Blog | Allergies and Autoimmune Disease

A vial of blood tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Factor in Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Factors are auto-antibodies produced by your body’s immune system that can sometimes cause disease. Having high levels of Rheumatoid Factor is usually associated with autoimmune diseases, including but not limited to, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren’s syndrome. However, some healthy people also have elevated but usually low levels of rheumatoid factor, and not everyone with an autoimmune disease has elevated levels of rheumatoid factor. Please reach out now to see if you qualify to donate plasma to...
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American football next to a sign that reads, "What do Charlie Brown, football, and food allergies have in common?"

Food Allergies and Thanksgiving

When it comes down to it, attending a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner, or other fall festivity can leave someone with an empty stomach if they have a common food allergy. Just like Charlie Brown constantly running towards the football and hoping Lucy won’t trick him, people with food allergies find themselves attending parties, hoping there will be something they can eat.
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Image of campers

Lyme Disease: A Tick-borne Bacterial Infection Believed to Afflict 300,000 People Annually

Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection believed to afflict 300,000 people annually This bacterial infection is caused when an infected deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick, bites you and stays attached for 36 to 48 hours. According to WebMD, if the tick is removed within 48 hours, Lyme disease infection will probably not occur. People who spend time outdoors – campers, hikers, gardeners, cyclists, and more – are at greater risk of being bitten by a tick...
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Raw fruits and vegetables that may cause Oral Allergy Syndrome

Ask the Doctor: What is Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Do fresh fruits and vegetables make your mouth, lips and tongue tingle and itch? Dr. Reynold M. Karr answers important questions about Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), a Class 2 food allergy that may affect individuals with pollen allergies. What is Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) and who does it affect? Oral Allergy Syndrome mostly affects people with seasonal pollen allergy, typically allergic rhinitis, which is the medical term for hay fever. What are the symptoms of OAS? Common symptoms of OAS...
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Mononucleosis Patients Needed

Mononucleosis, commonly called the kissing disease, is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus transmitted through saliva. You can get the virus through kissing. You can also be exposed through a cough or sneeze, drinking from the same soda can, eating popcorn from the same bowl, or using the same food utensils with someone who has mono. PlasmaLab in Everett WA is looking for people currently sick with mononucleosis to participate in paid plasma donations. Candidates must show proof of diagnosis and...
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Signs_and_Symptoms Lupus

Lupus Foundation of America: 2021 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit

When faced with a potentially devastating medical diagnosis, many individuals may feel overwhelmed and alone with their illness. I know I did. I was certain no one knew what it was like to be me. But I was quickly proven wrong when I joined a Facebook group for those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or other thyroid issues. The comradery I experienced as a result has made me feel validated and taught me that I’m not lazy or inept because I struggle....
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Living Horizontally: My Teenage Experience with Hashimoto’s

It’s hard to pinpoint when my struggle with chronic illness really began, and even harder to accept how long I’ve gone now without significant relief. Somewhere during my senior year of high school (2015-2016), I started to have a massive headache, which became a constant companion. I popped Excedrin and Advil like candy, but nothing seemed to help. My mom told me it was just stress, from worrying about finishing up school or whatever else. Things would get better once...
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Mindset Matters when Facing Food Allergies

Do you or someone you love struggle with food allergies? Chances are you do. According to foodallergy.org, an estimated 32 million Americans live with this diagnosis, with 5.6 million being children under eighteen. That’s one in thirteen students, roughly two in every classroom. According to the CDC, the number of children diagnosed is increasing. Additionally, children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies. And, though many...
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Father and Little Girl Walking sm

What Asthma Taught Me About Anxiety

Growing up, my parents and I never realized I had asthma. I would get an occasional tight, itchy chest after playing outside, but I never felt very short of breath. “Allergies,” my family would say. And there was comfort in that assessment. As a young girl prone to anxiety, in particular health anxiety, assurance that I had nothing to worry about was always foremost in my mind. Fast forward to adulthood, when in 2019, after a week-long antibiotic-induced gastroesophageal reflux...
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