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SUMMER 2013 $6.95 inc GST

Healthy home renovations

Exercise, asthma & school camps 100-year-old TB vaccine could prevent babies developing allergies


Family Life

The emotional toll of allergy

Meet the Met Service’s pollen forecaster

Guide to hayfever remedies

GIVEAWAYS 7 great reader competitions – see inside

Entertaining recipes + gluten-free BBQ + summer skin WITH COMPLIMENTS FROM YOUR PHARMACIST OR HEALTH PROVIDER

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ALLERGY AWARE 4  News and views


EYE ALLERGIES 6  12 ways to prevent itchy eyes

COVER STORY 8 The emotional toll of allergy




10  The fine art of pollen forecasting 18  Choosing the right hayfever remedy 32  Be prepared for summer stings

HEALTHY HOME 12  Think allergies when home renovating 16  Alien invasion

CHILDREN & ALLERGIES 17  TB vaccine may prevent allergies in children


Look out for seven 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 Proofreader: Stella Clark ADVERTISING Sales manager: Debbie Bishop Phone: 09 589 1054 or 021 340 360 Email: SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online at Phone: 09 589 1054 Email: PRINTER McCollams Print PUBLISHER Published quarterly by Hawkhurst Media Services Ltd PO Box 90 059, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142 Phone: 09 589 1054

ASTHMA 20  Exercise, asthma and school camps

ECZEMA 23  Why is my child’s eczema worse in warm weather? 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.

© All rights reserved. No article in whole or part should be reprinted without permission of the Editor. 2 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

30  Cow's milk allergy




24 Summer recipes

36 Allergy guide

26  Entertaining guests with allergies

38 MiniAds

ANAPHYLAXIS 28  Saving lives for 50 years

ENDPOINT 40  Breeding the bugs that set off allergies


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.



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allergy aware

NEWS AND VIEWS Allergy research boost A new foundation has been launched to fund research into allergy and immune disorders in Australia and New Zealand, which affect one in four children and adults. New research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the rapid rise in allergies and to find new treatments and cures, says the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). ASCIA President, Clinical Associate Professor Richard Loh, said: “Food-induced anaphylaxis has doubled in the last 10 years and 10 per cent of infants are now presenting with an immediate food allergy. Severe allergies and primary immunodeficiency diseases are serious, potentially life threatening, conditions that are increasing in both number and complexity.” He said the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia will provide funding to support research and educational projects selected by an expert panel.

Privet allergy trial A New Zealand council is urging people to get involved with an allergy trial to find out how many people are allergic to privet. Waikato Regional Council is recruiting 20-30 people to join in the privet allergy trial, run by the Auckland Allergy Clinic. Biosecurity officer Darion Embling said: “There is no definitive proof that privet causes allergic reactions but people do raise privet as an issue affecting their health, and we’re keen to understand more about how they’re affected.” Under council rules, land owners are required to control privet on their property if a valid health-related complaint is received from neighbours. Call 0800 800 401 if you are interested in taking part. Participants will have a skin prick test and fill in a questionnaire.


Bone marrow transplant ‘cures’ allergy Bone marrow transplants can be life-saving for children with acute lymphocytic leukaemia – now it turns out they may also cure peanut allergies. According to research presented during the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, a 10-year-old boy no longer had a peanut allergy after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. “It has been reported that bone marrow and liver transplants can transfer peanut allergy from donor to recipient. But our research found a rare case in which a transplant seems to have cured the recipient of their allergy,” said allergist and lead study author Yong Luo. The boy was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 15 months old. He received a bone marrow transplant at the age of 10. Study author Steven Weiss added: “This case, in addition to the previous reports, indicates that genetic modification during the early stages of immune cell development in bone marrow may play a large role in causing allergy.”

Food allergy link to weaning

Waiting until at least 17 weeks before introducing babies to solid food, and breastfeeding while doing so, may protect infants from food allergies, according to British researchers. The study found that children diagnosed with a food allergy by the time they were two years old, were introduced to solids earlier (before 16 weeks) and were less likely to be receiving breast milk when cow’s milk protein was first introduced into their diet. The research was led by research fellow Kate Grimshaw, of the University of Southampton, England, and published in the online edition of Pediatrics. She warned incorporating solid food before 17 weeks could increase the risk of developing food allergies – because very young babies can’t digest solid food and their immune system may react to it. “Mothers should continue to breastfeed beyond introducing solids into the diet so the immune system can benefit from the immunological factors in breast milk that educate the immune system.” she told “My theory was that if food allergens...aren’t there at the same time as the breast milk, the breast milk can’t educate the immune system.”

World Allergy Week theme revealed The global theme of next year’s World Allergy Week has been announced and will focus on Anaphylaxis – when allergies can be severe and fatal. World Allergy Week is an annual initiative of the World Allergy Organization (WAO), together with its member societies, to raise awareness of and advocate for allergic disease and related disorders. The week runs from 7-13 April 2014. For more details see

Peanut allergy breakthrough A ‘rapid’ peanut desensitisation pilot study involving pre-treatment with an asthma drug led to 92 per cent of the participants being able eat 160 to 400 times the dose tolerated before desensitisation. They were able to eat the equivalent of 10 peanuts after eight weeks and 20 peanuts after six months. The aim of the study was to test whether combining the asthma drug omalizumab (brand name Xolair) with controlled peanut exposures would speed up and/or improve the process of oral immunotherapy, when a patient consumes tiny, then increasing amounts of an allergen with the aim of becoming desensitized to it. The team from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School enrolled 13 children in the pilot study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Schneider LC et al).


eye allergies



Itchy eyes are caused when the surface of the eye reacts to things in the air around us. There are many things that can trigger this reaction and many people with itchy eyes suffer from asthma, eczema or hay fever. Triggers may include pollen, dust mites, moulds and pets.


Stay indoors and close windows when pollen and dust levels are high.


Dust with a damp cloth to remove pollen and dust from surfaces.


Wash pollens, dust and fur off your face after work and play.


Delegate lawn mowing and gardening to someone else.


Remove allergenic plants and trees, for example silver birch, from your garden.

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Wear goggles and wraparound sunglasses when you are outside. Avoid parks, forests and gardens in spring time, especially early in the morning when pollen levels are highest. Fit dust covers on pillows and mattresses. Expose furniture and bedding to sunlight to kill dust mites. Remove or replace carpet. Choose low allergy pets. Install air conditioning and air filters. With thanks to Dr Malcolm McKellar for these tips. For more information about eyes and allergies, see


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cover story

THE EMOTIONAL TOLL OF ALLERGY The Green family has had a tough time over the past four years as they battled to control their daughter’s dust mite allergy, which causes life-threatening asthma attacks. Mum Sarah was forced to give up work, the family moved to a new home to reduce the risk and they have just embarked on privately-funded desensitisation treatment. This is their story.




an emotional and financial toll on family life. Parents feel the need to be constantly vigilant to make sure their child isn’t inadvertently exposed to a particular food or environment allergen with potentially life-threatening consequences. And the daily management of a child’s allergy impacts on daily activities and restricts access to things many families take for granted, such as eating out in a café, visiting friends, play dates and birthday parties. Parental stress and anxiety is particularly high when the child is very young. Sarah and Nick Green know the emotional toll of allergy only too well. They have spent the last four years in a constant battle to control the dust mites that set off their daughter’s allergic asthma, leaving her struggling to breathe. The problem is so bad the family has ended up at their local children’s hospital numerous times. It has even forced them to move home. Ciara is now four years old. Neither of her parents have allergies. Her older brother James, six, has a dust mite allergy but has been asthmafree since the age of four. Ciara first had respiratory problems when she was four months old and contracted bronchiolitis. She had a little eczema but nothing else to indicate allergies. At seven months Ciara was in hospital for a week and had to be given oxygen to help her breathe. At 15 months she had such a bad asthma attack she ended up in a hospital intensive care


We have three elegant Sodastream Pure Drinks Makers plus syrup packs to give away so you can make sparkling water and flavoured sparkling beverages at home. Each is worth over $200 RRP. Enter online at or email with SODASTREAM in the subject line. Entries close 15 March 2014. unit during a family holiday to Rotorua. She was on steroids, antibiotics and Ventolin for a week. This was a turning point. On their return home to Wellington, the family were referred to a respiratory specialist who did some skin prick tests. The only thing Ciara was allergic to was dust mites. In combination with a head cold, the dust mites would trigger an asthma attack and she would struggle to breathe. Sarah and Nick went to work researching all they could about dust mites and how to control them. They did everything recommended: hot washing bedding weekly, vacuuming using a HEPA filter, using mattress covers and keeping a squeaky clean home. The family even pulled up all the carpets and replaced them with hard wood floors. But it didn’t work. So, three years ago, the family decided to moved to Whitby, north of Wellington, in the hope a brand new home would have fewer dust mites. “We were struggling at that point, we would take her to the hospital, she would be treated, we’d get home and then immediately have to turn around and go back to hospital again because she couldn’t breathe,” says Sarah. “We moved for Ciara We really wanted a brand new home with no carpets that we could have fully insulated. We thought the sea air would be good for her asthma as well. It was the best thing we ever did. Immediately she was much better.” Ciara was much better for two years, her asthma was milder and could be treated at home. Then in 2013 her asthma started to worsen and she had a nasty attack in August. This prompted her paediatrician to retest her for dust mites and he found her sensitivity had got worse. He recommended she start a three-year dust mite desensitisation treatment, which she began in November.

Sarah said: “It’s been high stress, particularly when she was younger, it impacted on everyone. Friends would feel they had to clean their homes before we came round. You can never relax. I tried to go back to work but I had to stop, her asthma is so unpredictable. “My husband Nick really believed she would've grown out of her asthma by now like her brother. Accepting her situation has been difficult for him. He’s learned a lot and now understands the importance of supporting her through this. “Ciara is doing well and she’s at kindy. She is strong and a real go-getter. I feel the future is positive. I just want the treatment to work and hopefully get her (asthma) drug free.”


environmental allergies

THE FINE ART OF POLLEN FORECASTING Hay fever affects about 20 per cent of Kiwis, many of whom rely on the Met Service’s daily pollen forecast to prepare their defences for the day ahead. We meet Dr David Fountain, the man behind the daily pollen forecast.


ETIRED plant biologist Dr David Fountain is one of New Zealand’s unsung heroes. For the past 20 years, he has single-handedly prepared the daily pollen forecast for the whole country during the October to March allergy season. Every evening, he provides pollen forecasts for 28 regional centres, which are published the next day in newspapers around the country, and on the Met Office’s website,


to help the nation’s army of hay fever sufferers. Do you know the one? It says: “Telltale signs of hayfever: HIGH. Type is nettle, grass, plantain, olive.” Talking to Dr Fountain in his Palmerston North home, he explains: “It is an assessment of the hazard level, much like the fire danger assessment, so it is a pollen advisory and not a pollen count. We tried to get pollen stations up and going but it hasn’t been practical,

there wasn’t any money in New Zealand to do it.” “We are talking about a forecast, I’m trying to predict what will happen. Today, for example, it’s a lovely early summer’s day and the grass flowering season is about to hit us with massive amounts of pollen. There is an anti-cyclone over us, it’s settled with light breezes. The pollen forecast is high for every district.” A retired Associate Professor of Plant Biology at Massey University, Dr Fountain is an

expert in all things pollen. He knows what species flower when and where, and how the weather affects the drift and quantity of pollen in the air. “I know the sequence of species that flower in different areas. The East Coast, for example, finishes earlier than in the Manawatu, because here we have wetter weather and the grasses continue to flower longer.” The hay fever season starts in the warmer north and moves south. Dr Fountain’s assessment is made using three inputs: the pollen known to be in the air in each location; how the weather will affect pollen production; and how the weather will move the pollen around. Dr Fountain worked with Dr Peter Kreft, now chief forecaster at the Met Service, to develop a formula to quantify the pollen based on this information. Dan Corbett, the Met Service’s media spokesman, said: “The pollen forecast is pretty popular, especially

at the start of the season. We get calls from people asking what’s going on with the pollen and asking when we’re going to start putting the forecast on the website.” Some of the factors used to determine the level of pollen hazard include the strength of the allergy-causing pollen type (silver birch, for example, is a potent allergen) and the estimated amount of pollen production in a given location. Then the weather comes into play – wind, temperature, rain and lightning – all affect pollen levels. Wind can move pollen thousands of kilometres away from its source, lowering the pollen count; temperature changes can stimulate pollen production and make the season start earlier or later than usual in a given location; and rain washes pollen out of the air, causing a welcome but temporary respite. Electrical activity during thunderstorms has been associated with a rise in pollen allergy and asthma.

What flowers when?

The pollen season usually starts in August with the flowering of pine trees. Then come the deciduous trees, such as elm, oak, ash, hazelnut and silver birch. In November, large swathes of olive trees flower, followed by the big grass allergy season. Then there are flowering weeds, such as nettles, plantain and fat hen. Finally in late summer and early autumn the fungal spores and moulds come into play, as the plant matter decays.

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healthy home

THINK ALLERGIES WHEN HOME RENOVATING Choosing the right allergy-friendly products when renovating your home can help improve your family’s health. Caroline Wood looks at some ways to reduce the risk of allergies and asthma.



future-proof your home when you renovate by choosing products that are designed to reduce the risk of allergies and asthma – whether you are repainting a child’s bedroom or embarking on a major building project. It can be hard to know which products to trust, which is why picking one that has been through rigorous testing, such as the Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice® programme (see panel on page 14) is a good way to go. Phil Burt, who manages Sensitive Choice, says: “The programme encourages manufacturers and suppliers to offer products and services that are asthma and allergy friendly. It provides consumers with a way of identifying products and services that may benefit 12 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

people with allergies and improve health and wellbeing.” Painting and decorating Think anti-mould and low odour paints when decorating your home, especially in problem areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Mould is a real problem for allergy sufferers in New Zealand but you can help combat it by using a special product designed to prevent mould. Resene, for example, has a range of Sensitive Choice-approved paints that help prevent mould. You don’t have to put up with strong smelling paints any more. Some manufacturers now offer low and no VOC paints that can help prevent asthma, headaches, nausea and allergic reactions associated with higher VOC products. VOCs are volatile

organic compounds, which evaporate from paint when it is applied. They produce unpleasant fumes and are found in most paints, wood stains and adhesives. Wattyl and Resene have low VOC paint ranges approved by Sensitive Choice. Floors and carpets Wooden floor varnishes also contain high VOCs and you may be advised to move out while your floor is drying to avoid inhaling the fumes. Low VOC floor finishes are now available: check with your installer how many VOCs are in their product. Mr Sandless, which offers a floor finish with a certified very low VOC rating, is the only floor refinisher to be certified by Sensitive Choice. There’s conflicting evidence

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about whether people with allergies should have carpet, according to Consumer magazine. Dust mites are commonly found in carpets and many experts advise people with allergies to install hard floor coverings. However, there’s a growing body of research that suggests that carpets trap dust and allergens rather than allowing them to recirculate in the air. Sensitive Choice has a number of approved floor products, including Karndean design flooring and Beaulieu carpets.

Heating, insulation and ventilation Cold damp homes are bad for our health, says Phil Burt, of the Asthma Foundation. “We recommend keeping homes well heated and insulated to cut the risk of allergies and asthma.” A range of Rinnai heaters gets the Sensitive Choice endorsement, as 14 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

does Warmup, which is the programme’s only recommendation for undertile and undercarpet heating. Independent research has shown that $5 worth of benefits arise from every $1 spent on insulating your home, according to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Association. Insulate your ceiling and under the floor and open the windows to air the house regularly, even in winter. Sensitive Choice endorses a number of products that improve the internal environment of your home, including dehumidifiers and in-roof ventilation systems. Construction materials If you have a big building project, talk to your architect or builder about allergy and asthma-friendly options. For example Axxis Steel framing is Sensitive Choice approved because it requires no additional preservative chemical treatments, does not support mould growth and does not give off poisonous gases or emit VOCs. Daiken has developed a kind of MDF that emits the lowest levels of formaldehyde possible. Sensitive Choice endorses its Customwood SuperFinish – a first for any MDF product in New Zealand.

Watch out for the blue butterfly The Sensitive Choice® programme encourages manufacturers and suppliers to consider the needs of people with asthma and allergies when creating products and services. Only products that have been through the Asthma Foundation’s rigorous accreditation programme can display the distinctive blue butterfly emblem. The Sensitive Choice programme has endorsed over 200 products and services, including many home renovation products. For more information about any of these products, see www.asthmafoundation. about-sensitive-choice/

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healthy home



HEY LOOK LIKE alien beings moving around

a desolate faraway planet but these ugly little critters are actually invading your home. If you’ve ever wondered what they look like and how they act, check out a new animation showing dust mites eating flakes of human skin, just as they do in real life. There are probably two to three million dust mites in your mattress alone, plus more in your carpets and soft furnishings, but they are so small they are almost invisible to the human eye. They thrive in warm moist environments and measure only a quarter of a millimetre in length. Dust mites are a major trigger for asthma and other allergic reactions due to their faeces, which are about the size of a grain of pollen. The faeces can be released by turning over in bed at night, vacuuming, or sitting on a sofa. Created by German-group Sciepro Science Productions, you can see the video on

Top 5 ‘household havens’ for dust mites If you’ve recently discovered you have an allergy to dust mites, it’s hard to know where to start. Our homes are full of places that harbour dust mites and make it a headache to deal with. 1 2 3 4 5

Mattresses Pillows/Bedding Carpets Fabric Couches/Chairs Curtains

Worst of all, it's impossible to remove dust mites with regular vacuuming. But before you throw out all your soft furnishings, talk to Ecotize CleanBed. Experienced and efficient, they offer a chemical-free, mobile service that will sanitise your home of dust mites and their allergen triggers. A professional service like this can be a huge help for a relatively low cost. Make the call now to enjoy the relief of a clean, fresh, dust mite-free home.

CALL 0508 20 40 60 And get rid of dustmites 16 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

children & allergies

TB VACCINE MAY PREVENT ALLERGIES IN CHILDREN A 100-year-old vaccine may hold the key to reducing allergies in children. Caroline Wood talks to a Kiwi mum taking part in a world-first Australian clinical trial.



newborn babies will receive the tuberculosis vaccine in the hope it will boost their immune system and reduce the prevalence of allergic diseases, including eczema, food allergies, asthma and hay fever. Researchers hope the world-first clinical trial will reduce the prevalence of allergic diseases, which have increased dramatically over the past few decades, affecting an estimated 20 per cent of the population in developed countries, especially children. They are studying the effect of giving babies the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine at birth. They believe the vaccine will encourage the infant’s immune system to develop in a way that is better at fighting respiratory and other infections and less prone to allergic diseases. Professor Nigel Curtis, from Murdoch Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, who is leading the trial, said studies had shown the BCG vaccine had significant effects on the

immune system, in addition to protecting against TB. If the BCG vaccine was found to be effective, it could be reintroduced to the routine immunisation programme to prevent allergies. He said: “It could be a simple and safe onceoff preventative measure to reduce the chance of children suffering infections and allergies in later life.” The Melbourne Infant Study: BCG for Allergy & Infection Reduction (MIS BAIR) aims to recruit 1400 newborn babies and give half of them the BCG vaccine. Kiwi expat Sam Tiller, who is taking part in the Melbourne trial with her baby Luke, said she hoped the research would lead to a breakthrough in allergy prevention: “I don’t have any allergies, although my niece has a life-threatening allergy to tree nuts. I don't want Luke to have allergies, which is the main reason we took part. I knew it was a safe vaccine, it has

Sam Tiller and baby Luke

been given to children the world over for years.” Luke was chosen to be part of the control group and didn’t receive the vaccine but he will get a free full allergy test when he is older. The vaccine was routinely used in Australia and New Zealand until the 1980s, when it ceased as the disease was virtually eradicated. It is still routinely recommended by the World Health Organisation in developing countries and is given to 120 million of the infants born every year. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013 17

environmental allergies

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HAYFEVER REMEDY Is your hay fever medication working as well as you’d like? If not it may be worth a trip to your doctor or pharmacist to find out if there is a better option for you this summer. We ask Wellington pharmacist Katarina Nam for some advice.



misery for the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who suffer from hay fever over spring and summer. Symptoms include sneezing, a streaming or stuffy nose (or both), watery or itchy eyes and sometimes tiredness and a cough. You may have to try a few different types of medicines to find the one that gives the most hay fever relief without unwanted side effects. Remember that most medications work best if taken before the symptoms get very bad. Always seek advice from your family doctor and pharmacist about medications and treatments that will relieve your symptoms and are right for you and your family. 18 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

First line of defence The first line of treatment for people with hay fever is to take an oral antihistamine, says pharmacist Katarina Nam, from Kelburn Pharmacy in Wellington. These are tablets that have an active ingredient that stops the body producing histamine when it comes into contact with a hay fever trigger, for example pollen. Histamine is a natural chemical in the body and causes us to get itchy eyes, itchy throats, runny noses, skin rashes and congestion. “The first question I ask is whether they have tried any hay fever treatments before and whether they found them effective or not. If they haven’t, oral antihistamines are the first line

of treatment,” says Katarina. There are two types of oral antihistamines. The most common are the nonsedating type, for example those containing loratadine (eg Claratyne) or cetirizine (eg Razene), which will not make you drowsy. If your current product is not working well, your pharmacist may suggest trying a brand that contains another antihistamine to see if it works better for you. You can also buy sedating antihistamines, such as Phenergan or Polaramine; these are effective antihistamines and have the benefit of helping you sleep if your symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your sleeping. Oral antihistamines will help with most symptoms

of allergies but will not relieve a blocked nose. You can use a decongestant spray for this but only for a few days at a time. Second line of defence If the oral anti-histamines aren’t working, you can move to the next level of treatment: steroid-based nasal sprays. Products such as Alanase, Beconase or Flixonase are best taken daily on a regular basis through the season as a preventative measure. Steroid-based nasal sprays treat all symptoms, including a blocked nose, so you will not need to take any other medication. They work by reducing the swelling and inflammation in the nose. Most are available over the counter from pharmacies. “Steroid-based nasal sprays can be very effective but take two to three days to kick in, so start using it a few days before you expect to get the symptoms and use it regularly,” explains Katarina. Other options If you do not want to take tablets or a steroid-based nasal spray for your hay fever, you can use an antihistamine nasal spray, such as Livostin, which is applied directly to your nose once a day. Being an antihistamine, it should work quicker than


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Questions your pharmacist or doctor may ask

It pays to have the following information to hand when you talk to your health professional. These are some of the questions you may be asked. • What are your symptoms? • How long have you had them? • Have you tried any medications? • Which products did you use? • Were they effective? • Is the medication for yourself or for someone else? • Is it for a child or an older person? • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? • Are you taking other medications? Pharmacists know which medicines can be safely taken together. steroid-based nasal sprays. Eye problems that sometimes occur with hay fever may not always respond to the above medications. Eye drops containing decongestants, or in combination with antihistamine, are available for mild to moderate eye

problems. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help in choosing the right one for you. Saline washes and sprays may help to clear your nose and soothe the lining of your nose. These are available from most pharmacies.

Thank you to Pharmacist Katarina Nam for assisting with this article. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013 19


EXERCISE, ASTHMA AND SCHOOL CAMPS Teachers often contact the Asthma Foundation asking for advice about supporting pupils with asthma. The following questions are from a teacher who has just returned from taking children on a school camp. The Asthma Foundation’s national education services manager and respiratory nurse Teresa Demetriou responds.



I regularly receive notes from parents excusing their children from participating in PE on an on-going basis because they have asthma. I was under the impression that regular controlled exercise was good for asthmatics, is this not the case? Yes you are correct – physical activity for children with asthma is particularly important, as long as their asthma is well controlled. It improves lung capacity and blood flow, encourages strong muscles and bones and has an overall calming effect. Active children usually have fewer symptoms and better control

over their asthma. However, children with asthma often experience symptoms when they are physically active – especially if the air is cold and dry, or they are unfit. For some children it is the only time they will experience asthma symptoms – this is called exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma can be managed with the right recommendations from the child’s doctor – this usually involves taking their blue reliever inhaler 5-10 minutes before they start exercising. However, if a child becomes very breathless and is struggling to breathe, they will need to stop and take more reliever medication. If a child needs to do this more than once they should stop what they are doing immediately and not continue. Things to remember: • Use a reliever medication before exercise if activity is a trigger. • Avoid exercise on days when the child has asthma symptoms. • Long distance running and endurance activities are most likely to cause exercise-induced asthma. Sports with lots of stopping and starting are less likely to


cause problems, for example swimming, tennis, martial arts and most team sports. • Warming up before exercise can help. • Exercising in cold dry air conditions may trigger symptoms. • Flowering grasses or fresh mown grass may also cause symptoms. • If a child starts showing signs of asthma stop the activity immediately.


At camp, a number of children had blue inhalers but weren’t identified as asthmatics on the medical information form. When asked, one of the parents said her child had had asthma once as a toddler but is not asthmatic now – but uses an inhaler when they get puffed. Is it possible to have asthma only once? Asthma is a chronic condition. This means a person has the condition permanently in either a mild, moderate or severe form. If a person is well controlled they can seem as if they do not suffer with asthma at all and the condition will only become apparent when there is an acute attack. This can also be mild, moderate or severe. Children who have suffered asthma symptoms should have regular checks with their doctor to ensure that their asthma is under control and


should also have a written asthma management plan, which has been drawn up with their doctor, nurse or asthma educator. Parents may forget to mention that their child requires a reliever inhaler on the school’s medical information form and this can be an issue for the school. Some parents may see asthma as being troublesome, but not too serious, when in fact it should be taken very seriously as it can lead to severe consequences. New Zealand has at least 52 deaths a year from asthma.


We hiked to the top of a waterfall on the middle day of camp. During the uphill sections all the children were out of breath and we took small frequent breaks to make it manageable. During these stops, the children with inhalers would have a couple of good puffs, continue with the next section of the tramp and repeat the procedure a few minutes later at the next break. Several of the children who were doing this had a parent attending who encouraged this. It seemed to me that the attitude of the students and parents was that being out of breath through exertion

is the same as being an asthmatic. Is this correct? I can fully understand this is a concern and it is something that is very difficult to manage as each child’s asthma is different. Schools should encourage identification of asthmatic children before they go on school trips or camps. These children need a written plan so the carer or teacher responsible knows what to do in case of an emergency. Certainly if exercise is a trigger for a child’s asthma then a couple of puffs on their blue reliever inhaler taken through a spacer before beginning exercise is the best way to control things. However, as discussed previously, if a child is suffering asthma symptoms continually throughout the exercise then they should stop immediately and be withdrawn from the activity. If there appears to be some confusion from parents about how and when inhalers should be taken, they should be encouraged to seek advice from their doctor, nurse or asthma educator. For more information about managing asthma see


WHY IS MY CHILD’S ECZEMA WORSE IN WARM WEATHER? Eczema triggers can be different in different people. While many children have worse problems in the drier winter months, others cannot stand the hot, humid summer weather. We look at some summer triggers and how to avoid flare ups. • Heat and sun: Hot weather can make an eczema rash itch more fiercely, while the humidity also makes eczema harder to control. Some sun blocks can cause skin reactions. Look for fragrance-free sensitive skin formulas or ask your doctor for recommendations. You may have to try a few different kinds before you find one that doesn’t irritate your child’s skin. • Sweat: Perspiration can cause irritation that worsens eczema in some children, especially babies. Make sure your child doesn’t overheat during the day or at night during the summer months. Keep them cool and wearing loose, light cotton clothes. Being more active in the warmer months can result in prickly heat type flare ups. Regular cool showers may help. • Swimming: Pools and the beach can be harsh on children with eczema because the chlorine and salt can be drying. Try using a moisturising petroleum-based jelly, such as Vaseline, on your child’s rash before going in the water. Make sure you rinse your child thoroughly after swimming with clean (non-chorinated) water and apply a gentle moisturising lotion or cream. • Pollen: Pollen has been linked to eczema. When the temperature rises, allergy triggers like grass and tree pollen increase too. If you suspect seasonal allergies are a factor, check pollen counts and try minimising your child’s time outside on those allergen-heavy days. If your child’s eczema is getting worse, or seems painful, talk to your paediatrician, dermatologist or GP.

Eczema skin care tips

Protect The most important treatment for dry skin is to put water back into it. The best way to do this is to briefly soak in a bath or shower and moisturise immediately afterward. Using an effective moisturiser several times every day will improve skin hydration. Treat Once inflammation begins, prompt treatment as directed by a physician is needed. Bathing or wet compresses may ease the itch. Corticosteroids applied directly to the affected area are the mainstay of prescription therapy. Source: National Eczema Association

Natural. New Zealand. Goodness.


food allergies



ACH OF THE recipes

in Kim McCosker’s first cookbook contained just four ingredients. The book became a worldwide phenomenon, garnering her a huge following. Fans urged her to write a recipe book for allergies and 4 Ingredients Allergies was published in November. It contains a collection of recipes free from nine of the most common food allergens and was written to satisfy reader demand for allergy-free recipes. Kim told Living with Allergies during a whistlestop tour of New Zealand earlier this year that she wanted to help people create simple, easy and beautiful food. “My aim was to create the easiest recipe book for allergies ever. People told me they wanted this book: allergies are common and it was something that people were asking for over and over again. I have tried very hard to keep the price point down because many people with allergies are stressed already.” There is a chapter on entertaining, which kids in particular will enjoy as they can throw an ‘amazing party’ using the recipes, she added. Here are two recipes from the book. See page 26 for our 4 Ingredients Allergies reader giveaway. 24 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

CHICKEN & AVOCADO SALAD Serves 4 1 cup (250ml) allergy-free caramelised balsamic vinegar (see below) 4 chicken breasts, sliced 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered 3 avocados, sliced Method: In a bowl mix half the balsamic with the chicken, marinate for 30 minutes. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium/high heat and cook the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes, turning regularly until golden and cooked. Remove from heat. When cooled, place in a mixing bowl, add tomatoes and avocados and gently toss. Drizzle with remaining balsamic. To serve, season with sea salt and cracked pepper and a sprinkle of fresh basil leaves. Tip To make your own delicious Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar see 4 Ingredients Gluten Free Lactose Free: Simply place 1/3 cup (80ml) balsamic vinegar, 2/3 cup (160ml) olive oil, 2 teaspoons caster sugar and 1 tablespoon chopped chives in a jar, seal and shake really, really well. Adjust seasonings if required!

CHOC-BANANA FREEZIES Makes 6 ¼ cup (30g) shredded coconut 50g dried mango, finely chopped 3 large, ready to eat bananas 150g allergy-free dark chocolate, broken 
 Method: Line a baking tray with waxed paper. On two separate plates scatter coconut and mango. Peel bananas and cut in half. Stick each half on a paddle pop stick. Place the chocolate into a ceramic dish, melt on high in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until nice and smooth. Dip one banana into the melted chocolate, coating thoroughly. Sprinkle with coconut and set on prepared tray. Repeat the process, but sprinkle with mango. When finished, place the ‘banana-pops’ in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours. Once frozen, wrap individually in cling wrap and return to freezer until ready to serve. Tip You can experiment with toppings such as allergyfree sprinkles, crushed freeze-dried strawberries, finely chopped dried apples, dates or raw cacao powder.


food allergies

ENTERTAINING GUESTS WITH ALLERGIES Plan ahead if you have someone with a food allergy coming to your home and be vigilant about cross contamination.



food allergies are caused by these nine foods: cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (eg walnuts or almonds), fish, shellfish (eg prawns, crab, lobster), soy, wheat and sesame. Ask about allergies ahead of the event and talk to your allergic guest about what you are planning to serve and ask how you can help keep them safe. Make sure anyone who is bringing food knows about food allergies among the guests. Read and save all food labels in case you need them. Don’t serve food from

bulk containers that may be contaminated. Don’t serve any products that say ‘may contain’ the allergen. Be vigilant about crosscontamination and clean all surfaces including the dining table, chairs and serving area carefully before the event. Move any products containing the allergen and keep them out of children’s reach. Know the signs of an allergic reaction (eg hives, redness, difficulty breathing) and call 111 straight away. Ask your guest where they keep their adrenaline auto-injector so you can find it in an emergency.

Kim McCosker has some simple and delicious recipes for entertaining in her book 4 Ingredients Allergies. Here are some of her ideas for entertaining guests with allergies: • Cook some rice and turn into beautiful rice salad with freshly chopped veges, fresh herbs and homemade citrus vinaigrette. • Onto slices of fresh ham off the bone, scatter grated carrot, finely chopped Spanish onion, chopped olives and fresh parsley. Season and roll, secure with a toothpick. • Cut up potatoes, toss them in olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. Serve warm with Quick Tomato Chutney (recipe on p64 of my book). • Grill pineapple slices with cracked pepper and honey.


Host checklist

about allergies before P Ask the event. about safe food P Talk options with your allergic guests. and keep all food P Read labels. not serve any P Do products that contain or may contain the allergen. your hands, bowls P Wash and utensils (e.g. spoons, forks) well. each dish separate P Keep and have one serving utensil per dish. how to recognise a P Know reaction and how you can help.


We have three copies of 4 Ingredients Allergies to give away to our readers (RRP $24.99). Enter online at or email with 4 INGREDIENTS in the subject line. Entries close 15 March 2014.


SAVING LIVES FOR 50 YEARS MedicAlert® is a not-for-profit organisation that has been saving lives in New Zealand for 50 years. Recommended by allergy experts worldwide, joining MedicAlert is like ‘taking your doctor with you 24/7’. We ask MedicAlert’s Jeremy Robson how it works. What is MedicAlert®? MedicAlert was established in New Zealand in 1962 after being founded by an American doctor in 1956. It is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to save lives by providing medical information in emergency situations. Members wear a distinctive metal bracelet (or pendant), which is worn on the body at all times. Using a unique personalised number on the back of the member’s MedicAlert medical ID, emergency personnel and doctors can access a patient’s medical history and special medical needs anywhere in the world. They know your vital information comes directly from your doctor so they can trust it and act on it immediately.


Who needs a MedicAlert bracelet? Anyone at risk of anaphylaxis should consider joining MedicAlert. It is recommended that individuals who carry an adrenaline autoinjector should wear a medical identification, such as a MedicAlert emblem, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the professional body of allergists and immunologists in New Zealand and Australia. Anaphylaxis can sometimes be mistaken for asthma or cardiac arrest and as a

MedicAlert works 24/7 anywhere in the world

result adrenaline is not administered, sometimes with fatal results. A MedicAlert medical ID helps ensure you get prompt and appropriate treatment. It can also help reduce the risk of being administered a drug you are allergic to, such as penicillin, particularly if you are in an emergency situation and cannot communicate. Does it work overseas? MedicAlert works 24/7 all over the world. How do they access my medical information? MedicAlert maintains a database of members’ medical information that is made available to medical authorities in the event of an emergency. Medical personnel can call the MedicAlert® 24-hour emergency hotline and provide the ID number on the back of the bracelet or pendant to get more detailed medical information.

The MedicAlert® story

How much does it cost? It costs $95 for adults and $90 for children to join MedicAlert for 12 months, including a stainless steel bracelet. Ongoing annual memberships cost $40 (adults) and $35 (children). *Your doctor or specialist can advise on whether you should wear a MedicAlert® medical ID bracelet or pendant. For more details see

In 1956, Californian physician Dr Marion Collins took action to keep his daughter Linda safe after she survived a near-death incident from anaphylaxis following a tetanus injection, which contained horse serum. He wrote down Linda’s allergies on a piece of paper and wrapped it around her wrist. Linda later came up with the concept of a silver bracelet with ‘Allergic to Tetanus Antitoxin’ engraved on the back. Dr Collins added MEDIC ALERT and the symbol of the medical profession to the front. The design was sent to a local San Francisco jeweller who created the first MedicAlert bracelet. Soon after, Dr Collins invested his life’s savings to set up the MedicAlert Foundation as a non-profit organisation. It is now the world’s largest emergency support network with four million members. Medic Alert has about 140,000 members in New Zealand.

Gluten Free. Flavour Full. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods produces stone ground, whole grain, gluten free foods in a dedicated gluten free facility, offering a unique selection of gluten free flours, cereals and mixes, including breads, desserts, pancakes and pizza crust mix.

More than 40 gluten free products A selection of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free products is now available in New Zealand. Look for them at organic stores and selected supermarkets. Imported by Organix Wholefoods Ltd

CocoLuscious ice cream is dairy free, soy free*, gluten free, nut free and palm oil free. Made from organic coconut milk and sweetened with coconut sugar or agave, it contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or additives. Certified organic by the Organic Food Chain, vegan and kosher certified – truly a dream come true! Flavours: Vanilla Gold, Chocolate Gold, Coconut, Raspberry, Mango, Peppermint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Chocolate Chip, and Chai. *choc chip flavours contain soy

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babies & allergies


About 1 in 50 New Zealand babies are thought to be allergic to cow’s milk and dairy products. Most children outgrow the allergy as they get older but it can cause misery and stress for mum and baby until the allergy is properly diagnosed. Caroline Wood reports.



few months old but his mother Sarah knew there was something wrong. She was breastfeeding him but he was reacting to her breast milk, was unsettled, had diarrhoea and had terrible eczema. He was tested for allergies at four months and found to be allergic to a lot of different foods, including cow’s milk, bananas, broccoli, kiwifruit and egg. He was also allergic to dust mites and penicillin. It was a stressful time for the family as they worried about his physical development and whether

“It was incredible the difference it made, his eczema started to clear up. He started putting on weight and became a normal child and his motor skills improved. It was a turning point in our lives.”


he was growing enough. It also affected the social side of their lives. They couldn’t do simple things, like go to a café, because there would be too much milk contamination on the table and chairs. Sarah tried changing her diet to eliminate the foods he was allergic to but he had so many allergies, she sometimes wouldn’t know what food was affecting him. She said: “I started stripping things out of my diet, I was living on rice and corn and a couple of vegetables and I got really thin and my gums started to hurt so it was

starting to affect my health.” Her paediatrician recommended she start Liam on an extensively hydrolysed formula called Pepti Junior. It was expensive but she was able to get a subsidy to help offset the extra cost (see right). The change in Liam, by then five months old, was almost immediate. Sarah explains: “After a couple of days it was amazing, he didn’t have a sore stomach. It was incredible the difference it made, his eczema started to clear up. He started putting on weight and became a normal child and his motor skills improved. It was a turning point in our lives.”

Alternative formulas The treatment of a diagnosed cow’s milk allergy involves eliminating cow’s milk and its products from the diet. Elimination and reintroduction of cow’s milk should only be done with advice from a medical specialist and with the help of a specialist dietitian. They may recommend using a special hypoallergenic formula. Extensively hydrolysed formula (EHF) This is a special low allergy cow’s milk formula that has been treated with enzymes to break down most of the proteins that cause symptoms. Brands include Pepti-Junior. These are usually

the supplements of first choice in milk allergic children. Amino acid formula (AAF) If your child cannot tolerate the EHF formula, your paediatrian may recommend an amino acid formula, which contains the simplest form of protein and is easy to digest. Amino acid formula doesn’t contain cow’s milk or soy proteins. Ask your allergy specialist or paediatrician whether they can prescribe a hypoallergenic formula for your child. The subsidy brings the overall cost down to that of ordinary infant formula.

Soy milk formula Around 50-80 per cent of children with cow’s milk allergy can tolerate soy-based formulas but they are not suitable for children who have a soy allergy, or for infants under six months. Other formulas Animal milk formulas, such as goat, sheep and horse, are not recommended for children with a diagnosed cow’s milk allergy as they contain similar proteins to cow’s milk and can trigger an allergic reaction. Partially hydrolysed formula (PHF) is not suitable for the treatment of cow’s milk allergy because the cow’s milk protein has been only partially broken down.

Source: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy


environmental allergies


Summer increases the risk of painful insect stings and bites but how many of us have an effective remedy in our first aid kit? We look at some of the options available for treating mild local reactions.



and stings cause a mild but painful local reaction confined to the area of the bite. A lifethreatening allergic reaction is rare but keep a close eye on anyone who has been stung so you can call 111 immediately if you are worried about their symptoms (see panel right).

Mild reactions Move to a safe area to avoid more stings and quickly remove the stinger if it is still there. Wash the area with soap and water. Apply a cold pack or cloth filled with ice to reduce pain and swelling. Apply a topical cream to relieve pain and provide itch relief. A local anaesthetic cream, such as Soov Bite, numbs the pain and may relieve the initial sharp pain of stings. Some contain antiseptic to prevent infection but may not be suitable if you have eczema. Antihistamine creams, for example Anthisan cream, can be applied on insect bites

to reduce any itching and swelling. You can also take an oral antihistamine tablet to help reduce swelling. Topical steroids, such as DermAid or Skincalm, contain hydrocortisone to relieve the itch and redness of bites and stings but should only be used short-term. There are a number of other anti-itch/soothing preparations available for the relief of insect stings and bites. Stingose works by deactivating proteins in sting venom and lessens the reaction to stings. Weleda’s Combudoron Spray contains arnica and herbs to provide relief from itchy bites and stings. Click that Itch uses a mild electric current generated from quartz crystals to relieve the pain. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure which product is best for you and your family. If the reaction doesn't subside or gets worse, see your GP straight away. They can prescribe a stronger antihistamine or steroid tablets to reduce the itch.

Thank you to pharmacist Sally Nairn for assisting with this article. 32 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

Severe allergic reactions Life-threatening wholeof-body reactions affect more than just the site of the sting and may progress rapidly. Stinging insects, such as bees and wasps, are the insects most likely to trigger anaphylactic reactions. Dial 111 immediately and seek emergency medical assistance if any of the following signs and symptoms occur: difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips or throat, faintness, dizziness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, hives, nausea and vomiting.

Perfect for you and the



Enjoy that classic summer taste with Countdown’s Macro Gluten-Free sauces. Available in Organic Sweet Chilli, Organic BBQ and the kiwi classic Organic Tomato. Grab one for tonight’s BBQ, in-store and online at

gluten–free living

SUMMER BBQ IDEAS Being gluten free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the summer pleasures of grilling outside on the BBQ in the company of good friends. These days there are lots of options for hosting a gluten-free BBQ and your guests might not even realise the food is gluten-free. BBQs can also be a great meal to have at other people’s houses because your host can cater gluten-free without too much stress. There are gluten-free versions of most popular BBQ foods and you can source or make your own breads and bread rolls. Or try lettuce, corn tortillas or rice wraps instead of traditional hamburger buns. Homemade BBQ marinades and sauces are easy to make and taste better than the bought ones. Grilled veges can transform a simple BBQ into a feast, as well as being a healthy accompaniment to any main meat or fish dish. Make a simple salad by grilling a mixture of seasonal veges: try aubergine, zucchini, red peppers and onions. Toss with a light mixture of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. 34 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013

Avoiding cross contamination If you are going to someone else’s home, check in advance that your hosts know you are gluten free and how to avoid cross contamination. Try to cook gluten-free foods first while the grill is clean to avoid cross-contamination. Alternatively reserve a special area, or second BBQ, for gluten-free foods. If these measures are not possible use aluminium foil or packets

to keep the food separate. Don’t use the same utensils – keep a set for the glutenfree foods. Watch out that they are not in contact with any gluten-containing marinades or sauces. Make sure the chefs wash their hands, bowls and utensils well. If serving the food buffet style, avoid cross-contamination by inviting guests with allergies to serve themselves first.

The recipes opposite are from Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies by Danna Korn and Connie Sarros (RRP $27.99). We have two copies to give away to readers.

Enter online at or email giveaways@ with GLUTEN in the subject line. Entries close 15 March 2014.

LAMBURGERS WITH TZATZIKI SAUCE Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 12 min Yield: 4 servings 4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt 2 tbsp cucumber, finely minced 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp plus 1 tsp lemon zest ½ teaspoon dried dill 1 pound (450g) ground lamb 1 tsp dried basil ½ tsp dried chives ½ tsp dried rosemary ½ tsp dried thyme ½ cup bread crumbs made from gluten free bread Salt and pepper, to taste Gluten-free burger buns 1 cup baby spinach 1 tomato, sliced 1 small red onion, sliced Preheat gas grill on high. In a small bowl, make the tzatziki sauce by blending together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, 1 tsp lemon zest, and dill. Refrigerate. In mixing bowl, combine ground lamb, herbs, 1 tsp lemon zest, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper until well blended. Divide mixture and gently shape into four burger patties. Transfer burgers to hot grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side until browned and cooked through. Let sit for 5 minutes. Place burgers on burger buns and top with tzatziki sauce, spinach, tomato, and red onion. Tip A loosely packed patty makes a juicier burger. When cooking, flip only once to prevent losing more juices than necessary.

POTATO SALAD NICOISE Prep time: 35 min Cook time: 15 min plus refrigeration time Yield: 4 servings 16 small white gourmet potatoes or small redskinned potatoes 4 eggs 2 cups frozen, cut green beans 2 green onions, sliced thin 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced 12 pitted black olives 1 tsp brown mustard ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes ½ tsp Italian seasoning 2 tbsp cider vinegar ¼ cup olive oil Croutons (see the following recipe) Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. When cool, slide off the skins and discard skins. Place eggs in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 11 minutes and then remove eggs to a colander and rinse well with cold water to cool. Peel eggs, discarding shells. Quarter eggs and set aside. Place the beans in a medium saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the beans to a boil and cook them until they’re fork tender; rinse the beans in cold water and then drain them. Place the beans in a large bowl. Quarter the potatoes and

add them to the beans. Peel the eggs and quarter them; set the eggs aside. Add the green onions, tomatoes, and olives to the bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, vinegar, and oil; pour the dressing over the potato mixture and gently blend to distribute the dressing evenly. Cover the potato salad and refrigerate it for 2 hours. Just before serving, toss in the croutons and garnish with the egg wedges. GLUTEN-FREE CROUTONS ¹/ 8 tsp salt ¹/ 8 tsp pepper ¼ tsp Italian seasoning ¼ tsp garlic powder 1 tsp grated Romano cheese 2 tbsp olive oil 3 slices bread Preheat the oven to 150°C. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cheese, and oil. Cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss them until the oil mixture is evenly distributed. Spoon the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake them at 150°C for 35 minutes, or until the bread is toasted, stirring occasionally. Watch closely so that the cubes don’t burn. Tip The beauty of this salad is that you can make it ahead, cover it, and refrigerate it until serving time.

*Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd, from Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies © 2013 by Danna Korn and Connie Sarros. Available from all good booksellers RRP $27.99. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2013 35

Allergy Guide VOC-free paint to suit all tastes

Freshen up your next paint job with Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free, which combines the popular low sheen of Resene Zylone Sheen without the unwanted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for better indoor air quality. Improved air quality can help prevent headaches, asthma, nausea, respiratory complaints and allergic reactions. And to suit all tastes, Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free is available in a wide range of popular Resene colours using Resene non VOC tinters. Available from Resene ColorShops and resellers,

Fast relief from eye allergy Naphcon-A® provides fast relief and comfort from eye allergy in minutes. It contains an antihistamine to quickly relieve the itch and a decongestant to remove the redness. Use one drop three times per day for short-term relief of eye allergy. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Active ingredients: naphazoline hydrochloride, pheniramine maleate. For info call 0800101106. Available from pharmacies.

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Helping your family breathe easy The Nilfisk Extreme Complete is the world’s only domestic vacuum with a HEPA 14 filter which captures 99.995% of all dust particles bigger than 0.3 micron (1/500 the diameter of a human hair). Extreme filtration so you and your family can breathe easy.

Macro gluten-free christmas treats Make sure no one misses out this Christmas. Countdown has a delicious range of Macro Gluten Free Christmas Puddings and Fruit Mince Bites. They have no artificial colours or flavours making them the perfect holiday indulgence for the whole family. Available now in-store and online at

A wide range of gluten-free pasta

Nourish your skin naturally with Skinfood Body Bars To celebrate its new look and feel, Skinfood has lovingly created four delicious products for your skin. The all-new Skinfood Body Bars are formulated with natural ingredients to leave your skin feeling nourished, cleansed and revitalised – they’re also fragrance free, and suitable for sensitive skin!

The great taste and texture you expect from San Remo. It’s not only gluten free, it’s also free of wheat, dairy and yeast. For Gluten Free pasta recipes visit

LASCo salami a great choice LASCo the Lean Artisan Smokehouse Company produces healthy, nutritious & affordable beef salami. LASCo salami is handmade the artisan way from pure NZ Beef. LASCo salami is 90% fat free, gluten, soy, dairy & pork free. No fillers, gelling agents or emulsifiers are used. Low levels of sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol make it a very healthy choice for the entire family. There are four flavours, available in 150g sliced packs and 200g chubs. Find at your local New World, Pak’n Save and selected 4 Square stores. For local stockists see

Fujitsu re-invents air conditioning New thermodynamic technology from Fujitsu has delivered the most energy efficient and environmentally positive heat pump air conditioners ever. It’s also good to know that the e3 series also have filters that effectively collect airborne allergens, such as pollen and fine dust, giving you a healthier home environment too!

When you need fast allergy relief… Do you suffer from hayfever and other allergies? Lora-Tabs provides fast acting, non-drowsy treatment for hayfever, perennial allergic rhinitis, hives and other allergic skin disorders. Available in packs of 30 and 60 from all good pharmacies. Lora-Tabs is a pharmacy medicine used for the relief of allergies. Each tablet contains loratadine 10mg. Always read the label carefully and use strictly as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects, see your health professional. Mylan NZ Ltd, Auckland. TAPS DA0713JL-11


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Paint without the headache 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.

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THAT SET OFF ALLERGIES Scientists are breeding millions of dust mites in a bid to find new ways to help us breathe easier. Caroline Wood reports.



fighting back against the bugs that set off allergies and asthma – the tiny but troublesome dust mite. They are farming more than 10 million of the little critters at Dyson’s Research Design and Development lab in Britain. They use the dust mite faeces to test new products. Microbiologist Karen Hall said: “Having our own dust mites lets us study their behaviour and allergens so we can better tackle them in the home. The most concentrated reservoir of dust mites is the bed. Mattresses, pillows and duvets are their prime breeding ground because they are warm and inviting.” The dust in our homes is made up of skin cells, hair and dirt, as well as allergens, such as pollen and dust mite faeces. The faeces carries a protein called Der P 1 that can trigger allergic reactions. “Inhaling these minute particles can cause allergic reaction to those who are


sensitive to the protein. This is especially true in places such as carpets and sofas, where human skin gathers,” added Karen. The Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice® programme, which is designed to help people with asthma and allergies make an informed decision and better choice when buying products, has accepted Dyson’s range of vacuums as part of its product range. Dust mite facts • Each dust mite can produce 200 faecal pellets full of allergens during its lifetime • Dust mite faeces are so tiny and light they float easily into the air when disturbed. • Dust mites are fed a ground-up mixture of yeast, wheat germ and dog biscuits. • The breeding colonies are kept at 25°C and 75 per cent humidity to recreate the warm, humid conditions they like.

Simple steps to reduce dust mites

Wash bedding weekly at over 60°C. Weekly vacuum with a HEPA filter (see our Nilfisk Extreme Complete giveaway). Damp dust weekly. Use a mattress and pillow protector. Keep animals and soft toys off the bed.

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Available nationwide in New World and Pak’nSave, and selected 4 Squares, specialty stores and Farro Fresh (Auckland only).



Living With Allergies Summer 2013


Living With Allergies Summer 2013