Back to School with Food Allergies

Pediatric Food Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Georgia

Back to School

School is right around the corner, and along with the excitement of new clothes, bright supplies, and fresh possibilities, your child may also have a few butterflies in the stomach. For a parent of a child with a severe food allergy, you may have some butterflies of your own. Many parents worry their child will accidentally eat a food they’re allergic to while at school, and suffer a severe reaction. Setting your child up at school with an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) is important, but this also requires staff and personnel who can recognize an anaphylactic reaction and can correctly use the EAI.

Children need help from adults in managing their food allergies. One survey out of Mississippi schools revealed 97% had at least one child with a food allergy, but only 30% had action plans for these students. Schools were more likely to have action plans when the school nurse had received appropriate information from a physician. If you need refreshing on how to use your EAI, or would like assistance in educating personnel at your child’s school on recognizing and treating anaphylaxis, call our office today. Anaphylaxis action plans can also be written by physicians and distributed in daycares and schools.

Reference: O’Keefe AW, De Schryver S, Mill J, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies: New and Emerging Options: A Systematic Review. Journal of Asthma and Allergy. 2014;7:141-164.

Childhood Obesity and Asthma

Allergy Asthma Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia 
Asthma, Obesity, Atlanta, Georgia, Freedom Allergy

Childhood Obesity and Asthma

People with obesity (both children and adults) have higher rates of asthma than people with healthy weights. Children with asthma who grow up to become obese have been shown to have worsening airway obstruction due to the excess weight.  Obesity has not been shown to cause more asthma exacerbations.  However, the excess weight can put more pressure on the airways. In someone with asthma, this increased obstruction can cause a lot of problems when breathing is already impaired. One study showed for each unit increase of body mass index (a measure of a person’s weight and height), the FEV1 (a measure of lung function) decreased by 0.29. If you or your child struggles with obesity and asthma, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to manage both these concerns. Every little effort can help!

Read more about asthma and obesity here.

Safe to Use Inhalers, Even with Peanut and Soy Allergies

Asthma and Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia
Freedom Allergy, Atlanta, Georgia, Ruchir Agrawal

Inhaler Use with Peanut and Soy Allergies

Confusion has spread over time, that some inhalers present danger to patients with peanut or soy allergies, due to the presence of soy products. It is true, that the old formularies of ipratropium, found in Atrovent and Combivent inhalers (usually used for patients with COPD), contained soy lecithin as an inactive ingredient. A few adverse reactions were noted in the medical literature, and some researchers thought these reactions could be due to soy allergies. However, none of the research studies actually demonstrated allergic reactions to the soy products, and some of the patients who reacted were also not allergic to soy.  Additionally, most people who are allergic to peanuts are not allergic to soy, so this would not present a concern.  Read more in this article from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).  As AAAAI notes, the truth is, it is safe for patients with peanut allergy and soy allergy to use their asthma inhalers.

• Most peanut-allergic patients are not allergic to soy.
• Soy lecithin does not contain enough soy protein to cause an allergic reaction even in soy-allergic patients.
• The inhalers in question were rarely used for asthma.
• The inhalers in question are no longer on the market.
• The currently available inhalers do not contain soy lecithin.

Accidental Stick with an Epinephrine Auto-Injector

Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia
EpiPen, Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Georgia

Epinephrine Auto-Injector

It happens – one of your children has an allergy requiring an epinephrine auto-injector, and your other child accidentally sticks himself with it.  Does this accidental exposure mean you need to take your child to the emergency department?

Epinephrine auto-injectors contain epinephrine, which is a hormone made by the adrenal gland in your body.   Epinephrine acts on several receptors in the body to help dampen a severe anaphylactic reaction.  It tightens the blood vessels, which decreases swelling and keeps the blood pressure from dropping.  It also increases both heart rate and how strongly the heart contracts, to keep the cardiovascular system from shutting down.  Epinephrine relaxes the muscles around the lung airways, to make breathing easier, and also keeps the immune system from releasing more substances that can worsen an allergic reaction. Continue reading

Freedom Allergy: Specializing in Pediatric Asthma

Freedom Allergy, Pediatric Asthma, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia
Pediatric Asthma Doctor, Atlanta, Georgia

Pediatric Asthma Specialist

 My child has asthma – shouldn’t I take him/her to a pediatric pulmonologist?

Parents of children with asthma often have to schedule appointments months down the road, or travel long distances to visit a pediatric pulmonologist.  As a pediatric allergist, Dr. Agrawal also specializes in pediatric asthma.  Not all types of asthma are the same, and allergists are trained to look at the whole picture of a child’s asthma.  Allergic (extrinsic) asthma requires one type of treatment, and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma requires a different type of treatment.  Wheezing can also be the result of other problems besides asthma, such as acid reflux or an infection.  Dr. Agrawal is an expert in recognizing and treating both allergic and non-allergic asthma, and can help develop the best management plan for your child.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis

Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia
Freedom Allergy, Chronic Sinusitis, Atlanta, Georgia

Frontal and Maxillary Sinuses

Chronic sinusitis describes inflammation of the nasal sinuses lasting 12 or more weeks, and is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States. When these ongoing sinus infections occur four or more times per year, this is called recurrent chronic sinusitis. We have four sets of hollow cavities inside our heads, called the frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses.   These sinuses are lined with mucosa and help keep our noses clear of pollen, dust, mold, germs and pollutants. When sinusitis occurs, the sinuses become inflamed and unable to drain mucus effectively. Colds, allergies, deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, environmental pollutants, cystic fibrosis, and gastroesophageal reflux can all cause blocked sinuses. This can result in fever, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, discolored nasal drainage, mouth breathing, facial pain, headaches, and malaise. Continue reading

Allergist Versus Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor

Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia

Freedom Allergy, Ruchir Agrawal, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Georgia

Why Choose an Allergist for your Allergy and Asthma?

Allergies and asthma are both chronic conditions, and warrant visiting a specialist for the best management. However, with so many specialists out there, how do you know which one to choose?  Read the FAQ below.

My allergies bother my ears, nose and throat – doesn’t this mean I should see an ear, nose and throat doctor?

Many times, patients go directly to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor for their allergy symptoms. After all, don’t allergies bother your ears, nose and throat?

Ear, Nose and Throat doctors are surgeons who specialize mainly in structural problems that can be corrected with surgery. But many of these problems, such as difficulty breathing through the nose, or having a raspy voice or having trouble hearing, are actually due to allergies.  Allergies, eczema, and asthma are all chronic conditions that fall under the same umbrella of allergy medicine, and more than 50% of sinus problems are caused by allergies.  The other 50% are often caused by a combination of both allergy and non-allergy related problems. Continue reading

Breakthrough Peanut Allergy Study

Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia 

Freedom Allergy, Peanut Allergy, Atlanta Georgia

Food allergies have increased exponentially over the past 10 years, particularly peanut allergies.  The New England Journal of Medicine just published a new breakthrough study, demonstrating that infants with a slight peanut sensitivity who were exposed to peanuts early on actually developed fewer allergies than infants who were kept from being exposed to peanuts.  For many  years, doctors have recommended that children with peanut allergies avoid peanuts entirely, which has had great repercussions in the school systems, airline flights, and other environments.  This study could alter the course of food allergy medicine, and bring new recommendations about exposing children to peanuts versus completely isolating them from peanuts.

Learn more about the study from ABC News and from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rare Red Meat Allergy and Lone Star Tick

Allergy Doctor, Food Allergy, Peachtree City, Georgia
Freedom Allergy, Meat Allergy, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia

Lone Star Tick U.S. Habitat

A rare meat allergy has increased in prevalence over the past 10 years in the United States, in correlation with bites from the Lone Star tick. Named for the white dot on the back of the female ticks, the Lone Star tick exists all the way from the Southwestern U.S. to the East Coast, and a bite from this insect can cause people to become allergic to red meat. This condition can remain aloof to many patients, who suddenly develop allergic symptoms to red meat when they have never had an issue in the past.  Continue reading

Georgia Spring

Spring Allergies, Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia
Freedom Allergy, Georgia Spring, Allergist

Georgia Cherokee Rose

Few states rival Georgia’s refreshing springtime weather and luscious foliage. The bright azaleas, delicate cherry blossoms and crisp Cherokee roses remind everyone winter can only last so long. At Freedom Allergy we want to help you enjoy Georgia springtime to it’s fullest. Call our office at (678) 400-6650 or click on the appointment button above to schedule a visit.