Posts made in June, 2016

The Development Of Peanut Allergies Later In Life

As people age, their bodies change in a variety of ways and one of the most unfortunate of those is the development of new allergies. Peanut allergies are among the most common, and they can be a dangerous condition if not treated properly. Here’s what you need to know about the sudden development of peanut allergies..

New Food Allergies Happen In The Elderly All The Time

Even if you’ve never suffered from allergies in the past, you might suddenly develop an allergy to peanuts. Why? It has to do with the aging of your immune system, a process known as immunosensecence. As the process occurs, mast cells are affected, cells that are heavily involved in monitoring allergic reactions. As a result, new allergies can begin.

It is estimated that about 5%-10% of the elderly (above 65) population has some form of allergies and that 24.8% of all nursing home patients (over the age of 77) have food allergies. This gives you a feel for how quickly allergies can develop as you age.

Gauging If You Are Suffering From An Allergic Reaction

Peanut allergies are very fast acting, and if you have developed one, you should notice the following symptoms within minutes of eating even a handful of nuts:

  • Hives
  • Swelling skin
  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Sudden digestive problems
  • Tightened throat
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty breathing

The unfortunate thing is that peanut allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that causes a swollen throat, shock, rapid pulse, dizziness, and constricted airways. This can be deadly, so it needs to be addressed as soon as possible if it occurs.

Learning How To Avoid Peanuts

Beyond no longer eating or cooking with peanuts, there are a few other things you need to do to avoid falling victim to late on-set peanut allergies. First of all, you need to start paying better attention to your food labels. Most people ignore the “allergy” section, but this label will let you know if any of the eight major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans) are used. It will also let you know if the items were processed in a factory that produces peanuts, as cross-contamination between these foods is possible.

If you cook with peanut oil (a popular variety due to the smokiness is adds to fried food), you need to switch to an alternative, such as vegetable oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, butter, lard, or vegetable shortening. The last three are fairly high in bad cholesterol, though, so it might be a good idea to avoid those as you age.

Developing a food allergy later in life doesn’t have to derail your life. It’s possible to recover from them to live a very comfortable and happy life as you age. If you are concerned about peanut allergies and how they could develop into a worse condition, contact an allergy expert to learn more.

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Three Things Parents Need To Know About ACL Injuries

Gymnastics is a fun sport that can help your child become strong and athletic, but it can also lead to injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the many injuries that young gymnasts may experience. Here are three things parents need to know about ACL injuries.

What are ACL injuries?

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four ligaments within the knee joint. It connects the distal femur to the tibial plateau, and it helps to stabilize the knee. This crucial ligament can become stretched or torn during sports.

If your child suffers an ACL injury, they’ll hear a popping sound from within their knee. Within a few hours, their knee will become swollen due to hemarthrosis. Hemarthrosis is a medical term that refers to bleeding within a joint. The pain and swelling will keep them from being able to practice, and they may not even be able to stand on their knee without it giving out beneath them.

How do gymnastics cause ACL injuries?

ACL injuries can occur when the ligament is overstressed, and it’s easy for this to happen during gymnastics. If your child lands a jump short, they could stretch or tear their ligament. They could also injure their ligament if they over-rotate during a tumble, vault or other maneuver and then land poorly. Pivoting the body without moving the feet during balance beam routines can also stress and damage the ligament.

How are ACL injuries treated?

After an initial period of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) care at home, your child will need to go to physiotherapy for several weeks. Their physiotherapist lead them through exercises to help them regain their strength and flexibility, and they may be told to do these exercises at home, too. If your child has been assigned at-home exercises by their physiotherapist, make sure they do them.

If your child doesn’t want to participate in sports anymore, they won’t need further treatment after they’re done physiotherapy. If they want to keep participating in gymnastics or other sports, they’ll need surgery to repair their ligament. A piece of tendon (a tissue that’s similar to a ligament) will be taken from their other knee and grafted onto their damaged ligament to repair it. Further physiotherapy will be required to help them recover from the surgery, and it may take a year for them to get back to gymnastics.

If you think your child injured their ACL during gymnastics, take them to a doctor like Advance Medical of Naples right away.

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