Contrary to popular belief, the life of a food critic boils down to more than just making snide comments about dishes and restaurants. The job entails more than going to high profile restaurants to determine whether the food they serve is as good as the management wants the public to believe it to be. Food critics are people who not only judge famous cuisine; they do it for the public. They discriminate the good from the bad so the general population has a good idea of what to eat, and where to go to enjoy good food. More than that, it is also the job of a food critic to find the diamonds in the rough, and bring the unnoticed and underrated restaurants and dishes of today into full view of the people.

While every culture has differences in what is considered proper etiquette during dinner (and the definition of a “formal” dinner varies from place to place as well), most agree on one of two styles of formal dining: American and English. Both are considered by many to be respectful to the dinner host, and are designed to minimize mess and spills during and after the meal. The diner (person who dines) must become familiar with the formal dinner setting in order to avoid using utensils the wrong way.

The formal dinner table setting is iconic, with most utensils placed side by side in the order of which the food is going to be served. Directly in front of the diner is the dinner plate. A salad plate is placed on top of this, and a napkin is neatly to top it off. In the case of formal restaurants, is also accompanied by the place card. If soup is served, then the soup bowl is placed on top of the salad plate. The position of the plate is meant to serve as a center; a fixed point that under most circumstances should not move during the entire dinner, and the soup bowl and salad plate are removed as the diner moves to the following course.

To the left of the dinner plate are the forks. They are arranged from left to right in the order of which the courses are served. Therefore, the salad fork is to the far left, and the dinner fork is located closest to the dinner plate. Between these two, any number of forks except the dessert fork and cocktail fork is placed, depending on what is to be served. For example, if the waiter is serving fish, then the fish fork goes between the salad and dinner forks. All forks on this side of the plate are placed with their handles facing to the diner.

I recently had to accompany one of my friends to hospital after he started complaining about middle back pain. The pain was so severe that he could barely walk. He had lost days of sleep and although he had previously been able to temporarily relieve the pain using over the counter drugs, this time, he knew that visiting a medical professional was necessary.

After being diagnosed, he was found to have developed a kidney stone. It had been growing gradually and had become so large that surgery was necessary. He’s now recovering and swears he wouldn’t like to experience such pain again.

His experience is shared by millions of people across the United States. Most people will experience mid back pain and assume it will go away after using pain relievers. In most cases, the pain will go away but the underlying health condition still continues to develop. In the long run, the underlying health condition is so advanced that it might require advanced medical procedures or, might turn fatal to the affected persons. Some of the health conditions which might mask themselves as mid and lower back pain include the following.

Conditions affecting the urinary tract will commonly reveal themselves as mid back pain. For the case of my friend, kidney stone formation revealed itself as mid back pain which was easily relieved using pain killers. Other conditions which affect the urinary tract that can cause mid back pain include kidney infection, obstructive uropathy, polycystic kidney disease and, interstitial cystitis.

Conditions affecting the pancreas and gall bladder will also reveal themselves as pain in the mid back. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas is damaged to an extent that it leaks digestive enzymes to nearby organs. As a result, these enzymes start to gradually eat up the pancreas and nearby liver. Cancer of the pancreas and gallstone are other conditions that will cause mid back pain.

Conditions affecting the female reproductive organs will also cause middle and lower left back pain. The female reproductive organs are located more or less around the same area as the urinary tract at that’s between the low and mid back. Health conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and fibroids will reveal themselves as pain in these areas of the back.

Conditions that affect the skeletal structure can also cause lower and mid back pain. The skeletal structure is such that it includes bone, cushioning tissue and connective tissue. Any health condition that affects one or more of these components especially in the low and mid back area will cause pain. Some of the common conditions include osteoarthritis and slipped disc.

Conditions that directly affect the spine such as a tumor or infection will also cause mid and lower back pain. Tumors can grow such that they apply pressure on nerve endings causing pain in the affected area. Infections such as shingles if affecting the spine will result in pain in the affected area. Shingles is a condition caused by a dormant virus that also cases chickenpox.

Last week while walking home with a friend from work, I noticed that she had a slight limp. On enquiry, she joked about her feet growing bigger during the day. “My feet don’t seem to want to fit into these shoes nowadays. They’re becoming tighter by the day.” she commented regarding her high heel shoes. She’s a real estate agent and she regularly ditches her car so we can walk home together and catch up.

The next day, I phoned her to know how her feet were feeling. “They’re quite sore especially at the edges of the big and small toe. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take our routine walk today. I think I’ll take the car.” She said apologetically. I understood.

However, what I didn’t understand is why she had to risk hurting her feet just in the name of dress code. I knew that high heeled shoes were the perfect concoction for feet problems in the future. Such problems include bunions.

Ill fitting shoes have been found to be the leading cause for bunions. This has been supported by studies which document that people living in communities that rarely wear shoes are less likely to develop the condition. But society is evolving and shoes are part of majority of the people living today. Can bunions therefore be prevented, managed and treated? Here are some tips.

tailors bunionPreventing bunions

The process of preventing bunions involves identifying what causes them in the first place. As mentioned, they are mainly caused by wearing ill fitting shoes. Such shoes include high heels and shoes that are too tight at the front. These force the toes together increasing the risk of developing normal and the tailors bunion.

In other instances, wearing ill fitting shoes is just part of the equation. There are people born with hereditary conditions affecting the feet such as flat feet and loose ligaments. These are more likely to develop bunions if they wear ill fitting shoes.

Either way, wearing low heeled shoes which are wide enough at the front will help prevent the development of the condition.

Managing bunions

If you have bunions, managing them is the best way of ensuring that they don’t develop further. It involves wearing the best shoes for bunions. Some of the characteristics of such shoes include the following.

First, the shoe should be wide enough at the front. To know which shoe will be great, it’s recommended that you buy your shoes during the afternoon when your foot has fully expanded.

Second, the shoe should have a low heel. Besides evening out your body’s weight on the foot, it draws pressure away from the toes.

Third, the shoe should be made from breathable and expandable material such as leather and suede.

Treating bunions

Bunions can be quite painful especially when they become inflamed and swell. Some of the treatment methods include application of ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also be prescribed for pain relief. Besides this, wearing the right shoes will also help treat the bunions.

I remember about 16 months ago when I received a call from one of my best friends. She sounded distressed at the end of the line. Her boyfriend had been rushed to the ER after he developed pain whine passing urine. The urine was pinkish in color and he was in pain. She wanted me to rush over and keep her company while the doctors took care of her boyfriend.

At the hospital, she recounted how his condition had started worsening over the recent days. He had thought it normal to have a little pain while passing urine but this time, it wasn’t something normal. He was diagnosed with kidney stones and over a period of weeks was able to get treated.

This episode got me thinking, how can one respond to kidney stones? Should one wait until they get to a point where only medical intervention can save the situation? Should you wait until you know first hand what do kidney stones feel like? I didn’t believe so and sought some measures one can take.

The first step in response to kidney stones is identifying whether you are at risk of developing them. This way, you will be able to take precautionary measures to avoid developing them. In addition, if the stones do develop, you will be at a better position of managing them and passing them in urine without any pain.

Some of the high risk groups include people who pass less than 1 liter of urine daily. The urine is usually highly concentrated with mineral salts which might crystallize within the kidneys. Other high risk groups include people with urinary tract infections and eat diets rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and, foods rich in animal protein.

Step two in response to kidney stones is to ensure that your body is hydrated. The kidneys function is to filter urine such that waste in the form of uric acid and minerals are excreted through urine. Urine also consists of water. Since the body still needs a good amount of water, it won’t release it through urine unless it’s in excess. This water is also needed to dilute urine such that minerals won’t crystallize within the kidneys. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your body has its hydration needs met and there’s still plenty of water left to dilute urine.

Step three in response to kidney stones is to watch out for any symptoms of kidney stone formation. These include passing urine that’s excessively colored indication that it’s highly concentrated. In addition, if you pass urine more than usual and have lower back pain, it can be symptom of the formation of kidney stones. At this point you can try out home remedies for kidney stones like the following.

Take nettle leaf tea. Nettle leaf acts as a natural diuretic forcing urine out of the body and also prompting you to take in more fluids.

Change your diet and avoid meals loaded with animal protein and vitamin C. After digestion, animal protein produces uric acid as a by product which is a common cause for kidney stone formation. Vitamin C on the other hand is converted to oxalate which also forms a major component of kidney stones.

While at college, I once accompanied a friend to hospital for a medical examination. She had a persistent cough which was accompanied by mucus and chest pain. The condition had developed after she had flu but after taking medication, it still persisted. After being examined, it was found that she was suffering from acute bronchitis. Some medicines were prescribed. After a couple of days, she found that the condition was still present although it had cleared a bit. I suggested she try alternative remedies she could use at home to help ease the symptoms. We did research together on the home remedies for bronchitis and found the following which have been effective for her.


Ginger is known for its anti inflammatory and immune boosting properties. It’s commonly used to treat flu and common colds due to its effect on the respiratory system. Interestingly, it has the same effect on bronchitis where it helps reduce inflammation of the airways. For the best effects, take a cup of ginger steeped in warm water and mixed with other ingredients such as cloves and cinnamon two or three times daily will help relieve bronchitis symptoms in a couple of days.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil helps to loosen mucus that blocks the airways making it easier to expel. It also contains antibiotic properties which help in getting rid of bacteria that cause inflammation of the airways during bouts of bronchitis. It can be taken in two ways. First, the oil can be inhaled when added to boiling water. Second, it can be applied topically on the chest and back.

Natural honey

Natural honey has for centuries been used to treat different health conditions. Its antibiotic and anti inflammatory properties make it one of the best home based bronchitis remedies. In addition, it helps boost the immune system allowing for faster healing. For the best effects, honey can be mixed with other home remedies like ginger and fresh lemon juice.


Garlic contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that are useful in fighting the bacteria or viruses that are causing inflammation of the airways. It can be taken on its own or boiled in milk or water and taken.

Take more liquids

Although most people will try to avoid taking water or other liquids when they are coughing, liquids are actually great home remedies for bronchitis. Although taking water won’t directly help relieve your cough, it actually helps to keep mucus more fluid. This makes it easier to expel when you cough preventing a sore throat and aching chest. It’s however advisable to take the liquids that are warm as cold fluids might aggravate your condition.

Salt water

Salt helps to breakup mucus making it easier to expel. Taking a warm glass of water mixed with salt and gargling it will enable you to loosen up mucus that’s stuck in your throat.

These are some of the home remedies for bronchitis my friend uses to relieve bronchitis symptoms. Although they won’t completely cure the condition, they will provide relief to symptoms such as coughing and chest pain.

I have had a number of friends who have been blessed with newborns over the past few years. One thing that’s common among them is the joy they have after getting their new bundle of joy. For them, it’s a signal of the time in life they have been preparing for all their life, motherhood. However, there’s another thing that’s common among most of them, they desperately want to get rid of the stretch marks that develop during the nine months of pregnancy.

Stretch marks during pregnancy are a common occurrence. Well over 95% of pregnant women get stretch marks. The reason for this is that the body is growing faster than the skin. As such, small tears occur under the skins surface leaving scars which we commonly know as stretch marks. These scars will occur in the parts of the body that grow the most such as the belly and stretch marks on breasts.

For the new mother, is important to understand that stretch marks will most likely not be completely eliminated. However, they will fade with time leaving you with fairly even skin appearance. In addition, you can also take measures to accelerate the healing process as well as make your stretch marks less conspicuous. Here are some tips to help you alleviate stretch marks after giving birth.

The first thing is to moisturize the skin. Applying creams and gels on stretch marks will help to accelerate the healing process as well as prevent development of new stretch marks. The reason why moisturization is recommended is that dry skin is prone to cracking due to its lack of flexibility.

Besides moisturization, ensure that your body is adequately hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to keep the skin flexible. Stretch marks usually develop on skin that has been stretched beyond its breaking point. That is, if the skin is stretched beyond its most flexible point, it’s more likely to develop stretch marks. Increasing flexibility through hydration reduces chances of developing new stretch marks.

Your diet plays a major role in your skins health. Besides ensuring that the skin functions normally, diet will help in the healing process. Avoid foods that dehydrate the skin such as alcohol and caffeine. A good skin friendly diet includes vitamins such as A and B complex. It also includes minerals such as zinc.

Regular exfoliation helps to reduce stretch marks. Exfoliation is the process by which you remove dead skin cells. This has two benefits. First, it promotes the flow of blood and nutrients to the skins surface giving skin some glow. Second, it promotes development of new skin cells which helps to even out the skins appearance.

You can also practice techniques which make your stretch marks less conspicuous. If you are into body art, tattoo over stretch marks is one of the common ways I’ve seen used to hide away these scars as they heal. Many of the new mothers that have used this technique will usually apply temporary tattoos which fade with time. By the time the tattoo has faded, the stretch marks have also faded leaving an even skin appearance.

I recently read an article about the rising cases of dog allergies. It was linked to a forum where the trending topic was can dogs eat bananas without risking allergic reactions. The article detailed how common ingredients in dog food can trigger an allergic reaction. It also recommended hypoallergenic pet food as an alternative. Surfing the net, I came across countless businesses selling this type of dog food. Not sure about what this type of pet food is or does, I decided to do some research on the topic. Today I’ll discuss what I found.

What are pet allergies?

Like humans, pets such as dogs can develop an allergy. Allergies occur when the pet’s body identifies a normally harmless substance as an invader and attacks it. The substance can be an ingredient in its food. Some of the symptoms associated with dog allergies include vomiting, scratching and itching, dull coat and skin and, lethargy.

It’s worth noting that an allergy is usually specific to the individual pet. Therefore, an ingredient in food that causes an allergic reaction in on pet won’t necessarily cause the same reaction in another. In addition, pets can suddenly become allergic to foods they eat daily. These are products such as chicken, corn, wheat and dairy which are normally included in dog food.

How do you know what’s causing allergic reactions in your dog?

If your pet shows symptoms of allergic reaction to specific dog food, it’s possible that one or more ingredients in the food is the trigger. The best approach to take is withdraw the dog food and start feeding your canine one ingredient at a time. This way, you can be able to identify the specific ingredients that are causing the allergic reaction and eliminate them from the dog’s diet. You can also change your pets diet altogether. However, the new diet should provide the nutrients your dog needs to remain healthy.

How about hypoallergenic dog food?

Changing to a hypoallergenic diet immediately you identify allergic reactions in your canine isn’t advisable. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, your dog is unique and whatever triggers an allergic reaction in your pet might be completely safe for another. Hypoallergenic pet food might not include ingredients commonly known to cause allergies in dogs. This however doesn’t mean that the ingredients included won’t trigger an allergic reaction in your pet.

Second, if you haven’t identified the ingredient that causes the allergic reaction in your dog, you won’t know which brand of hypoallergenic pet food is best. You might simply end up buying pet food that contains an ingredient that will cause allergies.

Third, you can save money if you first establish which ingredient in your dog food triggers a reaction, and eliminate it from your dog’s diet. Remember, most of the hypoallergenic pet food brands are priced more than regular dog food.

Hypoallergenic pet food might seem the best option for your dog if he develops allergies to certain foods. However, it’s always advisable to know which foods are causing the allergy in the first place. This way, you will be able to identify which brands will be best for your canine.

While growing up, one of my best friends was an only child. We always bombarded her with questions as to why she didn’t have siblings like other children. Well, as kids we thought everyone had to have siblings. But this didn’t deter her from making friends with me and enjoying my company. That was years ago now and, I’ve come across single child families along the way. The stereotypes attached to the only child have changed very little since when I was young. Interestingly, most of these labels are wrong. Let me discuss a few of these.

One of the common stereotypes associated with the only child syndrome is that these children are spoiled. Although some end up being spoiled, majority of only children aren’t. This stereotype comes from the notion that the only child gets all the attention, love and focus from parents. Well, this is true since the parents don’t have other children to love, spend money on and, teach. However, this doesn’t mean that the only child will necessarily end up spoiled. If one ends up spoiled, it’s probably because the parents didn’t teach the virtues of being nice to other people.

Another common stereotype associated with only children is that they are selfish. Only children are used to getting stuff they don’t necessarily have to share since they dong have siblings. Many people believe that this translates into real life where these children will refuse to share. However, the kids that end up selfish are a small number. In addition, there are kids from households with more than one child that are also selfish.

Only children are also considered to have poor social skills. Most people believe that the only child will have a tough time interacting with other people as they grow up. Although without siblings, only children will spend most of their early years interacting with other children in daycare. This gives them ample time to build on their social skills.

The only child is also believed to be bossy. This might be true in some cases since this child is used to having things done their way and can grow up to be that controlling boyfriend. In addition, the only child doesn’t have siblings whom they can compete with and interact with as they grow. This tends to make them bossy. However, most of these children actually grow up to be mature at an early age and this is what most people see as bossiness. This is due to the fact that only children spend most of their time around adults rather than other kids.

Another false belief about only children is that they are lonely. Its one of the craziest I’ve come across since these children are interacting with people on a daily basis. Being an only child only restricts you from interacting with brothers and sisters. However, with cousins, friends and adults around, I dint think there’s something as a lonely only child.

Although these stereotypes are quite common more couples are opting to have only one child. The US Census Bureau actually reported that the single child family is the fastest growing type of family unit.

I remember the first day I was asked out on a date. I was so excited about it and ensured that all my friends were informed that I wouldn’t be available for the evening. However, about an hour to the date, anxiety kicked in. I suddenly realized that I had no idea what to wear or anything about dates. I began to panic. “Should I cancel the date?” Was one of the thoughts that crossed my mind. However, I wouldn’t let this guy down and I really liked him.

It was then that I thought of a better option call up some of my girlfriends that I believed were superstars when it came to dating. They were of much help and the date went great.

Anxiety is part of human life. Everyone has had their bout with anxiety at some time in their life. However, to many, this condition is still a mystery. That’s why I’ve compiled this Q and A to help answer some of your questions.

What’s anxiety?

Anxiety is a condition where the patient suddenly feels tense, frightened and fearful. It can last for a couple of minutes or hours. There are instances of chronic anxiety where symptoms last for days.

What causes anxiety?

There isn’t a single cause for anxiety. There are several causes some of which are known to the patient and some which are unknown.

How does it occur?

Anxiety occurs in stages where the trigger (known or unknown) causes release of adrenaline from the brain. This chemical is responsible for the development of the different anxiety symptoms in the body.

What are the symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms associated with anxiety. They include the following.

Hyperventilation is one of the first symptoms that result when adrenaline is released into the bloodstream. It’s characterized by constriction of the blood vessels. This results in the heart and lungs working harder in a bid to supply oxygen to the different organs. The hyperventilation can result in anxiety chest pain which is concentrated around the chest cavity.

Another symptom is difficulty concentrating. During an anxiety attack, the person feels distressed and confused. Lack of concentration is especially prominent when the anxiety trigger isn’t known.

Rise in body temperature is another symptom associated with anxiety attacks. This is one of the effects of adrenaline.

Another common symptom is insomnia.

Are there different forms of anxiety?

Anxiety takes different forms depending on the trigger. Some of the examples include the following.

General anxiety disorder is a form of anxiety found in most adults experiencing everyday stressors.

Social anxiety affects persons who feel nervous in social situations.

Relationship anxiety affects a person in a relationship and isn’t sure about the future of that relationship.

Panic disorder is a form of anxiety where the patient suddenly has a panic attack with no apparent reason.

Are there ways to treat anxiety?

Anxiety can be treated through a number of ways including counseling, supplements for anxiety, stress management, regular exercise, facing the anxiety trigger and home anxiety remedies.

A week ago, I was reading a story about a young man who had had a heart attack and remarkably recovered. According to him, it just came suddenly without any pain. I initially believed that anyone having a heart attack has to feel some pain in the chest. His story was therefore a bit confusing to me so I decided to do some more research and created this guide into heart attacks.

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is suddenly interrupted. This leads to damage in the hearts tissues and can be fatal if not addressed immediately.

The most common cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease. This condition is characterized by clogging up of the major arteries which supply blood to the heart by cholesterol. If one of these clogs ruptures and blocks the flow of blood, a heart attack results. There are many factors which put people at risk of developing coronary heart disease and they include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, diet, age and, family history.

Other causes of heart attacks include hypoxia which is a condition where there’s lack of oxygen in the blood. Drug use can also increase risk of heart attack.

There are varied symptoms linked to a heart attack. Medical practitioners believe that no two heart attacks can be exact in terms of symptoms. Some patients actually have heart attacks without experiencing any symptoms at all. Some of the common symptoms however include the following.

Chest pain and discomfort are two of the most common symptoms. The pain may come suddenly or slowly. In some cases, it will last a few minutes or go and recur again. Studies reveal that men are more likely to experience the chest pain than women. However, chest pain during heart attacks is quite rare in diabetics.

Pain in right arm, numbness in left arm, pain in shoulders and jaws are other common symptoms. Patients often explain a sharp pain that originates from the left or center of the chest. The pain then travels through the shoulders, jaws and arms. Pain can be in either one or both arms.

Shortness of breath and tightness in the chest area are also symptoms associated with heart attacks. These can be accompanied by lightheadedness due to lack of oxygen and sweating.

In the event of a heart attack, medical practitioners advise that every second counts. The longer you wait to receive treatment, the higher the risk of extensive damage to heart tissues and cardiac arrest which is fatal. It’s therefore advisable to get immediate medical help if you experience any of the above named symptoms.

Prevention is usually recommended. Changes in lifestyle and diet can significantly lower risk of getting a heart attack. Some of the recommended changes include quitting smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol. Regular exercise to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels down will also reduce risk of a heart attack. Avoiding foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats will lower cholesterol buildup which in turn lowers risk of developing coronary heart disease.

A friend of mine loves to spend her January vacation traveling to places where the weather is a bit forgiving. The cold winters are too much for her and she prefers places where there’s plenty of sun and sand. This year, she decided to visit one of the African countries. Upon arriving home, besides a tan, she had sunburn on her left shoulder. It was healing and she attributed this to an old sunburn remedy she got from her mom – vinegar.

I sought to know if vinegar really helps treat sunburn or it’s just a myth. My research concluded the following.


This is damage caused to living tissue by the suns ultraviolet rays. These destroy living tissue especially the skin and in more severe cases such as second degree sunburn, it can cause considerable damage to nerves.

Vinegar for sunburn

While some people might believe the contrary, vinegar does help in the treatment of sunburn. It contains antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. These will help relieve pain and prevent infection. Applied on sunburned skin, vinegar also helps to dry out the blisters promoting fast healing. In addition, vinegar has the unique ability of bringing the skins pH back to normal after sunburn. This helps to prevent further damage to neighboring skin cells.

How to use vinegar to treat sunburn

The process of using vinegar to treat sunburn in quite simple. The first step involves cooling the affected area. This provides relief from pain as well as prevents severe damage to the skin tissue. Use cool running water and never use ice as it can lead to further tissue damage. After cooling, lightly dab the affected area dry with a towel.

Mix vinegar with water at a ratio of 1:1. The reason for doing this is that vinegar can sting if applied on sunburned skin. This is especially so if the skin has blisters which have broken.

Dip a soft cloth in your solution and lightly dab the affected area and let it dry. After this, apply moisturizer to protect the skin from being too dehydrated.

When is it best to use vinegar?

The best time to use vinegar for your sunburn is immediately you start experiencing symptoms such as redness, swelling and pain. These are the initial symptoms of sunburn.

What are the other measures to use alongside vinegar?

Sunburn of the second degree will typically take between 2 and 3 weeks to heal. Vinegar alone won’t completely relieve the condition. Some other measures to use alongside vinegar include the following.

Ensure that the sunburned area is covered and away from direct sunlight. Exposure can lead to more damage to the skin tissue.

Damage to the nerves will lead to pain in the affected area. Take anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen and aspirin to relieve pain.

Keep your skin hydrated by taking lots of fluids. Besides ensuring that further damage doesn’t occur in the sunburned area, hydration also promotes the development of new skin cells to replace the damaged ones.

One of my friend’s boys cannot enjoy the sweetness of bread. According to his mother, he cannot take bread or any baked foods because he is allergic to yeast. To keep him from having yeast based allergic reactions, the family usually avoids giving him any foods that might have a trace of yeast in them. That story is shared by millions of people across the globe and the number is still rising. The same can be said about corn allergies which are also on the rise. Ill look at what causes these allergic reactions in the body, some of the symptoms and treatments.

What causes allergic reactions?

An allergy is the body’s reaction to non harmful substances it considers invaders. As a result, it releases chemicals such as histamine which work by repelling the substance. Histamine has several effects on the body including inflammation.

Since the body will react abnormally to a harmless substance, the substance has to be initially recognizable by the body’s immune system. As such, the substance has to be present inside the body. From this, any autoimmune reaction such as yeast allergy actually develops over time. In most cases, the affected person will have a hard time trying to identify the causing agent since it might be something they consume daily.


The symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary from one person to another. How severe the reaction is will also depend on how much histamine the body produces to get rid of the allergy trigger. Some common symptoms found in both yeast and corn allergies include the following.

Swelling in the throat, tongue, lips and face is usually one of the initial signs of an allergic reaction to either yeast or corn. The swelling is the result of inflammation caused by histamine buildup in the oral tract in preparation of elimination of the causing agent.

Gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and nausea are also a common symptom found in both types of allergies. This can also be accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting as the body tries to get rid of the yeast or corn.

Another common symptom associated with both allergy types is the development of a skin rash. The rash is usually itchy and inflamed.

Difficulty breathing and dizziness are also associated with yeast and corn allergies. These conditions arise when the airways become constricted due to swelling.

One of the more severe yeast and corn allergy symptoms is anaphylaxis. This is a condition where the respiratory system goes into shock and breathing becomes impossible. It is usually quite rare but there are recorded cases of deaths resulting from this allergy symptom.

Treatment and prevention

Treatment of either corn or yeast allergy usually involves taking medications to counter the effects of histamine. In severe cases where the patient goes into anaphylactic shock, emergency medical treatment is necessary since the condition is life threatening.

Preventive measures usually involve avoiding products which contain either allergen. This however can be difficult since yeast and corn are included as ingredients in many food and medical products.

A while ago, I came across a high school friend that I hadn’t seen for years. It was a great moment for me as it offered the opportunity to catch up. For her however, it was more or less an uncomfortable moment. She spotted a red bump on the bridge of her nose. I noticed it was an acne breakout but didn’t want to probe on the issue further since I didn’t want to offend her.

During our conversation, she happened to mention about the acne nodule on her nose. “It’s nothing. You should have met me when I had acne on my scalp.” She said lightheartedly. “Acne on the scalp?” I wondered. Id never heard about this condition so I went on to further research it. Since both affected my friend at some time, I’ve decided to between these two types of acne.

How do the conditions develop?

Acne is a condition that affects the skin. It develops when sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria accumulate in the pores of the skin clogging them. The result is a slight bump on the skin which can be inflamed or not.

Nodular acne occurs when the pimple that forms from a non inflammatory form of acne grows in size and goes untreated. As such, the walls of the pimple might collapse spilling the contents deep into skin tissue. The result is a raised pimple that’s inflamed and large.

Scalp acne on the other hand develops when bacteria, dead skin cells and skin oils accumulate within hair follicles clogging them. The result is a red inflamed bump that surrounds a single hair.


Although both are inflammatory types of acne, there are three major differences between them. First, acne nodules develop on skin pores while acne on the scalp develops in the hair follicle. Second, acne on the scalp develops closer to the surface of the skin than nodules. Third, acne on the scalp appears as small pimples while nodules are usually larger and about 1 inch in diameter.


Both being inflammatory types of acne, the main symptom is intense itching and swelling in the affected area. The inflammation might create a sensation of heat as the body tries to combat the bacteria. Another common symptom is redness in the affected area. One symptom that’s unique to acne of the scalp is that it can lead to loss of hair if damage to the hair follicle occurs.

Treatment options

It’s usually recommended that you try and treat the acne from within your body. The reason for this is that acne development is linked to what you include in your diet and lifestyle factors. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and zinc which are essential for your skins normal functioning will place you on the path of quick recovery.

Topical treatments are also available. These serve different functions including unclogging the pores, exfoliating dead skin cells and killing bacteria. Some of the popular and effective topical acne treatments available for these two conditions include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.