Entries in Allergies (44)


Study: Allergy Season Getting Longer Each Year

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Allergy season is looming, and for the millions of Americans who suffer from the seasonal sneezing and watery eyes, this year may seem worse than years past.

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, spring keeps arriving a little earlier each year as warming temperatures force winter to start later and end earlier.  This climate change, in turn, is allowing more time for plants to produce pollen, causing those with allergies to battle their symptoms longer.

Researchers studied 15 years worth of data on climate and ragweed from various locations in the U.S. and Canada.  They found that the ragweed season had been extended by nearly a month in some areas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ADHD From Allergy? Study Shows Benefit From Diet Changes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NIJMEGEN, Netherlands) -- Many parents will acknowledge that too much soda and candy makes their kids bounce off the walls on a sugar high, but what if a child's persistent hyperactivity was caused by tomatoes, eggs, gluten or some other seemingly innocuous food?  That is what a Dutch study published on Thursday found.

In kids with ADHD, researchers found that putting them on a restrictive diet to eliminate possible, previously unknown food allergies or sensitivities decreased hyperactivity for 64 percent of kids.

"There is a longstanding, somewhat inconsistent story about diet and ADHD," said Jan Buitelaar, the lead author of the Dutch study and a psychiatrist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre.  "On the one hand, people think it's sugar that's the trigger, others think that food coloring could be causing ADHD.  Our approach was quite different.  We went [with] the idea that food may give some kind of allergic or hyperactivity reaction to the brain" because of an allergy or sensitivity the child may have.

It isn't the first time researchers have tried to link ADHD to things kids eat, such as sugar, food dyes or other preservatives, but even with this recent study, pediatricians remain skeptical of a true connection between diet and hyperactivity disorders.

"This has long been viewed as a kind of a controversial approach," Buitelaar said.  "When we started the research, I was skeptical, but the results convinced me."

In the study, of the 41 kids who completed the elimination diet, 32 saw decreased symptoms.  When certain foods thought to be "triggers" for each child were reintroduced, most of the children relapsed.  The eliminated diets, which lasted five weeks, consisted predominantly of rice, white meat and some vegetables.

Among 50 kids given a "control" diet that was just a standard, healthy diet for children, significant changes were not noted.  Given these findings, Buitelaar recommended that the elimination diet become part of standard of care for children with ADHD.

Currently, food elimination diets are not standard of care in the U.S. or in the Netherlands, where the study was performed.  They are used limitedly when parents specifically request to attempt this alternative treatment for the hyperactivity disorder. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Allegra to Be Sold Over the Counter

Photo Courtesy- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Those who suffer from allergies can now buy the number-one prescribed allergy treatment without a prescription.

The FDA approved the Allegra family of allergy medication for over-the-counter use Tuesday.

Allegra and Allegra-D will be available in March 2011 in their original prescription strengths for over-the-counter purchase. The price of the medication will be left to the discretion of retailers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Men: Are You Allergic to Your Own Semen?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(UTRECHT, Netherlands) – Men who experience flu-like symptoms moments after climax could be allergic to their own semen, according to Dutch scientists.

The rare condition, known as post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), presents itself with symptoms such as runny nose, extreme fatigue and burning eyes.

Although little has been known about the condition previously, two studies published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by researchers at Utrecht University could explain what it is and how it can be treated.

“These results are a very important breakthrough in the research of this syndrome,” said Professor Marcel Waldinger, the lead researcher. His team studied 45 men who had been diagnosed with the illness.

“They didn't feel ill when they masturbated without ejaculating, but as soon as the semen came from the testes...after that they became ill, sometimes within just a few minutes,” Waldinger said.

Men who agreed to hyposensitisation therapy, a common technique for treating allergies, showed significant improvement in their symptoms within one to three years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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