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All About Allergies

Allergies occur when the immune system responds to a foreign material such as pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or food that does not cause reactions in other people.

Your immune system generates substances that are known as antibodies. When you have allergies, the immune system produces antibodies that recognize a specific allergen as dangerous, even though it isn't. When you come into contact with an allergen, the responses of your immune system can inflame your skin, your sinuses, your airways or your digestive system.

The severity of allergies varies between individuals and can vary from mild discomfort to anaphylaxis, which can pose a life threat. Although most allergies cannot be cured, medication may help to alleviate symptoms of your allergy.

Causes of Allergies

An allergy begins when the immune system fails to handle a harmful invader with a normally harmless substance. Then the immune system produces antibodies which remain on the alert for that particular allergen. These antibodies can release a variety of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms when you are exposed to the allergen again.


Common causes of allergies include:

  • Airborne allergens

  • Certain foods

  • Insect stings

  • Medications

  • Latex or other substances you touch

Symptoms of Allergies

Drug Allergy

Hives, itchy skin, rash, facial swelling, wheezing, Anaphylaxis

Food Allergies

Food allergies can trigger swelling, hives, nausea, fatigue, and more.

Insect sting Allergy

A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site, Itching or hives all over the body, Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath, Anaphylaxis

Seasonal Allergies

There may be signs of hay fever that resemble those of a cold. Congestion, runny nose, and swollen eyes are part of them.

Severe Allergies

Anaphylaxis may be caused by extreme allergies. This is a life-threatening emergency and can lead to difficulty in breathing, lightheadedness and loss of consciousness.

Everyone's allergic reaction signs and symptoms are different.


Preventing the Symptoms

There is no way to avoid allergies. But there are ways to keep the symptoms from happening. The best way to alleviate allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that cause them.

Avoidance is the most effective way to prevent signs of food allergy. An elimination diet will help you identify the origin of your allergies so that you know how to prevent them. To help you prevent food allergens, read the food labels carefully and ask questions when dining out.

Preventing seasonal, contact, and other allergies requires understanding where the allergens are found and how to stop them.


Natural Remedies for Allergies

Many natural remedies and supplements are advertised as medication and also as a means of preventing allergies. Check with your doctor about these before trying them out. Other allergens can potentially contain those natural remedies and make the symptoms worse.

Some dried teas, for example, use flowers and plants that are closely linked to plants that may induce extreme sneezing. For essential oils, the same holds true. To ease common symptoms of allergies, some people use these oils, but essential oils do contain ingredients that can cause allergies.

There are a variety of natural remedies for each type of allergy that can help speed up recovery. There are also natural solutions for allergies in children, too.


To Sum It Up

Allergies are normal and have no life-threatening effects for most people. People at risk for anaphylaxis will learn how to control their allergies and what to do in an emergency situation.

Most allergies can be avoided, medications, and lifestyle changes. Working with your doctor or allergist will help to reduce any significant problems and make life more enjoyable.

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