I rely on Allergic Living to give me straight answers to the questions we in the allergy community ask. They're full of great information and articles, and I really enjoy following them on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Jones Soda has released a Peanut Butter & Jelly-flavoured drink as a limited edition, offering it in some retailers across the Toronto area (and elsewhere). Red flag alert, right? Get on sharing far and wide, right?
I really wish there were more positive news stories about allergies. I wish we reported more on how amazing people are, and how accommodating everyone is regarding life-threatening allergies. I mean, wouldn't we all like to live in a much more tolerant world? It's scary out there these days, and I think we're losing touch with humanity a little.
But I'm off track a little. Back to the allergy news.
Turns out, ticks are even more disgusting than we already thought. One specific type, the "Lone Star Tick" has been causing problems for meat lovers across many parts of the United States. Apparently, the ticks carry a form of sugar ("alpha-gal") that humans can tolerate when eaten in beef, pork, venison, and rabbit, but if bitten by a tick, the sugar enters the bloodstream, and that's when problems happen.
I've been trying to digest the latest buzz in the allergy world—the news that if you're allergic to cashews, you need to be on hyper-alert for pink pepperberries, as well. Since pepper is in, oh, everything, and we already worry about enough already, I really wanted to see how legit this worry was before posting about it here.
Let's face it, we don't all like one another. Whenever someone says, "Can't we all just get along?" I reply with, "Nope, but we could all try a little respect." I teach my kids that the reality of life is that we won't always like other people. Personalities clash, behaviours don't jive, beliefs won't mesh—whatever the reason, conflict is a normal part of life.
If given the chance, I can talk about allergies for hours on end. I enjoy listening to people discuss their experiences with them, and I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on the latest news and research in the allergy world. Many say it's clear that I have a passion for discussing allergies, and I guess that's true. And I am willing to bet it's pretty annoying for a lot of people, too.
Sure, it's summer, and the allergens abound, not to mention the "pollen vortex" that hit us hard this past spring. But do you know that Canadians spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors? It's true. Most of us work indoors, so spend the majority of our lives cooped up inside, which means allergies to dust mites are more of a hassle than outdoor allergens for many.
My daughter has such awful reactions to mosquito bites that she's adverse to even going outside when the skeeters start to come out. And forget camping with her. It's interesting that she is the one who gets bitten so often when my son, who has virtually no reaction to bites at all, rarely gets a bite. Whassup wit dat, mosquitoes? The poor kid's eye completely swelled shut while we were on vacation thanks to one tiny bite.
Lucie Roussel, mayor of the La Prairie community near Montreal, died after being stung by wasps many times. While gardening, she stepped on a wasp nest and was stung 15 times. At only 51 years old, she leaves behind two teenage children (who already lost their father to a heart attack).
Remember my family's epic road trip last summer, and my continual fears about my son's food allergies while eating on the road? Well, this year we chose to fly to Newfoundland to visit my parents, but it sure doesn't feel like I'm worrying any less.
One of the reasons I love Twitter so much is that I get to meet all kinds of wonderful people with amazing allergy resources to share. One such person is Shirley Plant—a nutritionist, dietary consultant, and the author of Finally...
When Mason was diagnosed with food allergies, I spent a long time researching and reaching out to other allergy parents for information. It's a pretty scary diagnosis, and it never really feels like I have a handle on it, because theories change, research is being done, products change . . . finding support is so key to keeping sane!
A new study out of Johns Hopkins seems to indicate that exposing newborns to things like dust, germs, and allergens may actually help them build tolerances and prevent allergies and asthma later in life. The study tracked more than 450 inner-city newborns who had been exposed to mouse and cat dander, cockroach droppings, and more absolutely disgusting sounding environmental germies, yet they wheezed far less than their counterparts in cleaner homes.
I had this friend in high school who was an extremely picky eater. She'd eat fast food, and that was about it. So instead of explaining to everyone that she was picky, she'd just say she was allergic. Allergic to fruits, allergic to vegetables, allergic to anything she didn't feel like eating. It quickly erased any questions, so she didn't have to deal with the fallout of being a teenager who was as picky as a toddler. Back then, I think we all found it kind of funny. But now, as an allergy parent, I find lying about food allergies infuriating.