rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Recently I was invited to speak on BBC West Midlands radio about a recent report detailing the number of deaths caused by asthma in the UK.

It makes for pretty shocking reading…

UK asthma death rates among the worst in Europe

And it has always baffled me why there is a huge disconnect between asthma funding and allergy funding. The two are so intricately linked that it just seems crazy not to share resources, not least to prevent so many people suffering needlessly and being prescribed endless and increasing doses of steroids for what could be an allergy in the first place.

What causes asthma? It’s never a simple answer but I wonder how many of these asthma deaths could have been avoided had those patients been tested for allergies; thus understanding better what those triggers might be.

About four years ago I finally had a soya allergy diagnosed after worsening asthma. I didn’t think for a moment that I could be allergic to one of the very plant milks suggested in replacement of the cow’s milk that I was already allergic to, but cutting out soya led to a dramatic reduction in my asthma symptoms.

It’s not rocket science.

Many of my allergies cause asthma as a direct symptom including; hayfever, dust allergy, latex, soya, milk and nuts.

Asthma gets lots of funding and I am regularly seen by an asthma nurse to keep my asthma under control but this is not the case for allergy treatment. I am very lucky to see a dermatologist who also treats me for my allergies but not everyone is so lucky, and getting to even have allergy testing can be impossible in certain areas of the country.

Why are we so behind our neighbours in Europe?

Will this report to lead to changes? Or will we still be talking about this in ten years time?

I suspect the latter… I find myself blogging over and over again about the same things year in year out because nothing does seem to change much. Apologies for the pessimistic comment there but it’s true.

And this is why I blog, because by doing this I can maybe help a few people not to feel so alone in the struggle for answers and normal life. Strive not to be normal people!



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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