EAS 041: The Real Causes of Allergies, Eczema and Asthma with Peter Alderman and Dr Thomas Bohner [plus GIVEAWAY]

EAS 041: The Real Causes of Allergies, Eczema and Asthma with Peter Alderman and Dr Thomas Bohner [plus GIVEAWAY]

Today’s Guest:

Peter Alderman & Dr Thomas Bohner

WEBSITE: My Allergy Free Blog

TWITTER: @peterfalderman 

Today’s episode was recorded live at the Allergy & Free From Show in London with Peter Alderman and Dr Thomas Bohner authors of “The Real Causes of Allergies, Eczema and Asthma.” We’re are talking about what we can do to cure our own environmental allergies, asthma and eczema. I also ask about what role food takes in causing our atopic diseases and whether there are practical steps we can take in our every day life. Plus, I have a stack of books to GIVEAWAY! Listen until the end to find out how you can win one!

EAS 041: This is a practical guide so that everyone can find their personal causes of allergies and the actions to do so. Click To Tweet

What You’ll Learn:

Peter Alderman started the journey to write The Real Causes of Allergies, Eczema and Asthma from a personal discovery. He cured is own hay fever for a week! Even when there was lots of pollen around. This peaked his interest. Why had this happened? How did this happen?

It is from this point that Peter started on the journey writing this book. Peter found Thomas Bohner’s work via Google but didn’t get to meet him until 12 years later!

Thomas Bohner suffered from allergic asthma and eczema. From his personal experience his scientific interest was peaked. He wanted to find a logical solution to his own problem and the problems of others. He

After many years of research Peter and Thomas have put together their personal experience and scientific research into a practical guide.

We also talk about the big gap between the medical world and the scientific world. Sometimes this isn’t good for allergy sufferers, but Peter and Thomas tell us how we allergy sufferers can bridge this gap and not miss out!

Allergy sufferers are their own best Sherlock Holmes Click To Tweet

BOOK GIVEAWAY!! – closed

You could win your very own copy of The Real Causes of Allergies! How?

Simply listen to this episode, right to the end because we are asking you a question…..Listen to the question then write your answer below in the comments section. Make sure you leave us your email so we can contact you. (We never share your information with a third party, nor is it made public!)

Resources:

Thomas’ Article “The True Causes of Allergies” in Free From Heaven Magazine

 

 

Buy on Amazon

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

To get more EAS content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio!

One of our little goals we would love to achieve for is to get into the iTunes “New & Noteworthy” Section, it means we get free front page advertising on iTunes, how great for allergy awareness! But we can’t do it without you. Please subscribe, rate and review on iTunes so that the people at Apple will take notice of our podcast

And lastly, if you have any questions, thoughts, or guests you want to see on the show, please contact me via the contact page.

EAS 035: The Key to Eczema Confidence with Kate McKay Professional Make-Up Artist and Eczema Sufferer

EAS 035: The Key to Eczema Confidence with Kate McKay Professional Make-Up Artist and Eczema Sufferer

Today’s Guest:

Kate McKay

WEBSITE: http://katemckaymakeup.com/

INSTAGRAM: @katemckaymakeup

YouTube: @Kate McKay Makeup

Today I talk with an old school friend, Kate McKay. We were allergy buddies. But what Kate is going to sharing with me is her experience of having severe eczema throughout her life and how she learned to have confidence, love herself and not care what other people think. This is a fantastic episode and I can’t wait for you to listen!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Kate McKay is a makeup artist with extreme eczema which covers
  • Kate tells me the story of how she got into make up
  • We talk about feeling insecure as  a young girl having eczema
  • Kate tells me about how she changed her profession from teacher to make up
  • At her first make up job with Australian make-up store Meca: she became known as ‘Eczema Girl’
  • We chat about how this made her feel self-conscious at first but now how she owns that title
  • We talk about the naive reactions of other people when they don’t know what eczema was: was  it catching
  • Kate talks about dealing with being stared because of the extreme eczema on her face and hands
  • She tells me the point she realised it was other people’s problem
  • She tells me about how she can now go out the house with no make up and still feel good
  • We chat about Kate’s morning and evening skin routine
  • She tells me about some of her favourite products on the market
  • Kate tells me about her blog and YouTube channel which is aimed at girls who have eczema

Resources:

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

To get more EAS content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio!

One of our little goals we would love to achieve for is to get into the iTunes “New & Noteworthy” Section, it means we get free front page advertising on iTunes, how great for allergy awareness! But we can’t do it without you. Please subscribe, rate and review on iTunes so that the people at Apple will take notice of our podcast

And lastly, if you have any questions, thoughts, or guests you want to see on the show, please contact me via the contact page.

Chocolate Recipe Book: want the first chapter free??

Launching at the Allergy and Free From Show in London Olympia, July 7-9!!

Free from gluten, wheat, nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, soya. Packed full of chocolate cakes, cookies, biscuits, desserts and more!

To get a free sneak preview and get the latest info on my recipe book launch, sign up with your email address below.

Eczema Survival Guide: 9 Things That Make the WORLD of a Difference

Eczema Survival Guide: 9 Things That Make the WORLD of a Difference

The second instalment of the Eczema Survival Guide. In this article Ali White from allergymums.co.uk shares the 9 things she’s discovered over the years of dealing with urticaria that makes such a huge difference in her day to day life. 

1

Apply any steroid cream you have BEFORE moisturising.

2

Always moisturise after a bath and shower to lock the water in. If the moisturiser feels tacky just let in sink in.

3

Always moisturise before bed, night time is a good repair time.

4

Use the PALM of your hand to moisturise, in a downward movement. Don’t rub, or go up and down as that can irritate the hair follicles and make things worse. I’ve bolded this as it’s really important. You don’t want to further irritate your skin.

5

If your hands are bad then buy a pair of cotton gloves. Slather emolliate on your hands and wear the gloves overnight. This can make a big difference.

6

Make sure you have the right antihistamine. I went back to my GP who doubled the dose I was on. I had no idea I was on a low dose of antihistamine…taking the maximum dose has really helped my skin.

7

Cut your nails short. I scratch at night, in my sleep (argh). Do everything you can to limit the damage you’re doing to your skin.

8

Cool showers only, and limit baths to 15 minutes. Don’t soak forever, or use very hot water. It will dry out your skin.

9

Wear breathable clothing. Cotton is your friend, polyester…not so much.

Finally…your skin will always be vulnerable. This is a lifelong regime, not something you do until your eczema calms down. You need to commit to constant moisturising whether you feel you need it or not. Once your skin is dry then you are likely to suffer. Keeping it from getting dry in the first place is the best thing you can do.

Ali White

Ali White

Allergy sufferer, allergy mum and founder of allergy mums.co.uk

The Eczema Survival Guide: How to Deal with Eczema Flares

The Eczema Survival Guide: How to Deal with Eczema Flares

It’s not quite winter anymore, but I wanted to post this great article anyway. After our podcast chat (Episode 4 & Episode 5) Ali White from allergymums.co.uk was very kind to write up her tops tips for dealing with severe eczema and some of the tips and tricks she uses to stay sane amidst the itch. Check it out! I know you’re going to find it useful! – Nina x

Tis the season to be itching…there ought to be a song for Eczema sufferers with those lyrics. It’s winter. So the air is dryer, the temperature colder and those of us with dry skin and eczema suffer more at this time of year.

I’ve been through all sorts with my skin. Eczema that cracks and bleeds, scalp beyond itchy, chronic urticaria due to a chemical allergy which meant my face was covered with a rash for years. Fortunately a dermatologist did patch testing which showed an allergy to Tocopheryl Acetate; which is in shampoo, deodorants, makeup, lipstick, sunscreen plus loads of other stuff. So the Urticaria is gone, but I’m still dealing with cracked, sore hands and legs that flare with such intense itching that they feel hot and impossible to ignore. The rest of the time they are just dry, red and itchy.

Skin conditions are something that remain tricky to treat. The current thinking is that Eczema is caused by a defect in the skin barrier, with the eczema being triggered by allergens such as dust, or foods, or animals. Scratching just releases more histamine, which makes the reaction worse. So you might feel initially better for scratching that itch, but it will be very temporary and you really are making a bad situation worse.

Tis the season to be itching…there ought to be a song for Eczema sufferers with those lyrics. It’s winter. So the air is dryer, the temperature colder and those of us with dry skin and eczema suffer more at this time of year.

I’ve been through all sorts with my skin. Eczema that cracks and bleeds, scalp beyond itchy, chronic urticaria due to a chemical allergy which meant my face was covered with a rash for years. Fortunately a dermatologist did patch testing which showed an allergy to Tocopheryl Acetate; which is in shampoo, deodorants, makeup, lipstick, sunscreen plus loads of other stuff. So the Urticaria is gone, but I’m still dealing with cracked, sore hands and legs that flare with such intense itching that they feel hot and impossible to ignore. The rest of the time they are just dry, red and itchy.

Skin conditions are something that remain tricky to treat. The current thinking is that Eczema is caused by a defect in the skin barrier, with the eczema being triggered by allergens such as dust, or foods, or animals. Scratching just releases more histamine, which makes the reaction worse. So you might feel initially better for scratching that itch, but it will be very temporary and you really are making a bad situation worse.

So…my eczema winter survival guide:

1

Drink loads of water. Really…not tea, coffee or sugary drinks. But water. If you’re well hydrated your skin has a better chance of being well hydrated.

2

Moisturise like crazy. I moisturise 3 times a day. Morning, night and midday. Moisturise morning and night regardless of whether you feel you need it. You need to keep your skin in good condition all the time. Yes…this is a drag but better than being itchy. Really…midday? Yes. Is it easy? No. I have moisturiser with me at all times and I lock myself in the toilet and moisture my arms and legs.

3

Choosing your moisturiser: The higher the oil content the better at locking in moisture a moisturiser is. Everyone is different and likes different textures of moisturisers so do experiment. You may need to change over time if you find a moisturiser is no longer working. Go back to your GP and try something different if what you’ve been prescribed doesn’t work.

4

Keep a diary to better understand triggers – animals, food, dust, shampoo etc. can all set off eczema.

5

Don’t use soap – it’s very drying. Use a soap alternative. Don’t spend a fortune in Boots – get it from your GP. Emollients like Epaderm may be greasy but they really do help.

Ali White

Ali White

Allergy sufferer, allergy mum and founder of allergy mums.co.uk

Eczema, Asthma & Allergies Part 2: Your Stories

Eczema, Asthma & Allergies Part 2: Your Stories

It seems from the research that children with eczema are more susceptible to becoming sensitised to allergens. It was also found that a family history of allergies made it more likely that a child could develop allergic sensitisations. Please click for the full article of Eczema, Asthma & Allergies Part 1: Why Does My Child Have All Three.

In Part 2, we will be sharing the stories of our interviewees. We will be sharing their experiences managing and preventing eczema, asthma and allergies. From what you’ve learned from Part 1, can you see an correlation with the research?

 

Donna and Theo

Donna is Mum to 3 year old Theo. Theo is allergic to peanuts, almonds, baked beans, locust beans, green peas and lentils. Theo has also suffered with eczema as a baby; a red, sore, bumpy looking rash on his face. There was no history of allergies in the family. The doctors said that the rash was baby acne or milia.

no peanutsIt wasn’t until Theo was 7 months old that Donna discovered why her baby had a rash face. At 7 months, Theo was given some peanut butter, but when given it as finger food his lips and eyes swelled. Donna called the doctors and took him there where they prescribed piriton (anti-histimine brand in the UK). “In hindsight I should probably have called an ambulance or at least gone to A&E due to the type of reaction, but I knew little about it back then” said Donna.

Theo was referred to a paediatrician who did blood tests that day which confirmed a peanut allergy. At an appointment 3 months later, Theo was prescribed epipens (epinephrine adrenaline auto-injector pens).

“When I stopped breastfeeding when he was 18 months old more allergies to other legumes appeared (things he’d been fine with before) – the beans and peas, and particularly locust bean which is in hamster food (reacted just being in the same room while eating!) and used as a thickening gum in Philadelphia cheese… These cause hives, sickness and Diarrhoea. It can be tricky avoiding all these things but you do get used to it!

Theo has been prescribed epipens and piriton for allergic reactions. Donna says “A good skincare regime and allergen avoidance has helped keep the eczema at bay.” Theo also has emollient bathes every other day or so as an eczema preventative and uses Aveeno cream on prescription.

“Managing the allergies is an interesting one and we’ve learned so much. I’m sure there’ll be more challenges but for now we keep ourselves informed and educate all those around him, and are vigilant. Nursery are fantastic too. Even though he is very young he already understands there are things he can’t have, and is quite accepting of it. When I feel worried I tell myself we have the tools we need in case of the worst case scenario which is anaphylaxis; if we didn’t know and didn’t carry epipens it would be more dangerous so at least we found out early on.”

Donna is an allergy mum and blogger, you can check out her blog Nut Allergy Mum at http://nutallergymum.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Anna, William and Felicity

Anna is Mum to 5 year old William and 2 1/2 year old Felicity. William is allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts and lentils. Felicity is allergic to egg and dairy intolerant.

Williams allergies are very severe with symptoms from birth. He would wheeze; he was sick and puffy after every feed, Anna was breast feeding at this time. Williams eczema started appearing when Anna started no eggweaning him. “We saw several gps with my son and formal diagnosis was given on referral to dermatology department of local children’s hospital after skin prick testing. We didn’t know what was wrong until 5 or 6 months in. A very stressful time!”

His eczema became so bad that he was admitted into hospital after a referral appointment for infected eczema and required treatment over a weekend. Anna says “ when my son was born he showed symptoms of CMPA (Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy) straight away, although he wasn’t diagnosed until skin prick testing at 6 months when he was admitted on referral to hospital for his infected eczema.”

William has had several trips to A&E “one was when we were on holiday in Spain and he had egg pasta, he suffered anaphylaxis and we had to call an ambulance and spent the night in hospital, very scary!”

With Felicity, Anna noticed the signs as soon as the eczema appeared. Felicity developed eczema when she’s was weaned onto formula. Anna requested  a referral to the children’s hospital and steroid treatment was prescribed and both children were moved onto Neonate Formula.

“I’m not sure what you can do to prevent it. We don’t have a history of allergies in our family on either side so I don’t know where it came from. I think the key is getting a diagnosis quickly which we didn’t get. No one seemed to know what was wrong although looking back at pictures it seems so obvious! Management is all about getting the right treatment plan and access to help, advice and resources which there is more of now. So many alternative foods are available if you just know where to look.”

Anna is an allergy Mum and blogger, you can find her on her twitter @mychildsallergy.

 

Dana and her daughter

Dana has a 7 year old daughter who is allergic to “Peanut, tree nut, and about every environmental allergy you can have. Her nut allergy is anaphylactic. Animals make her face swell, eyes burn and rashes. She also has a sensitivity to wheat/gluten but that one is improving where the other allergies are getting worse.”

environmental allergies pollen hay feverDana’s daughter has had eczema and bad skin from birth. Dana breastfed and ate nuts throughout. Her daughter’s rash was very difficult to get under control. At 9 months Dana and her family went to the zoo and fed the animals with peanuts, her daughter swelled up. They saw a doctor after the first reaction to nuts and were referred to an allergy doctor 2 weeks later. They received a formal diagnosis and a prescription of epipens.

After the formal diagnosis all peanuts and nuts were removed from Dana’s house and her daughter’s skin began to get much better.

At 10 months old Dana’s daughter got RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus – a common virus that can lead to mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older children but more severe in infants) and this is when she first had asthma.

It wasn’t until 2 years old that the animal and environmental reactions started. On her blood work and skin tests, Dana’s daughter’s nut and environmental allergies get worse every year.

Dana’s daughter has been prescribed epipens, steroid cream for eczema, inhalers for daily use as well as rescue inhalers and breathing equipment for her asthma. She also has nose sprays and eye drops for environmental allergens.

Flair ups for eczema still happen in winter and spring but it was nothing like when Dana’s daughter was a baby. Her asthma is exercise induced so inhalers before PE or any outside activity or exercise is used. Dana makes sure steroid ointment is applied for any and all eczema outbreaks. “We we strictly avoid all peanut and tree nut products even the ones that…may contain. Always have meds on hand [and we] never leave without epipens.”

 

Kathy and her daughter

Kathy has a 2 year old daughter who has eczema, allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, avoiding shellfish and is allergic to cats and dogs. They suspect asthma and have a nebuliser and rescue inhaler, but not able to officially diagnose due to age.

Kathy’s daughter started to show symptoms around 2 months old. The eczema was from head to toe and so horrible. Kathy said her daughter “looked like a burn victim, her eczema was beyond severe.” The eczema started to clear up a bit around her first birthday, but at about 20 months old, Kathy’s daughter tried peanut butter and went into anaphylactic shock.

Upon seeing an allergist after this reaction, a skin and blood test were done which confirmed allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, cats and dogs. Kathy’s daughter has been prescribed epipens, anti-no shellfishhistamines and inhalers along with strict avoidance of all allergens.

“What I’ve learned is how serious allergies are and how careful we have to be with reading labels.  Since we avoid shared equipment and facilities her eczema has been gone for quite sometime and we have things under control with that. But anytime she has a cold she requires albuterol and budesonide treatments via nebulizer as her airways close up” Kathy says.

Kathy’s daughter has now been cleared for fish but they continue to avoid shellfish. Kathy’s daughter’s tree nut numbers have fallen so they are hoping to do a hazelnut challenge soon.

Good luck to Kathy and her daughter, we hope for the best!

 

Carly and Oliver

Carly is Mum to 6 year old Oliver. Oliver  has an allergy to tomatoes which triggered his eczema. His eczema was also, unknown to Carly, exacerbated by fabric softener and white soft paraffin creams.

Oliver’s symptoms started when he was about 18 months old. His initial eczema covered his body and was so sore that it hurt him to be picked up. Carly saw a doctor and was suggested that it might be a tomato allergy. Carly tried cutting out tomatoes and then tried a tomato based meal two weeks later. During the couple weeks of tomato elimination, Oliver’s eczema was still sore but after tomato was re-introduced his tomato allergyeczema became bright red and very sore again.

After Carly discovered that  fabric softener and white soft paraffin creams made Oliver’s eczema worse, they were cut out along with tomatoes. Oliver’s eczema only really comes back in the winter now, but clears up with cream.

Oliver has been prescribed Aveno cream. Carly also uses coconut oil which helps Olivers skin.

“You have to be very aware of school meals, kids parties and visits to friends houses. You are constantly checking ingredients. Tomatoes are in meals etc that you wouldn’t expect them to be in. Schools need better practices to deal with allergens, they need to educate the other children in the class about allergens and how to prevent them. As do the general public, people who have no experience do not understand allergies, they ask the same questions-

Isn’t that hard?

What do you eat?

Will they grow out of it?

You can do everything possible to eliminate and prevent allergens but ‘slip ups’ happen, an unknown food, eating at a kids party, cross contamination from other children. Allergies are stressful!”

 

Ali and Molly Lee

Ali is mother to Molly Lee. Both Ali and Molly Lee have severe multiple allergies.

Ali is allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, soya, penicillin, dust, fur feathers, tree pollen, grass and Tocopheryl acetate (a form of Vitamin E). Molly Lee has been diagnosed with reflux as well as delayed allergic reactions to milk and egg. She is also affected by pollen and has hay fever. Both suffer from eczema and were covered in eczema as babies.  They also are affected by asthma.

Ali observes,

“I was the typical allergic child with clear and easy to understand reactions. Traditional allergic testing methods (skin prick tests) work a treat on me. I swell up nicely and that gave everyone something to work with…Molly was a different case altogether. Her reactions are delayed and it took years to find out the triggers. She was born covered in eczema but we think that was triggered by me eating a lot of tomatoes during my pregnancy. Molly hates tomatoes so we do wonder if she’s allergic but haven’t had that tested yet. Once her skin cleared up as a baby we started to moisturise two to three times a day and her skin is now pretty good. She does have a prescription for cortisone but we get through maybe a tube a year at most.

Molly vomited daily until the age of 7. She, and we, never had a nights’ sleep due to vomiting and milk allergy free fromstomach pain. Finally, at age 4 she was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster hospital and the gastric team diagnosed reflux. I will never forget her last cry of ‘mummy’ as she went under the anaesthetic. Truly heart rending. Stomach and nasal tubes were inserted and she was hooked up to a mini computer to assess the level of acid in her stomach and throat. It didn’t take long for the diagnosis to be confirmed.

She was put on high doses of omeprazole and ranitidine which calmed things down but didn’t stop the vomiting. We were repeatedly told she wasn’t allergic until a consultant from Great Ormond Street got involved and diagnosed delayed allergic reactions. Once the elimination diet showed eggs and milk to be an issue Molly recovered and stopped vomiting constantly.

She is now off medication (unless she eats too much sugar!) and on a no dairy, no egg diet.  She vomits rarely now, although still gets a bit of heart burn now and then.

I am grateful that the one consultant believed she was allergic; without her I think Molly would have continued to live a life of pain, sleep deprivation and constant vomiting. Molly is now, finally, at age 11 a healthy bmi of 18.”

In her experience, Ali believes that it is best to “jump on a reaction the minute it starts. Most GP’s seem to start with the lowest dose of everything, which in my experience, just prolongs the problem and allows it to ‘get a grip’. Best to go strong and short with medicines.”

Ali is an allergy sufferer, allergy mum and blogger. You can follow her on twitter @allergymumscouk and visit her blog at www.allergymums.co.uk.

 


We would like to say a huge thank you to all the parents who shared their experiences. Those stories described in this article are not the only responses we received from parents. Thank you to everyone who contributed and those who allowed us to share your stories.

Through sharing stories we can help those who are struggling in the allergy journey and provide support, because we’ve been there. Don’t suffer in silence!

 

Have these stories resonated with you? Please leave a comment below.