Sports Injuries, Joint Replacements & Knee Problems
April 2021 Issue - Pink Prescriptions
Sports Injuries, Joint Replacements & Knee Problems
Ahh-choo! It’s a common sound during this time of year when the flora and fauna are in full swing spreading their yellow pixie dust across the world. Allergies—seasonal or not—are a big buzzword these days, with more people than ever showing signs and symptoms. Obviously we all know the sneezing, itchy throat, watery eyes and runny nose symptoms of allergies, but read on to learn more about allergies, intolerances and how to get a grip on them all.
What are seasonal allergies and can I develop them at any age?
by Joseph McShea, D.O.
Seasonal allergies are a group of conditions that may cause sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose and itchy eyes. Symptoms usually occur only at certain times of the year. Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, or mold spores, which grow when the weather is humid, wet, or damp. Normally people can breathe in these substances without a problem, but when a person has a seasonal allergy, his or her immune system acts as if the substance is harmful to the body, thus causing symptoms.
That said, can someone develop allergies at any age? The answer is empathically yes. Many people first get seasonal allergies when they are children or young adults. These allergies sometimes run in families and are lifelong, but symptoms can get better or worse over time. A family history of allergies puts you at higher risk of developing allergies some time in your life. However, allergies can change over time, develop at any point in a person’s life, and start unexpectedly as an adult.
Allergies develop when your body thinks a substance, such as an animal, hair, pollen, or mold is harmful. That substance awakens your immune system to release a chemical called histamine, which leads to allergy symptoms. As you age, your immune system may start to weaken, so your immune response to an allergen also weakens. Repeated exposure can also cause your immune system to overreact.
If you develop allergies as an adult, you may have had slight symptoms throughout your life, but an event or something in your environment has changed, causing you to be exposed to a substance that perhaps you have not previously come in contact with. For instance, if you recently relocated from a different part of the country, or got a new pet, you might find that you have allergies that you have not experienced in the past. If you have recently developed allergy symptoms, an allergist can perform testing to determine exactly what is triggering those symptoms.
Dr. Joseph McShea is a board-certified family medicine physician at Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health in Okatie. He has over 25 years’ experience in primary and urgent care.
Can allergies be cured or outgrown?
by David W. Vormohr, MD
Seasonal allergies can range from sneezing to a runny nose to itchy eyes. The immune system of an allergic person acts as if substances we breath are harmful, therefore, we end up with the above symptoms. Seasonal allergies can occur when we are young or old and can run in families. They are usually with us for life but can vary in expression over time.
Sometimes allergies lessen over time, however, if they fail to do so, treatment is available. Consider using saline rinses to cleanse the nasal passages or eyes to remove the offending substances. Decongestants can assist in reducing nasal stuffiness, but you must be cautious if you have hypertension, or a medical condition sensitive to stimulants. Antihistamines are helpful and often used for allergies. They assist with the itchiness, sneezing and rhinorrhea but do not always work as well as steroid nasal sprays, which work very well over time to reduce stuffy noses and post nasal drip. Steroid sprays must be used every day, and as I tell my patients often, it may take several days to work.
If the former treatments fail to provide resolution of allergy symptoms then allergy shots may be useful. Presenting the body minute amounts of an allergen, then slowly increasing the amount of the allergen, desensitizes and reduces the body’s response to allergic substances. For further information on seasonal allergies and treatments, I would recommend discussion with your medical doctor.
Dr. Vormohr is board certified in family medicine with a fellowship in sports medicine. He received his medical degree from the Indiana University Medical School. He completed internship and residency training in family medicine at Fort Wayne Medical Education Program, Fort Wayne, IN. Dr. Vormohr has practiced in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton communities since 2003. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of South Carolina Physicians. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call Hilton Head Primary Care 843-510-2314.
What is the difference between a food allergy and intolerance?
by Kerri Dodson, MCHC, CNT
A food intolerance occurs when your body cannot properly digest a particular food, or when specific foods irritate the digestive system. Symptoms of food intolerance include gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, irritability, abdominal pain and headaches. The three most common food intolerances are lactose, the sugar found in cow’s milk; gluten, a protein found in grains; and casein, a protein found in milk. If you continue to eat foods that you have an intolerance to it can cause damage to the lining of your small intestine, which can inhibit you from absorbing nutrients and may lead to autoimmune disease.
A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific food due to certain proteins contained within that food. This reaction can either be mild, such as an itching sensation in the throat, or severe, resulting in a swollen airway. Other symptoms can include swelling of the face, wheezing, hives, itching and tingling around the mouth. The most common food allergies occur with milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Kerri Dodson is a Certified Nutrition Therapist and Master Certified Health and Wellness Coach for NuBodia, LLC. She specializes in Nutritional Counseling and nutritional protocols to help clients overcome chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, high A1c, Type II Diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Call today: 843-816-3733.by Joseph McShea, D.O.