Archive for March, 2014

Colds During Pregnancy Linked To Childhood Asthma

Pregnant mothers often ask me, “Dr. Lubitz, is there a way I can insure the health of my baby during pregnancy?” I try to reassure them and say the following: “stay away from anyone who has a cold.”

I came across an interesting study conducted in Munich, Germany, reported by the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The journal said that 526 German children from birth to their fifth year of age and their parents during pregnancy were examined and researchers measured potential allergens in each child’s home.

They found, according to the report that “rhinoviruses can influence asthma even before the child leaves the womb. So coughs and sniffles during pregnancy might translate into a future asthma diagnosis for your child, the study suggests.” Also, of the families studied, 61 percent had a parent with asthma, hay fever of atopic dermatitus.

Says Michael Foggs, MD, ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) president “we know that allergy and asthma can develop in the womb since genetics play a factor in both diseases. But this (German) study sheds light about how a mother’s environment during pregnancy can begin affecting the child before birth.”

According to the ACAAI website, asthma affects approximately 8 percent of women in their childbearing years. It was found that when women with asthma become pregnant, one-third of the patients improve, one-third worsen and one-third remain unchanged.

A board-certified allergist can help expectant mothers suffering from asthma and allergies with treatment options and eliminate symptom triggers.
Pregnant mothers often ask me, “Dr. Lubitz, is there a way I can insure the health of my baby during pregnancy?” I try to reassure them and say the following: “stay away from anyone who has a cold.”

I came across an interesting study conducted in Munich, Germany, reported by the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The journal said that 526 German children from birth to their fifth year of age and their parents during pregnancy were examined and researchers measured potential allergens in each child’s home.

They found, according to the report that “rhinoviruses can influence asthma even before the child leaves the womb. So coughs and sniffles during pregnancy might translate into a future asthma diagnosis for your child, the study suggests.” Also, of the families studied, 61 percent had a parent with asthma, hay fever of atopic dermatitus.

Says Michael Foggs, MD, ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) president “we know that allergy and asthma can develop in the womb since genetics play a factor in both diseases. But this (German) study sheds light about how a mother’s environment during pregnancy can begin affecting the child before birth.”

According to the ACAAI website, asthma affects approximately 8 percent of women in their childbearing years. It was found that when women with asthma become pregnant, one-third of the patients improve, one-third worsen and one-third remain unchanged.

A board-certified allergist can help expectant mothers suffering from asthma and allergies with treatment options and eliminate symptom triggers.

To learn more:
http://www.nycallergydoctor.com/asthma#allergy

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Hives And Itching–The Psychogenic Factor

Not long ago, a young woman walked into my office with hives. She looked stressed. So I asked her about the hives and she said she didn’t know how they started. I then asked her to tell me about herself, and her job. She asked me why I was inquiring about these aspects of her life. I said to her “I need to know what I need to know. I need to know to better treat you.” She was reluctant, but then told me a lot about herself.

The patient lived on the Upper West Side and worked in a high-stressed business. She hated her job because of the pressure but said she took this job because she wanted the best private schools for her children and that she needed a lot of money. But it appeared she didn’t spend too much time with her children because she was working so hard. And that she didn’t have much personal time. I told her “look, your hives are being caused by the stress of this job and if you don’t deal with this stress they would become worse.” She cried but I think she got it.

A lot of allergies, particularly hives, can have a psychogenic factor. Hives, also known as pruritus often have a psychopathology associated with symptoms. According to the website, psychosomaticmedicine.org, “types of psychopathology that may be associated with this type of pruritus include individuals with compulsive or impulsive disorders, or delusional disorders…In some cases, it may be difficult to establish whether it is the sensation of itching that provokes the desire to scratch or whether pruritus is a consequence of compulsive scratching.”

In another interesting article on the subject by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology it states “psychogenic itch is induced in response to the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals influence stress, depression and delusional parasitosis (a false belief of parasite infestation). It can be treated with anti-depressants and antipsychotic medications.”

An allergist/immunologist that has experience in identifying psychosomatic symptoms of hives and itching can successfully treat the disease and its symptoms.

To learn more, visit http://www.nycallergydoctor.com/allergy

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My Kid, The Allergy Tattoo Artist

I grew up with a typical Jewish mother. She wanted me to achieve great things, but she also worried–especially when she couldn’t watch me.

Most mothers are like that, especially with young kids who have allergies. While they can watch what their child can eat at home, they worry that other adults won’t give allergic kids the attention they deserve.

But there are ways to put a parent’s mind at ease.

Michele Welsh, a mother of three from Baltimore, created a unique company for kids with allergies. Called Safety Tat, the company sells colorful temporary tattoos or long-lasting write-on stickers that can be placed prominently on a child’s arm, with notices such as “ALERT: NUT ALLERGY” or other allergy information.

There are other companies that also produce products for allergic kids. An interesting article in newspaper USA today states that there are companies such as “Lauren’s Hope (http://www.laurenshope.com/ ) creates metal and silicone medical alert bracelets for both boys and girls, and a company called Allermates (http://www.allermates.com/) offers allergy education tools, stickers, alert bracelets and other products for kids such as necklaces and T-shirts.”

The paper continues and says “more than 3 million youngsters have been diagnosed with food allergies, according to a 2012 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 200 deaths are reported a year.”

“Anything that can help educate the patient about their problem and continue to make them aware about it is helpful whether it’s a temporary tattoo or a warning bracelet,” says Stan Fineman, past president of the American College of Allergy, asthma and Immunology (http://wwe.acaai.org/Pages/default.aspx) and an allergist in Atlanta.

 

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