Answers to Common Questions About Allergies

  • I thought I'd use this post today to answer some common, recurring questions we get about allergies and managing allergies.


    1. Is it safe to take allergy medicine when you are pregnant?


    The answer to this question is going to have to be, "Check with your obstetrician or family doctor" (whomever is managing your pregnancy, from a medical standpoint). The problem with deciding safety with using medications while pregnant is that we generally lack scientific evidence one way or the other.


    After all, what researcher wants to experiment on a pregnant woman and her unborn child? If a medication does turn out to be harmful, the results could be disastrous. So most doctors will err on the side of caution and urge you to avoid most medicines while pregnant.

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    On the other hand, allergies and especially asthma left untreated for 9 months in a pregnant woman can result in poor health and that's not going to be good for the baby either. Luckily, most allergy and asthma medications have not proven to be harmful during pregnancy. But check with your doctor to be absolutely sure.


    2. What do you do if you are allergic to pain medication?


    This can certainly be problematic. It's important to realize though, that there are many different types of pain medication, and each type works a bit differently in the body and can have a differen chemical background. So, just because you are allergic to one type of medicine, it doesn't mean you will be allergic to all types of pain medication. Talk with your doctor about your various options.


    Also, you can try some non-medicine forms of pain relief, such as hypnosis, meditation and other non-chemical approaches. These may be effective on their own, depending on the source of your pain, or they may be effective enough with a mild pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol.


    If  your regular doctor is not able to help you manage your pain effectively, and your pain is chronic in nature, you may be able to find help with a long-term solution to your pain by attending a pain clinic.


    3. Can allergies cause children to have temper tantrums?


    I don't believe there is a direct connection between allergies and behavioral problems in children or adults, but think about it. When you are not feeling well, aren't you likely to be more irritable and intolerant of every day frustrations and disappointments? I know I am.


    Children already are in the process of learning impulse control. It's not a skill they are born with. And depending on how young the child is, they may not be able adequately communicate how they are feeling. So when allergies are making them feel cranky, sick and unhappy, temper tantrums may be the result.


    Take that as a signal that the allergy treatment plan may need to be tweaked, in order to bring the child's symptoms under better control.


    If you have other questions about allergies, you can ask them here.

Published On: April 02, 2011