter breast-feeding duration and nonexclusive breast-feeding is partially explained by respiratory tract infections but not by eczema.

Eur Respir JPublished online July 20, 2011


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Today's Date: October 22, 2017
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