A-Z of Allergies

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Allergy is a sensitivity to a substance which does not normally cause people any problems. It is a allergic reaction to something.


What to look for

Symptoms usually show up in the parts of the body which are exposed to the allergen.
Nasal congestion, wheezing Sneezing,, and coughing indicate asthma, or drug or respiratory allergies.
Itchy eyes, mouth, and throat are symptoms of respiratory allergies.
Heartburn and diarrhea are signs of food sensitivities Stomach ache, frequent indigestion
Irritated, itchy, reddening, or swelling skin is associated with drug,
food, and insect sting allergies.
Stiffness, pain, and swelling of joints may indicate food or drug allergies.

 Allergies come in a variety of forms and vary in severity from mildly to Just irritate and to life-threatening .
Most of the allergic reactions are not serious, but some, such as anaphylaxis, can be fatal. In this case the patient’s air passages swell and close and the blood pressure falls suddenly.
Only a few allergies can be cured completely, but a variety of conventional and Selection of treatments are available to relieve the symptoms. If your allergy is severe, it is vital that you visit a conventional medical doctor and get treatment immediate on an emergency basis.



No one knows why people develop Allergies but heredity seems to play a role in their development.
The immune system protects the body from foreign substances - known as antigens -by producing antibodies and other chemicals to fight against them to help you. Usually, the immune system ignores the ones that aren’t dangerous like food but they will fight against the bacteria that is harmful to your health.
A person develops an allergic reaction because the immune system cannot tell the Difference between the good from the bad and releases a chemical called histamine to attack the harmless substance as if it were a threat. Histamine produces many of the symptoms associated with allergies. Substances that may trigger allergic reactions, known as allergens, range from pollen to pet faeces to penicillin.

Allergies come in many different forms and are typically grouped in general categories according to the types of substances that cause them and the parts of the body they affect.


Skin allergies: There is three types of allergic reactions affecting the skin.
1.Eczema-dry , cracked skin , covered in pimples , blisters, itch. or inflamed
2.Contact Dermatitis-a type of eczema affecting adults, caused by direct, topical exposure to allergen.
3.Hives - red irritating swelling, which can last for days.

 Respiratory allergies: Such as Hay fever with typical symptoms include the itchy eyes, nose, and roof of mouth or throat, along with nasal congestion, coughing, and sneezing. Are the symptoms of hay fever.
Reactions are caused by the pollens of ragweed, grasses, and other plants whose pollen is spread by the wind. But the same symptoms can be produced by other airborne substances that you inhale. These can include moulds, dust, and animal dander. Mould allergies are caused by airborne spores.


Asthma: Asthma has several causes, but the chief ones are allergies to pollen, mould spores, animal dander, and dust mites. (See Asthma.)


Food allergies: It is sometimes very difficult to pinpoint the particular allergens responsible for a food allergy, because reactions are often delayed or may be caused by food substances or even by eating habits. However, approximately 90 percent of food allergies are caused by the proteins in cow's milk, egg whites, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans.
Other common food allergens include berries, beans, corn, shellfish, yellow food dye No. 5, and gum Arabic (an additive in processed foods).
The classic symptoms of food allergies include nausea, diarrhea, and Stomach cramps. In more severe cases, there may be vomiting,, and respiratory congestion, as well as swelling of the face and tongue faintness, sweating and dizziness.

Insect sting allergies: Some studies speculate that people who have other allergies (food, drug, or respiratory) may be more Vulnerable to insect sting allergies, which affect about 15 percent of the population. The Venom in the stings of yellow jackets, hornets, bees, wasps, and fire ants is a common allergen. (See Insect and Spider Bites.)


Dietary Considerations



Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, And drink a lot of filtered water and avoid commonly allergic foods such as chocolate, milk fish eggs, cheese . It is wise to seek professional advice, artificial flavours. Avoid stress and pollution. Also plenty of exercise and fresh clean air.





Respiratory allergies: Install a performance efficiency air cleaner to help remove pollen and mould spores, and use an air conditioner in your home and car during warm seasons to keep pollen out; Always clean damp areas with bleach to kill moulds.
Consider hiring a special cleaning service to rid furniture and upholstery of dust mites. Isolate your pets and keep them outside as much as possible Regular bathing your pets will help reduce dander. If you are going on holiday remember there is much less pollen at the seaside than in the country.

 When to seek further professional advice:

If you have violent stomach cramps, vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea; and breathing becomes difficult or painful; you may be experiencing asthma, or another serious allergic reaction or a heart attack. Get emergency treatment.
If you suddenly develop skin welts, with intense flushing and itching; your heart may also be beating rapidly. Get emergency medical treatment

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Since allergies can be very difficult to diagnose, and are in many cases incurable, alternative remedies for them have become quite popular. But if you have a severe allergy, or in case of an emergency, you must see a conventional physician.

Aromatherapy: you must try to identify the cause. But the following essential oils dabbed on the
pulse points of the wrist and neck or on a handkerchief may help you. 3 drops of the following clove, lemon and myrtle with 2 drops of chamomile in 15 ml carrier oil. Go to Aromatherapy entry for more information.

 Chinese herbs : Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) acts like the decongestant epinephrine, which opens up
the lungs' and the airway. However only use under the supervision of a qualified Chinese medical practitioner.

Herbal Therapies: Infusions of chamomile, eyebright, garlic, goldenrod, elder flower nettle and yarrow have anti-mucus and anti-inflammatory effects.

Homeopathy : For a runny nose, itchy throat, and sneezing, Arsenicum album may be prescribed,
for chronic thick mucus, for a runny nose, sore upper lip, and itchy eyes, Pulsatilla Allium cepa. It is wise to seek professional advice for correct dosages.


Traditional Treatment



The best treatment for all the allergies is to avoid the allergen that causes them, but this can be difficult. It is especially important to avoid any foods which may trigger attacks.
The basic medications for respiratory allergies are antihistamines, which counteract the histamine chemicals that cause the allergic reactions. They come as tablets, nose drops or eye drops liquid medicine, and also as injections.
Prescription corticosteroid drugs may also be used for the most serious symptoms of skin allergies.
In emergency situations: When Anaphylactic shock occurs : injections of epinephrine are used to increase bronchial passages. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may cure some allergies by introducing medium amounts of the offending allergens in order to help the body learn to deal with them.
These drugs do not cure, they simply relieve the symptoms.
You can ask your doctor to perform a prick test so he or she would be able to tell you which substances to avoid exposure to.
Eczema is quite often controlled by ensuring that the skin is kept moist and supple (use a moisturising cream).


Drug allergies: Once again try to avoid any drug which may cause a allergic reaction and of course if you have a reaction contact a medical practitioner urgently.
Insect sting allergies: Prevention is the best treatment, but immunotherapy may cure insect sting allergies. If you are extremely allergic and likely to go into anaphylactic shock, your doctor will prescribe you an emergency kit, which you must carry with you at all times.



The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-17