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Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

I have had allergies/sinus problems for years. Recently, I heard about “neti pots” and the benefits of using one. They’ve been around for a long time, and many cultures use them to irrigate and clear the sinuses relieving sinus pressure and congestion. Let me tell ya – if you get a sinus headache that is bad enough, you’ll try just about anything!

Last weekend, I had a migraine triggered from the sinus congestion I was fighting. I had purchased a blue, plastic neti pot at Walmart which came with some little packets of salt and baking soda. In misery, I pulled it out of the box and tried it.

At first, it was the most bizarre thing to think of pouring salt water through your nose and letting it drain out the other side, but it WORKS!

Basically, you take this little teapot looking container and mix warm water with the salt/baking soda solution, and wash your sinuses out with it. The key is to lean forward over the sink and tilt your head to one side, allowing the water to pour out of the opposite nostril. Breathe through your mouth – do not hold your breath. Some water may pour out of your mouth if your head isn’t tilted properly – this isn’t a problem – just tilt your head a little more. Be sure to have a box of kleenex sitting close by because you will need to blow your nose when you finish each side.

I paid around $14 for the neti pot at Walmart (in the pharmacy section). I doubt I will purchase more of the little packets of salt/baking soda. Instead, I am going to try mixing 1/4 teaspoon canning salt with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. If you use straight water, I’ve read that it will burn your nose. There is no burning or stinging using the salt/soda combination.

If you are having sinus problems, I highly recommend trying the neti pot for relief!

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We have recently found red dye #40 in makeup (blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, etc.).  If you or a loved one is allergic, please double check ingredient lists before using.

Look for red dye #40 in toothpaste and mouthwash.  We have also found it in liquid hand soap.

We are not affiliated with the Red40.com website, but there is a ton of useful information on it.  They have pages with food and medications known to have red dye in them.

As always, READ YOUR LABELS and teach your children to read them too.  We cannot be too careful when dealing with reactions to this dye.  There are obviously a lot more people having problems with this than even we were aware because it is one of the most read pages on our blog.

We appreciate your visit!   🙂

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My son is highly allergic to red dye #40.  It took a great deal of trial and error to narrow the culprit down, and some doctors still don’t believe anyone could be that allergic to food dye approved by the FDA.

Red dye #40 has been banned for use in children’s products in some countries, yet it has been allowed as “safe” for use here in America.  If something is artificially colored red, pink, purple, or orange, chances are it contains Red Dye #40.  They use it to make chocolate look “richer” and baked goods look more “golden”.

It can be found in almost everything – white and yellow store bought cake mixes, chocolate pudding mix, refrigerated crescent rolls, Kool-Aid, candy, cereals, Pop Tarts, cough syrup, Benadryl (how ironic!), cold medicine, and scores of other products.  We’ve taught our son to READ ALL LABELS to be sure he doesn’t ingest it.

The problem for us started when he was a toddler.  He had recurrent ear infections and a lot of allergy problems in general.  Our family doctor put him on D’Allergy syrup (which coincidentally also contains Red Dye #40).  For many months, he had no outward appearance of having an allergic reaction to the allergy medication.  During one of his ear infections, he had a severe allergic reaction where he broke out in hives from head to toe and started swelling.  The doctor decided he was allergic to the antibiotic and switched him to something else.  Over the following months, he broke out in hives repeatedly, with no rhyme or reason as to what caused the outbreak.  We tried eliminating various foods from his diet and using different laundry detergents, etc.  Nothing seemed to be the trigger.

It was only after a family friend told us she removed all red dye #40 from her kids diet that we had an “a ha!” moment.  We took him off of D’Allergy and carefully watched everything he ate to be sure there was no artificial red dye in it.  The hives stopped immediately, and when red dye was re-introduced to his diet, the hives started back up.  I cannot tell you the relief it was to finally know what the problem was, and also how frustrating because the very thing that was supposed to be helping him was making him worse!

Red dye can also cause hyperactivity in children among many other problems.  The symptoms we deal with are severe hives from head to toe, swelling, and nose pouring.  Prescription Atarax usually stops it in its tracks, but it has been bad enough in the past that we’ve had to use steroids also (and some brands of the steroids contain Red Dye #40 – we had that happen when we rushed him to the ER one evening after eating some Red Dye in a school lunch.  The ER doctor informed me that she had never heard of anyone being allergic to Red Dye and acted like I was an imbecile.  She put him on Benadryl (I chose the Dye Free kind) and a steroid that had Red Dye in it.  He kept getting worse even on the meds, and I finally realized what the problem was and stopped the steroids immediately – he got better quickly after that. )

We have also used the herb Yellow Dock with good success when he has inadvertantly eaten something with Red Dye, which is rare nowdays.  Another thing that relieves itching is to take an old sock, pour 1 cup of dry oatmeal into it, tie the top off, and throw it into a hot bath.  Rub the sock all over the inflamed skin, and it helps tremendously.

For more information, visit the website http://red40.com/ .  There are other dyes that can also cause serious problems, but from our experience, Red Dye #40 is the worst.

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