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Allergy Myths - Pt. 1

David Stukus, MD and Michael Cosimini, MD
00:00
14:05

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Allergist extraordinaire Dave Stukus busts several allergy myths with our own Michael Cosimini

  • Food allergies are typically an IgE-mediated process. These reactions are rapid in onset, occurring within minutes or rarely a few hours after ingestion. Symptoms include hives, swelling of the airway, wheezing, vomiting, abdominal cramping and more severe symptoms such as hypotension.

    • The 3 widely used techniques to identify food allergies are prick skin testing, measurement of food-specific IgE antibodies in the serum, and oral food challenges.

    • IgG measurement is not a validated method to test for food allergies and positive test may actually represent a normal immune response.

  • There is no research confirming the existence of hypoallergenic breeds of cats or dogs. Animal dander is the major source of animal allergens and this comes from the animal’s saliva, skin and urine (not fur).

  • Intramuscular epinephrine is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis, regardless of the cause, regardless of the severity.

    • Steroids are not effective in relieving the symptoms and signs of anaphylaxis nor has the literature supported the conclusion that they prevent biphasic or protracted reactions.

  • Patients with asthma should be questioned about symptoms triggered by aeroallergens such as dust mites, animal dander, and pollen. If their history is positive, consider aeroallergen testing and avoidance measure.

  • Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a disease of altered skin barrier. There is no evidence that food avoidance reduces flares or severity of AD in most patients.

    • Recent studies have demonstrated that for infants at risk for developing AD, daily application of unscented greasy emollient within the first few weeks of life can significantly lower the incidence of AD.

  • The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI.org)  as well as the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI.org) are useful resources for practitioners.

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Spare the Rod, Spare the Child Full episode audio for MD edition 193:40 min - 91 MB - M4APeds RAP February 2019 Written Summary 366 KB - PDF

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