FROM OUR EXPERTS
The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter. This year will likely prove to be one of the busier camping seasons as many Americans bypass more expensive vacations that involve pricey airline tickets or gas guzzling road trips. Emergency department staff will probably see a greater number of people with contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. Many people have never seen poison ivy , or perhaps wouldn't recognize it if they saw it. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac belong to the plant genus Toxicodendron (previously referred to as Rhus ). Toxicodendron means "poisonous tree." These plants have an oil-based substance in the resin on their leaves and in their stems and branches called urushiol that causes a delayed skin reaction in about 50% of people that contact it. Urushiol may cause severe contact dermatitis in people that have previousl...
The medicine that we take to control our diabetes is wonderful, but like any medicine it comes with a whole bunch of problems. I’ve written about some of these problems here, like drug interactions in “Worst Pills?” and weight gain in “Our Double Bind”.
Especially serious, however, is when you are allergic to the medicine that your doctor prescribes. These allergic reactions can be life threatening.
Most disturbing is when you rely on insulin, and it turns against you. It doesn’t matter whether you use human insulin or an analog (pork and beef insulins aren’t available in the U.S. any more). You might experience either immediate or delayed allergic reactions from these insulins.
The full prescribing information for several insulins, including Lantus, Levemir, Humalog and Humulin, all warn about allergic reactions. They say that these reactions are rare.
What happened to a correspondent named Jim is the exception that proves the rule. “Unfortunately, there are people who are alle...
After my son was diagnosed with food allergies, our traveling days came to an abrupt halt. To get back in the swing of things, we started slowly getting our feet wet by staying at the homes of close relatives . Gradually, we ventured out to hotels and condos. Today, we could probably camp out overnight with the contents of my purse! Traveling with food allergies does take more preparation but it’s worth it! If you’re feeling timid about taking food allergies on the road, here are a few tips to nudge you on your way. Planes, Trains and Automobiles A lot of allergy moms shy away from plane travel but if you fly first thing in the morning, and carry on your child’s food and drink, it can be quicker and easier than driving. Check out the airline’s policy on peanut or other allergens and always make your reservation over the phone. You can explain your child’s allergies in detail. Bring your own meals, snack...
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