When most people have allergies, they know it. Symptoms come quickly and can range from mild reactions like sneezing and itching to severe, often debilitating effects like anaphylaxis. Millions of others, however, suffer from allergies and don’t even know it. Allergies and intolerances are often the hidden culprits that lie at the heart of a number of health conditions. If you are an allergy sufferer or have a recurring health issue that you can’t seem to resolve, What You Must Know About Allergy Relief is the book for you. Written by a pharmacist and medical doctor, it provides important answers to the most common questions about allergies—what causes them, how they can affect your health, and most important, what you can do to overcome them.
Written in a clear, reader-friendly style, this book is divided into three parts. Part One presents an overview of the causes of allergic conditions as well as their most effective treatment methods—both conventional and alternative. It also addresses the growing epidemic of food and environmental allergies, especially among children. Part Two offers sound advice and practical tips for dealing with asthma, skin conditions, and other allergic reactions both at home and in the workplace. It provides helpful tips for allergy-proofing your home, minimizing allergic reactions to pets, and knowing how best to prepare when traveling. In Part Three, the authors provide a comprehensive guide to anti-allergy medications, supplements, and other treatment options.
Beautifully written, easy to understand, and up-to-date, What You Must Know About Allergy Relief offers the tools to identify hidden allergies as well the means to relieve their symptoms. With this book in hand, you can make the informed decisions you need to restore your health.
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, MS, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians and past co-director of the Master's Program in Medical Sciences, with a concentration in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, at the Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida. An authority on the subjects of wellness and functional medicine, she is also the founder of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine. Dr. Smith is the best-selling author of ten books, including What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & So Much More; What You Must Know About Women's Hormones; and What You Must Know About Memory Loss.
Earl Mindell, RPh, PhD, is a registered pharmacist, master herbalist, and college educator. He is also an award-winning author of over twenty best-selling books, including Earl Mindell's New Vitamin Bible, which has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Dr. Mindell was inducted into the California Pharmacists Association’s Hall of Fame in 2007, and was awarded the President's Citation for Exemplary Service from Bastyr University in 2012. He is on the Board of Directors of the California College of Natural Medicine, and serves on the Dean's Professional Advisory Group, School of Pharmacy, Chapman University. In addition to being a highly sought-after lecturer, he has appeared on numerous TV shows such as Good Morning America and the Late Show with David Letterman. He and his wife reside in Beverly Hills, California.
Part 1 The Allergy Problem
1. The Allergy Epidemic
2. Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
3. Living Well with Asthma
4. Allergy to Latex and Chemicals
5. Hay Fever, Allergic Sinusitis and Conjunctivitis
and other Seasonal Allergies
6. Avoiding Eczema and Dermatitis
Part 2 Lifestyle Changes
7. Allergies in the Workplace
8. Allergy Proofing Your Home
9. Living with Pets
10. Traveling with Allergies
Part 3 Allergy Treatments
11. A Guide to Anti-allergy and Anti-asthma Supplements
12. A Guide to Anti-allergy and Anti-asthma Drugs
13. Alternative Treatment Options
About the Authors
If you’re reading this book, chances are that you or your loved ones suffer from allergies, asthma, or both. And chances are you think that it’s impossible to get through a day without taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs, particularly during allergy season. Some of you may worry that you are becoming overly dependent on strong medicines. You may even have tried to incorporate alternative therapies, such as vitamins, herbs, and other supplements, into your treatment regimen. But when you went to the pharmacy or natural food store to purchase them, you were overwhelmed by the volume of products on the shelves, and you didn’t know how to select the right ones. If you are already using alternative therapies, you may not be sure that you are using them correctly, or that you are taking the best supplements for your problem. Everything You Need To Know About Allergy Relief provides the information you need to know about drugs, supplements, and alternative therapies.
Dr. Earl Mindell is a registered pharmacist, a master herbalist, and holds a PhD in nutrition. He is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, drugs, vitamins, and herbal remedies. As a longtime student of complementary medicine, he is not against drugs; but he does believe in using them only when absolutely necessary. He believes that many cases of allergy and asthma can be managed successfully by making changes in lifestyle and diet, and by the judicious use of natural supplements.
Dr. Pamela Smith is an internationally known author and speaker on the subject of Functional and Personalized Medicine. She is the co-director of the Master’s Program in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine at the Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida. Dr. Smith has been a practicing physician for almost forty years using both standard and complementary treatments.
It is thegoal of both authors to help you live as full, healthy, and drug-free a life as possible. Many of you with mild allergic symptoms will find that by following the advice in this book, you will be able to significantly reduce your need for drugs, or may no longer require them. Those of you with more serious forms of allergy and asthma may still need conventional medication, but you should see an improvement in your symptoms. At the very least, you will be taking charge of your health, and doing positive things that will not only relieve your asthma and allergy, but reduce your risk of developing many chronic diseases.
Both authors have a personal stake in this book. Both Dr. Earl’s wife and son suffer from severe allergies, which are now being successfully treated with supplements and other complementary therapies. These remedies can work if you know how to use them safely and effectively. Dr. Smith herself has suffered from allergies for over fifty years. For the last thirty years she has been using a natural approach.
First, we, the authors would like to tell you a bit about what allergy is, and why it has become one of the fastest-growing epidemics in history. If you lived one hundred years ago, chances are you would not be allergic, and, in fact, there would be no need for this book! At the dawn of the twentieth century, allergy was a mysterious and rare condition that affected only a tiny minority of people. Just a few generations later, allergies have become as common as the common cold. Despite the growing attempts of health-care professionals to control the allergy epidemic, it’s growing worse. The percentage of the U.S. population that tests positive to one or more allergens is 55 percent.
Fifteen million Americans have food allergies. One in every thirteen children has a food allergy which places the economic cost of food allergies in children at about twenty-five billion dollars per year. According to a study released by the Centers for Disease control in 2013, food allergies among children increased by about 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.
Food allergies have become so common that if you add together children and adults, every three minutes in the U.S., a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room. This accounts for more than 200,000 ER visits per year. Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Once rare, indoor allergies are on the rise, including allergies to dust mites, molds, and pets. No wonder! Today, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. Allergies are rampant in the workplace. The proliferation of new chemicals and poorly ventilated “sick buildings” have triggered new allergies. A case in point: Nearly 12 percent of all medical workers who wear latex gloves (to prevent the spread of HIV and other infections) have developed serious allergies to latex! New drugs are spawning new allergies. About 3 percent of all hospitalized patients will experience a severe allergic reaction to a new medication.
Our goal in writing this book is to provide you with an overall understanding of the causes of allergy conditions and how you can treat your allergies with both alternative and conventional remedies. What You Must Know About Allergy Relief is divided into three parts. Part One examines the allergy problem. The six chapters in Part 1 focus on the allergy epidemic and its causes, food allergies, how to deal with asthma, allergies that you may experience in the workplace, our environment, allergies to latex, and skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis.
Part 2 of the book focuses on simple lifestyle changes that you can make to help you live well with or alleviate allergy conditions. The four chapters in this section examine allergy proofing your home and workplace, living with pets, and traveling with allergies.
Part 3 covers allergy treatments, supplements, drugs, and alternative options. The first chapter in this section provides 60 anti-allergy and anti-asthma supplements that we consider to be most helpful in relieving conditions caused by allergies. For each supplement you will find the possible benefits and how to use it. The next chapter in this section outlines anti-allergy and anti-asthma drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. For each drug you will find the brand name and generic name, the drug type, how to use it, and the principal side effects. The last chapter deals with possible alternative options that may help you combat allergy symptoms, such as yoga, acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, and breathing therapy.
We have tried to provide you with answers to the most common allergies. Allergies that can ruin your day, make you feel terrible, and make you want to just stay in bed. We understand. Hopefully, as you review the sections in this book that apply to you or your loved one, you will learn that the most allergies can be controlled, overcome, and, in some cases, eliminated. For severe allergies, always consult your healthcare professional. However, by sharing in the responsibility for your own health, you may discover the right treatment is just a few chapters away.
I wish to express my deep and lasting appreciation to my friends and associates, who have assisted me in the preparation of this book, especially Rudy Shur, Harold Segal rph, phd, Bernard Bubman RPH, Tony O’donnell PHD, Stewart Fisher Md, Donald Cruden od, and Al Needleman RPH. I would also like to thank my editor Erica Shur.
I wish to express by deepest appreciation to my publisher Rudy Shur and my deepest thanks to my editor Erica Shur. I would also like to recognize Dr. Michael Barber who has taught me the paramount importance of imparting knowledge to the next generation of health care providers.
— P. S.