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Allergies Articles, Tips and Information

How to Test Your Dog for Food Allergies

Does your dog suffer from skin problems and/or scratch constantly? Does he have hot spots or recurring skin infections? He may suffer from dog food allergies. Food allergies can appear in dogs any time in their lifespan, from puppyhood to senior. There are certain food ingredients that tend to be problematic. Among them are dairy products, chicken and chicken eggs, soy, corn, wheat, and even beef.

Once you have confirmed your dog has a food allergy, you will need to continue with the special diet.

Conduct a Food Trial

To diagnose your dog's potential food allergies you can conduct a food trial, which means feeding your dog a unique diet for up to 3 months. You will need to feed your dog new foods it has never eaten before, such as venison and oats. Lamb and rice diets used to be prescribed for dogs with potential allergies, but they are no longer considered unique foods. Many commercial lamb and rice dog foods also contain soy, eggs and other allergens.


Special foods are available through your vet or you can make your dog's special diet at home using your vet's recommendations. The special diet must be followed consistently, no other foods allowed including treats or rawhides. Continue with the diet until you see marked improvement in your dog's symptoms. Then go back to his regular diet. If symptoms return, then you know your dog is allergic to one or more ingredients in his regular food.


Food Allergy Treatment

If you are not sure which ingredient of the old food is causing the allergy, you could try a home made diet and add back in one of the potential allergens, such as soy. Until you narrow down the exact foods your dog is a allergic to. Then you can either keep your dog on the special diet or try a commercial dog food that does not contain the problem ingredients.

Because symptoms can be similar with airborne allergies such as dust and mold as well as flea-bite allergies, it is important to test and eliminate them as suspects first.


Summary: Does your dog suffer from skin problems and/or scratch constantly? Does he have hot spots or recurring skin infections? He may suffer from dog food allergies. Food allergies can appear in dogs any time in their lifespan, from puppyhood to senior.


Valerie Goettsch is web master of a website featuring dozens of articles and information on dog names and breeds and where to find the best of everything for your dog, from flea meds to beds and crates, training books and videos and dog clothes.


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Pet Allergies - Counteract the Symptoms


Suffering from a pet allergy can be heartbreaking. You know that if you suffer extreme pet allergies that you might have to give up your pet (and no one wants to give up their pets when they have grown attached to them.) If you think that you have a pet allergy, then you need to act fast. The longer your pet stays in your home, the more allergens he or she will distribute across your home.


Pets cause allergies mostly because of their dander. Contrary to popular belief, pet fur is not the number one cause of pet allergies. In fact, it is the pet's skin. When a pet sheds its fur (which happens as frequently as humans shed their hair) the fur takes small pieces of pet skin with it. Just like human skin flakes off during the course of a day, so does pet skin. Therefore, your pet not only has hair floating in the air of your home, but he or she also has dead skin on that hair that is affecting your allergies.


Next, your allergist will recommend a course of action to help you get through your pet allergies. In some cases, the allergist will encourage you to remove the pet from your home. In other cases, you will only need to invest in some allergy medicine, such as a monthly shot or a daily allergy pill.


Having pets can be a very enriching and fulfilling addition to any home. However, as soon as you start to feel ill or uncomfortable because of the presence of your pet, you need to take action. After all, your health should be a priority so that you can better care for your pet.


Tamra Cantar is a freelance writer on topics of interest and has a website dedicated to providing the visitor with useful information and resources on allergies and allergy relief. Visit for more information on pet and other types of allergies and allergy relief.


Dealing with Allergies Using Vitamins

For millions of people allergies are something they think they have to live with. Similarly many people believe the only way to treat allergies is with medication. For some people that may be true, however for many people vitamins are a solid alternative to medication. In either case, vitamins can provide a great benefit to the allergy sufferer and should be considered and discussed with your physician. Although they may not completely cure your allergies they may allow you to reduce the amount of medication you take, or in some cases may allow you to stop taking medication altogether.


In order to counteract your pet allergy, the first thing you need to do is to determine how bad the allergy is. You may want to visit an allergy specialist for a special allergy test. Your allergist will determine whether or not you have other allergies as well.


Bear in mind that changes in medication dosing should only be made under direct supervision of your physician and all changes to diet, even addition of vitamins, should be discussed with and approved by your physician. There can be dangerous interactions between certain medications and vitamins, minerals and supplements.


While there are many, many different vitamins, minerals, supplements and herbs that have been shown to have some degree of benefit to allergy sufferers, the vitamins on the list below were carefully chosen for optimum benefit and the ease with which they can be found.


Below is a list of some of the most common and most beneficial vitamins used to treat and manage symptoms suffered by those with allergies.


* Copper (Amino Acid Chelate): Crucial to the formation of T-cells and is an essential component of Super Oxide Dismutase, an antioxidant that fights free radial damage to the mitochondria, which are the energy producing portion of the cells in your body.


* Vitamin C (Ascorbate): Is shown to decrease production of histamine, reducing immediate allergy potential, also helps to relieve allergic symptoms and prevent inflammatory reactions, provides an effect like that of an antihistamine and assists in production of adrenal hormones needed to combat the stress that the body suffers which is imposed by allergic reactions.


* Magnesium (Citrate): Considered the anti-stress mineral. Buffers the acidic stage of an allergic reaction. Required in many of the body's detoxification pathways. May reduce the broncho-constrictor in asthma by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes.


* Selenium (Amino Acid Chelate): Protects cell membranes and stimulates immune function, enhances function of Vitamin C within the body, increases the B-cell antibody response and is essential in the body's production of Coenzyme Q10.

* Vitamin B15: Helps to increase endurance and decrease muscle fatigue.


* Molybdenum (Amino Acid Chelate): Enhances the body's use of sulfur amino acids, also enhances the cells' ability to utilize Vitamin C and detoxifies sulfites and aldehydes.


* Calcium (Citrate): Helps the body regulate its acid/alkaline balance in tissues, helps to buffer the acidic stage of an allergic reaction and reduces histamine production.


The vitamins listed above do not necessarily all need to be taken by each and every allergy sufferer. You'll want to make a list of the vitamins listed above and discuss with your physician which of them would be the most beneficial given the allergies that you have.

Although adding vitamins to your diet may not completely alleviate your allergy suffering, a healthy body is the best defense against allergies, and many other conditions. Taking vitamins such as those listed above in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise routine will undoubtedly make a positive impact on your life.


Steven Godlewski is a self-made millionaire and is currently working with the staff at He has an extensive background in nutrition as well as other health related fields. For more health-related articles see their website at:


Treat Your Allergies Before They Treat You


Technically, allergy refers to an altered state or response by the body to any substance. Some people develop allergic reactions to pollen, dust, cold or to medications. Avoidance is always the best way to control allergies. But when allergens are unknown, allergy treatments are the only way to handle the hypersensitivity of the body.


Interestingly enough, when going in for allergy treatments, people do not always choose the most effective and the simplest options. Despite their drawbacks, people usually go in for medications directly. Fortunately for us, there are lots of ways - old and new- to help avoid allergy.


Allergy treatments are usually lengthy and difficult processes that investigate every aspect of the patient's life and eliminate one cause after another till the actual cause is discovered. Allergy treatments are so complicated because people who are susceptible to allergies are vulnerable not just to one element, but to a number of substances. This is especially true if the allergy has been around for some time. In that case the adrenal glands are always on high alert. Adrenal fatigue is therefore a common side-effect of allergies.


Allergy-proof your house

The first step towards effective allergy treatments is to 'allergy-proof' your house. You do not have to strip your house down for this. Keep it as free of dust and mold as possible. Some other things to do include:


- Keeping the house moderately cold

- Maintain low levels of humidity

- Ensure proper ventilation



Food reactions are memorized by the cells of the body and keep recurring again and again till these reactions are erased from the body. Go on an elimination diet. Remove one item of food after another till you discover the cause. Dairy products tend to trigger allergic reactions in people. The most common food allergens include: tea, coffee, oranges, corn, sugar and food additives. It is also essential to do away with as many items of super-refined and processed foods as you can. Hydrogenated fats are allergens. Skip the wafers and start eating carrots! Fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, soybeans and whole grains are your best bet.



Herbs offer another effective line of defense against allergies. Allergy treatments effected through herbs are natural and long lasting. The herbs can be taken in a tablet or capsule form. Certain herbs stimulate the immune system and are powerful antioxidants. Some herbs, like garlic have antibacterial properties that are beneficial in healing symptoms of cold.

Mineral and vitamin supplements


Allergy treatments can be effected through supplements also. Calcium and magnesium are important nutrients that an allergy sufferer needs. These minerals help relax an over-reactive system. These minerals also help with stress and strain caused to the body due to allergic reactions.


Vitamin A and Zinc are vital for a healthy immune system. They provide an antibody that coats the allergens in the intestinal tract itself. Thus these are not absorbed into the body.


Holistic allergy treatments

Many kinds of holistic therapy systems like Acupuncture, Acutouch, Pranayama, Yoga and Rolfing help deal with allergies and their resulting symptoms. Many of these systems come with strict dietary guidelines that help eliminate allergy caused by food. Holistic healing systems also come with a system of herbal medication and exercises that help strengthen the body's immune system.


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Allergies to Cats


I am convinced my cat is allergic to me. If I was spending money on him, that was OK. If I was feeding him, that was OK, if I was making him comfy and tickling him under his chin, that was OK but if I expected him to show me any affection he had this allergy towards me. Remember, cats don't have owners, cats own humans. One of the problems is that many humans who are owned by cats have allergies to them. This happened with Tigger and my wife who I originally got Tigger for but he adopted me and became my owner.


It wasn't long after we had brought Tigger home that my wife developed a wheeziness when breathing. She went to see the doctor and after a quick examination he asked if we had a pet. That was it, he then explained about the skin of cats and how they shed particles of dead skin constantly, (as do humans), but my wife was breathing this in. It caused her to have to use an inhaler to help her breathing.

So what is the problem, well cats shed their dead skin and this gets into furniture, carpets and our bedding. When we walk through it, it stirs itself up as tiny dust particles and if a person is allergic to cats it gets breathed in and causes problems for humans. All cats produce these allergy causing compounds and not only is it found in dead skin but oil producing glands on your cat produce a protein allergen which also causes the problem. It is worse in male cats but female cats and cats, which have been neutered, are not as bad as an un-neutered male cat.


What can you do about it? Well you could get rid of your cat but I don't hold with that but it may be best for you but please please make sure you re-home your cat to a good home where it will be well loved. Do not ever just dump it. You would not dump a child and your pet is like a child to you. Treat it as one. You could just accept you will have to use medication for the rest of your cat's life or you could try a simple remedy.


You may find that your breathing is worse when you lie down in bed and sleep with your cat. If this is the case try banishing your cat from his bedroom. Take control again. It will not be nice as your cat will keep meowing outside his room and scratching at the door trying to get in but this method does work and after a few weeks he or she will be happy to sleep elsewhere. Try getting your cat its own bed and put this somewhere away from your bedroom.


You have to be tough with this and if you have slept with your cat it is hard, but you have to remember your health is important. Your cat will not be bothered about your health but you need to be.


Do not think about this, just do it. It is better that having to re-home your cat, just think of the distress it will go through not seeing you again and having to adapt to a new family.Your cat is very important but so is your health. Just remember this information should you need to, even though it may not be nice to hear. Your cat is very important but so are you and others in the house.


Ric Wiley is an established writer and Internet author. His latest site about his relationship with his cat, Tigger, can be found at

Air Purifiers 101: Allergies and Pure Air

If you don't have allergies yourself, the likelihood is that you at least know several people who do. The incidence of allergies is rising at an alarming rate. Before World War II allergies were almost unknown in Japan. Now allergies to pollens is quite common among those who live in cities and near highways. But allergies are even more common in North America and Europe. They are less common in Third World countries, which suggests that modern urban life may have something that contributes to allergies.


Respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma, are conclusively linked to second-hand tobacco smoke. For some reason, exposure to cigarette smoke enhances the body's ability to produce the allergy antibody IgE, which attaches to allergens such as pollen, dust mites and dander. This IgE response is a primary activator of allergic reactions.


However, as serious as the problem of second-hand smoke is, the most common sources of indoor air pollution come from yucky things like dust mites (ever see a picture of them? - ugh!), bacteria, mold (if you enlarge the pictures of mold enough many of them are the opposite of dust mites - quite beautiful), pet dander, and gross critters such as roaches.


The results of the study suggest that MSM supplementation of 2600 mg per day for 30 days may help reduce the symptoms of SAR; additionally few side effects are associated with the use of MSM. (information obtained for this article was found in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Feb.2003, Vol. 9, No. 1: 15-16)


You may be the most dedicated house-cleaner in the country and these "pests" can be a problem.


You can't see dust mites when you are cleaning. They can lurk just about anywhere in your home, but their favorite hiding places are mattresses, curtains and carpets. Actually the mite doesn't stir up the allergies as much as their waste does - and that is harder to see than the mites themselves. Cockroach waste is also the allergen more than the cockroaches themselves.


Mold is also an expert at hiding. If you live in a humid climate it thrives even more than elsewhere. But the humidity in your bathroom, your kitchen or your basement and grow hidden mold inside your walls, on the grout in your bathroom, in and under floorboards and a multitude of hiding places. Although letting in a lot of light and opening windows to air out the home can help, they can't do that job like an air purification system can. They two best means of killing mold are ozone generators (which can be their own health problem - see number II in this series) and ultraviolet light.


To get the best results from ultraviolet light, get a system that you put in the ductwork of your furnace/air conditioner. If you keep the fan on, all of the air in the house will pass by the UV light and molds and other allergens will be eradicated. Be sure you use Ultraviolet-C. Ultraviolet-B radiation can blind you if you accidentally view it for even a short time - it penetrates the lens of the eye and destroys the retina; Ultraviolet-C is perfectly harmless.


To take care of most of the other allergens you can use a combination of HEPA-filters, heavy-duty charcoal filters and photocatalytic oxidation. Carefully research (or find someone else who has done this for you) the possibilities and what you need the most for your situation before you buy.


Mary Lou Derksen has been involved in a variety of health-related jobs since 1976, included nutritional counseling and mental health counseling (as a licensed counselor). She also taught junior high and high school classes in a 1-room school house setting. Never ready to settle down to a stale retired life, she has now entered the field of air purifications systems.

MSM combats seasonal allergies and hay fever in a big way

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) affects more than 25 million Americans each year and current studies indicate the problem of seasonal allergies is on the rise.


Numerous clinical observations and case studies have led researchers to propose that methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) may help to significantly reduce the symptoms of SAR.


In a study conducted in 2002, fifty people with chronic SAR, completed a study. They consumed 2600 mg of MSM per day. As part of the study, respiratory symptoms, energy levels and immune and inflammatory reactions were measured. All of the participants noted remarkable improvement and tests performed on the individuals in the study measured and confirmed that the use of the supplement MSM had made a physically distinctive rectification of SAR symptoms.


A PERSONAL NOTE: I have used MSM as a supplement regimen for 10 years. I have been a chronic hay fever sufferer all of my life, and I discovered that using MSM stopped the runny itchy eyes and scratchy throat during the hay fever season. I still sneeze but the more irritating side effects of hay fever have been chiefly eliminated.


Tom Bay has been in the nutritional supplement business for more than 10 years and has a wealth of knowledge about the benefits of regular supplementation as part of a whole health plan of good nutrition and exercise. If you have any questions or want further information, contact Mr. Bay at


Here are some related articles on allergies


Air Purification Systems and Seasonal Allergies Relief - You may be one of the masses who don’t even realize that you have allergies! According to studies, there are about 17 out of every 100 Americans that are allergic, or hypersensitive, to some substances which are known to cause unusual reactions.


Air Purifiers - It will seem horribly unfair to any child who suffers with allergies that they cannot have a pet or must loose one whom they have grown attached to. Is there a way to deal with pet allergies which may lessen or even eliminate the suffering for adults and children with allergies?


Allergic Condition - Many people don’t realize that their dogs, just like human beings, can suffer from allergies. In fact, about twenty percent of the dogs in the United States alone suffer from one allergy or another, with flea allergy dermatitis being the most common form of allergies in dogs. Other types include atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and inhalant allergies.


Allergic Reactions - Allergy rates are on the increase especially in Western countries (compared to people in less affluent rural parts of the world) and there is a growing body of evidence that strongly suggests that asthma is an environmentally induced disease.

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