Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
Allergies are any number of bodily reactions brought about by a hypersensitive immune system. These kinds of immune systems will mistake an innocent substance, known as allergens, as harmful, resulting in the production of antibodies to defend the body. The antibody largely responsible for allergic reactions is immunoglobin E (IgE); this antibody binds to allergens then to basophils and mast cells, which then triggers the release of inflammatory, allergic reaction-causing chemicals.
Allergens come in many forms and can appear in all kinds of locations. Foods are among the most common allergens, and the foods known for being most likely to cause allergens are:
Apart from food, plant pollen, medication, animal materials, and even metals can act as allergens.
When diagnosing an allergy, a doctor will ask the affected person the frequency of the symptoms, the potential causes behind them, and if any other members of their family have allergies. Following this, a doctor will either refer the affect person to a specialist, or recommend that they undergo tests to determine which allergen is causing their symptoms. These tests include blood tests, wherein the IgE antibody levels will be measured, and skin prick test, wherein the skin will be pricked with trace amounts of possible allergens until the skin becomes itchy and swollen.
Exposure to allergens will typically cause mild allergic reactions, the most typical symptoms of which include:
A more severe, rapidly escalating, and life-threatening allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis typically occur minutes after exposure to an allergen, though they can sometimes manifest within a half hour. These symptoms include but aren’t limited to:
Anaphylaxis can be fatal if medical treatment is not administered immediately. The most effective treatment for anaphylaxis is epinephrine, which is most often administered through an auto-injector into the thigh muscles.
The organs and organ systems affected by allergies usually vary from person to person. In some cases, allergic reactions are localized; for others, multiple organ systems will be affected. Though for the most part, these organs and organ systems are usually at risk when allergic reactions happen:
Although there aren’t any foods that can cure a person of allergies, some foods can reduce their frequency and severity. According to BestHealthMag.ca, these are:
As per Healthline.com, the best way to prevent and manage allergies is to avoid contact or exposure to allergens. In the event that this isn’t possible, medication is most often utilized as a means of controlling allergic reaction symptoms. Some of these allergy medications, which can be prescribed or purchased over the counter, are:
In lieu of allergy medications, some people opt to undergo immunotherapy instead. Immunotherapy usually involves administering numerous injections over several months to years, which is meant to help the body get used to allergies. If successful, immunotherapy can prevent allergy symptoms from manifesting once more.
Allergies are the result of a hypersensitive immune system reacting to otherwise harmless substances. These substances, called allergens, can range from metals to food to plant pollen to animal materials. Exposure or contact with allergens can cause allergic reactions, which include symptoms like red eyes, skin rashes and nausea. More severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, is marked by hypotension and blue-tinged skin and confusion, and can be fatal if not treated straight away.
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