Allergy Clinic Pretoria

Allergy Clinic Pretoria

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – Many children and adults suffer from allergies without knowing the reason behind the symptoms.

You may suspect that your child has an allergy but perhaps do not know what to do about it. Guidance on avoidance, appropriate treatment and where possible, desensitization can relieve symptoms and significantly improve the quality of life of the allergy sufferer and his/her family.

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system reacts to a substance that is normally considered to be safe, for example animal dander, pollen and certain foods such as wheat, milk or eggs. Such a reaction can cause:

  • Runny, itchy or stuffed nose
  • Wheezing, coughing, trouble breathing
  • Skin rash, eczema, hives
  • Swollen lips, tongue, face
  • Nausea, vomiting

MEDAHEAD ALLERGY CENTRE provides a comprehensive allergy evaluation. We use scientifically proven diagnostic tests to determine if you or your child have allergies and which allergens are responsible for the allergy.

Should you like to know whether you or your child have allergies or if you need more information on how to manage your allergies, contact Dr. Carien Murray at the MEDAHEAD ALLERGY CENTRE.

Allergy Clinic Pretoria

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – Dr. Carien Murray

Allergy Clinic Pretoria - Dr. Carien Murray
MBChB, MPharmMed, MScSportsMed, Dip Allergology

PHONE : 012 816 8210

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – Garsfontein Clinic – Baby Wellness

012 998 7023

Prevention of allergies and introduction of solids

“The incidence of allergy is increasing rapidly. This is probably due to a combination of factors, of which increasing environmental pollution, the urbanisation of previously rural communities; cigarette smoking in the home and artificial feeding methods in infancy is important causes.”

According to new research (ESPGHAN), delaying the feeding of solids and eliminating certain foods, have no allergy preventative effect on babies and children.

Breast feeding has a protective effect on high-risk babies and may delay the development of allergies.

On the other hand, The World health organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – Prevention of the Allergic proses

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – In the past, doctors recommended lengthy delays in introducing certain food to high risk babies. However, recent research has shown that delaying the introduction of allergic foods may actually increase the risk of developing severe food allergies.

Allergenic foods (dairy, soya, wheat, egg, nuts and fish) should be introduced between 17 – 26 weeks.

Exclusive breastfeeding, or hypo allergenic formula is recommended before 4-6 months.

“Gut sampling” with gluten and wheat, is recommended before 6 months (very small amount 1x or 2x per week) Grains are difficult to digest due to shortage of enzyme AMYLAZE. Undigested food can lead to damage of the delicate intestinal lining. If damage occurs, extra mucus is produced for protection, fussiness, bloating, gas and foul smelling stools.

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – List of potential allergy-producing foods

Vegetables:      Tomato, Carrot, Potato, Garlic, Onion, Peas.

Fruit:                Oranges, Strawberries, Apples. (Bananas cause phlegm!!)

Nuts:                Peanuts, Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts.

Cereal:             Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Maize/corn, Rice Buckwheat.

Meat:                Beef.

Dairy:               Milk, Cheese, Butter.

Egg:                 Egg white.

Sundry:             Sesame seed, soybean, Yeast, Coconut, White bean.

Fish:                 Crab, Shrimp, Blue mussels, Tuna, Salmon.

These foods should be carefully introduce with skin test first, then small amount to be repeated after 4 days.

“The intestine of the infant during the first 4 – 6 months of his life is very porous.  This means that foreign proteins in allergy producing foods are easily absorbed from the intestine into the blood. This allowed the early process of allergy to begin.

Ideally, depending on your baby’s weight and physical milestones, solids should be introduced between 17 – 26 weeks. Baby should be weighed very regular at your clinic with a step-wise and gradual introduction solid foods.

Whatever else, your baby should not be allowed to be hungry or starve!

Allergy Clinic Pretoria – INTRODUCTION OF SOLIDS

– Snacks can spoil your baby’s appetite for important antibody building foods, and can make her overweight.

– Start with a small amount, 1 tsp (5 gr) at a time and build up gradually, (2-3 baby tsp full.).

– Only one new food 4 – 7 days to determine reactions.

– Start with new food in the morning (in case the foods cause cramping).

– No added salt, sugars or fat, oil or butter.

– Organic food is always better!  No chemicals, – insecticides and better nutrition.

– Read labels – no preservatives, colourings.

– Milk before solids for the first 9 months.

– Introduce proteins after 9 months. Too high concentration protein at a too young age, can place a strain on the kidneys and can also lead to adult obesity.

– Grains are difficult to digest.

– Start with pureed food, but the consistency should gradually become coarser. Change textures age appropriately.

6-8 Months

Milk feeds stays 1000ml/24hours, breast feeding stays the same. Milk feeds during night on demand. If solids agree with the baby, change formula milk over to nr. 2 for more than 6 months. Breast milk babies must start with iron supplementation.























1 tsp sweet potato
















1 tsp Pear








1 tsp Sweet potato








1 tsp Butternut




1 tsp Pear




1 tsp Sweet potato








2 tsp Butternut




2 tsp Pear




2 tsp Sweet potato








3 tsp Pawpaw




3 tsp Butternut




3 tsp Sweet potato








4 tsp Pumpkin




4 tsp Pawpaw




4 tsp Sweet potato






Now, if there are no allergic reactions or signs of poor digestion, the appetite can lead (± one teaspoon per month of age.)


New foods to try

Avocado pear, all the pumpkins, baby marrow (peeled), beetroot, peaches, prunes, dates, guava, mango, litchi and kiwi. Start to make nice combinations with the food, try new food every 4 days.

After 8-9 months

Fresh spinach, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower (introduce with care for it can cause wind.)

Give dark green vegetables with midday meal. Start to mash food with fork.

After 9 months

Reduce milk feeds to 800 ml/24 hours; try to cut out night feeds (also with breast feeding).

If baby wakes up, offer a sip of water from a cup. (try to stop” suck – sleep” connection)

Add protein to diet.

Coarser foods and different textures.

Baby must try finger foods.

Chicken, lamb, egg (if not sensitive to egg), Yoghurt and white cheese (if not sensitive to dairy).

Plant proteins like soya mince, lentils, chickpeas, pulses and beans, soya yoghurt (Woolworths).

Holle teething biscuits and Holle or Olle, Hipp organic porridges.

After 1 year

Reduce milk feeds to 600 ml/24 hours.

Add seeds to diet for added nutrition.

Baby will now be on a full diet with family foods.

Still try to prevent chemicals in the food e.g. colouring, preservatives and flavoring.

Limit sugars as it will suppress the immunity.

Enjoy this new stage in your child’s life.  Allergy Clinic Pretoria – A battle over food is a waste of time, energy and emotion. Make mealtimes a positive experience.



Allergy Testing Dischem

Allergy Testing Dischem

Allergy Testing Dischem – So many names are being thrown around these days to describe negative physical reactions to food and our environment – hypersensitivity, allergy, aversion, intolerance and a host of other names are used by the medical and consumer sector on a daily basis.

Allergy Testing Dischem

The number of people with allergies is increasing year by year, with allergy and intolerance being commonly confused. –

So many names are being thrown around these days to describe negative physical reactions to food and our environment – hypersensitivity, allergy, aversion, intolerance and a host of other names are used by the medical and consumer sector on a daily basis.

10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric Curcumin Supplements

The number of people with allergies is increasing year by year, with allergy and intolerance being commonly confused.

Allergy Testing Dischem

Allergy Testing Dischem – Allergy, sensitivity or intolerance? How to tell the difference

It’s no secret that many people find it difficult to tell whether the symptoms they experience are caused by allergies

A runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes or a sore belly may not be caused by an allergy at all, but by other irritants, infections, injuries or deformities.

To treat the symptoms correctly, you need to understand the real cause behind your allergy or intolerance, as the treatment differs for each condition.

That’s why it’s vital to have an allergy test to help you make the correct diagnosis and start treating the symptoms pronto!

The differences

Allergy Testing Dischem – Allergy – a reaction produced by the immune system when in contact with a normally harmless substance

Allergy Testing Dischem – Sensitivity – the exaggeration of ‘normal’ effects of a substance – like having a cup of coffee for example, may give some people palpitations and trembling

Allergy Testing Dischem – Intolerance – unpleasant symptoms not triggered through the immune system. Reactions can occur after having small amounts of the suspect food but are usually triggered by larger amounts.

Some individuals can tolerate a food if eaten once a week or in small daily portions but any more than this causes adverse symptoms. Although not life threatening, it makes you feel awful and can really wreak havoc with your work and social life.

Allergy Clinic Pretoria

What causes allergies? – Allergy Testing Dischem

Allergy Testing Dischem – Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a particular substance it thinks is harmful – known as an allergen.

It’s unclear why this happens in some people, however those affected tend to have a family history of allergies or experience the closely-related conditions of asthma or eczema.

Allergic reactions range from itching, rashes, swelling, vomiting, tummy pain and diarrhoea, to a blocked or runny nose, coughing and wheezing.

The most severe cases (anaphylaxis) can be life threatening, requiring immediate medical attention.

Most common allergens:

  • Cow’s milk / dairy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)
  • Grass and tree pollen
  • Dust mites

Allergic reaction symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Bloating
  • An itchy red rash
  • Swelling
  • Eczema or asthma which worsens

Diagnosing an allergy – Allergy Testing Dischem

The first step in the effective management of allergies is to identify the allergens causing the problem – which may be obvious in some cases such as asthma, or may need medical testing using proven clinical tools for allergies such as gluten or milk intolerance.

Once the allergens are identified, steps can be taken to avoid the allergic triggers and suffering can be put to an end.

Due to allergy tests being fairly expensive, with a lengthy wait for results, many people choose to rather endure the suffering.

However, suffer no more! New, rapid home diagnostic tests are available in pharmacies nationwide including Dis-chem online.

The newly launched range of QuickCheck tests by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, are really convenient as they can be done in the doctor’s room or in-pharmacy clinic.

With a minimum of 97% German laboratory accuracy delivered within minutes, the tests give quick and easy diagnosis, ensuring that the most appropriate treatment can be followed immediately which is really great – no wasted time, costs or prolonged suffering

Home tests or in-pharmacy clinic:

  • GlutenCHECK – diagnostic test to check gluten intolerance
  • MilkCHECK – allergy detection to antibodies in cow’s milk protein
  • EggCHECK – allergy detection to antibodies in egg white protein
  • AllergoCHECK – detection of allergy to antibodies in: cat hair, grass pollen & house dust mites
  • MenoQuick – rapid diagnostic test for onset of menopause
  • FertiQuick – rapid diagnostic test for sperm concentration

Doctor’s rooms tests for disease diagnosis:

  • Heli-C-CHECK – detection of Helicobacter pylori antibodies
  • FOBCHECK – sample test for rapid detection blood in the stool
  • Strep A – detection of streptococci infection
  • Influenza A&B – rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of Influenza type A and B antigens

Whether you think you have an allergy or an intorerance, why suffer when you can quickly and effortlessly find which allergies you have to things you eat, touch, or inhale. Reduce exposure to them in future, stop the symptoms and have nothing to sneeze at! – and go do Allergy Testing Dischem

Child Allergies – Allergy Testing Dischem


Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances known as allergens in the environment that are harmless for most people.

When a person who is allergic to a particular allergen comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs. This begins when the allergen (for example, pollen) enters the body, triggering an antibody response.

The antibodies attach themselves to special cells, called mast cells. When the pollen comes into contact with the antibodies, the mast cells respond by releasing certain substances, one of which is called histamine. When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting swelling and inflammation is extremely irritating and uncomfortable.

Common allergy triggers – Allergy Testing Dischem

The substance that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen. These include:

  • Animal dander – tiny specks of shed animal skin
  • Pollen from trees, flowers, grass and weeds
  • Dust mites, which are tiny insects commonly found in pillows, mattresses, carpets and upholstered furniture
  • Mould – fungi found indoors and outdoors
  • Certain foods, medicines and chemicals
  • Venom from insect bites


Early Phase Response Stage

A substance called histamine is one of the mediators released within minutes of being exposed to the allergen. These mediators are responsible for some of the general symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis such as sneezing, itching, a runny nose, watery eyes, swelling or nasal congestion. This also mediates inflammation.

Late Phase Response Stage

After 4 to 6 hours of exposure to the allergen, tissues become red and swollen due to the arrival of other inflammatory cells to the area e.g. eosinophils, macrophages, basophils.


The primary function of the immune system is to defend the body from disease-causing organisms such as viruses and bacteria, resulting in an inflammatory response. Similarly, allergic subjects exposed to allergens develop allergic inflammation as part of the allergic reaction with associated unwanted side effects which can vary in severity.


Early phase response of exposure to an allergen may include:

  • Blocked or runny nose and sneezing
  • Red, watery and itchy eyes
  • Coughing and / or difficulty breathing
  • Itchy skin with or without a skin rash
  • Later phase response of exposure to an allergen within a 4 to 6-hour time period may include inflammation whereby tissues
  • become red and swollen.

Allergic reactions of the skin and nose

Everybody is affected by skin irritations and nasal congestion at some point and there are various causes. However, when an allergen triggers an immune response, it results in an allergy.


Allergic skin conditions include rashes, itchy patches (urticaria / hives), insect bites or stings and eczema.

Insect bites or stings – Allergy Testing Dischem

Identifiable by the redness and swelling around the sting area, which for most people goes away after a while, insect bites or stings are mostly caused by bees and wasps. Some people have almost no reaction while others have an extreme allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock), which can be life-threatening.


Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and is mostly caused by outdoor allergens such as grass. ‘Atopic’ refers to the hereditary tendency to develop something although eczema may skip a generation. Showing up as itchy, dry patches it can affect the entire skin or specific areas only such as arms, legs, face or neck, and the area affected may become infected. Occurring mainly in children and often improving with age, approximately 40% of the children with this type of eczema are cleared of the condition eventually.


Allergies caused by inhaling allergens such as animal dander, pollen and dust mites lead to nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sneezing and inflammation.

ALLERGIC RHINITIS – Allergy Testing Dischem

When caused by an allergy the inflammation of the nasal cavity is called allergic rhinitis. There are two types of allergic rhinitis. Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs year-round while the seasonal kind occurs at the time of year when plants, flowers and trees pollinate.

Commonly known as ‘hay fever’, allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) is not triggered by hay and does not result in a fever.

Allergic rhinitis causes the nose to become blocked, which in turn blocks the sinuses – the cavities located near the eyes behind the nose. Various conditions can cause sinusitis, including the common cold but when the nasal and sinus cavities become inflamed due to allergy it is called rhinosinusitis. In other words, allergic rhinitis can lead to sinusitis.

Medical References

Allergy Foundation South Africa

Dis-Chem and The Allergy Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) with our partners Competence Online and the University of Cape Town, have established a partnership to improve training of staff at Dis- Chem clinics, that will allow Dis-Chem to display the AFSA Seal of Approval.  This will improve service to patients with allergies, and position Dis-Chem as leaders in providing allergy services and care.

Nurses have been signed up at all clinics and are half way through their training. Training is being provided via a blended learning approach comprising 7 online modules divided into 4 courses, each followed by a direct teaching session.  Successful completion of the program will allow the individual to receive the UCT/AFSA certificate. Competence Online, our implementation partner, provides a learner management system with interactive content, tracking of client sign-ups and individual completion of modules. The next phase of the training will be extended to all Dis-Chem Pharmacists.

Currently the contact sessions (4 sessions of 2 hours each) allows consolidation of knowledge, resolution of questions, and facilitates skill aspects and demonstration of practical techniques.

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Store Locator – Allergy Testing Dischem

Find your nearest Dischem with this link