You finally give in to a family pet, but ever since you brought home Mr. Whiskers, your eyes are red and itchy, you’re sneezing and have a constant runny nose. You feel like you have a perpetual cold. Is being allergic to your pet a minor inconvenience or can it lead to something more serious?
How Prevalent Are Pet Allergies?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), almost 62% of U.S. households have pets and more than 161 million of these pets are cats and dogs. Ten percent of pet owners are allergic to their pets and 25% of them decide to keep their pets.
Are You Allergic to Your Pet?
Some of the signs and symptoms of pet allergies include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Congestion (stuffy nose)
- Itchy skin
- Hives (hives on your face and chest are symptoms of a more severe allergy)
- Skin reaction where your pet licks you
Be aware that if you have asthma as well as a pet allergy, your symptoms could be especially serious.
What’s the Allergen?
If your pet causes any of the above allergic reactions or aggravates your asthma symptoms, your pet’s hair or fur is not to blame as many people seem to think. But keep in mind that pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens can collect in your pet’s hair and fur. The real culprits behind these allergic effects are the proteins found in your pet’s saliva, urine and dander (flakes of dead skin).
Dander, Dander Everywhere
Continue reading “Is Your Pet Allergy Linked to Heart Disease?”
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and consist of three types: EPA, DHA and ALA. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are primarily found in certain kinds of fish. Another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found in plants.
Certain types of fish are rich in EPA and DHA. These essential polyunsaturated fats reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6, two inflammatory proteins in your body. A six-month study demonstrated that consuming 960 mg/day of EPA and 600 mg/day of DHA lowered CRP.¹
To lower your risk of mercury exposure from eating fish, be sure to choose the right fish*.
*Avoid larger, longer-living fish, such as shark and swordfish, as they tend to accumulate more mercury than the smaller fish like sardines, sole, and trout.
Per Consumer Reports, a 6-oz. serving of:
- Salmon contains 4 mcg of mercury
- Canned albacore tuna contains 60 mcg
- Swordfish contains 170 mcg
Oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include:
How much: At least 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week
Fit Tip: If you don’t eat fish, you can actually drink it in the form of orange juice! Tropicana® Orange Juice Pure Premium Healthy Heart Orange Juice is fortified with actual fish (tilapia, sardine and anchovy). Also, grass-fed beef is often higher in omega-3 fatty acids than conventional beef due to their diet of grass and foraged foods versus grains, such as corn.
¹Fish oil supplementation lowers C-reactive protein levels independent of triglyceride reduction in patients with end-stage renal disease. Nutrition Clinical Practice. 2009.
Chronic, low-level inflammation might be the SILENT culprit behind your aging process. There is growing evidence that there’s a correlation between chronic systemic inflammation and chronic disease, such as:
- Coronary atherosclerosis (plaque buildup)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Macular degeneration (a common form of age-related blindness)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Some cancers
The Silent Killer
Chronic, low-level inflammation is quite different from acute inflammation, the body’s healthy response to injury and infection. When you get a bug bite or sprained ankle and the area becomes swollen, warm, painful, and red, your body is trying to defend itself by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the area — this is an acute inflammatory response. Continue reading “Inflammation | Foods that Heal and Harm”