Mon, Jul 02, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Getting tested to find your allergens
過敏治不好 檢測找元兇

If you have been suffering from asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis for an extended period, you should be careful if the symptoms have still not gotten better even after taking medicine. If the symptoms keep returning, it is recommended that you go to the hospital to take an allergen test to find out the cause and start taking the right medicine.

One of two people who work hard to stay healthy and fit, but who were both suffering from asthma and atopic dermatitis, often ate whole wheat sandwiches for breakfast, while the other one regularly ate kiwi after meals. One of them was found to be allergic to peanuts and the other one kiwis, but neither of them was aware of the allergy, and was therefore unable to properly treat the symptoms for an extended period of time. They both eventually went to Greater Taichung’s Cheng Ching General Hospital, where they found out that their allergic constitution stemmed from eating foods they were allergic to.

Liu Bo-jen, director of the hospital’s ear-nose-throat department, said that one of the patients, a 27-year-old woman who loves to eat kiwi, was suffering from asthma, shortness of breath, and felt like something was stuck inside her throat, so she decided to seek medical attention. Liu noticed that she had a rash and that her skin was peeling. He assumed it was caused by allergies, so he decided to do an emergency allergen test and food intolerance test, which showed that she was allergic to kiwi. Her asthma improved immensely and her skin stopped itching after she stopped eating the fruit and began following a new diet regimen.

The other patient, a 52-year-old man who had similar symptoms, also took an allergen test, which showed he was allergic to peanuts. After he went home to look at what he had been eating, he discovered that the sandwiches he ate every morning for breakfast indeed had peanut butter in them. He stopped eating the sandwiches and his symptoms improved after treatment.


1. constitution n.

體質 (ti3 zhi2)

例: Zed has a very frail constitution and is always getting sick.


2. shortness of breath n. phr.

呼吸困難 (hu1 xi1 kun4 nan2)

例: Of course you have shortness of breath after running up 20 flights of stairs.


3. steroid n.

類固醇 (lei4 gu4 chun2)

例: The runner was expelled from the race for taking steroids.


Liu said that if you experience long-term asthma, atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis, and the symptoms continue even after taking medicine, he recommends going to the hospital to do an allergen test, which will find the allergen 70 to 80 percent of the time, adding that a person’s allergies improve by avoiding the discovered allergen.

Liu said that for allergic diseases such as allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis, normal treatment includes the use of antihistamines, a suitable dose of steroids, and immunity-enhancing drugs, but says they do not typically cure the disease, which can be quite vexing. If children with an allergic constitution do not receive proper treatment for their allergies, they might suffer from atopic dermatitis, then allergic asthma, and finally allergic rhinitis, in that order.

The shortness of breath experienced with allergic asthma is caused by an allergen that stimulates or infects the trachea’s main bronchi and bronchioles and therefore causes the trachea to contract.

Allergic constitutions can be caused by breathing in allergens, for example, dust mites, dog hair, cat hair, mold, roaches, or pollen, while food allergies, on the other hand, can be caused by milk, egg whites, peanuts, kiwis, crabmeat, egg yolk, wheat, shrimp, almonds, or codfish. Some people are even allergic to white rice. People should do as much as possible to find out exactly which allergen is causing their allergic reaction so that it can be avoided.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

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