\ Sweet Elyse

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Allergies | What you can do to take back control

AD: Partnership with Klarify. 

When Klarify got in touch about collaborating I agreed straight away because I am one of those people (1-in-4) that suffers greatly from allergens daily. It's an absolute burden in my life and collaborating with a company that enables people to take control of their wellness through education, home testing and actionable results is paramount to beating those horrible allergen symptoms. 

Most people have been afflicted by an allergy of some sort at some point. It just seems to be one of those things along with growing up, paying bills, and deciding what to make for dinner that day - all equally frustrating especially as we get older. Likewise, it's always difficult to know if you're just afflicted with allergy symptoms or a common cold, sometimes the two are very much alike so how do you know if you can pass it along to someone you care about? You don't. 

What is an allergy? 

The human immune system protects the body from foreign invaders that may pose risk. In the cases of allergies, the immune system reacts in a similar way to viruses and bacteria causing an inappropriate response to what should be a harmless invader. When the allergen enters the body the body triggers a response which leads to the release of histamine in the body. The release of histamine causes symptoms that we normally associate with being 'allergic' such as: 

shortness of breath
runny nose

You can find out more about allergy symptoms and allergy testing via Klarify's allergy testing article which is really informative and covers the types of allergens and the differences in symptoms.

My allergy background

My own symptoms strange enough happened as I got older, more so from pregnancy onwards. Growing up I never suffered from any hayfever or seasonal allergies, I was allergic to Penicillin as was all of my family along one line but nothing really more than that. Genuinely I felt like one of the lucky ones as some in my family were severely allergic to a lot of things and had asthma also which can be linked to allergies. 

It was only really as I had my first child I then noticed I became allergic to something but could never put my fingers on the what exactly. Trying to reduce allergens in my home and my life would work to a certain extent them it seemed as if my immune system would just fight back. At one point I was constantly bombarded with all of the symptoms listed above and the reality of those symptoms was miserable.  

I was tested luckily via the NHS but this isn't something that they really do any longer, and my own testing only happened to see if this was something that could be passed to my sons as anaphylaxis. My allergens included:

Specific grasses
Tree pollens
Bananas & latex (apparently they are closely linked)
Various yeasts
Medications - many antibiotics, codeine, pethidine, and a few others.  
Gluten (celiac) - this was a separate test done through endoscopy

At the time I was attempting to eat healthier so many of the foods I was eating included fruits and vegetables, the vegetables (more than those listed above) were typically allergen-causing due to growing near specific grasses and pollens - this may have been why I was so reactive. Reducing my intake of allergens through a change of diet along with regular hoovering of our home, using a vax filter in the home to reduce dust and allergens in the air, and reducing the use of cosmetics that contains a lot of additives was enough to get my own symptoms to a manageable condition. 

Even up until 2020 I was still facing new allergens. Growing up I believed that kiwis and bananas hurt everyone's mouth, I know how strange that sounds saying it now but no one even said it didn't when I mentioned it growing up so I thought it was one of those things, you eat a banana and it hurts the top of your mouth. In 2020 when the pandemic started I wanted to be healthier, now I knew about the latex allergy but not that bananas and latex were intrinsically linked. I decided to eat bananas every morning with my healthy breakfast and eventually a few months in (and after feeling so poorly in the lead up) I ended up in A&E with the worst pain imaginable as the allergy (bananas) was affecting my gallbladder. After learning it was this and stopping eating bananas I've never had that pain again (luckily) and my gallbladder is no longer inflamed. Hoorah! This is why understanding what your allergens are can be far more important than just curing your sniffles and sneezes, it can stop the destruction of your internal systems and organs. 

I do suffer still especially around my monthly cycle as my itching intensifies so I always try to ensure that I am reducing my allergen intake ahead of my period due date. Strange but true I know - allergens and their horrible symptoms typically do as they want, when they want but understanding which ones trigger your histamine response can be the change to truly getting your life back. 

Honestly, I dread to think how ill I would have become many years back if I didn't find out what caused mine, I genuinely thought that by eating healthy and being active I would be able to take back control of my own wellness when in fact the foods I was eating were causing my symptoms to become more reactive. I was getting ill, my conditions (colitis, PCOS, fibromyalgia to name a few) were worsening also, naturally as my body was struggling with its histamine and mast cell response. 

Take back control 

Klarify home allergy test enables you to test yourself against 294 allergens. Much like the test I had years ago, this test allows you to find out which allergens you personally have - pollens, mites, pets, foods, moulds, yeasts, Hymenoptera venoms as well as others. I personally urge everyone to find out what their allergens are before they pose a problem long-term. The more you know about yourself, the far wealthier you become in taking back your own life and future. 


Statement: Collaboration

Setting Your Bedroom Up For A Night of Rest

There are more pressing problems on earth, sure, but the number of people that are struggling to sleep should be a concern. The rates of insomnia have been on the rise for some years, but then the coronavirus pandemic came along, and the numbers began to balloon

The good news is that insomnia isn’t just something that you have to live with. There are things you can do that’ll make it more likely that you can get a full 7 - 8 hours of sleep under your belt. In this blog, we’re going to focus on the bedroom itself, including how you can set it up so that it nudges you towards sleep.

Clean and Tidy

When we’re younger, it feels like we can sleep anywhere. The surroundings don’t have that much of an impact on us. But that all changes when we’re adults. Though it’s not true of everyone, the majority of us need to sleep in a clean and tidy place. 

If you’re not committed to regularly tidying up and cleaning your bedroom, then space might not be as pleasant to sleep in as it could be! It’ll only take five minutes before bedtime to get the room into shape but it might just have a big impact.

Regular Washing

As well as cleaning the room, think about cleaning your bedsheets. This is something that’s not always convenient and also easily overlooked, but it does make a difference to the quality of your sleep. We all know how much more comfortable a bed with freshly-washed sheets is! And apparently, people aren’t washing their sheets all that often...sometimes just once a year! Which is bad, no matter how you look at it. 

Buy two sets and wash one of them once a week. You’ll always have perfectly fresh sheets to sleep on.

Simplified Space

If your bedroom is cluttered, then you might struggle to fall asleep. No one quite knows why, but the more items there are in a place, the more difficult it is to relax. A chaotic bedroom will lead to a chaotic mind, and a chaotic mind cannot sleep! 

So look at simplifying your space. You can do this by investing in wardrobes that offer plenty of storage, and by removing any items that don’t positively have to be in your bedroom. 

There’s a reason why the minimalist approach became so popular...it’s conducive to relaxation!

Handling Annoying Sounds

Too noisy in your bedroom? No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, least of all a car horn. Soundproof your room by adding double glazing windows.

The Right Temperature

Finally, have a think about the temperature of the bedroom. This can have a big impact on a person’s ability to sleep. If it’s too hot or too cold, then you’ll struggle! There are always ways to improve the ambiance of the bedroom. 

Adding insulation and a blanket will keep you warm; a fan will keep you cool on those hot summer nights.

Statement: Collaboration

The 3 Mood Killers The Pandemic Has Highlighted

We are counting the weeks before the government lifts all pandemic restrictions. In the coming weeks, we’ll already be able to head back to our favourite restaurants. Some indoor venues have already opened their businesses, such as gym clubs and some escape rooms in Scotland. But we all know that there’s still a long way to go before life can go back to normal. 

So, of course, we’ve all developed some clever tricks and tips to keep our eyes set on the bright side of life. Ultimately, life in lockdown is glum. We’ve been in lockdown for the best part of a year. Of course, you’re getting tired, cranky, and somehow a little pessimistic. It’s what lockdown does to you. Did you know that 39% of women have reported symptoms of depression and anxiety during COVID-19? Therefore, little things such as planning your first holiday or reminding yourself to be thankful for the things and people in your life can make a big difference. 

But sometimes, it’s not enough. The pandemic has forced us to question our priorities and adjust our expectations. It’s been a drastic change of routine for everyone. And it’s also created a new kind of darkness in our minds. We’re experiencing fears that we didn’t know we had in us since the pandemic.

Social anxiety

When you’ve lived pretty much in social isolation for a whole year, the idea of mingling with people again could trigger stress, anxiety, and even panic attack. Social anxiety is not a novelty. However, pandemic-induced social anxiety may be something you’ve never experienced before. To put it simply, we’re not quite sure how to behave in front of people anymore. Making conversations suddenly feels like an impossible skill. In truth, it’s only a lack of practice, but it can make you feel uncomfortable. 

You may need to readjust gradually, such as considering chat rooms or even chat lines such as https://freechatlines.com to get back into the habit of simply talking to strangers.

Health concerns

The pandemic has created a vicious circle. Being indoors and inactive for a long time puts your immune system at risk and facilitates anxiety. More and more individuals are unwilling to go back to “normal” because of the combination of low mood and immunity. You’re worried about your health, but you also feel too down to do anything about it. According to this site https://www.health.com, the good news is that moderate exercise is all you need to improve both your mental and physical health. Exercising is the most powerful habit you can develop to cope physically and emotionally with the stress of going out of lockdown.

Social isolation

Never before did we know how isolated we were. For a lot of people, the lockdown has highlighted the holes in their social circles. You may know a lot of people, but how many of them know the real you? Social isolation comes from our lack of deep connections, which is something you can learn to change. 

Whether you choose to share more about yourself to your current friends or to make new friends – the subreddit MakeFriends has registered a record in activities since the start of the pandemic – is up to you. But finding someone who knows the real you can make a big difference.

If you’re finding it hard to boost your mood, it’s time to face the post-pandemic fears of 2021. Hopefully, knowing more about those can help you tackle issues actively. 

Statement: Collaboration