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SPRING 2014 $4.95 inc GST


“We were desperate” A mum’s journey to eczema wellness

Be an allergy detective & avoid hay fever misery

A guide to shopping for KIDS’ FOOD ALLERGIES


STEPS to achieving asthma control

HEALTHY HOME Best products for removing airborne allergens

Is your gluten-free diet healthy?

GIVEAWAYS Great reader competitions – see inside

coeliac disease + spring recipes + anaphylaxis campaign WITH COMPLIMENTS FROM YOUR PHARMACIST OR HEALTH PROVIDER

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ALLERGY AWARE 4  News and views




6  Diagnosing coeliac disease

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES 8 Be an allergy detective: identify and treat allergic rhinitis symptoms


Cover photo © Comivita


12  The agony of eczema 14  Comvita’s care campaign


HEALTHY HOME 16  Banishing airborne allergens 18  Dust mites in the workplace

CHILDREN & ALLERGIES 20  A guide to shopping for kids’ food allergies 22  Menu ideas for busy families


Look out for three great reader competitions throughout the magazine. See inside for how to enter or go to

LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Editor: Caroline Wood Email: Design: Rose Miller at Kraftwork Email: Proofreader: Stella Clark ADVERTISING Sales manager: Debbie Bishop Phone: 09 535 5585 or 021 340 360 Email: SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online at Phone: 09 589 1054 Email: PRINTER McCollams Print PUBLISHER Published by Hawkhurst Media Services Ltd PO Box 25679, St Heliers, Auckland 1740 Phone: 09 589 1054

Member of the Magazine Publishers Association. Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation. ISSN: 2324-2213 Disclaimer: Every effort is made to ensure accuracy but Living with Allergies accepts no liability for errors of fact or opinion. Information in this publication is not intended to replace advice by your health professional. If in doubt check with your allergy specialist, GP, nurse, dietitian or other health care professional. Editorial and advertising material does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or publisher. Advertising in Living with Allergies does not constitute endorsement of any product. Living with Allergies is an independent publication and is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the charity Allergy New Zealand. Š All rights reserved. No article in whole or part should be reprinted without permission of the Editor. 2 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014



24  Filling the gap: GP allergy specialists

34  7 steps to help you feel good



26  Latest on adrenaline auto-injector campaign

36 Allergy guide



29  Is your gluten-free diet healthy?

PROFILE 31  Eleanor Ozich: founder of My Petite Kitchen

FOOD AND RECIPES 32 Spring recipes


38 MiniAds

40  Hygiene hypothesis

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allergy aware

NEWS AND VIEWS At-risk babies given dust mite drops

Researchers recruited 111 babies with a history of allergy in both parents and gave half of them oral drops of dust mite allergen and half a placebo. They found the dust mite drops reduced the incidence of allergy, including asthma and eczema, by almost twothirds (63 percent). The treatments were administered twice a day from the age of six months to 18 months. Prof Hasan Arshad, a consultant in allergy based at Southampton General Hospital, in the UK, said: “These results are extremely exciting as we have shown that a simple and safe treatment – oral dust mite extract – given to children at high risk reduces the early development of allergy.” The findings were presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress, Copenhagen, in June.

Well Child adds allergy info

The iconic Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book, which is given to every newborn in New Zealand, has been updated to include information about allergies and eczema. The move reflects the rising number of Kiwi babies and young children being diagnosed with eczema, allergies and asthma. The book includes information for parents as well as health and immunisation records for children aged 0–5 years.


QUICK FACT New Zealand has one of the highest rates of allergy in the world but one of the lowest allergy specialist to patient ratios. There are no public immunology clinics in the South Island, for example. Most allergists and immunologists work in the Auckland region. Read more on p24.

First allergy summit

Australia's first allergy summit was held in Sydney last month with experts keen to develop a national strategy to tackle a growing health problem. One in five Australians is affected by food, drug and insect allergies and that figure is expected to rise to one in four in the next 30 years. President of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia, Maria Said, says allergies are often wrongly perceived as trivial. “We have two-year waiting lists to see specialists and most of the people that end up in the room of a specialist really need to be there.” It is hoped a national strategy will be launched next year.

Malaghan tackles mystery

Researchers at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington have moved a step closer to finding out what triggers an allergic response. Research headed by Professor Franca Ronchese (pictured right with Prof Graham le Gros), published recently in the Journal of Immunology, concludes that allergies change the properties of a certain type of dendritic cell found in the skin. The dendritic cell then tells the immune system how to respond. Researchers will now look at dendritic cells in the gut and lungs; as well as developing a detailed inventory of their characteristics and behaviour. See for details.

Allergy’s economic impact

The economic cost of allergy was the focus of a study, which concluded that inadequately controlled allergy was costing up to 151 billion euros a year in the European Union due to time off work and lower productivity. It is estimated that up to 76 billion people in the EU have an allergy but 90 percent of them are untreated or insufficiently treated. Researchers concluded that for the comparatively low cost of 125 euros per patient, proper allergy treatment could save up to 142 billion euros per annum. The study by T. Zuberbier et al was published online in August in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Tick bite causes meat allergy

QUICK FACT Ten percent of New Zealand two-year-olds had a doctordiagnosed allergy of some kind – with egg and dairy being the most common allergens. The finding was reported in the latest report from Growing Up in New Zealand, a longitudinal study of the reality of life for young children and Kiwi families today. For more details see

A humble tick bite is causing people to become allergic to red meat, reports CBS News after doctors reported seeing a surge of patients reporting sudden meat allergy in parts of America. The same problem has been reported in Australia, Europe and Japan. The ticks harbour a sugar called alpha-gal that humans don’t have. The sugar is also is found in red meat, which usually doesn’t cause a problem when digested. The tick bite is thought to trigger an immune system response so the next time an affected person eats red meat their immune system reacts to the alpha gal as a ‘foreign’ substance, setting the scene for an allergic response. See www.cbsnews. com/news/a-tick-bite-can-make-you-allergic-to-red-meat/


coeliac disease

DIAGNOSIS A RELIEF Many adults are unaware they have coeliac disease. Quentin Bright tells his story.



wasn’t feeling quite right, he was tired, lacking in stamina and had difficulty concentrating but he put it down to the fact he had a young family and a stressful job. Once every few months his stomach would blow up like a balloon but he thought it was nerves or indigestion. When his sister was diagnosed with coeliac disease, Quentin’s doctor said he should be screened too. It took two years to get a definitive diagnosis because the tests came back negative at first. Coeliac disease is an immune reaction to gluten in food and can cause a wide range of mild to severe stomach and bowel symptoms. Undiagnosed coeliac disease can lead to a range of health issues, such as anaemia, osteoporosis, some gastric cancers, infertility, depression and dental problems. In children it can lead to lack of proper development, short stature and behavioural problems. Quentin, 52, from Auckland, has type 1 diabetes, which is a risk factor for coeliac disease, 6 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

and a salicylate allergy. He was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2010 but believes he has probably had the condition since his 30s but didn’t realise because the symptoms were mild and he didn’t always react after eating gluten-containing foods, such as bread. “It was so periodic, it wasn’t a big deal because it didn’t affect me greatly. But when I look back I realise that something was going on for quite a while,” he said. Quentin removed all gluten-containing foods from his diet and it made a significant difference. He now has more energy and no abdominal discomfort. “I think it’s very important to look on the positive side [of the diagnosis]. It can cause problems if left untreated. My nana died of bowel cancer in the 1950s and our family suspects she

had undiagnosed coeliac disease,” he added. “I found it easy to adapt dishes to make them gluten-free for me.” Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about coeliac disease. There is a simple blood test and, if necessary, you will be referred to a gastroenterologist who will take a small tissue sample of your gut to give you a definite diagnosis. Sue Clay, Executive Officer of Coeliac NZ, said: “Coeliac disease can lead to long-term serious health effects so it’s important to be tested. It’s vital you don’t start following a glutenfree diet until a definite diagnosis has been made. If you remove gluten it makes the tests unreliable and you may be falsely negative.” .

* For more information, see

Coeliac disease quick facts • One in 100 people have coeliac disease in New Zealand. • Up to 80 percent don’t know they have it. • Some people have a ‘silent’ form with no symptoms and are only diagnosed after screening.

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environmental allergies

BE AN ALLERGY DETECTIVE The arrival of warm weather brings spring allergy misery for many. We ask Dr James Chisnall about the best way to identify and treat seasonal allergic rhinitis.



time to review your allergy symptoms and management. Did you get it right last year? Do you know what triggers your symptoms and were you able to control them? If the answer is no to any of these questions, it may be time for a visit to your doctor to discuss the diagnosis and possible further tests and treatment options. Many people don’t realise that allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be a serious condition. Studies show people with severe hay fever have a reduction in their quality of life that is similar to people with angina. Poorly controlled hay fever can also lead to poorly controlled asthma. Pollen can also cause serious asthma attacks. “People should not feel it is a trivial disease. If it’s affecting your quality of life, you shouldn’t feel you have to put up with it, there is something that can be done about it,” says Dr James Chisnall, of Allergy Solutions in Nelson. “Up to 40 percent of Kiwis have allergic rhinitis. In the majority of them it’s mild


and they generally manage it by taking antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops as required. The middle group are ok in some years but in others they suffer. The final group has it really bad and it doesn’t matter what medication they take – it doesn’t help. They have a miserable life for three to four months of the year – they can’t sleep, it affects their work. These people should be thinking about desensitisation. On average subcutaneous immunotherapy treatment reduces symptoms by 50 percent, and sublingual immunotherapy (allergen tablets) can reduce symptoms by 35 percent. This effect can be lifelong.” Detecting triggers Typical hay fever symptoms include an itchy and/or runny or congested nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and tickly throat. People can also experience poor sleep, facial pain, poor taste/ smell and tiredness. The most common culprits are house dust mites, grass pollen, tree pollen (especially birch), pet dander and moulds.

“New Zealand has some of the highest rates of allergic rhinitis and yet we have the lowest uptake of immunotherapy. The most common causes of hay fever are grass, dust mites, cats/dogs and birch and we can do something about these.” DR JAMES CHISNALL

If you are not sure what is causing your symptoms, it helps to keep a note of when and where you are when your allergy/asthma symptoms become worse. Start by looking for patterns – do you get your symptoms year round or seasonally? Is it worst early in the day or at night, inside or outside the home? Write it down so you can discuss it with your doctor. House dust mite allergic people tend to have asthma and/or rhinitis year round, and their symptoms are worse in bed or when they first get up. Pet allergies can usually be confirmed when sensitive people come in direct contact with a pet. Pollen-allergic people have problems during spring and summer with the worst months being October to January. Symptoms occur depending on what kind of pollen they are allergic to and where they live (the

pollen season starts earlier in the North Island and ends later in the South Island). Grass is usually the culprit in spring and early summer, while trees such as birch cause issues in late winter/early spring, and certain weeds (for example plantain) may cause symptoms from late spring and into summer. Dr Chisnall says that in some cases it can be difficult to work out which allergen or combination of allergens is causing the problem. “You have to be a detective, it’s all detective work. It depends on when you get your symptoms and where you are. “In general food is not implicated in allergic rhinitis, although sometimes salicylates and sulphites are involved. If you get symptoms first thing in the morning after waking up it’s almost certainly house dust mites (or the pet cat who lies on the bed!).”

Allergy testing – is it worth it? People with serious or uncontrolled symptoms should think about getting tested to confirm it is an allergy, advises Dr Chisnall. This can help pinpoint which allergens are responsible so they can try to avoid contact with them. Some of the most common, like dust mites or grass pollen, are treatable with immunotherapy. There are two kinds of allergy tests. Skin prick testing can be used to test for dust mites, different kinds of pollen, pets, mould and food. The results are instant and it is relatively cost effective because lots of different allergens can be tested for at once. Or your doctor may order a blood test, which also checks for the presence of the IgE antibodies that cause allergy symptoms. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014 9

GIVEAWAY We have a nourishing skincare pack from Comvita’s new Medihoney® eczema care range to give away. It includes Medihoney® Natural Eczema Cream 50g – a certified-natural emollient to soothe and hydrate dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin. The pack also has Medihoney® Antibacterial Wound Gel™ 25g – a sterile medical-grade Manuka honey dressing used in homes and hospitals around the world. The RRP is $39.90 ($19.95 each product). Enter online at or email with COMVITA in the subject line. Entries close 15 November 2014. Treatment The best treatment for allergic rhinitis is avoidance although that is hard with pollen. Doctors say immunotherapy should be considered if symptoms are severe and medications are not adequately controlling symptoms. There are two kinds of immunotherapy. The sub-cutaneous version is given via regular injections at your doctor or allergist’s clinic. Oral immunotherapy is not quite as effective but is easier for patients to manage as they can take the tablets at home. For grass it is given seasonally for at least three seasons and patients should see some improvement in the first year. “New Zealand has some of the highest rates of allergic rhinitis and yet we have the lowest uptake of immunotherapy. The most common causes of hay fever are grass, dust mites, cats/dogs and birch and

we can do something about these,” says Dr Chisnall. He says that evidence suggests that on average over the counter hay fever medications reduce symptoms by 20 percent, while immunotherapy reduces symptoms by 50 percent (subcutaneous) or 35 percent (oral). The cost of immunotherapy is relatively high in the short term, but the effect can be long-lasting and for people with severe allergies it can be life-changing, and ultimately save money. Pharmacy medications People need to understand that hay fever medications are often very effective but they need to be used in the right way, taken regularly and for the whole season, advises Dr Chisnall. The most popular hay fever treatment is a nonsedating anti-histamine, which should be taken every morning. However,

oral antihistamines won’t help nasal congestion. Dr Chisnall recommends using nasal sprays and following instructions to use them regularly. Saline nasal rinses can also help. Oral decongestants are generally not very effective, and can cause side effects such as high blood pressure. If nothing is working to reduce nasal congestion, ask your doctor to prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray, they are very safe, well tolerated and effective in many people. Pharmacists can advise on anti-histamine or moisturising eye drops for relieving itchy, watery eyes. *Dr James Chisnall is a GP with a special interest and postgraduate training in allergies. He works at Allergy Solutions:

*Information in this article is not intended to replace advice from your health professional. If in doubt check with your allergy specialist. GP or pharmacist and ask them about the right products and treatment for you. 10 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014



THE AGONY OF ECZEMA One in five Kiwi children are thought to have eczema and some families struggle with the daily challenges of managing the condition. Nikki Taula tells her story and explains why she is an ambassador for Comvita’s new national eczema care campaign.



with my son’s eczema. I had excellent support from my GP and kindy but it was hard. It got really bad when Lucas was two years old and lasted until he was about four. He didn’t get it all over – it was patches on his arms, legs and buttocks – but it would ulcerate, bleed and get infected. We used to have to peel his pyjamas off him.

“We tried everything: creams, steroids, wet dressings, antibiotics, all the products they suggest. We changed our diet and stopped milk for a while. Hydrocortisone creams had an element of working but I always felt like it was a band aid but it never addressed the underlying causes.” Four years ago Nikki Taula, from Tauranga, was desperate and at a low point. Her son Lucas, then

“There are people out there to talk to, who understand and can help. There is hope and there is going to be an end to it.” NIKKI TAULA


Photo © Comivita

The new Eczema Care NZ Facebook page is a place for people to share experiences and ask for help. three, was having a tough time of it, he was getting infections from the eczema sores and Nikki would need to bandage his arms and legs to protect them. Nikki happened to attend the same Tauranga kindergarten as Comvita’s clinical eczema advisor Heidi Darcy, who recommended she try a new medical honey-based product (Medihoney Antibacterial Wound Gel) to see if it would help the sores to heal. “I met Heidi at kindy when Lucas was about three and a half. She told me there was a new product and did I want to try it on Lucas? I did and it had an amazing result. I also used the eczema cream on his arms and legs. He is now seven years old and much better but if it starts to flare I will still use the cream. I have to say the Comvita products came at such a good time because I was just desperate. We could see they had a marked result,” she added. Fast forward to 2014 and Nikki is one of the ‘real life’ mums who agreed to be

part of Comvita’s national eczema care campaign (see overleaf) – as an ambassador for the products and also to help support other families with a child with eczema. “I wanted to help other families. I hate being in the limelight but this is so important. “We said let’s just be there for people, the Facebook page is a place for people to share experiences, vent about their problems, ask for help, share recipes and so on. “I want people to know they don’t have to be embarrassed about eczema. There are people out there to talk to, who understand and can help. There is hope and there is going to be an end to it.” Nikki is now moderating a private Facebook page where families can share their eczema stories, seek advice and offer support. *The Facebook page is available for people with eczema and/or their carers. Log onto and search for Eczema Care NZ and ask to join. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014 13



New Zealand has one of the highest incidences of childhood eczema in the world with an estimated 20 percent of children having the condition. Caroline Wood finds out about a new eczema care campaign, which aims to support families who face the daily challenge of managing the condition. Natural products company Comvita carried out research into the resources available for Kiwis living with eczema before launching its new Medihoney natural eczema skincare range. It found there was little in the way of easily accessible, trusted information for parents – particularly emotional support and practical management tools. It decided to work with the Eczema Association of Australasia to develop a range of online educational resources for New Zealand families. These resources are available on the Comvita website and include videos with management tips, real life stories from mums with eczema, a printable eczema management plan, a guide to managing eczema with lots of practical tips, sibling care booklet and links to helpful websites. Heidi Darcy, Comvita’s clinical advisor, explains: “I’ve worked with dozens of families who in many cases 14 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

Heidi Darcy says families need emotional support to cope with their child’s eczema.

have reached a point of desperation at not being able to manage their child’s eczema. They feel like the condition rules their lives. The Comvita Care Campaign is designed to give them back a sense of control. “There are a lot of excellent products on the market but when we were doing our research - and talking to a great number of parents and eczema sufferers – we realised much more was needed than just a diagnosis and prescription.

“There was no meeting of their emotional needs or connection with other parents to talk to about their situation. We decided the care campaign was as important as the products. We wanted to connect with people.” Comvita has also funded the printing and distribution of a new pharmacist education booklet, which was developed by the Eczema Association of Australasia in association with a pharmacist and dermatology nurse. The booklet, which has been sent to pharmacies nationwide, includes advice on what kind of products to use for eczema prevention and how to individualise treatment for customers. The advice covers all kinds of eczema products, not just Comvita’s range. The Medihoney natural eczema care range includes five products: a soap-free body wash, a moisturising lotion, Skintensive Cream, Natural Eczema Cream and an antibacterial wound gel. Heidi says its ‘hero’ product is the Medihoney Antibacterial Wound Gel that incorporates medicalgrade honey and can be used on broken skin. She says it has been clinically proven to support wound healing and reduce the risk of infection.

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• Dry Skin Relief • Dermatologically tested • Certified Natural • Soap free • Fragrance free View the Medihoney® range of products at


healthy home

BANISHING AIRBORNE ALLERGENS Experts recommend HEPAfiltered vacuums for people with asthma and allergies. Caroline Wood finds out why.


LEANING your home can sometimes feel like a never-ending battle between the need to clean and the sneezing and wheezing caused by stirring up airborne allergens such as dust mites, moulds, pollen and pet dander. Unfiltered vacuum cleaners don’t trap the dust they pick up – instead they redistribute the fine dust back into the room through their exhausts. This is why experts from



Zaditen® relieves allergy eyes within minutes3 and protects against ® 1,2 symptoms for up to 12 hours. Zaditen is 1 suitable for use in children aged 3 years and older. PHARMACY MEDICINE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.

® within minutes3 and relieves ® Zaditen eye allergy drops eyes are indicated for symptomatic Zaditen ® short-term treatment of seasonal allergic 1,2 protects against symptoms for up to 12 hours. Zaditen conjunctivitis in adults and children 3 years or1 older. is suitable for use in children aged 3 years and older.

References: 1. Zaditen Consumer Medicine Information. 2. Greiner JV, Minno G. Clin Ther 2003;25(7):1988-2005. 3. Zaditen® prescribing information, MIMS Australia, 2014. ® Registered Trademark of Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd.1. Zaditen Distributed byInformation. Pharmaco Fisher Crescent, Mt.information, Wellington, References: Consumer Medicine 2. Greiner JV,(NZ) Minno G.Ltd. Clin Ther 4 2003;25(7):1988-2005. 3. Zaditen prescribing MIMS Australia, 2014. ® Registered Trademark of Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd. Distributed by Pharmaco (NZ) Ltd. 4 Fisher Crescent, Mt. Wellington, Auckland. Ph 0800 101 106 POPH.14123 TAPS.PP5645 Ph 0800 101 106 POPH.14123 TAPS.PP5645 Auckland.

PHARMACY MEDICINE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. Zaditen® eye drops are indicated for symptomatic short-term treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in adults and children 3 years or older. ®


the Asthma Foundation and Asthma New Zealand recommend people with asthma and allergies use HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaners in homes and workplaces. They suck up and retain microscopic particles, rather than spit them out through their exhausts. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are made of a mat of randomly-arranged fibres designed to trap microscopic airborne allergens, such as dust, pollen, mould spores and pet dander. They were developed during World War Two to clean up radioactive dust without redistribution and are now used in a variety of ways in hospitals, cars, aircraft and homes. They are used for cleaning NASA space shuttles, asbestos clean ups and for preparing clean rooms in pharmaceutical labs, for example. Small particles, such as allergens, are measured in fractions of a metre or ‘microns’ (one millionth of a metre). Dust mite particles are 10-24 microns, pollen is 10-40 microns, mould 4+microns, and bacteria 0.3-50 microns. The average vacuum cleaner only filters particles 30-50 microns in size. A HEPA filter must remove (from the air that passes through) 99.97 percent of 0.3 micron particles. Taniya Wick, of the Asthma Foundation says powerful suction is also important in a vacuum cleaner. She recommends looking for HEPA filtration and a machine with as high a suction level as possible. Microfibre vacuum bags help attract the dust or you can consider a bagless vacuum, she says. The efficiency rating of a filter is as important as the particle size it traps. For example a vacuum that filters to 0.3 macrons may be 99.99 percent efficient making it great for allergy sufferers, or 75 percent efficient – making it problematic for people with allergies. Make sure you look for both numbers, says Taniya.

REMOVING DUST, POLLEN, MOULD AND PET DANDER IN THE HOME The following products remove airborne allergens that cause asthma and allergies and are endorsed by the Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice scheme.





Air purifiers

Cleaning machines


Dust mites, mould and pollen

Mould, pollen and pet dander – plus other common triggers such as VOCs/ chemicals, smoke and fragrances.

Dust mites, mould, pollen and pet dander

Dust, mould, pollen and pet dander

An air conditioner that reduces humidity and filters the air will have the benefit of both a purifier and dehumidifier. Evaporative air conditioners increase humidity and should generally be avoided.

Air purifiers remove airborne particles from the air often with a particulate filter. Some may have an activated charcoal filter, which will remove chemicals and gases. Heavier allergens, like dust mite, will not be airborne for long and will be less impacted by purifiers.

A good vacuum cleaner will effectively lift dirt and emit clean air. If you or your child has allergies, try to stay out of the room when vacuuming is taking place as even the best vacuum may stir up allergens. Deep cleaners and steam cleaners can both be effective when used for more thorough cleaning.

Washing above 55°C is an effective way to kill dust mites and neutralise allergens. A cold wash is not as effective but an additive like eucalyptus can help. Some detergents are better for people with asthma and allergies (see below).

Daikin split system air conditioner.

Daikin air purifiers

Bissell deep carpet cleaners, steam mops and cleaning formulas.

Earthwise laundry range

Dyson vacuum cleaners

Aware sensitive laundry detergents.

Euroflex steam cleaners and mops. Godfreys NZ Sauber Intelligence vacuum cleaner.

Other strategies Bedding protectors can reduce allergens like dust mites and mould. Hard flooring can reduce dust mite and mould exposure. Low VOC paint, dehumidifiers, and improved ventilation can suppress mould formation. *Source:The Living with Asthma and Allergies leaflet produced by the Sensitive Choice scheme. Keep an eye out for the blue butterfly emblem, which shows products are approved for allergies and asthma. See a full list of Sensitive Choice-endorsed products at LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014 17

dust mites



S YOUR work environment

making you feel bad? Here are some tips for reducing exposure to dust mites in the workplace. 1. Ventilation is extremely important. Ensure that you have clean air around you in the workplace by opening windows, trickle vents or using the air conditioning system. 2. If you have a heating, ventilation or an air conditioning unit installed, make sure it is regularly serviced. 3. If ventilation is limited, use


an effective air purifier to help remove and reduce allergens such as pollen, house dust mite debris and mould spores. 4. Review flooring and furnishings – can carpets be replaced with low allergy alternatives, such as lino or wood? 5. Ensure office cleaners have effective cleaning methods and equipment such as a HEPA vacuum cleaner that will ensure that pollens and allergens are trapped adequately.

6. Take control of your personal desk environment, keep it clear and uncluttered and damp dust twice a week 7. Hang coats away from the desk and ‘traffic’ areas to prevent dust and allergens from being disturbed and released into the air. 8. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and always ensure that you take your prescribed preventative medication if you have asthma or rhinitis. Source: Allergy UK

The Fujitsu e3series



2014 014 2012 2 012



children & allergies

OPENING THE LID ON THE WEEKLY SHOP Busy mum-of-two Shari Hammond explains the challenges of catering for her son’s gluten, egg, nut and dairy allergies.


HAT DOES he eat?” How

many times have you heard that, allergy mums and dads?! I’ve lost count. When you mention catering for a gluten, egg, nut and dairy allergy, you’ll hear that question at least once a week. The answer I give is: “Mainly fruit, veges, meat and rice products.” There are actually lots of alternatives for almost every food nowadays, although some of the products are rather costly, so it pays to shop around. When you first enter the allergy world, it can be overwhelming, although I found it a relief that we had a diagnosis. There is a lot more reading the back of food packets in supermarkets and a lot more preparation in the kitchen but I now have a good system going and that has become the norm. For my family, I find the big shop at Pak’nSave to be most cost-effective. I also use Countdown for the Free From and Macro Organic Range and our local New World for the Allergywise bread that it stocks. It also has a large range of allergy-free products, including Orgran and Free From. Specialist stores such as the Gluten Free Shop in Auckland and Tauranga, or local health shops, are fantastic for specific products such as cheese substitutes, any kind of grain or treats such as Cocoyo (beautiful coconut yoghurt that’s dairy free), and the divine Nice Cream (a dairy-free coconut ice cream). Depending on whether or not you can consume products ‘made in the same factory production line’ as some of the brands I use may suit you. I know when my son was under 20 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

Safe shopping: major supermarkets now stock lots of allergy-friendly products.

12 months old, he never consumed anything made on the same production line as nut or egg products but now he is two years old, he seems to tolerate certain mainstream products. The majority of supermarkets now have natural or health food sections where you can find most products you’re looking for. Do keep reading the back of packets in the mainstream section though, you’ll be surprised that some of the foods are allergy free – and cheaper.

SHARI’S SHOPPING LIST All products are gluten, dairy, nut and egg free Meat

Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, fish, bacon Freedom Farms – sliced ham, turkey, chicken Tegel – fresh chicken sausages, gluten-free Hellers – Original Gluten free Sausages

Fruit and vegetables No holds barred here!


Orgran – Crispbread with Quinoa Pams – plain crackers Sakata and Ceres Organics – plain rice crackers Healtheries – Burger Rice Wheels Pams – Bacon Rice Wafers ETA BBQ Puffs Homebrand – marshmallows, jellybeans Whittaker’s – dark chocolate and dark peppermint chocolate Ceres Organics - rice cakes Only Organic - fruit pouches (in the baby food aisle) Enza Fruit Hitz – fruit pouches (in the canned aisle) Nice & Natural – fruit dinos, watches

Solay plain potato chips Bluebird plain potato chips Mexicano – plain corn chips Free From – arrowroot biscuits, gingernuts Annies – fruit leather Kettle Korn – popcorn (or pop your own) Homebrand – plain vege crisps Roasted chickpeas Raisins


Pams and Macro - rice milk So Good - soy milk (make sure it’s gluten free)


Lisas Original Hummus Olivani – dairy free spread


Watties or Homebrand – oven fries (make sure they’re gluten free) Veges, berries, sorbet, juicies


Free From Breadcrumbs – gluten-free breadcrumbs Healtheries Wheat and Gluten-free Baking Mix Orgran Gluten free flour

Ceres Organics – ground chia (if seeds are tolerated) Trident - rice noodles Massel - chicken stock Edmonds custard powder Whittaker’s dark chocolate Pams chocolate chips Avalanche – sugar-free drinking chocolate

Canned food

Delmaine Baked Beans Watties peaches, pears Ceres organics coconut cream and milk Ceres organics chickpeas Macro Organics – Bolognaise pasta sauce Old El Paso – tacos, salsa


Orgran – gluten-free pasta Ceres Organics – glutenfree spaghetti


Allergywise (gluten, dairy, egg, nut and soy free) Also Venerdi or Bakeworks


Natures Path Gluten-free cornflakes, Hubbards or Freedom Foods coco puffs and Hubbards or Freedom Foods rice bubbles


Freedom brand – vege spread (like vegemite but yeast and gluten free) Honey & jam


children & allergies


Shari Hammond’s menu ideas for a gluten, dairy, nut and egg free diet

Quinoa porridge with stewed apple or gluten-free cornflakes with canned peaches or gluten-free coco or rice bubbles with rice milk. Toast with banana, avocado, vege spread, honey or jam. Green smoothie – blended kale, apple, cucumber and iced water. Rice milk, banana and frozen berry smoothie (add ground chia for a boost).


A piece of seasonal fruit such as an apple, orange, or banana. Carrot sticks and rice crackers with hummus. Rice wafer and avocado.

NZ's Dedicated Vegan Market. Dairy-free & animal-friendly items with plenty of organic, soy-free & gluten-free options.

The place for delicious allergy-friendly Christmas Chocolates & Advent Calendars Shop 11, St. Kevin’s Arcade. 179 K’ Road, Auckland. 09-379-3747


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Quinoa salad – roast chicken, spinach, cherry tomato, and red onion, OR salmon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and parsley Toasted sandwich – with sliced ham and avocado Sliced gluten-free sausage, potato hash and fried tomato Hot potato or kumara chips with sweet chilli sauce


Dried or fresh fruit Sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes Free From biscuit range – arrowroot or ginger nut


Roast lamb with roasted kumara, potato and steamed kale. Grilled fish with red onion, tomato, spinach and cucumber salad with balsamic dressing and crunchy roasted potatoes. Minced beef, chicken, pork or lamb tacos.


Custard (Edmonds Custard Powder made with rice milk and sugar) and peaches. Blended frozen banana and berry ‘ice cream’


Gluten-free fruit crumble with Nice Cream

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FILLING THE GAP Finding an allergy specialist can be difficult in New Zealand, especially for adults. Dr Tim Jefferies is one of a small but growing number of GPs with a special interest in allergies. He explains why he is setting up a national group to support GPs who want to provide better allergy care for patients.



says his interest in allergies was sparked by an incident involving his young nephew and a jam sandwich. He had put peanut butter on his own toast and then made a jam sandwich for his nephew using the same knife and board. His nephew had a strong allergic reaction because he had a peanut allergy. “That was a surprise for me and I didn’t know what to do. Luckily my non-medical brother came and sorted it out,” he says somewhat wryly. The incident with his nephew made him realise how little specialist help was available for allergy patients in the region. “At that time no-one in Wellington was offering an allergy service and it occurred to me that someone should be doing it,” he added. Dr Jefferies decided to undertake extra medical training in allergies and 24 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

spent a morning a week for several months working for free at Wellington Hospital under the guidance of immunologist Dr Richard Steele. He ended up staying for a year and being paid to help in the clinic. He soon realised there was a huge demand for allergy care that was not being met, especially among adults. “Richard was really supportive, he knows there is an unmet need in Wellington. I participated in the immunotherapy clinic, which is no longer operating. There is no public immunotherapy for adults in Wellington now, although children can do it through their paediatrician.” That was five years ago and now Dr Jefferies sees allergy patients privately alongside his other patients at his busy suburban GP practice. He offers a range of allergy services including allergy diagnosis, management and education,

skin prick testing, eczema care for young children and immunotherapy for dust mite and grass allergies. Patients can self refer or be referred by their own GP. There are only a small number of allergy specialists practising in New Zealand, especially outside Auckland. In some regions there are no allergy specialists at all. Dr Jefferies offers a more specialised allergy service than most GPs but not as high a level as a specialist allergist/immunologist. “There is a big unmet need in the community. I find it frustrating that [allergy care] is not something more readily available, he added. “Allergy is a fascinating area of medicine with some very smart people working on treatments like immunotherapy and it’s changing very fast. Immunotherapy is quite a cost but it makes a big difference for a lot of people who do it.”

Dr Jefferies is setting up a national group of GPs with a special interest in allergies. The group is in its early stages but the plan is to meet up regularly via Skype to share experiences, discuss cases and support each other. “More and more people think they have allergies and there is a growing need for GPs to be comfortable with talking about allergies and being up to date with the latest treatments and management, he says. “I think it’s important for a GP to have a side interest in something, it’s been rewarding to extend myself in a new area and help patients.” *Dr Tim Jefferies can be contacted via Onslow Medical Centre, in Wellington, see www.omc. or call 04 478 9999.

New children’s allergy specialist for Wellington Dr Robert Winkler is a paediatric allergy specialist and immunologist with extensive international experience. He joined Wellington Hospital in April as a consultant paediatric allergist. Dr Winkler studied medicine at the University of Cologne and worked in Spain and Switzerland before relocating his family to New Zealand. He is also working alongside Dr Vincent Crump at the Auckland Allergy Clinic, through which he sees private patients (children and adults) at regular clinics in Wellington, Napier, Queenstown, Gisborne and Auckland. Dr Winkler first became interested in medicine when working with infants at a hospital as a volunteer. After finishing his studies, he decided to specialise in paediatrics and focus on allergy. Robert has helped families in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Spain, and the Emirates. He’s fascinated by learning the different approaches taken toward medicine in each country and believes in scientifically proven methods. He believes doctors around the world should be able to explain complex matters to their patients in a way the patient can understand. Robert created the ChildrensOnlineClinic with his wife to ensure that everyone has access to sound medical advice and second opinions – no matter where they live or what kind of access to local care is available. Dr Winkler is available for private consultations via the Auckland Allergy Clinic, call 09 376 6185 or

Your online solution for allergy products: • Specialist Skin Care Products • Allergy Medications • Medical Alert Products • Asthma Friendly Soft Toys • and much more LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014 25


AUTO-INJECTOR CAMPAIGN Petition organiser Helen Richardson gives an update on her campaign calling on the government to fund adrenaline autoinjectors for people living with life-threatening allergies.


HE 9,500-signature petition was put before the House of Representatives at the beginning of July. It was subsequently allocated to the Health Committee to undertake further enquiries. Our petition request sought a review of funding of adrenaline auto-injectors(AAIs). It also argued for a national anaphylaxis strategy to promote consistency in patient assessment, management

plans and education, as well as support around anaphylaxis. I was asked to provide a full written submission, which was completed at the end of July. As part of this, I requested further input be sought from significant parties – Allergy New Zealand, allergy and clinical immunology specialists (adult/paediatric), primary care, patient advocacy/ support groups and so on. At the time of writing I have not had a formal response to my submission.

In a related development, Pharmac has made public the record of its May Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) meeting. You may be aware a further AAI application by Allergy New Zealand had been made to Pharmac. This application was narrow in scope, focusing on providing AAIs for people with severe bee and wasp venom allergy. I think it is heartening the PTAC recommendation went further to include funding for the management of severe food allergy reactions. It recommended funding one auto-injector every 12 months for people with venom or food anaphylaxis risk. However, it is 10 years since PTAC last recommended Pharmac consider listing AAIs with medium priority! There have been significant developments in the management of anaphylaxis in the community in the last 10 years, particularly around Campaigners organised a picnic in front of Parliament before submitting the AAI petition.


the design and function of AAIs and I am hoping these developments, along with compelling clinical evidence, will result in a more favourable cost utility assessment this time. There is still so much to be done to improve access to specialist services and support in this area. Any decision to

list AAIs would be just the tip of the iceberg. The interface between the health care system and general public would need to be considered to ensure people are getting access to appropriate allergy assessment, diagnosis and treatment. As an aside, I think the withdrawal of Anapen from

the Australasian market has really highlighted how vulnerable we are here. Many people have been looking to buy AAIs from overseas but EpiPens have been in short supply in Europe. This shows that buying AAIs overseas, while cheaper, is not a reliable option for Kiwis.

Wellington mum Helen Richardson started the AAI petition after being shocked to find families had to fork out $140 to buy an adrenaline auto-injector to keep their child safe. Pharmac does not fund AAIs and children typically need two of them – one for home and one for preschool/school – and they have a shelf life of only 12 months. Helen, whose son Otto has severe food allergies, decided to petition MPs to ask them do something about it.You can contact Helen about her campaign via her email 94mm


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IS YOUR GLUTEN-FREE DIET HEALTHY? A gluten-free diet may not give you all nutrients you need, as leading Australian coeliac expert Margaret Clough explains in this extract from her new book Living Gluten-free for Dummies.


EOPLE OFTEN ASK whether nutritional

deficiencies arise as a result of being gluten-free. Recent research by Australian dietitian Dr Sue Shepherd has found that the food consumed by most people on a gluten-free diet isn’t nutritionally adequate. Some of the deficits occur because people tend to eat less bread than those not on a gluten-free diet. . Dr Shepherd’s research found that, after one year on a gluten-free diet, women had inadequate levels of thiamin, folate, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and iron. Men were found to be lacking in thiamin, folate, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Fibre levels were also not adequate. With a well-balanced diet, making up for the [following] deficits common among people eating gluten-free isn’t hard: Fibre The recommended intake of fibre for adults is 25 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. See the panel overleaf for ideas on how to increase fibre in your diet. Thiamin (vitamin B1) This is important for the functioning of your heart, muscles and nervous system. It’s found in whole grains, pork, offal, eggs and legumes. Folate This is essential for the manufacture of new cells, including blood cells. It’s found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, Asian greens, broccoli as well as citrus fruits and legumes. Magnesium This helps the body produce energy and is important for healthy teeth and bones as well as heart, muscle and kidney function. You can get magnesium from leafy green vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Calcium This is important not only for healthy

bones and teeth, but also for muscle and heart functioning as well as the regulation of hormones. Dairy food is the best source of calcium but you can also get it from leafy green vegetables, nuts, and canned fish such as sardines and salmon that contain bones. Vitamin A This is essential for good vision in low light as well as healthy skin, teeth and bones. It is found in eggs, meat, fortified milk, cheese, cream and offal. The body can also make vitamin A from the carotenoids found TM







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in red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit, like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, rock melon and apricots, as well as leafy green vegetables. Iron This is important in transporting oxygen around the body in red blood cells. Good sources of iron include meat, liver, egg yolk, legumes, whole grains and dried fruit. Zinc This is important for immune functioning, reproduction, blood clotting and hormone regulation. Good sources of zinc include oysters and shellfish, red meat and chicken, fish and cheese. Other sources include legumes, whole grains, seeds and leafy green vegetables. If you’re concerned that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need, make an appointment to see a New Zealand registered dietitian with experience in coeliac disease. See www.dietitians. for a list of someone who can help you in your area.

Getting the fibre you need

Try these tips if you need to increase your fibre intake: ✔ Try brown rice instead of white. ✔ Add rice bran, psyllium husks, linseed, quinoa flakes or LSA to your breakfast cereal. ✔ Choose a gluten-free bread with more fibre (gluten-free high fibre or multigrain breads). ✔ If you bake your own bread, add psyllium, rice bran or seeds. ✔ Eat whole, unpeeled fruit and vegetables. ✔ Try dried fruits and nuts as a snack. ✔ Include more legumes (kidney beans, lentils, baked beans, soybeans, chickpeas) on a daily basis. ✔ Add rice bran to the mix when baking. To keep your internal plumbing in beautiful working order, drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure you get regular exercise. Both are essential factors in keeping your system running smoothly.

*Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd from Living Gluten-Free for Dummies copyright 2014 by Margaret Clough and Danna Korn. Available from all good booksellers now RRP $39.99.

GIVEAWAY We have three copies of Living Gluten-Free for Dummies RRP $39.99 to give away. This new edition includes up-to-date information on living gluten-free, including diagnosis, nutrition, research and more than 75 recipes. To be in to win enter online at or email with DUMMIES in the subject line. Entries close 15 November 2014. 30 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014


MY PETITE KITCHEN Eleanor Ozich created her Petite Kitchen blog as a personal diary, documenting her family’s ‘road to simple eating’. Rose Miller talks to Eleanor, and we bring you two recipes from her newly published My Petite Kitchen Cookbook. Can you tell us about what inspired you to start your blog Petite Kitchen? Simple is not a word often used today as we all lead busy lives. However, it is from this very word that the Petite Kitchen blog began. The road to simple eating began when our daughter Izabella developed what was seemingly incurable severe eczema. After countless visits to doctors and specialists, nobody could shine light on her condition, nor explain the impact it had on her behaviour. In despair, we visited a naturopath, who explained to us that Izabella was suffering from Gut and Psychology Syndrome (also known as GAPS), which is an imbalance of bad gut bacteria-causing toxins, which was resulting in the eczema, food allergies and her extreme mood fluctuations. We decided to change our way of eating, and to eliminate grain, sugar, additives and preservatives from our diets, and adopt a simple, clean way of eating. It was during this time that I began to share our journey and daily recipes on the blog.

As a child, Eleanor Ozich lived above her parents’ restaurant in Auckland – she has been a passionate food lover ever since. She is a self-taught cook who has worked as a food writer and food stylist for various magazines, including Taste, New Zealand Herald’s Viva and Little Treasures. She has recently opened a cafe in Auckland called Mondays.

How has the change in diet affected your family’s health? It has been just over two years since we changed our way of eating, and I am happy to tell you that our little girl is back. Her eczema and her behavioural problems are now a distant memory. Not only has this change in diet helped our little girl in a way I can’t even explain, the impact it has had on my husband, my one-year-old son and, of course, myself, has been almost unbelievable. Energy, positivity and a new lease on life now graces our home.

Do you have any favorite blogs or websites that you find inspiring? I have far too many to list in one go! Some of my daily reads are Homegrown Kitchen, Manger (, My New Roots, Green Kitchen Stories and Local Milk. What’s your favorite ingredient at the moment? I am absolutely loving coconut sugar at the moment. It’s a wonderful natural sweetener in baking and desserts, and lends a lovely caramel flavour. *Check out two recipes from Eleanor’s new cookbook overleaf. >>>>



LAMB LEG STEAKS WITH MINT AND APPLE CIDER SAUCE Sometimes I just crave a juicy, beautifully cooked steak. If you haven’t tried lamb steaks before, I would definitely recommend them. When cooked well, they are very rich and tender – and sublime topped with this simple mint, honey and apple cider vinegar sauce. 2 large organic lamb leg steaks, each weighing about 300g and about 2cm thick, at room temperature 2–3 tablespoons olive oil MINT AND APPLE CIDER SAUCE 60ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons honey, or maple or agave syrup 1 large handful of mint leaves Serves 2 Sprinkle the steaks with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub on both sides with the olive oil. Set aside. To make the sauce, put the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat, then add the mint and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well, then cover with a lid – this helps the flavours to really mix together. Heat a chargrill pan or frying pan over high heat. Cook the lamb for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Carve the lamb and serve drizzled with the sauce. GLUTEN, DAIRY, EGG, NUT AND SOY FREE

GIVEAWAY We have one copy of My Petite Kitchen Cookbook RRP $45.00 to give away. It offers more than 100 simple, wholefood, gluten-free recipes to feed body and soul. To be in to win enter online at or email with PETITE KITCHEN in the subject line. Entries close 15 November 2014. 32 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

SALTED CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE MOUSSE Made entirely with natural, nutrientrich ingredients, this decadent, creamy mousse satisfies those sweet cravings. If you have a food processor that does not tend to blend well, soak the dates for a few hours before using; this will help the mousse achieve a smoother consistency. Go ahead, indulge – your body will love you for it. 100ml coconut cream 40g (¹⁄³ cup) good quality unsweetened cocoa powder flesh of 1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped 8–10 medjool dates, pitted zest and juice of 1 orange 1 teaspoon vanilla extract shredded coconut, for sprinkling Serves 4 Pour the coconut cream into a small saucepan and warm ever so slightly. Stir in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth, then leave to cool. Put the avocado, dates, orange juice and vanilla in a food processor with a pinch of sea salt. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and blend for 1–2 minutes, until completely smooth. Spoon into four 150ml dessert cups. Sprinkle with the orange zest and shredded coconut and refrigerate for an hour or so, until well chilled. The mousse will keep covered in the fridge for up to 2 days; garnish with the orange zest and coconut just before serving. GLUTEN, DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE

Recipes extracted from My Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich. Published by Murdoch Books. RRP $45.00. Available to purchase online at Amazon, Book Depository, iTunes, Fishpond, and at local bookstores.

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SEVEN STEPS TO HELP YOU FEEL GOOD Most people with asthma can lead a healthy active lifestyle when they manage their condition well. Teresa Demetriou, National Education Services Manager from the Asthma Foundation explains.

Take your medication as prescribed It is important to understand how your medications work, and then take them as prescribed. There are different devices to deliver your medications. Find out more about how your inhalers work by visiting www.

NUMBER of simple

Follow a selfmanagement plan A self-management plan can help you work out how well you are and what to do if your asthma gets worse/ better. Research shows that people who follow selfmanagement plans have better control over their asthma. We have examples of a selfmanagement plan for children and adults on our website.


tips will help you manage your asthma well. Here are seven steps you can follow to better manage your asthma. 1 Understand how asthma affects you Know your asthma symptoms (wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in chest, coughing) well and understand what is happening in your body when they appear. Act immediately to stop your asthma getting worse. Asthma is easier to handle when you can reduce your exposure to the things that trigger it, for example animals, colds and the flu, exercise, dust mites, fumes, medications, pollens, smoke, temperature and hormone changes.




Use a peak flow meter You can learn the patterns of your asthma by using a peak flow meter. A peak flow meter tells you how fast you can blow air out. When your airways are fully open you will get a high reading. When your airways start to get narrow with asthma the reading becomes lower. You can use 4

these readings along with your symptoms to decide when to change your treatment by following your self management plan. Keep active Being physically active is an important part of being healthy for everyone. It is especially important for people with asthma, although some people are frightened it might bring on an asthma attack. However, by following some simple tips, most people can exercise free of asthma symptoms. We have lots of tips on exercising safely with asthma on our website. 5

Be smokefree Avoiding cigarette smoke is an important way to help keep your asthma under control. If you are a smoker and want to stop, ask your doctor about smoking cessation or visit Quitline at 6

Visit your asthma team regularly A number of people are willing and able to help you look after yourself and your asthma. It is important to build a partnership with your doctor, practice nurse, asthma educator and pharmacist. Following their advice should help you reduce the number of symptoms you face. 7

Is your asthma under control? Find out whether your asthma is under control by taking a simple online test recommended by the Asthma Foundation. Completing the Asthma Control TestTM is a way of working out your present level of asthma control. It’s been designed for asthma sufferers 12 years of age and older. The test contains five simple questions. It is a good idea to repeat the test at different times of the year. See your GP if your asthma is interfering with your daily activities or worrying you in any other way. Go to

For more information about asthma management, see



















Living with asthma and allergies?

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Clean Air Technology Nano titanium particles are very minute particles. These particles catch and neutralise allergens, mould, bacteria and odour molecules which are approximately 1,000 times larger. Hitachi Heat Pumps utilise two layers of advanced nano titanium filtration ensuring allergens, bacteria and odour molecules are removed from the air leaving you with a happier, healthier environment. Visit

Have you seen the blue butterfly? The Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice® programme approves products and services that are asthma and allergy-friendly. Each product/service is assessed by an independent panel of experts.You can find the reassuring blue butterfly on cleaning products, bedding, building products and more. Look for the Sensitive Choice® blue butterfly.


MiniAds MOULDY CURTAINS? Spray on curtain mould remover Suitable for ALL colourfast: Curtains, Blinds, Drapes, Nets

• No scrubbing • Couriered nationwide • No taking curtains down in 2-4 days • Vanishes in minutes • Proudly NZ Made




4 Litre Plus $5.95 courier Sprayer included

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Watch the online demo, read testimonials and order at: or call us today on 09 814 9457

naturally organic™ Your Healthy Food Store

Allergy Free

Christmas Goodies


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Gluten Free and NZ Grown

Shop In-store or Online for Dairy Free Advent Calendars, Chocolate Santas, and many more Allergy Friendly Christmas Treats Northridge Store & Cafe Bar Rosedale Store Shop 23, Northridge Plaza Shop 9, Rosedale Plaza 100 Don McKinnon Drive 215 Rosedale Road Albany, Auckland Albany, Auckland Ph: 447 3508 Ph: 914 2026 0800 567 888


Don’t put up with nasty odours and high VOC paints next time you redecorate. Make a healthy choice and choose from a full range of Environmental Choice approved paints from your local Resene ColorShop. Come in and see us for help with your decorating project.

Our bacon is smoked over manuka wood and contains only pork, sea salt and brown sugar. Available at all good supermarkets. FACTORY SHOP CONTACT US 46c Porana Road Glenfield Auckland Ph. 09 443 2980

Freedom Farms Champagne Hams Harmony Free Range Hams Croziers Free Range Turkey Aoraki Salmon

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Nano Titanium Anti-Allergen Filtration Hitachi Heat Pumps not only dehumidify to keep your home dry and clear of mould and mildew, their air purifying filters contain minute nano titanium particles that catch and neutralise mould, bacteria and odour molecules making your home a safer environment for your family.


Air Purifying Filter

Our Air Purifying Filter uses both nano titanium particles and anti-bacterial Silver Agents to trap and eliminate microbes as well as neutralise allergens and remove harmful substances like formaldehyde.

Air Purifying Filter Pre-Filter

Our nano titanium Pre-Filter covers the entire air inlet stopping dust and other particles from entering. This two-stage action of nano titanium in both the pre-filter and the purifying filter will ensure allergens, bacteria and odours are removed from the air.

Book a free in home assessment at


HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS Scientists believe dirt, dander and germs may protect infants from allergies and asthma, opening the way to new preventative treatments.


ERY YOUNG babies exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a study conducted by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and six other leading US medical research institutions. Previous research has shown that children who grow up on farms have lower allergy and asthma rates. This has been attributed to their regular exposure to micro-organisms present in farm soil. But other studies have found increased asthma risk among inner-city dwellers exposed to high levels of roach and mouse allergens and pollutants. The new study confirms that children who live in such homes do have higher overall allergy and asthma rates but adds a twist: those who encounter such substances before their first birthdays seem to benefit rather than suffer from such exposure. 40 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Spring 2014

Importantly, the protective effects of both allergen and bacterial exposure were not seen if a child’s first encounter with these substances occurred after the age of one, the research found. “Our study shows that the timing of initial exposure may be critical,” says study co-lead author Prof Robert Wood, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “What this tells us is that not only are many of our immune responses shaped in the first year of life, but also that certain bacteria and allergens play an important role in stimulating and training the immune system to behave a certain way.” A report on the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in June, reveals that early exposure to bacteria and certain allergens may have a protective effect by shaping children’s immune responses – a finding that

researchers say may help inform preventive strategies for allergies and wheezing, both precursors to asthma. The findings are consistent with the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which states that children who grow up in too clean environments may develop hypersensitive immune systems that make them prone to allergies. The study was conducted among 467 inner-city newborns from Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis whose health was tracked over three years. The investigators visited homes to measure the levels and types of allergens present in the infants’ surroundings and tested them for allergies and wheezing via periodic blood and skin-prick tests, physical exams and parental surveys. * Effects of early-life exposure to allergens and bacteria on recurrent wheeze and atopy in urban children by Susan Lynch et al, see

Give them what they love and what you can trust Our Kettle Korn is

Gluten, Soy, Dairy & Peanut Free (made in a 100% nut free facility)

Gourmet popcorn, small batch made with premium NZ ingredients. GMO free.

Perfect for Lunches!

New for you!

sea salt caramel

The newest member of the Kettle Korn family. Salty and sweet meets creamy caramel. In a word, irresistible.


Living With Allergies Spring 2014


Living With Allergies Spring 2014