Monthly Newsletters - 2016 / 2017 Newsletters

Weight Loss Improves Asthma Control

It’s a new year, and it’s time to make your new year’s resolutions! For many, losing weight and implementing healthier habits are top resolutions. The more common benefits of healthy weight loss are well known and for many people, weight loss helps to improve their asthma. Studies show that weight loss in obese individuals with physician-diagnosed asthma is associated with a 48%–100% remission of asthma symptoms and reduced use of asthma medication (Juel 2012).

Is the cold weather wreaking havoc on your health?

We all know individuals who blame the weather for their achy joints, migraines and many other health woes.  Do you, too, wonder why your allergies feel worse after you have been outside in chilly weather? Most medical experts agree that weather can have profound effects on asthma and allergies.

Please welcome a new physician to our team!

We are very proud to introduce our new associate physician, Dr. Hana Tartibi, who will be starting practice with our group this month.

Breastfeeding Linked to Decreased Risk for Childhood Asthma Exacerbations

Breastfeeding Linked to Decreased Risk for Childhood Asthma Exacerbations In a Pediatric Allergy and Immunology analysis of children with asthma, those who had been breastfed had a 45% lower risk of asthma exacerbations later in life compared with children who had not been breastfed. Investigators analyzed data from 960 children aged 4 to 12 years who were using regular asthma medication.

Lower vitamin D levels & dust mite sensitivity

Patients with severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) who have lower serum vitamin D levels have a higher risk of sensitivity to house dust mites which can aggravate their condition, a new study shows.

Back to School Immunizations

What if your child suffers from certain food allergies found in these vaccines?

As we approach the beginning of the school year and it is time to finalize registration for schools and day cares, it may be time to think about booster shots.

Sublingual tablet to treat dust mite allergy approved

Officials with the US FDA today approved Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corporation's Odactra, the first allergen tablet to be administered sublingually to treat house dust mite-induced nasal inflammation (allergic rhinitis), with or without eye inflammation, in adults aged 18 through 65.

Do Some Raw Fruits Or Veggies Give You A Tingly Mouth? It's called Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)

If you suffer from pollen allergies and you’ve experienced an itchy mouth or scratchy throat after eating certain raw fruits or vegetables and some tree nuts, you may have oral allergy syndrome.

Symptoms of oral allergy syndrome include an itchy mouth, scratchy throat, or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. The symptoms are usually confined to one area and do not normally progress beyond the mouth. Because the symptoms usually subside quickly once the fresh fruit or raw vegetable is swallowed or removed from the mouth, treatment is not usually necessary.

Are natural remedies effective? Can they be successfully used to complement other allergy & asthma treatments to help improve symptoms?

Some natural therapies may help to manage symptoms of allergy and asthma. For example-emotional stress can cause an asthma attack and some natural relaxation remedies like deep abdominal breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help relieve stress. In addition, it is also thought that herbs and other natural dietary supplements can be used as complementary treatments for allergy & asthma. However, because there has been limited research on complementary and alternative treatments for allergy and asthma, the effectiveness and safety is often unknown.

Voluntary Worldwide Recall of EpiPen® Auto-Injector

If you think you may be impacted by this recall, please follow these instructions from Mylan:

Check the lot number on your carton or device to see if your EpiPen® Auto-Injector is affected by the recall.

If your EpiPen® Auto-Injector has been recalled, contact Stericycle at 877-650-3494 to obtain a voucher code for your free replacement product. Stericycle also will provide you with a pre-paid return package to ship the product back to Stericycle.

Choosing the right OTC (over-the-counter) allergy medicine

For many allergy sufferers, the allergy medicine aisle can be very daunting, especially given the numerous medications available claiming to relieve allergic symptoms. Because many allergy sufferers do not feel well, this experience is made even more difficult. Surprisingly enough, despite the known side effects associated with Benadryl, many people end up purchasing Benadryl simply because it is almost synonymous with “allergy relief”. However, in a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers offer compelling evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic medications like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and dementia.

Dr. Zhang Chosen as One of the Top Allergists in the Bay Area

We are proud to announce that Dr. Zhang was among 1 of 10 allergists chosen as “Our Best Doctors” in the January, 2017 edition of San Francisco Magazine. The list of doctors was chosen from over 900 nominees in the 8 Bay Area counties based on recommendations from licensed physicians and other medical professionals in the region.  Each candidate was evaluated based on their educational and professional credentials, years of experience, board certification, quality of medical degree, hospital affiliations and whether they had received any disciplinary actions.  San Francisco Magazine worked in collaboration with Castle Connolly Ltd—a health care research and information company that has made it its mission to help patients find the best healthcare.

Dr Engler and Brooke Leon, NP attended the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

Recently, both Dr Engler and Brooke Leon, NP attended the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) which was held in San Francisco.

Some of the presentations most relevant to our patients included:

Don’t Let Allergies and Asthma Ruin the Holidays

We’d like to pass on some tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and The Christmas Tree Association to help you steer clear of allergy and asthma symptoms during the holidays.

Addressing food allergies during the holidays: How to say No

It’s the season when we often find ourselves invited to festive gatherings with family, friends and colleagues. However, for those managing food allergies, the exciting invitations to family gatherings or company parties can quickly translate into a myriad of questions and risk assessment.

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project

Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since so much candy is off limits.

FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy.

How to afford your epinephrine auto-injector

September 2016

With all of the media attention being given to the rising costs of EpiPen, we wanted to make sure our patients have all of the resources available to be able to afford their lifesaving injectable epinephrine.

Allergies and Asthma Can Be Harder to Control at School Than at Home

August 2016

You work hard to keep your child’s allergies and asthma under control. You clean to get rid of dust mites and pet dander, and you make sure your kids are taking the right medications at the right time. Then you send them off to school and your routine can fall apart, leaving your child with symptoms that aren’t controlled.

Dreaming of your summer vacation?

July 2016

Wondering how to keep asthma and allergies under control? Put some planning behind the dream.

Review your symptoms – how often are they occurring? How well are you sleeping at night? Are you having trouble exercising? If your allergies or asthma aren’t under control, talk about revising your treatment plan. The first step to being healthy on vacation is being healthy at home.

Summertime Fun in the Sun!

June 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Now that the summer sun is high in the sky, everyone knows they should use sunscreen as a first defense against the powerful rays that can cause sunburns and skin cancer.  But what if the very product meant to protect you is causing an allergic skin reaction?

Vitamin D During Pregnancy, Infancy Can Reduce Aeroallergen Sensitization

May 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Vitamin D supplements taken during pregnancy and infancy may help to reduce the high childhood allergy rate, a new study has claimed.


April 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Researchers from Kings College in London are reporting that infants who have been introduced to peanuts early in life are less likely to develop peanut allergies, even if they stop eating peanut around the age of five.

Allergy shots effective for baby boomers suffering from seasonal allergies

March 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of people suffering from allergies, including baby boomers, as a result of numerous factors, including climate changes. Because older people often have other chronic diseases, diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be a challenge. A new study shows immunotherapy (allergy shots or drops) reduced symptoms by 55 percent after three years of therapy, and decreased the amount of medication needed for relief of symptoms by 64 percent.

Eat to Ease Your Allergies

February 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Although you usually can’t cure your allergies with a special diet, what you eat can make a difference in how you feel. Some foods can make your allergy symptoms better, and some can make them worse.

Allergies & El Nino

January 2016 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

As El Nino continues to wreak havoc on weather conditions throughout the United States, allergy sufferers may be in for a rough ride this winter and upcoming spring pollen season. Extremely wet winter conditions found in California have provided a fertile breeding ground for mold spores to proliferate, potentially intensifying allergy symptoms in many people

2015 Monthly Newsletters

New Year's Resolutions

January 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Are your allergies or asthma keeping you from achieving your New Year's Resolutions? In January, most of us make New Year's resolutions for self-improvement. Many of us will vow to lose weight, exercise more often, or get our finances under control. But why not also use this as an opportunity to take charge of your allergies so they do not prevent you from achieving your goals?

Together we can help control asthma.

May 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

This World Asthma Day (May 5, 2015) and Asthma Awareness Month (May 2015) the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) encourages you to discover how.

Bug bites, and rashes, and hives, OH MY!

July 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Most summertime rituals -- enjoying the great outdoors, visiting the beach, having campfires – are a lot of fun. The accompanying and mostly unavoidable bug bites and rashes, however, are not. The most common are mosquito bites. These are closely followed by insect stings from bees and wasps, allergic rashes and hives from plant life such as poison ivy and eczema flares from swimming in chlorinated pools. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent and treat these nuisances so you can enjoy all that summertime has to offer.

College Bound!

August 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Going away to college for the first time can be nerve-wracking, not only for the parents but also the student. In addition to the routine questions like: How will I find my way around? Will my classes be too hard? What will the other students be like? Students who suffer from allergies and asthma may also be asking: How can I keep my symptoms under control?

Asthma and the Flu

September 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

The traditional start of flu season is only a few weeks away. Influenza (flu) can be more serious for people with allergies and asthma, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication. This is because people with asthma often have swollen and sensitive airways and influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs. Influenza infection in the lungs can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms. It also can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases, which in turn can lead to serious complications.

New study confirms that Allergy Immunotherapy for Allergic Rhinitis helps to prevent Asthma

October 2015 - By Dr. Andrew Engler

Researchers in Dresden, Germany, have demonstrated that allergy immunotherapy (given as injections or sublingually) can significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma in patients with allergic rhinitis.