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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer allergies continued

Hello everyone sorry for being away for the week. I was dealing with an injury go figure. Any how in my last post I was discussing summer allergies out doors. Summer allergies are also in your home and because of the summer allergies can fly.

Most people with asthma or hay fever or other outdoor allergies think of their home as a haven where they can escape their allergies. Unfortunately, houses and apartment buildings harbor their own allergens (agents that cause allergy symptoms). The inside of your home actually traps allergens, making them impossible to avoid.

Although many allergens in your environment can trigger allergic symptoms, house dust is the main culprit indoors. Some dust is present in every home, regardless how often or how thoroughly the house is cleaned


House dust is an airborne mixture that might contain fine particles of soil and plant material from indoors or outdoors, particles of human and animal skin (dander) and hair, fabric fibers, mold spores, dust mites, fragments of insects that have died and their waste, food particles, and other debris.

Although many substances in dust can trigger allergic symptoms, the most important indoor allergens are dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and molds.Someone who is allergic "to dust" is in fact allergic to one or more substances that occur in dust. The content of dust varies considerably depending on the situation in which it accumulates. Dust in grain storage facilities, factories, mines, bakeries, and construction sites can all present hazards to our respiratory systems, and occupational ailments due to dust are common. House dust can produce a variety of allergens, but dust mites, cockroaches, and cat dander far exceed all others in terms of severity and occurrence. Special dust mite mattress covers bring relief to allergy sufferers.

Dust mite allergies far exceed other indoor allergens in severity for two reasons: they exist independent of human lifestyle and socio-economic class; and the allergens produced by dust mites have been linked conclusively to the development of asthma and the aggravation of symptoms in people who already have asthma. Cockroach allergens exceed dust mite allergens in slums, ghettos, tenements, and other crowded, substandard housing conditions. Cat dander allergens are the most potent indoor allergens, yet cause relatively weak reactions, often limited to a stuffy nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Dust mite droppings called “fecal pellets” are the primary source of dust mite allergens. No, seriously. When the tiny turds become airborne they are easily inhaled, causing a person to itch, sneeze or worse. Dust mite allergens are one of the leading causes of asthma. Dust mites eat skin cells people shed, and rather than drinking water, they absorb water from humidity in the atmosphere. They thrive in temperatures around 70 F (21 C) and a relative humidity around 70 percent.

A number of researchers, like those at  the University of Nebraska, have studied dust mite control and have a set of recommendations that are proven to be affective Recommendations focus on "dust control"  One must reduce the concentration of dust born allergens in the living environment by controlling both allergen production and dust which serves to transport it. For the bedroom environment you will want to use some or all of the following methods. I will list a few then on to today's recipe.

1. Use a dust mite cover on your bed and pillows, this encloses your sleeping space and the dust mite can't survive.
2. Wash your sheets, pillow cases and blankets in very hot water. It is recommended to wash your blankets and sheets every two weeks and your pillow case once a week. I feel strongly in washing both sheets and pillow cases weekly at water at least 130*F.
3. Use synthetic fabrics instead of feathers or down pillows. replace woolen blankets with nylon or cotton cellulose and don't forget to get rid of the stuffed animals.
4. Reduce temperature and humidity you want to keep not only your bedroom but your living space dry. Dust mites thrive in hot and humid temperatures.
5. Clean your living space on a weekly basis, sheets, pillow cases, vacuum everything base boards everywhere. Wash all floors hopefully with a steamer. Never dry mop all you are doing is pushing the dust around.
6. If you have carpeting get rid of it.

   It should also be noted that people are rarely allergic to only dust mites.  When a person has an allergy to dust mites, they are usually also allergic to other allergens.  In A report on WebMD (2008)  Allergist Jonathan A. Bernstein, MD, of the University of Cincinnati says, "You have to recognize that people can be sensitive to multiple allergens -- as well as to non-allergic triggers such as odorants, irritating chemicals, tobacco smoke, mildew, and things of that nature, so these studies with just one or even two or three interventions are fraught with limitations. Just to target dust mites and then to say these interventions don't work is out of context with patients' real lives."

My next posting I will talk about the other summer allergies that really add a sting. Now for today's recipe.

My better half is from the Dominican Republic and I have always loved this dish so today I will share with you.

Pollo Guisado

This delicious dish of chicken stewed with vegetables is an indispensable part of Dominican cooking. Along with arroz con habichuelas (red beans and rice) and a side salad, pollo guisado makes up a patriotic dish called la bandera, or "the Dominican flag." Even so, Puerto Ricans are fans of pollo guisado too.

4 to 6 servings

Chicken, cut into serving pieces 2-3 pounds
Salt and pepper- to season
oil (preferably canola) 3 tablespoons
Onion, finely chopped- 1 large
Bell pepper, finely chopped- 1 large
Garlic, minced- 3 to 4 cloves
Tomatoes, seeded and chopped (preferably roma) 2 cups
Cilantro, chopped- 1/4 cup
Oregano, finely chopped 2 teaspoons
Bay Leaves- 2
Chicken stock or water- 2 cups
Salt and pepper- to season
Potatoes, cut into chunks- 2

Method
1. Rinse the chicken pieces, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. (for better browning add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to oil before adding chicken let sugar start to brown then add the chicken). a few pieces at a time, on both sides. Set aside.
2. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pot and saute until the onion softens and turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cilantro, oregano  and bay leaves and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the liquid somewhat.
3. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and add chicken stock or water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover loosely and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add more stock or water if necessary.
4. Add the potatoes and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and tender.
5. Adjust the seasoning and serve with arroz con habichuelas and a side salad.

Enjoy!!! and we'll see you next time on Life Around The Allergies

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