Fighting fit and abiding Allergies

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Did you know that the UK has some of the highest rates of allergic conditions in the world? Around 44% of British adults suffer from at least one allergy and this number has been rising steadily.

With so many sufferers of allergic conditions, we wondered where the best places were for sufferers to find advice. In this post, we aim to pull together all the essential information about allergies and intolerances, as well as provide some useful support tips.

The Most Common Allergies

Some of the most common allergies and conditions in the UK include eczema, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, insect bites, pet allergies, latex and household chemicals.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can appear within a few minutes of being exposed to an allergen and they may include sneezing, a runny nose, red and itchy eyes, coughing and an itchy rash. Reactions can vary – most are mild but the most severe, which results in an anaphylactic shock, would require urgent medical treatment.

Allergy Testing

If you think you have an allergy, your GP can offer you advice and treatment for mild cases. If it’s something more severe, the NHS have dedicated allergy clinics that can carry out tests such as:

  • Skin prick testing – putting a small drop of a possible allergen on your arm and then the skin is gently pricked with a needle. If you’re allergic, an itchy red bump will appear within minutes
  • Blood tests
  • Patch tests – where the suspected allergen is added to a special disc, which is taped to your skin for 48 hours and carefully monitored
  • Elimination diet for suspected food allergies

Managing an Allergy

Of course, the best way to manage an allergy is to try your best to avoid the allergen that causes a reaction. However, we realise that this isn’t always possible and if you do start to get symptoms of a reaction, there are medications available to help control them.

Antihistamines can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or if you know you’re likely to be exposed to an allergen. Phenergan tablets are a good all-rounder allergy tablet that can be used for hay fever, insomnia, pet allergies and travel sickness and they are available to buy from Chemist Direct.

Decongestants can be used for short-term relief for a blocked nose and emollients (moisturising creams) can help reduce skin redness and itchiness.

Finding the Best Information and Support

Luckily for those suffering from food intolerances, EU law has stated that all pre-packed food and drinks should be clearly labelled with ingredients that are common allergens. But for those allergies that are sometimes unavoidable, you can find lots of useful advice and support on the NHS website and with Allergy UK.

Don’t let suffering from an allergy have a negative impact on your life. Follow our advice or seek expert support on how to manage your allergies

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