Got an allergy? Is your diet Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Casein Free, Lactose Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free?
The Allergy & Free From Show 2012 has teamed up with GoodnessDirect to give you unlimited FREE tickets (worth £10 each)!
Taking place from 18 – 20 May at London’s Olympia, this is Europe’s largest public event dedicated to delivering solutions for free from lives. If you suffer from asthma, eczema, sensitive skin, hay fever, chemical sensitivities, food intolerance, coeliac disease or other allergies or intolerances then this is for you.
Last year’s event was an enormous success…
This year there are more free from features and exhibitors than ever before:
Try and buy the latest free from foods, skincare and household products
Consultations, seminars and workshops with the UK’s top Allergists, Dieticians and other specialists
Free from cooking demonstrations
Charities, support groups and thousands of like-minded attendees
I have come to accept my asthma as part of my life. It gets better, or worse and in periods, stays dormant waiting to pounce on me like a crafty cat.
I have, over the years, compared notes with other sufferers and have come to believe that most of us (asthma sufferers) tend to have their hands (erm, I mean their noses) full of a cacophony of colds, sinuses and other breathing issues too. So, we learn to irritatingly negotiate our way through life; wheezing, sniffing, sneezing and semi breathing at turns. Laden with our inhalers, miles of tissues, and staying well away from the pollen, we stumble along with a fatalistic apathy that we came into this planet doomed with a curse from the God of breathing.
Of course we try various cures. It starts with our mum’s desparate remedies and, once diagnosed that our airways basically have a mean attitude of getting inflamed and closing down on us, we learn to live with it.
Fingers crossed and with inhalers at the ready we soldier on.
If I have touched a chord with any of you, let me share my latest efforts of a therapy for my ongoing burden. Yes, salt inhalation therapy!
Salt inhalation has been around since the Greeks, when Hippocrates recommended it for respiratory problems. The only recent evidence, however, comes from the former Soviet Union; a 1999 Lithuanian study of 250 children and 500 adults found that salt therapy for an hour a day for two weeks improved respiratory results in nine out of 10 cases. Hitherto, it still remains fairly unknown in the Western world, though ‘taking in the sea-air’ was always known to be helpful.
Salt inhalation therapy traditionally came through ‘salt caves’, places that can be loosely described as bit like a salty igloos. There are salt drifts everywhere around the world, underfoot and lining the walls. Now, hairnets are donned and shoes covered to keep these caves free of dirt, while the sound of waves and seagulls played inside enhances the weird, seaside effect. But the reality is the salt is purely decorative as the supposed medical benefit comes from breathing in sodium chloride aerosol, which is piped into the therapy rooms by a microclimate generator. This mixes milled salt with a current of air. The theory is that by breathing this in, mucus in the respiratory tract is loosened and coughed up. However The Saltpipe, a handy apparatus manufactured in the UK, has now made it both, more affordable (for the price of a few prescriptions) and accessible whenever one needs it.
Evidence of benefits are pouring in as small, regular usage is creating significant changes in conditions of many, including me!
So the season of sneezing approaches. It’s reckoned that 20-40% of the UK suffer from some seasonal allergy, and it’s not just in the summer.
Something like allergic rhinitis (an allergy to house mites etc.) affects people particularly in the winter.
Tests have found that pine bark extract (pycnogenol) could reduce the symptoms of sneezing and irritation if people took 50mg more than five weeks before the season started. And it is believed that pycnogenol might help for other allergies such as hay fever and birch pollen allergy.
Powerful antioxidants an anti-inflammatory elements combine in pycnogenol to maintain a healthy immune system, but it seems to take time to build up. This is not uncommon when treating allergic rhinitis.
During National Allergy Week in May 2009 Allergy UK carried out a survey in association with STÉRIMAR ® to discover when and how hay fever starts and impacts on sufferers. The results from the survey produced in the latest of the ‘Stolen Lives’ series clearly show that many of the long held beliefs on hay fever are no longer proving to be the case.
• Myth Buster – hay fever is regarded as starting in childhood yet almost half of the 1200 respondents from 12 different countries report that their symptoms developed as adults.
• Myth Buster – it is generally presumed that hayfever symptoms are usually well controlled yet less than half stated that their symptoms were adequately controlled.
Given that hayfever increases the risk of developing asthma this is a very worrying trend and there must be future recognition that hay fever is not the trivial condition it is currently regarded as. Hayfever is by far the most common allergic condition which can lead to long term illness yet sufferers receive the least help in the diagnosis and management of their condition.
The Stolen Lives report gives the sufferers perspective on their condition and how it impacts on them particularly on their work, education and family lives. Over 75% of people reported that they would prefer a natural alternative and 72% would be happy for themselves or their child to try a natural product to help them relieve their symptoms.* However, the importance of managing symptoms effectively usually means using a combination of natural treatments, medication, and steps to reduce exposure to triggers. For instance, if you go out shower and wash your hair on return; change your clothing before coming back into the living room or bedroom; keep windows closed when indoors and overnight whilst you are sleeping and cleaning and clearing pollen from the nose with a natural sea water nasal spray.
The hayfever sufferers desperately need to be listened to. Download a copy of the Stolen Lives 6 report
For further information contact:-
Allergy UK is a national medical charity established to represent the views and needs of people with allergy, food intolerance and chemical sensitivity.
*Stolen Lives 6 – The Allergic Rhinitis Report: The Impact of allergic rhinitis on people’s lives. Survey of people with allergic rhinitis; Allergy UK. The report has been conducted in June 2009 in association with http://www.sterimarnasal.co.uk Facts:-
• 20% of the population are affected by allergic rhinitis.**
• 1 in 3 of the population will suffer from allergy at some time in their life.
• The number of sufferers from rhinitis has tripled in the last 20 years.**
• Asthma, Rhinitis and Eczema have trebled in the last 20 years.**
• 95% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen.**
• 25% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to birch pollen.**
• 10% of children and adults under the age of 45 have 2 or more allergies.**
• 13 million people below the mid forties have 2 or more allergies**
**Royal College of Physicians 2003 Report Allergy the Unmet Need