While many people report added stress during the holidays, doctors say the season can also uncover hidden allergies that would otherwise go unnoticed. NY1’s Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
Dana Conte is allergic to almost everything, including Christmas trees.
“My family has a tendency of getting live, real trees and I am in charge of decorations. So last year and I was not thinking, normally I usually put gloves on…didn’t think anything of wear the gloves because it was late at night. Wake up and from my forearm, my elbow straight down to the tips of my fingers was one big red blotch,” Conte said.
Seasonal triggers are often red flags. That’s why Bassett says this is another good time of the year to get checked for allergies.
“Indoor allergies can really fluctuate and build up during the holidays particulary a few years ago where you started to notice a trend where people would have fresh Christmas trees within five to six days, itchy eyes, irritate noses, scratchy throat cough,” Bassett said. “Or it can be things such as garlands, wreathes and other things and again during the holidays you have the fireplace going, you have the yule log, you also have scented products such as potpourri, fragrance candles, all these things can be irritants during the holidays.”
For Conte who works in the hospitality industry, party food and holiday meals can also be shaky territory.
“There have been times where I’ve gone to work. They’ve changed the recipe on the stuffing. I ate it and it was delicious. I’ll go home and I’ll have to use my epi-pen because there was peanut oil in the stuffing or they used it on the turkey baste or something,” Conte said.
Sometimes what you think might be food allergies could actually be food sensitivity. And with all of the eating and drinking going on this time of year, doctors say it might actually be a good time to start up a food journal to see what you may be reacting to.
“Studies indicate about one out of four people think they have a food allergy,” Bassett said. “The incidence of food allergy is a lot lower and the reason is because people may have a food intolerance such as lactose intolerance or other conditions, acid reflux that can cause irritation or problems and sometimes it can be easily confused with a food allergy.”
To determine whether or not you have a food allergy, Bassett says it’s still best to get tested. If you need it, you can always have an action plan in place for what to avoid or how to treat allergic reactions. That way you can spend less time in the doctor’s office, and more time celebrating the holidays.
Original article and video on NY 1