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Allergies are the result of the immune system’s response to foreign objects such as pet dander, pollen, certain foods, bee venom etc. In response to the allergen, the immune system produces antibodies, anticipating that the allergen is harmful in nature, even though that might not be the case always. The immune system can inflame the digestive system, skin, airways or sinuses when it comes in contact with allergens. The severity of allergies can vary from anaphylaxis to a minor irritation. In most cases, allergies cannot be fully cured. It, however, can be controlled with medication.
What are the symptoms of allergy?
- Various allergies cause different kinds of symptoms.
- Hay fever can cause sneezing, fluffy nose, itching of the eyes, nose, and mouth, swollen eyes etc.
- Food allergy can cause hives, mouth tingling, anaphylaxis, body itching etc.
- Insect sting produces symptoms such as anaphylaxis, cough, swelling on the source etc.
- Drug allergy can result in a rash, wheezing, swelling of the face, hives etc.
- Atopic dermatitis often lead to flake, itching, and reddening of the skin.
- There are other allergies that are triggered either by food or by insect bite. These can lead to a medical emergency known as the anaphylaxis. Some symptoms include skin rash, loss of consciousness, weak pulse, vomiting and nausea, shortness of breath etc.
What are the possible causes of allergy?
- Air: A number of allergies occur from the surrounding air. Examples of such airborne allergies include pollen, animal dander, mould etc.
- Food items: Certain foods are known to be causing allergy such as tree nuts, eggs, peanuts, soy fish etc.
- Medication: There are medications such as penicillin-based antibiotics that can lead to allergy.
- Insect bite: Bite from insects such as wasp or bee can trigger an allergy in adults and kids.
What are the possible complications?
Allergy often leads to complication such as asthma, infection of the lungs, sinusitis, infection of the ear and anaphylaxis. The risk of getting these conditions increase, provided no treatment is done for a long duration.
How is the diagnosis done?
To investigate the type of allergy a person has, the doctor might ask for the exact symptoms that a person is encountering. He may ask questions related to intake of food and the possible triggers. A skin test is often performed, followed by a blood test to confirm the presence of allergy in an individual.
What are the methods of treatment?
Depending on the type of allergy one has, a doctor might prescribe nasal spray, eye drops, and pills to reduce the symptoms. Apart from this, if the allergy is severe in nature, a doctor might suggest going for immunotherapy and emergency epinephrine. Certain lifestyle changes and food habits go a long way in cutting down the symptoms.
There are a few very common things that a man consumes or does every day without even realizing, that they have a tendency to reduce his fertility. These causes start from drinking and could end with something as harmless as caffeine.
Let's see which habits can cause reduction in sperm count thereby reducing fertility of a man.
- Eating processed meat harms sperm quality.
- Excessive usage of laptop can also lead to reduction in sperm count because of the heat that a laptop releases.
- Hormonal imbalance also causes low sperm production.
- If a man is underweight or overweight, this could also lead to less production of sperm. So, a man should watch his weight before thinking of extending his family.
- Exposure to too much heat for a prolonged time leads to reduction in sperm count.
- Regular smoking also leads to reduction in sperm count.
- Excessive stress also causes reduction in sperm count.
- Regular and continuous exposure to chemicals like xylene, painting material and metal like lead also leads to low sperm count.
- Chemicals present in sunscreen lotion can harm a man's sperm count so one should be alert while using a sunscreen lotion.
- Sex toys also cause infertility in men because of presence of phthalates in them.
- Regular intake of canned food can also contribute in low sperm count.
- Regular drinking habits reduce testosterone levels thereby reducing the quality and production of sperm.
- Excessive intake of canned food leads to intake of bisphenol A which lowers down the quality of the sperm.
- Excess intake of caffeine also leads to reduction in sperm count.
- Lack of exercise and laziness also reduces sperm count to a great extent.
Some of the above mentioned things can be unavoidable, but point here is that taking everything in moderate quantity doesn't do any harm but problem occurs when the intake is excessive, regular and beyond limit. So, it's better to reduce the quantity and regular use of such things than letting it affect your sperm count.
Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is characterized by periodic bouts of nausea and vomiting that happens at cyclical intervals. It affects all ages, but is more common in children. The condition is quite stereotypical in that there are paroxysms or bouts of vomiting that is recurrent and follows days of normal health.
There is no definite reason identified, but it is said to have a strong hereditary correlation. Studies have shown mitochondrial heteroplasmies (abnormal growth of mitochondria, which is a cellular component) to be one of the factors that can lead to CVS. The genetic correlation, however, is very difficult to establish, specifically because vomiting and nausea are common symptoms that occur with most conditions in children. And CVS is most commonly noted with conditions like infections and emotional excitement. Infection could be either tooth decay or sinusitis or anything else. Lack of sleep, anxiety, holidays, allergies, overeating, certain foods, menstruation – a host of factors have been shown to induce CVS. There is also a strong association with migraine and conditions that lead to excessive production of stress hormones.
The syndrome (a group of symptoms) usually has 4 phases:
Symptom-free interval phase: The child is completely normal in this phase, which happens in between bouts.
Prodromal phase: Prodrome is an indication that a disease or a condition is about to happen. In CVS, this is usually nausea and abdominal pain that can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Treatment in this phase can curb the disease. However, there could be some children in whom this may not manifest and the child may directly start with vomiting.
Recovery phase: As the nausea and vomiting begin to subside, which may take a couple of days, the child returns back to normal slowly. However, the lethargy and energy levels will take a couple of days to return to normal.
Treatment again depends on the severity and the phase at which it is being recognized. If a child has repetitive bouts, then the parent and the doctor would have identified a pattern to it.
If the causative agent has been identified, for instance, infection or migraines, then managing that takes care of the CVS also.
If identified during the prodromal phase, again it can be managed with suitable anti-emetic medications.
If identified after full onset, rest and sleep and medications to control nausea and vomiting are required.
Adequate hydration with electrolyte replenishment and sedatives can provide additional support. However, in most cases of childhood CSV, the pattern will be identified and that helps in better management, both the child/parent and the podiatrist.