8 Most Common Food Allergies

allergy foodIf you are allergic to a specific food, your body thinks that food is something that could make you sick. Therefore, when you eat that food, your body’s defense system tries to protect you. Food allergies may result in a mild skin rash or itchy eyes. For some people, it can leave them gasping for breath. It’s extremely important to identify any food allergies you or your child has to avoid serious symptoms.

What Foods Cause Allergies?

There are eight foods that cause about 90% of food allergies. These foods are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts and pecans
  • Soy
  • Wheat and other grains, which can include gluten
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Symptoms of Food Allergies

An allergic reaction to food can happen as quickly as minutes after the food’s been eaten and up to hours later. Those experiencing a food allergy can experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Red, swollen, dry or itchy skin rash
  • Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing or a dry cough
  • Itchy, water, red eyes
  • Itchy mouth or inside of ear
  • Funny taste in the mouth
  • Upset stomach, cramps, vomiting or diarrhea

Severe reactions, which are most commonly linked to peanut, nut, fish and shellfish allergies, can include the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen lips, tongue or throat
  • Feeling weak, confused or passing out
  • Chest pain or an uneven heartbeat

Looking for Hidden Triggers

Those who’ve recently developed a food allergy (or even those who’ve suffered for awhile) can find it difficult to identify what foods to avoid. The following foods can often include ingredients that may trigger an allergy:

  • Baked goods, such as cakes and cookies
  • Water-packed tuna
  • Salad dressing
  • Hot dogs

If you believe you’re suffering from a food allergy, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the quality care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

asthma word cloud

With 17.7 million (7.4%) Americans suffering from asthma, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Emergency room visits due to asthma-related incidents total 1.8 million, proving how truly horrendous it can be. However, by knowing a little more about asthma, you can better know how to respond to the disease, potentially preventing a hospital visit in the future.

What is it?

Considered a long-term, or chronic, inflammatory lung disease, asthma essentially narrows the airways of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

One of the worst side effects of asthma is the asthma attack, caused when the bands of the muscle surrounding the airways are triggered to tighten. An asthma attack can escalate quickly, so it’s essential to know the signs and to seek help immediately.

What are the symptoms?

When someone is suffering from asthma, they often experience symptoms when the airways constrict. The symptoms include coughing (specifically at night), wheezing, difficulty breathing and tightness or pain in the chest. Some people may experience all of the above symptoms, while others may have different symptoms. An asthma attack will usually include more severe symptoms like difficult talking, feelings of panic, a pale, sweaty face and blue lips or fingernails.

How do I treat an attack?

Immediate treatment, usually involves the use of an inhaler prescribed by a doctor. If trouble breathing continues, you should call 911 immediately or follow your doctor’s recommendations.

To learn more about health-related topics, check our blog frequently for up-to-date information! At Denton Regional Urgent Care Center, we offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

How to Treat a Minor Burn

iStock_64425093_LARGE.jpgIt’s easy to get a minor burn. Whether you’re grabbing something from the oven, straightening your hair or boiling water, there are numerous things inside your own home that can cause a minor burn. If you suffer from a minor burn, there are a few things you should do to ensure it heals quickly and does not get infected.

First off, it’s important to know what qualifies as a first-degree burn, second-degree burn and major burn. If you’ve received a first-degree burn, your skin will turn red, swell and be painful. Meanwhile, a second-degree burn will usually blister, turn red, swell and be abnormally painful. Finally, major burns are typically a result of a fire and are larger than 2 inches.

If you’ve received a first- or second-degree burn, you should remain calm and work quickly to cool the burn. Always use cool water, not ice, and keep the burned skin under the water for 10 to 15 minutes to alleviate the pain. If you are unable to use a steady flow of water, place a cool, clean cloth on the burn for 5 minutes.

Once the burn has cooled, the affected area should be cleaned with both soap and water. A thin layer of ointment, such as petroleum jelly or aloe vera, can sooth the wound and help heal the burn. Finally, an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve, can help alleviate pain.

A minor burn can take as many as 3 weeks to heal. While the burn is healing, it may begin to itch; however, it’s important to the healing process that you do not scratch the wounded area. Burns are also susceptible to tetanus, so you should make sure your latest tetanus shot was no more than five years ago. If you begin to experience increased pain, redness, swelling, oozing or fever, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you believe your burn needs medical attention, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care Center. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Are expired foods safe?

Woman Checking Sell By Date On Salad Bag In Refrigerator

Everyone’s been there. The expiration date on that jar of mayonnaise or box of pasta is past due, but you really don’t want to run to the grocery store while you’re in the middle of cooking dinner.  Many people will sniff, poke and taste test food to see if it’s “good,” none of which are the approved way of checking for freshness. So how do you know if your expired foods are safe to eat?

Learn what the dates actually mean.

If you see the term “expiration date,” it means the food should have been consumed before this date. Often there will be a “sell by” date on the label, indicating to the store how long the product should be for sale. If you see a “best if used by (or before)” date, this refers to quality, but not safety and is recommended for best flavor.

But are foods safe to consume?

There are a few basic rules regarding when food is still safe to eat. Keep the following rules in mind the next time you’re unsure whether or not to eat those eggs or drink that milk.

  • Milk is safe to consume for a week after the “sell by” date.
  • Assuming you bought eggs by the “sell by” date, they are OK to eat for up to 5 weeks after you’ve brought them home.
  • Poultry and seafood should be cooked or frozen within two days of purchase.
  • Beef and pork need to be cooked or frozen within five days of being bought.
  • While highly acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, can be kept for up to 18 months, low-acid foods like green beans in a can are actually good for up to five years. Canned goods should not be kept in a hot place such as a garage or warehouse.

Practice food safety tips when possible.

Whenever you are shopping, be sure to check the expiration date. Foods that are past their expiration date should not be purchased. Perishable foods should be taken home as soon as possible and refrigerated immediately. If a perishable food won’t be consumed within its recommended time, it should be frozen. Foods that are frozen are safe for an indefinite amount of time.

If you believe you or someone in your family has suffered an illness due to an expired food, you should seek medical attention immediately. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for convenient hours and online check-in that provide you a quick and easy experience.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

4 Essentials For Your Next Summer Road Trip

driving car

Summer is the perfect time to pack the car up and take off to a new destination–be it cross-country or just to grandma’s house. While road trips can be a relaxing, and often less expensive, way to travel, they can take much more time than flying somewhere. Whether you’re traveling solo or have the whole family with you, there are some things that you should definitely add to your road trip must-have list to make your trip more enjoyable.

Small Cooler

If you’re planning to be in the car for a long time, there’s a good chance you’ll get hungry at some point. Be sure to bring a variety of snacks that you can easily reach for when the snack attack hits you. A small, insulated cooler is perfect for drinks and perishables. Good-for-you snacks like almonds and fruit are a great alternative to typical gas station snacks like chips and candy.

Good Playlist

Music is key when it comes to road trips. Spend some time before you take off putting a playlist together so you have something to listen to when you drive. Not only will this help make your trip more enjoyable, but singing along is also a great way to wake up when you start to feel tired.

Emergency Kit

Before you head out, make sure you have your AAA card and an emergency kit in case you get stranded for any reason. An emergency kit should include comfortable shoes, bottles of water, a flashlight, flares and a blanket.

Chargers

Most people rely heavily on electronic devices. Whether you plan to use your phone or other electronic device for directions, music or simply as a way of entertaining a young child, it’s important to keep everything charged during your trip. Make a list of chargers you will need before you leave and check each one off the list before you go.

For more helpful tips this summer, check back in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

3 Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

Cardiogram and heart

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 23.6 million people globally will die each year from cardiovascular disease. With nearly 69% of adults in the U.S. overweight or obese, it’s unlikely we will see reprieve from this disease in the near future. However, there are signs and symptoms that you can watch for so you’ll know if you or someone you love may be suffering from heart disease.

There are several different types of heart problems – including coronary artery disease, heart attack and atrial fibrillation – with different treatments, but very similar symptoms.

Coronary Artery Disease

Angina, or chest pain, is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease. This symptom involves discomfort, pressure on the chest, burning and aching in the chest. Shortness of breath, palpitations, a quickened heartbeat and nausea or dizziness may also associated with coronary artery disease.

Heart Attack

Although some people may have a heart attack with no symptoms, typically symptoms will last 30 minutes or longer during a heart attack. These symptoms include discomfort and heaviness in the chest, chest pain radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm. Other symptoms associated can be sweating, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeats.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is found in an estimated 2.2 million Americans. For someone who has AF, electrical impulses do not travel in order through the atria; rather, they spread through the atria. Symptoms of AF include heart palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, chest discomfort and shortness of breath.

If you or a loved one experiences any of the symptoms above, it’s crucial that medical attention is sought immediately. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for convenient hours and online check-in that provide you a quick and easy experience. If you or someone you know may be having a heart attack, you should dial 911 immediately.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

How to Treat a Severe Sunburn

protective sun cream on a woman's shoulder

We’ve all been there. It’s hot outside and nothing feels better than lounging in the cool water of the pool. Maybe you’re grilling outside during a weekend pool party or napping on the beach while on vacation. Whatever the scenario, there’s a good chance you forgot to reapply sunscreen and have now turned a color of red that resembles a lobster.

A study by the Skin Cancer Foundation reported that 42% of all adults received a sunburn at least once in the last year. What’s scary is that just one severe sunburn in a person’s life more than doubles the chances of developing melanoma at some point. So how do you know if your sunburn is severe and what do you do to treat it?

In addition to the color change in your skin, a severe sunburn can include symptoms such as chills, fever, nausea or vomiting. Often a sunburn that’s severe will blister and begin to peel within 4-7 days of exposure.

As soon as you get indoors after receiving a sunburn, it’s smart to apply a sunburn gel or cream. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may also be helpful. If your burn is severe enough to require medical treatment, your doctor may prescribe stronger medication, antibiotics or silver sulfadiazine. It is important to stay well hydrated and monitor for signs of worsening symptoms.

There are a few things you can do to prevent future burns as well, including avoiding the sun, covering exposed skin, steering clear of tanning beds and using an SPF of 30 or higher. If you’re outdoors for a long period of time or getting in and out of water, you should reapply sunscreen frequently.

If you believe your sunburn is severe enough for medical attention, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient hours and online check-in to provide you a quick and easy experience.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.