Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What are 7 Things You Don't Know About Colds?

Myths about colds and flu abound this time of the year.  It's hard to know what's fact or fiction. Bottom line we all want to stay healthy for the holiday season. 

Corrie Pikul of Oprah recently interviewed me on 7 things you didn't know about the common cold.  Her article is a myth buster on topics like milk and mucous, why honey is good for a cold, and how you are most likely to get sick.  Want to read the article?  Click here to  Oprah read her tips.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cost Savings Coupons

This is a repost of coupons for allergy and asthma medications with updated links.  I hope this helps you and your family save on medications.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Asthma Medications

Asmanex- $15 off
Asmanex Coupon

Advair - $10 off
Advair Coupon

Dulera- up to $75 off
Various Offers

Symbicort- 1 month free
symbicort Coupon

Zyflo CR
Zyflo CR Coupon

Epinephrine Offers

Auvi-Q- $0 copay
Auvi-Q Coupon

Epi-Pen Resources


Allergy Medication

$1 off Alavert
Allegra $2-4 off


$2 off Claritin



Nasal Allergies

Astepro Savings Card

$20 off

Omnaris- Assistance with Copay

Pay only $17 for Omnaris

Patanase NS- up to $10 off

$10 off Patanase

Qnasl NS- Up to $25 off

Qnasal Coupon

Monday, November 18, 2013

Help I'm Allergic to Pumpkin....

This time of the year we see pumpkin in everything from beer to ice cream.  I thought it'd be the perfect time to talk about pumpkin allergy.

Pumpkin is a delicious gourd and commonly added to salads, pies, and beverages.  The seeds can be cooked and ground into flour.   Some people use the flour as bait for fish.

Luckily, allergy to pumpkin  is rare and only a few case reports exist in the literature.

Interesting Facts About Pumpkin Allergy
  • Pumpkin belongs to the Curbitacea family. Other members of this family are watermelon, zucchini, squash, muskmelon, and cucumber
  • We don't know the incidence of pumpkin allergy; there are a few case reports in the literature
  • Most allergy to pumpkin is caused by the seed rather than the pulp. 
  • You can be allergic to the seed, pulp or both.
  • If you have pumpkin allergy, you make also react to squash, zucchini, watermelon, muskmelon and cucumber and other seeds. 
  • Some people may develop pumpkin allergy from a cross reaction from a tree pollen, called birch.
  • You can be tested for pumpkin allergy by an allergist by pricking the skin

Symptoms of pumpkin allergy are:
  • Itching or blisters in the mouth
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath or
  • Asthma 
If you're worried you have pumpkin allergy, see an allergist and they can test you.

Want to talk to me about your symptoms? Please call the office at 212-679-3574 or email me at jcollins@grammercy.com. As always you are welcome to visit our website to learn more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Cooking with Food Allergies

Cooking with Food Allergies
November traditionally marks the start of warm baked goods cooking in the kitchen.  Baking together is a fun, wonderful activity to do with children that produces a delicious sharable treat in the end. 
However, for children and families with food allergy, baking together is often challenging. 

Parent's are left to figure out substitutions to recipes and modify them on the fly to make them allergy free for their loved ones.  This is often time consuming and offers it's on set of challenges.

Below is a list of resources for allergy free recipes and places to order allergy free mixes for your convenience.

I hope below helps fill your holiday table with delicious food.  If you have other resources, please feel free to share them.

Happy Holidays- Dr. Collins!

Bumbalooza- I love this company!  Created by two moms who loved to bake who had kids with food allergies, they've created easy-to-make treats and instructions to help you identify where the kids can help! Whether it is counting, pouring, stirring or tasting, the opportunities to bond are limitless!

 Allergen's Free Baker's Handbook- written by a mom with children who have food allergies, this book is filled with wonderful recipes for everyday.
Allergy-free Desserts: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, and Nut-free Delights- Want to create something sweet and tasty for your holiday table?  This cookbook with wow you with wonderful allergy free deserts. 
What's to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook- easy directions and easy recipes fill this cook book.  You'll be surprised by what you can do without milk, egg and nuts.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doc, but I'm allergic to Penicillin

About 1 in 10 Americans avoid antibiotics because they think they are allergic.  The most common antibiotic blamed for allergy is penicillin.  The actual incidence of true penicillin allergy is very low.  This is a troubling problem as more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics. Penicillin is first line to treat many diseases including sinusitis and diseases during pregnancy making it important to know if you are actually allergic.

Here are some interesting facts on penicillin allergy
  • About 85-90% of people will out grow true penicillin allergy after ~10 years
  • There are 2 components in penicillin that can cause an allergic reaction
  • There is a skin test available for penicillin allergy that is up to 98% accurate for detecting penicillin allergy
  • An allergist can challenge you with penicillin in the office to detect if the allergy is true or not.

What should you do if you have penicillin allergy?
  • Get tested by an allergist to see if the allergy is true.
  • Your doctor will place various allergens on the skin and may challenge you will penicillin if the initial testing is negative.
Want to talk to me about your symptoms? Please call the office at 212-679-3574 or email me at jcollins@grammercy.com. As always you are welcome to visit our website to learn more.