5 Tips for Getting Along with the Nastiest of Neighbors, Ragweed

I originally posted this article October 1, 2013 at FantasticallyFree.com, but I thought I would pull it out of the archives and share it again because ragweed season is right around the corner. According to the American College of of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, ragweed “wreaks havoc” causing seasonal allergy symptoms in millions of Americans from late summer through fall and peaks in mid-September.

In our household, we have multiple food allergies and environmental allergies. When I lived in Kentucky, my allergies seemed to be worse in the spring with all of the tree pollen visibly covering Fantasticallyfreeragweedevery horizontal surface outside. Living in the midwest, I have gotten acquainted with one of the nastiest neighbors you can have.

You see, our yard backs up to a nature preserve–which is awesome. However, when our house was being built, the builders cleared a little too much brush and, being the opportunistic weed that it is, ragweed moved in very quickly. You can see it in the center of the photo to the right.
Ragweed is extremely hard to get rid of because it is a rather tenacious and invasive weed, and in our particular circumstance, it lies on a protected nature preserve. This wouldn’t be so bad if our whole family wasn’t allergic to it.

Ragweed is responsible for widespread and severe allergies across the U.S from the late summer/early fall until frost. Each plant produces about a billion highly-allergenic pollen spores that can be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles. It is commonly considered to be the most heinous pollen allergens there is. Needless to say, it is very difficult to avoid.

So what do you do to minimize exposure to ragweed?

Here are my top 5 tips for “getting along” with the nastiest of neighbors, ragweed:

1) Stay away from it. I know that sounds silly and obvious, but if you have a severe ragweed allergy you might want to consider staying indoors during the day, at least. I have small children, so we do spend a lot of time outside, but we don’t play in the backyard very much when the ragweed is in full-bloom. Check the weather and stay inside as much as possible when ragweed pollen is high and the air quality is going to be poor, especially if you have asthma in addition to allergies.

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3 Things You Should Know About Celiac Disease

3thingsaboutceliac

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, then you probably know that I am the mom of 3 kiddos with multiple food allergies and two of them also have Celiac disease.

In addition to it being Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, May is also Celiac Awareness Month so I’ve been thinking about ways that I can help raise awareness around Celiac disease. I’ve asked myself, “What do I want people to know about Celiac?” After pondering this question, I’ve come up with the top three things I wish everyone knew.

3 Things You Should Know About Celiac Disease

#1. Celiac Disease is a Growing Health Problem

Currently, about 1 in 133 people in the US have Celiac disease. The number of adults over 50 years of age with Celiac has more than doubled between the years of 1988 and 2012.(1) Research has shown the prevalence of Celiac disease in children to be 5 times higher than in adults.(2)

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