Is Benadryl Good for Allergic Reactions?

Is Benadryl the best option for treating allergic reactions?
Dr. Dean Mitchell, Board Certified Allergist in NYC, discusses why Benadryl is not the best antihistamine for allergic reactions.

For so many years people have thought that they should take Benadryl for allergic reactions. It’s common to get Benadryl in the ER when you are having an allergic reaction and when people go to the drugstore they think Benadryl is the best antihistamine to take to help alleviate their allergies.

Just because Benadryl is the oldest antihistamine doesn’t make it the best one to use when you have an allergic reaction. In fact, I rarely recommend using Benadryl for allergic reactions.

Today, there are better choices when you have an allergic reaction such as Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec and Sublingual Allergy Drops.

Benadryl vs Claritin

This is a non-sedating antihistamine which means it doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier so it doesn’t make you tired. It also works quickly. In fact, today they have a Claritin ready-tab which you just put on your tongue and it works instantly. You can carry around these tabs in your wallet if you are prone to getting allergic reactions you can’t predict.

Benadryl vs Allegra

Allegra may be even stronger than Claritin. It lasts longer and also doesn’t affect your blood-brain barrier so you don’t get tired. This is one of my favorite antihistamines for patients who get chronic allergies.

Benadryl vs Zyrtec

This is based on an older antihistamine called hydroxyzine which is very powerful. Zyrtec is probably the most powerful of all the antihistamines listed but it can be sedating. People can get tired from it and as a result it’s not always tolerated well. It is not always my first choice for allergic reactions. It can also last in your body for several weeks.

Best Option – Sublingual Allergy Drops

If you are really suffering from chronic allergies frequently and you want to get to the underlying problem and treat it more permanently something like sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops can really make a difference.

I suggest that you see your doctor and you ask them if you have been or can be allergy tested. Once you have been tested ask if they can arrange for you to get allergy drops so you can have lasting allergy protection.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group in NYC & Long Island

Living the ImmunoLife

Welcome to the ImmunoLife Series with Dr. Dean Mitchell – clinical Immunologist and holistic medical doctor in NYC.

The ImmunoLife series is about Dr. Mitchell’s upcoming book “ImmunoLife.” Both the book and the video series discuss what you can do to strengthen your own immune system naturally and with proven scientific methods.

The topics in the book start with your Immuno Score and go all the way through to the ImmunoLife Program. The book topics include the following:

Immuno Score
This topic starts off the book and is a validated questionnaire that asks specific questions about your age, weight, exposure to infections, and medications you are taking which all affect your risk of infectious disease, auto-immune disease and even cancer.

While doing research for the book Dr. Mitchell discovered that scientifically women are less likely to get infections than men. This is most likely due to the amount of estrogen they produce compared to men. Both this series and the ImmunoLife book are going to help both men and women find ways to strengthen their immune system.

Immuno Testing
Immuno Testing is a new lab test that can help you determine if you are more at risk for a certain type of infection as well as how your body will react to inflammation.

Immuno Infections
You are constantly being exposed to infections like the flu virus, lyme disease, and a plethora of other diseases that you commonly hear about. This section explores how you improve your immunity when you are constantly exposed to disease and infections.

Immuno Medications
So many medications like antibiotics, acid blockers or even the new biological medications being used for arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease affect your immunity and you need to know how to protect yourself.

Immuno Surgery
Certain surgeries lower your immune system and put you at more risk for infections. We will cover these as well as teach you how to prepare like an athlete for surgery. Not only will you be strong going in but you’ll also recover faster.

Immune Signature
The Immune Signature is a new concept that tells how your lab markers can determine if you are going to recover from things like surgeries.

Immuno Environment
The Immuno Environment involves pollutants you are exposed to, toxins you may be exposed to in water and allergies plus what you can do to minimize exposure and strengthen your immune system.

Immuno Vaccinations
Vaccinations are really important. While there is so much controversy when it comes to vaccinations like the flu shot they can be very important in helping to prevent severe infections and cancer.

ImmunoLife Program
The ImmunoLife Program discusses specific diets including what you should eat and supplements you should take as well as exercises and the importance of sleep. All of which play a role in improving your immune system.

We hope you’ll join us on the ImmunoLife series. Please reach out to us on here or on Facebook with comments and/or questions.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group in NYC & Long Island

Are Flu Shots Important? Why You Need to Get a Flu Shot

How do you prevent getting the flu in the first place?

Clinical immunologist and holistic doctor in NYC, Dr. Dean Mitchell discusses the importance of the flu shot and why you should get it.Your best chance at reducing your risk for getting the flu is by getting the flu vaccine.

I know what a lot of you are saying – you’ve heard that it doesn’t work. But let’s look at somefacts about the flu shot. This year the flu virus is more intense than it was in 2009 when the swine flu virus was going around. This year’s virus the H3N2 is the same as the Hong Kong virus that was circulating in 1968.

Here are a few statistics you can’t ignore about the flu virus.

  • 50,000 Americans are predicted to die this year from the flu.
  • Only 40% of people get a flu shot.

It’s true that this year’sflu shot is only 25% effective but this is because the main flu strain is very virulent which makes it hard to contain.

Overall, when looking at all the flu strains such as the other Type A flu strains and Type B flu strain, the flu shot has an 39% effectiveness. In fact, the Type B flu strain increases in late winter and early spring which makes it even more critical to get a flu shot.

The NYC Health Department reports show that the H3N2 Type A flu strain caused 3,187 cases of the flu and the Type B flu strain caused 2,048 cases of the flu so the Type B strain is definitely on the rise. Getting a vaccination for the flu will have a huge impact.

Key points to remember about the flu and the flu shot.
Theflu vaccine is actually 51% effective in children. Getting children vaccination is extremely important since they are often in high risk places like their school where the flu can spread like wildfire. Getting your child vaccinated not only helps your kid but also helps protect other children. The Journal of Pediatrics conducted a study that looked at children flu cases from 2010-2016 and found that 675 children died from the flu and 2/3 of those children did not receive the flu shot.

Young children and adults over 65 are at the most risk for getting the flu. The flu shot helps protect your immune system as it stimulates the antibodies in your system which will at least partially fight the flu virus.

Keep yourself immune strong by getting the flu shot.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group in NYC & Long Island

What to Do If You Get the Flu

The flu is running rampant this year in the US, especially in big cities like NYC. Do you know what you should do if you end up getting the flu?Dr. Dean Mitchell, clinical Immunologist and holistic practitioner in NYC, discusses the typical flu symptoms, how to get diagnosed with the flu, and the different treatment options for the flu.

How do you know if you have the flu?
Typical flu symptoms are sometimes similar to a regular virus and can include: sore throat, cough, high fever and muscle aches. If you have a high fever over 101 degrees for more than 2 days it is very likely that you have the flu.

How to get diagnosed with the flu?
If you think you have the flu see your doctor to get assessed. You can also get a rapid nasal flu test to see if you have the flu.

This year is especially difficult when it comes to the flu because of the H3N2 virus which is very similar to the old Hong Kong flu that was around 20 years ago.

What to do if you have the flu?
Once diagnosed with the flu use Tamiflu, an anti-viral medication which if started within 72 hours of contracting the flu can help ameliorate and decrease flu symptoms. Tamiflu is a great option for both children and adults.

Holistic treatment for the flu includes: rest, avoiding contact with other people, hydrating (especially with teas and soups with salt), eating lighter meals so your body can focusing on healing and taking vitamins. Taking medicine like Advil and Tylenol is ok if you have a high fever but is not recommended with a low-grade fever.

Should I take antibiotics if I have the flu?
Most people think they need antibiotics when they have the flu but it’s actually bad to take them because they don’t actually fight the flu. Antibiotics are good if you get complications from the flu such as pneumonia.

Make sure to keep an eye for Dr. Dean Mitchell’s new book coming out this year on immunology entitled ImmunoLife.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group in NYC & Long Island