Saturday July 4, 2020



September 22


This is a serious form of allergic reaction that occurs rapidly and can be fatal. Symptoms may involve the respiratory track, the gastroinal track, the skin and or the cardiovascular system. It is essential that those with food or insect sting alleriges carry an epinephrine auto-injector, so treatment can be given promptly while arranging to get to emergency care (call 911 for ambulance)

September 21

Food Allergy Basics

A food allergy occurs when a person's immune system identifies proteins in food as an allergen and begins to produce antibodies- called Immunoglobulin E or Ige- against that food (e.g. nuts or milk. Theses antibodies attach themselves to mast cells in the body, and when the person again eats the allergenic food, the proteins from it become attched to the Ige antibodies. The causes the mast cells to relaease histamine and other powerful chemicals. It is these chemicals that cause the symptoms of allergy.

The Symptoms

Not everyone will get all symptoms and reaction severity varies wildely. The symtoms may include :

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat
  • Itchy skin, hives or skin redness
  • Breathing difficulty, wheezing
  • Abdominal crampos
  • Vomiting
  • Faintness due to a sudden drop in blood pressure
  • In a severe anaphylactic reaction, the allergic person can loose consciousness and is at risk of death.

September 08

Allergy sufferers sniff out remedies (Dr. Bielory Quoted)

By Kate Schuler, Special to USA TODAY

With the prospect of weeks of coughs, itchy noses and dark circles under their eyes, many Americans are no longer content to attack their allergies with just one or two drugs in their arsenal.

Dr. Xiumin Li with herbal mushrooms, one of the ingredients in her anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention.

Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY


Leonard Bielory, director of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, says cold and allergy symptoms are one of the top reasons people seek out alternative treatments. A 2002 study by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health found that 36% of adults in the USA had used some kind of non-conventional therapy to treat a variety of maladies during a 12-month period. Most of those who sought alternative therapies used them in combination with prescription drugs or other conventional treatments. Despite the growing popularity of such treatments, there is scant scientific research on their effectiveness and safety.


"When a patient asks me whether they should try alternative or herbal medication, I counsel that it generally won't be harmful, but it's not likely to be beneficial, either," says Brian Smart, an allergist in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Smart recommends that patients talk to their doctors about any supplements or alternative medicine they are using. "And they should carefully watch for side effects," he says.



 Complementary and alternative medicine encompasses a variety of treatments, including herbal and food supplements (even eating locally produced honey to boost the immune system with small doses of pollen), chiropractic services, acupuncture and other non-Western practices such as traditional Chinese medicine.But the scientific community in this country has been slow to keep up with the public's imagination when it comes to studying alternative ways to treat allergies: There is little conclusive data on whether alternative therapies work. 


Little standardization Adding to consumers' uncertainty about the safety and effectiveness of alternative therapies is the way the Food and Drug Administration regulates supplements — as food, rather than drugs — so there is little standardization within the industry.


Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, a research and education group on supplements, says sorting through the information "is a daunting task and can be very confusing."But Blumenthal says alternative medicines have shown some promise for treating allergies. He cited promising early studies — one conducted by a Swiss allergy clinic and another by a U.S. naturopathic physician — of the herb butterbur and freeze-dried nettle leaves, as well as some herbal blends.


Doctors, however, don't always know which treatments have been proven effective in trials. Indeed, the NIH survey showed that only about a quarter of people who used complementary and alternative medicine said a doctor suggested it.A widely publicized study that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine in July concluded that echinacea — the biggest-selling herbal supplement in the USA — was no better than a placebo at preventing or treating colds. (Some advocates countered that the dosage in the study was too low.)


"Yet people are still going to use it," Bielory says. "So we have to learn what they're using and if it has a positive effect, and what adverse effects" there might be."We want physicians to appreciate what is science and what is anecdote," he says. "And for that, more research is needed."


NIH has taken steps to fill that void. In 1992 it opened a research office on alternative medicine with $2 million funded by Congress, an initiative that has grown into a research center that grants nearly $108 million to scientists each year.


A possible 'botanical drug'


One of those researchers is Xiu-min Li at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. A doctor trained in both Western and traditional Chinese medicine, Li is studying the effect of a combination of three Chinese herbs — ling zhi, ku shen and gan cao — on patients with asthma, and she says that because so many asthma patients are affected by allergies, it is possible the formula could be used widely in treating common allergies. 


With funding from NIH, she derived the three-herb combination from a more complex formula commonly prescribed in China. Clinical trials are expected to begin within the next few months.


“I think people are very excited," she says, about the possibility of a "botanical drug" that will have FDA approval. "This is a population that really wants to try an alternative approach."


Meanwhile, patients also can make minor changes in their daily lives to help control their allergies.


Smart suggests patients use nasal saline that can be bought in pharmacies or mixed at home. "It moisturizes nasal surfaces and it will wash out bacteria and pollen," he said.


"Close the house up and put the air-conditioning on," says Thomas Platts-Mills, president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. "You can reduce the amount of pollen."

Platts-Mills adds: "There're lots of very sensible things people can do. It doesn't require taking medicine all the time."


September 07

Understanding Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)

Our office follows several hundred angioedema patients with over 50 patients with the HAE condition with various forms and severity from mild to severe.

Hereditary angioedema (types I and II) (also known as "Quincke edema") presents in the second to fourth decade, and is characterized by local swelling in subcutaneous tissues.

In hereditary angioedema, specific stimuli that have previously led to attacks may need to be avoided in the future. It does not respond toantihistaminescorticosteroids, or epinephrine.

There are several FDA products that approved for the treatment of HAE.


An excellent review of HAE by a pharmaceutical company - 

This does not represent an endorsement of the product but represents an endorsement of an excellent review demonstrating a summary of our knowledge to date. (Movie under development for the web - release projected April 2012)

September 06

US News and World Report- Ready for Ragweed Allergy Season? These 8 Tips Can Help Fight Pollen Allergy (Dr. Bielory Quoted)

Some experts think global warming is causing longer ragweed seasons


Posted: August 13, 2009


It's ragweed season, and for people with this pollen allergy, that means miserable symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, trouble sleeping, asthma attacks, and itchy skin, eyes, nose, or throat. The season usually kicks into high gear about August 15, says Martha White, research director at the Institute for Asthma & Allergy, a private practice in Maryland with offices in Wheaton and Chevy Chase. "People are starting to have symptoms already," she says.

Most regions in the United States experience ragweed growth between mid-August and the first frost. Each ragweed plant makes about a billion pollen grains per season—and with the help of the wind, those grains can travel up to 400 miles, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, or AAAAI. Also, some people with ragweed allergy experience itching and swelling around the mouth as a result of eating some common fresh fruits and vegetables. The condition is called oral allergy syndrome and is commonly prompted by eating bananas, cucumbers, melons, and zucchini.

Though the season is just getting started, some experts believe that climate changes associated with global warming may be lengthening the annual ragweed allergy season. That's bad news for the 10 to 20 percent of Americans allergic to these weeds, which studies suggest will flourish for longer each year, thanks to rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. One study found that between 1990 and 2007, the duration of ragweed season in the New York metropolitan area increased from 90 to 105 days. "The longer you're exposed to it, the more miserable you will be," says study coauthor Leonard Bielory, whose research on the topic was presented this year at the AAAAI's annual meeting in March in Washington. "It's more misery, and it ... will lead to lost work days and lost school days."

No matter how long ragweed season lasts this year, experts suggest getting a jump-start on symptoms before you start to feel lousy. This should come as no surprise to people accustomed to dealing with seasonal allergy symptoms, but we offer eight refreshers for making this ragweed season as painless as possible.

Start taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications now, even if symptoms haven't kicked in yet. If your doctor has prescribed a nasal steroid in the past, make sure you have a supply at home, and start taking it immediately, says White, who is a fellow with the AAAAI. Popular nasal steroids include Flonase or Nasonex. The same goes for oral antihistamines, which include over-the-counter options such as Claritin (loratadine) or Zyrtec (cetirizine) as well as prescription options such as Allegra (fexofenadine) or Xyzal (levocetirizine). Also, because so many people complain of itchy eyes during ragweed season, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor for a prescription for allergy eye drops, such as Patanol (olopatadine), Optivar (azelastine), or Pataday (olopatadine), or to try an over-the-counter antihistamine eye drop like Zaditor (ketotifen fumarate).

Keep windows closed at home and in the car. It may feel good to catch a breeze from outside, but the pollen you're allowing to enter your home or car can make your allergy symptoms worse, says White. That's especially "if you're in a moving car, with the pollen hitting you kind of fast." Instead, use your air conditioner at home and in your car because that will filter, cool, and dry the air, says Bielory, who is an allergist in private practice in Springfield, N.J., and a fellow with the AAAAI.

Call your doctor now for an appointment if you're out of prescription medication refills."It's not a good idea to wait until you're miserable and then compete with everybody else for an appointment," White says.

Bathe your pets frequently. Even if you're not allergic to your dog or cat, it is probably a good idea to bathe the animal more frequently during ragweed season because it can track pollen into the house, White says.



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Location: Springfield, NJ
Today's Date: July 04, 2020
Station Director: Leonard Bielory, M.D
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