My Blog
By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
December 30, 2020
Category: Allergist
Tags: Food Allergies  

Just as people can be allergic to pollen, soaps, pet dander, or other substances, we can also have allergies to foods, ranging from minor to severe.

While some food allergies may be easily diagnosed, such as those to peanuts or shellfish, which can result in visible facial swelling and potentially dangerous swelling of the throat, others are harder to pinpoint, causing symptoms such as bloating, abdominal distress, or eczema.

Dr. Alan E. Sheen, with offices in Metairie and Covington, LA can help you determine the source of your food allergies and develop a diet that suits your needs.

What are the types of food allergies?

Food allergies can be either fixed or cyclic, with the former both more obvious and more dangerous. Common fixed food allergies include nuts and fish, and they can cause severe reactions such as difficulty breathing or intense swelling.

Cyclic food allergies are less rare but can be hard to diagnose unless your diet is very limited, to begin with. Dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs are common food allergens. Allergic reactions may intensify if you consume larger or more frequent amounts of the trigger food, and some cyclic food allergies can be outgrown.

How do you diagnose food allergies?

Your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office can use a blood test to determine if your food allergy is fixed and if so you will need to avoid the trigger foods and may need an Epipen or other medication for quick intervention if you accidentally consume the food.

For cyclic food allergies, your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office may ask you to keep a journal of everything you eat, and will then guide you through a food elimination process, in which you pull potential trigger foods from your diet and slowly add them back in, one at a time, to see if it causes a reaction. This can be a long process, and eventually, you can try eating small amounts of the foods again on occasion

If food allergies are causing you discomfort, call our Metairie office at 504-456-1999 or our Covington office at 985-246-6077 today.

By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
December 30, 2020
Category: Allergist
Tags: Hives  

Dealing with chronic hives? Here’s what could be going on.

If you’re dealing with allergies, then you may deal with persistent or recurring hives. Hives, or urticaria, causes red, itchy raised welts to appear on the body. Everything from food allergies to stress can lead to hives; however, if you are dealing with chronic hives then it’s worth turning to our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor Dr. Alan Sheen to find out why this is happening and how to get it under control.

What causes hives?

Hives appear as a result of a histamine reaction in the body often due to,

  • An allergic reaction
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Skincare products

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to pinpoint the cause. While many cases of hives are acute, if you’ve been dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks then you’re dealing with chronic hives. It’s time to see our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to find out how to best get your hives under control.

What happens when I come into the office?

First, we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms, your diet, activities and any medications or supplements you’re taking. We will also examine the rash to make sure that you are dealing with hives. If we suspect that your hives are caused by allergies, we will recommend performing skin or blood allergy testing.

How are hives treated?

If you suspect that your hives are the result of an allergy the best treatment is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. If it’s a food allergy then this simply means not eating that food; however, when you’re allergic to something outside or in your home, it can be a bit trickier to prevent exposure. In this case, there are several treatment options that our allergist will offer including,

Antihistamines: This is the standard treatment for those dealing with an allergic reaction, as antihistamines prevent the body from releasing histamines. Depending on the severity of your hives, you may simply be able to take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl or our team will recommend a stronger antihistamine for more severe reactions.

H-2 blockers: If you find that antihistamines alone do not provide you with relief, Dr. Sheen may recommend H-2 blockers, which are taken either as a pill or injected into the body.

Corticosteroids: These medications are great for treating swelling and redness associated with hives. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, oral or topical steroids may help ease these symptoms.

Asthma medication: While it might sound odd, studies have found that a certain prescription medication used to treat severe forms of allergic asthma may also alleviate symptoms of chronic hives.

Are you looking for an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly allergy doctor here in Metairie and Covington, LA? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Sheen has been providing allergy care to patients of all ages for more than 35 years. To discuss your allergy treatment options with a professional, call Dr. Sheen at his Metairie office at (504) 456-1999 or at his Covington office at (985) 246-6077.

By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
May 26, 2020
Category: Immunizations
Tags: Immunizations   Vaccines   Child Health  

Keeping your child healthy and strong throughout their life is a top priority as a parent. This means making sure they have their immunizations at the right stages of life, they eat healthy meals, and that they receive plenty of exercise. Dr. Alan E Sheen is an allergist based in Metairie, LA. He specializes in immunizations and the treatment of allergies to keep your child as healthy as possible—read on to learn more.

Immunizations

Immunizations are important for your child to prevent them from catching many diseases that would otherwise be life-threatening. Because vaccines are given at different ages and some need regular booster shots, it can be confusing to know when it’s the right time to get your child immunized. Accordingly, parents in Metairie, LA, schedule their children’s vaccines with Dr. Sheen to ensure that they are always up to date.

Nutrition

A healthy diet is essential for your child’s physical, mental, and emotional growth. You can easily make healthy meals more fun by getting creative with colors and shapes. Make sure your child eats plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and has plenty of fiber in their diet. Additionally, make sure to avoid fast food and beverages that are loaded with sugar.

Exercise

Children age six and over need an hour of exercise at least three days a week. This is important for their growing bones and muscles and helps prevent obesity. Participating in outdoor activities with your child, whether it’s throwing a ball, riding bicycles, or going for walks, is a great way for both of you to get some aerobic exercise. On rainy days, break out some kid’s dance or exercise videos and make it fun.

If you are looking for a pediatric allergist or you want to update your child’s immunizations, you can contact Dr. Sheen at his Metairie office at (504) 456-1999 or at his Covington office at (985) 246-6077.

By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
April 09, 2020
Category: Child Health
Tags: Immunizations  

Vaccines are designed to prevent various types of diseases including deadly ones. This holds true for the young, especially infants. Without vaccines, it can be difficult for the immune system of these young children to fight off diseases. Here at the offices of Dr. Alan Sheen in Covington and Metairie, LA, you can learn more about immunizations during your consultation with him. In the meantime, learn how vaccines work to protect your child.

How The Body Fights Off Infection

To appreciate how vaccines protect children, we must first understand how a child’s immune system works to fight off infection. The immune system automatically steps in to fight any perceived infectious organism. Proteins known as antibodies are immediately produced by the white blood cells to seek out the infection and counter it. The infection usually gets the upper hand at first because it initiates the attack.

The immune system reacts only once the attack starts or when symptoms of illness start to manifest. The antibodies will eventually overpower the infection and terminate it. However, the antibodies will not die but rather remain in the bloodstream on guard for similar infections. In case the infection returns, the antibodies are ready to fight it off at once.

Accordingly, some diseases do not recur in your body because the antibodies are already active. The thing to understand with antibodies is that they are created to respond to a specific infection. There are also antibodies that are not specific to a certain infection, but rather to a type of bacteria.

Vaccination Schedule

Now that you have a better understanding of how vaccines work to protect your child, it is easier to appreciate the need to maintain vaccination schedules. Sometimes vaccines can take weeks to boost the protective mechanism of children and there are vaccines that need to be administered in separate doses. Essentially, maintaining the immunizations schedule means preparing your child against infection even before it happens. So make sure to come into our Covington or Metairie, LA, office as per your child’s immunization schedule.

 

Have Any Questions or Concerns About Immunizations?

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Alan Sheen by calling our Metairie, LA, office at (504) 456-1999 or Covington, LA, office at (985) 246-6077.

By Dr. Alan E Sheen MD
February 19, 2020
Category: Child Health
Tags: Immunizations   Child   Well-Child  

What Occurs During Well-Child Appointment

Allergies occur in many forms and can develop at all ages. From food to pollen to soaps, allergies can cause itching, sneezing, trouble breathing, and more, affecting your child's health and comfort in their day to day life. If your child is experiencing symptoms of allergies or is due for immunizations, its time to visit Dr. Alan E. Sheen in Covington and Metairie, LA, for a child-well visit.

How do I prepare for my child's well visit?

Its a good idea to keep a log of your child's symptoms and suspected triggers, as well as your family medical history, so your doctor has an idea of what to look for and what tests should be administered. Your doctor will examine your child's eyes and nose and listen to their lungs, likely followed by a breathing test. The test, during which your child will blow into a device, is pain free and quick.

Depending on the findings during your child's visit at our Covington or Metairie, LA, office, your allergist may take a skin or blood test so they can determine what foods, conditions or materials your child should avoid and create a treatment plan.
What should I know about child immunizations?
Up to date vaccines are advised for keeping your child healthy. Childhood immunizations are recommended through the age of 18, and children under 12 are especially susceptible to developing viruses and diseases as their immune systems are still developing.
Among the vaccinations offered at our office in Covington or Metairie, LA, are the vaccines for influenza, hepatitis B, rotavirus, measles, meningitis, tetanus, and human papillomavirus. You child's vaccination schedule will be determined by their age, with some vaccines administered at birth.

The specialists at office will help outline your child's vaccination schedule and remind you when their next vaccine is due.

Let us help you keep your child healthy. Call (504) 456-1999 for our Metairie office and (985) 246-6077 for our Covington office today!





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