An allergic reaction in an outdoor setting can rapidly become a life-threatening emergency. While most of us think of food allergies as annoyances, they can be quite serious or even life threatening. Itchy skin rashes can progress to breathing difficulty, swollen soft tissues (e.g., lips, tongue, throat) that compromise the airway, and low blood pressure or even shock. Therefore, it’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of severe allergy and to be prepared to respond rapidly in the event of an emergency.
An EpiPen (an epinephrine auto-injector)
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has released Food Allergy Guidelines for healthcare professionals to help guide the care of patients with life-threatening food allergies. The full guidelines can be found at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/clinical/Pages/default.aspx. Here are some key points: Read more »
This post, Food Allergies: Treating Severe Allergic Reactions, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
For the last week I have had a cold. I usually get one each winter. I have two kids in school and they bring home a lot of viruses. I also work in a hospital, which tends (for some reason) to have lots of sick people. Although this year I think I caught my cold while traveling. I’m almost over it now, but it’s certainly a miserable interlude to my normal routine.
One thing we can say for certain about the common cold — it’s common. It is therefore no surprise that there are lots of cold remedies, folk remedies, pharmaceuticals, and “alternative” treatments. Finding a “cure for the common cold” has also become a journalistic cliche — reporters will jump on any chance to claim that some new research may one day lead to a cure for the common cold. Just about any research into viruses, no matter how basic or preliminary, seems to get tagged with this headline. (It’s right up there with every fossil being a “missing link.”)
But despite the commonality of the cold, the overall success of modern medicine, and the many attempts to treat or prevent the cold — there are very few treatments that are actually of any benefit. The only certain treatment is tincture of time. Most colds will get better on their own in about a week. This also creates the impression that any treatment works — no matter what you do, your symptoms are likely to improve. It is also very common to get a mild cold that lasts just a day or so. Many people my feel a cold “coming on” but then it never manifests. This is likely because there was already some partial immunity, so the infection was wiped out quickly by the immune system. But this can also create the impression that whatever treatment was taken at the onset of symptoms worked really well, and even prevented the cold altogether.
There is a short list of treatments that do seem to have some benefit. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can reduce many of the symptoms of a cold — sore throat, inflamed mucosa, aches, and fever. Acetaminophen may help with the pain and fever, but it is not anti-inflammatory and so will not work as well. NSAIDs basically take the edge off, and may make it easier to sleep. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued comprehensive food allergy guidelines to help primary care physicians and subspecialists diagnose and manage patients.
The guidelines were published online at the NIAID food allergy guidelines portal, which also has a frequently asked questions section. The agency will release a patient synopsis early next year.
The guidelines establish consistent terminology and definitions, diagnostic criteria and patient management practices. Additional topics covered by the guidelines include the prevalence of food allergy and management of acute allergic reactions to food, including anaphylaxis. The report also identifies gaps about what is known about food allergy.
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MACP, said, “Because these guidelines provide standardized, concise recommendations on how to diagnose and manage food allergy and treat acute food allergy reactions across specialties, we expect both clinicians and food allergy patients to greatly benefit from these clear state-of-the-science clinical standards.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*