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Solving the Mystery of Your Allergies from Home

Posted by Boomerang Team on October 19, 2022

Solve Your Allergy Problems

Whether it’s spring or fall, being around cats, or cleaning out the attic, many of us have experienced the discomfort of allergies. And with allergies being the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US, with over 50 million people experiencing various types, it’s no wonder we’re constantly looking for ways to identify the exact cause and possible solutions for relief.

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system locates a substance that has been inhaled, ingested, or entered through the skin, it’s then identified as harmful and overreacts. 

These substances are called allergens and can be any of the following:

  • Foods
  • Medicines
  • Insect bite or sting
  • Animals
  • Molds
  • Pollen 

How common are allergies?

You are more likely to develop allergies if you have a family history of allergies or if you have asthma. Young children are also more prone to allergies than adults. The symptoms of allergies vary greatly from person to person and from exposure to exposure. 

Generally, the first time you are exposed to an allergen, the reaction may only be mild to moderate, while the second exposure can be severe. This is because after the first exposure, the immune system creates antibodies that remember the specific allergen and attacks with more force the second time around. Allergic reaction symptoms include:

  • Sneezing 
  • Itching 
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery and swollen eyes 
  • Swelling 
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis is an extreme and possibly life-threatening allergic reaction that results in the swelling of airways and blood pressure dropping. It is critical that anaphylaxis be treated with an injection of epinephrine (like an EpiPen) as soon as possible.

What are the most common allergens?

The most common allergens are as follows:

Food:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts 
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish

Indoor & Outdoor Allergies:

  • Tree pollen
  • Grass and weed pollen
  • Mold spores 
  • Animal dander (particularly cat and dog dander)

Why do I hear so much about gluten?

The gluten-free trend has really risen in popularity in the last decade. Is it just a fad diet, or is there really something to gluten allergies? Researchers are finding that people swearing off gluten is more than just a trend and that gluten allergies may truly be on the rise.

Though science is still trying to find a clear-cut answer for these gluten allergies and intolerances, many swear that cutting out gluten has changed their lives. Identifying a gluten allergy, which is found in not only wheat but barley, rye, and triticale is the first step in making a lifestyle change to improve well-being. Many people report that going gluten free improves symptoms such as bloating, weight gain, constipation or diarrhea, stomach pain, and fatigue.

Alternatives to gluten can include quinoa, rice, or corn. However, it is important to identify any allergies to these foods as well before making the switch.

Finding relief

Many steps can be taken to treat and even eliminate allergy symptoms. You can avoid activities that stir up allergens like mowing the lawn, check pollen forecasts (yes, it’s a real thing), use a dehumidifier, or take over-the-counter antihistamines. 

But if you find you are still suffering even after taking all the preventative steps, then it may be time to get to the bottom of what exactly is causing your symptoms. Once a specific allergen is identified through allergy testing you can take a more direct approach on combating exposure thereby reducing or even eliminating your symptoms.

Are OTC antihistamines worth it?

Many people take brand name over-the-counter antihistamines to treat the symptoms of allergies. However, these medications can be pricey, especially if used regularly. 

These medications work by blocking the body’s response to an allergy instead of getting to the root of the problem. It can feel like wasting money while ignoring the issue instead of finding a permanent solution. Allergy testing can help you identify the exact allergen. Without the guess work, you can find a way to eliminate exposure and your symptoms. 

Identify the problem, solve the problem

Maybe you have a sneaking suspicion about what allergen is causing you so much trouble, or maybe you have no clue and think it could be a combination of things. Either way, Boomerang has you covered with three different allergy test options. 

There is a specific food allergy test that will check 158 common food allergies to see which one may be causing you trouble. Are you experiencing a lot of sneezing and watery eyes at a certain time of year? The indoor & outdoor allergy test can offer insight by checking for 140 common indoor & outdoor allergens. And if you really aren’t sure where your symptoms are coming from, or you think you may have multiple allergies, the complete allergy test will check you for 295 common food and inhalant allergens.

Why Boomerang’s allergy tests are the best option

Boomerang’s tests offer more accuracy through our innovative blood collection device. Instead of a finger prick, which can be less accurate than a blood draw, our blood collection device attaches simply to your arm to collect a blood sample and is virtually painless. After you ship your sample back to our lab, your comprehensive results will be delivered to you digitally within five business days.

You don’t have to live in discomfort or keep spending money on over-the-counter treatments. Knowing what causes your allergy symptoms is the first step in solving the problem instead of merely treating it.

References

  1. Allergy Facts and Figures. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts/. Published April 1, 2022. Accessed October 18, 2022.
  2. The war on gluten. Science. https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.360.6391.848. Published May 25, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2022. 

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