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Laura Gesicki-Wood, MD
12 Things You Should Know About Allergies
Accredited Allergy Center of Springfield

12 Things You Should Know About Allergies

1. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Maternal allergies increase the risk of allergies in a child to 37%. Significant allergies in both parents increase the risk of allergies in their children to 67-70%.

2. Mothers with a history of asthma, food allergies, or eczema have an increased risk of having children with food allergies or asthma.

We believe this is due to genetics, maternal transmission of allergenic foods in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and/or breast feeding while eating highly allergenic foods.

Food allergies can often transition into skin, nasal and lung allergies, such as eczema, rhinitis and asthma.

3. Eight foods account for 90% of food allergies in children and adults fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, cows milk, soy, eggs, corn.

4. A positive skin test does not an allergy make. A positive skin prick test only indicates that your immune system is on heightened alert for specific allergens. The true definition of an allergy is positive skin tests, compelling history and symptoms related to the allergen.

5. Skin testing is the most sensitive test for allergies. Blood allergy tests are 69% sensitive in diagnosing an allergy. Skin testing is 95% sensitive, has other important benefits and is much quicker.

6. Allergists are also immunologists who deal with chronic infections and autoimmunity. Many newly trained and established allergists are also trained in immunology and certain types of rheumatology.

7. Immune deficiency is very common and often manifests as recurrent sinus infections, lung infections, skin infections or viral infections. An allergist/immunologist can conduct the tests necessary to specify treatment.

8. Allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, and asthma are often related. The diagnosis of any of these conditions increases the risk of developing the other. If you have nasal allergies or chronic sinusitis, you should be screened routinely for asthma.

9. Allergy and viral infection can greatly influence the onset of asthma.

10. There is a shot for asthma. In addition to inhalers and tablets, asthma can be well controlled with Xolair.

11. Cats may decrease allergy severity. Many studies show that children born into a home with a cat tend to have less severe allergies.

12. Stress worsens everything. Slow down and relax. Severe acute stress and chronic low level stress can affect all aspects of your health.

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