Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Run a Race When You Have Asthma?

 Over 50,000 people will head out to run 26.2 miles around all five boroughs of New York City for the New York City Marathon.  Did you know that 10% of the people running on Sunday will have exercise induced asthma?  This is a disease where exercise triggers spasm, chest tightness and shortness of breath.  As if running 26.2 miles where hard enough, people with exercise induced asthma, need all the help  they can get to help prevent their symptoms. 

Here are Five Tips to Help you Finish Strong this Weekend!

1)     Stay Hydrated

-Persons with exercise induced asthma get dehydrated faster.  When you lungs are dehydrated, this can trigger symptoms of asthma
-A study from the University of Buffalo in 1999, showed that persons with asthma had improved lung function when they were hydrated.
-Make sure all week long, you are drinking plenty of water.  Take water frequently along the run to keep your muscles and lungs well hydrated.

2) Eat Diet Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

- In a subset of people with exercise induced asthma, eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids 3 weeks before exercising, reduced inflammation typically seen in mucus associated with asthma.  Lung function was improved and they used less rescue inhalers like albuterol.
- Fish, flax seed oil, walnuts and chia seeds are all excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

3) Use Medications Early

- Make sure you use your albuterol and other asthma medications at least 15 minutes before exercising.  This will keep you lungs open during your run.  
-Check to make sure they haven't expired.
-You may need a 2nd dose during the run.  Albuterol only lasts for 4 hours so if you are expecting your marathon time to be longer than that, make sure you give your self a 2nd dose at the 3.5 hour mark. 

4) Warm Up Your Lungs

-Warm up your lungs with light exercise 5-10 minutes the morning before your race.  This will help them get used to temperature changes.

5) Check the Weather Report

-When you have asthma, knowing what the weather’s going to be like is especially important.  In the early part of your run, you may need a scarf to help keep your lungs warm.  A scarf will help humidify and warm the air before it enters into your lungs.
- Bring one you won’t care about loosing if you are running on Sunday. As the day warms, you may want to drop it. 
-Look at the pollen counts.

-If allergies are a trigger for your asthma, using your allergy medication can prevent you from having an allergy attack.  You’re covering a lot of ground running a marathon.  As New Yorkers, we know how drastically the weather can change around the city.  Make sure you look at all the areas your running through to keep yourself healthy.

Good luck at your next race! Need other last minute tips before Sunday or your next race?  Call the office or click her to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Can You Prevent Allergy Prenatally?

Can You Prevent Allergies During Pregnancy?

Allergies are strongly influenced by genetics.  Did you know that a child has a 50% chance of having allergies their mom or dad have allergies; this increases up to 75% if both parents have allergies? Because of the strong influence of genes, many women with allergies ask me, “what can I do to prevent allergies in my baby?” 

Some believe that the diversity of bacteria living in our guts (our microbiome) influence the development of allergic disease (asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis).  They hypothesis that these bacteria “teach” our immune systems how to differentiate safe from non-safe.  Changes to these bacteria may lead to dysfunctioning inmmune systems and thereby the development of allergies.  Using probiotics, the most popular being Lactobacillus, during and after pregnancy potentially can alter the development of allergies and asthma.
Probiotics in the Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim, a group of researchers in Norway, wanted to look more into these question.  

Can Probiotics in Pregnancy Prevent the Development of Allergic Disease?
The Probiotics in the Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim (ProPACT) study just released the follow up to their original study started in 2003.  They followed 415 pregnant women’s children from age 3 months to 6 years.  Moms were randomized to get milk with and without probiotics from 36 weeks gestation to 3 months after delivery.  

Can Probiotics Prevent Allergic Disease?
  • Researchers found that at 2 years of age, children who’s mom’s had received the milk fortified with probiotics had less eczema (OR 0.51, 95 % CI 0.30 – 0.87, p = 0.013).
  • At 2, there was no impact on asthma, allergic sensitization or allergic rhinitis/conjunctivitis
  • Follow up by questionnaire and exam at 6 years, 81 and 82 children (in the milk and milk with probiotic groups respectively) were re-assessed for the development of eczema, allergic sensitization asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

What did They Find Out?
  • At age 6 there was a trend towards a reduction in eczema in school age children, but it was not statistically significant.

What’s the Bottom Line?
  • Perinatal supplementation with probiotics may prevent the onset of eczema, but has no effect on the development of asthma, allergic sensitization and allergic rhinitis/conjunctivitis.
  • The microbiome may have a role in the development and prevention of eczema.
  • We still have a lot to learn about prevention of allergic disease. Stay tuned to learn more about the microbiome and allergies.

Need specific advice regarding your allergies Click here to book an Appointment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How Can you Be Prepared for an Allergy Free Fall?


October traditionally, associated with the start of fall, brings about a host of wonderful changes. Temperatures drop, leaves change, and winter squashes seem to appear everywhere overnight. There is excitement in the air brought in from storms and falling leaves.  Invitations for apple picking, hiking, hay rides and haunted houses abound.  For those with allergies, these drastic changes and invitations often leave with itchy eyes, asthma exacerbations and can trigger itchy skin.  Simply, Fall can be a bit perilous for those with asthma and food and skin allergies.

Some simple tips, can make sure you get to enjoy Fall & do participate in all the Fun!

How Can you be Prepared for an Allergy Free Fall?

Dealing with Asthma in the Fall:
  • Fall is a great time to check in with your allergist/asthma specialist

  • Make sure you get your flu shot! Those with asthma are more likely to end up hospitalized from the flu.  Stop by Gramercy Allergy anytime- we have the flu shot!

  • Wash your hands frequently.  This will help prevent you getting the common cold.

  • Roast some of those fall squashes- any orange colored vegetable is packed with Vitamins A, C and E- all essential for a health immune system.  Check out here for pumpkin recipes

  • Make sure your inhalers aren’t expired

  • Pack a scarf to protect your lungs from cold temperatures

  • Follow pollen counts for ragweed pollens and mold spores

If you have Skin Allergies & Eczema:
  •       Start a good moisturization routine weekly to keep your skin protected from the cooler temperatures. Extra moisture will help prevent your skin from becoming itchy.
  •            Change to a mild soap, use lukewarm showers and always moisturize before your skin dries out!
  •       Little time to moisturize?  Using baby oil in the shower is a quick and easy way to keep skin hydrated.  Just be careful- your tub can get slippery.
  •       Be careful with Halloween makeup- many have chemicals/dyes that can cause severe reactions that can scar.
  •       Check out for more specific tips.  How To Keep Your Skin Beautiful When You Have Eczema

If you have Fall Eye and Nose Allergies:
·        Get tested.  Knowing what’s triggering your allergies is the first way to avoid it.
·       Following pollen and mold spore counts can be the best way to stay ahead of allergens.
·       Use medications early.  Starting medications early will help prevent symptoms.
·       See your allergist for specific advice. 

If you have Food Allergies:
·       Be careful with Halloween candy.  This is often a common source of accidental exposure.

·       Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project sponsored by FARE

·       Make sure your injectable epinephrine isn’t expired.

·       Look over Halloween candy to make sure it doesn’t contain hidden food ingredients that might make you sick.

Need specific advice on how to survive fall Allergy free?  Visit Gramercy Allergy- Union Square premier allergy office. We are located at 205 East 22nd Street NY NY 10010