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The Sound of Ideas

Allergy 101

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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An estimated 40 to 50-million Americans suffer from allergies whose symptoms can include runny nose, itchy eyes, lung conjestion, skin eruptions, and in rare cases, severe shock or even death. Among the culprits are pollen, pet dander, dust mites, cockroaches, some medicines and foods such as peanuts. Tomorrow on The Sound of Ideas, we'll explore the causes and treatment of allergies. Find out why more Americans have them and why many in other parts of the world don't. Join us for Allergy 101 Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on 90.3.


Health, Attacking Allergies


Dr. Steven M. Houser, Otolaryngologist, MetroHealth Medical Center
Dr. Robert W. Hostoffer, Osteopath, board certified in allergy and immunology, Allergy/Immunology Associates, Inc., South Euclid
Dr. David M. Lang, allergist, Cleveland Clinic

Additional Information

More information about allergies
NPR's Science Friday on food allergies
Check out a RadioLab special on parasites that includes the surprising story of how hookworms can help fight allergic reactions.

Leave a Comment

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Ken 9:21 AM 6/22/10

Growing up Catholic I’ve eaten fish all my life, particularly during Lent or on vacations to the east coast.  Late in my 30s I’ve started having occasional reactions to certain kinds of fish that I never had a problem with before.  What would cause someone to develop an allergy later in life?

Rebecca Garcia 9:38 AM 6/22/10

I’m pregnant.  I have no food or drug allergies.  I am eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches (as I have done all my life) for many lunches, and I eat salmon and shellfish twice a week.  There is a fish oil capsule that is part of my prescription prenatal vitamin regimen.  I drink milk and eat yogurt.  Will this help to transfer the required antibodies to my child in utero, and what ought I to do diet-wise once she is born and I am breastfeeding her?

Theresa 9:40 AM 6/22/10

Please ask the docs what is up with all of the peanut allergies in kids these days?!  I never heard of this growing up, and now it seems it’s everywhere. What are their thoughts on the cause of this?

aleksandra 9:47 AM 6/22/10

I put my dog down of 14.5 years a few years ago and the next evening had trouble breathing. I felt like some one had their thumb on my throat and my mouth was dry, tongue swelled. I wound up at the emergency room after an hour of thinking I had eaten something that was causing a food allergy.  After a few hours of benardyl drip and proton pump inhibitors my body redness and respiratory problems went away. They referred me to an internist for allergy testing, but my neighbor who is a researcher in viruses at UNH said that I might have been so upset that I produced chemicals that they mast cells recognized as foreign.  1) DO YOU AGREE? 2) If extreme duress can produce mast cell response then why not metabolites produced my bacteria, yeasts, and other crud in the digestive system (theoretically?)

D Estep 10:03 AM 6/22/10

Dr Doris Rapp -
Board-Certified in Pediatrics, Allergy and Environmental Medicine.

There are local doctors who specialize in
environmental medicine. 
Francis J. Waickman, M.D. is in Akron
They do sublingual drops for allergies.

My son went through this years ago.  The drops he took helped with his sensitivities/allergies and also behavior.

Sarah 12:53 PM 6/22/10

I was so excited this morning when you mentioned the Radio Lab story about the benefits of hookworms! Their parasite piece was fascinating, and I’ve been telling people about it for months whenever allergies, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., comes up. I know your panelists were somewhat dismissive of the topic because not enough research has been done yet, but it would make for a great topic one of these mornings. You could have a panel of Cleveland Clinic doctors who are doing some of the more bizarre and surprising studies involving things like hookworms.


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