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Allergies

Allergies

Allergies are described as abnormal responses within the body to things or substances that are typically harmless. However, this incorrect response causes the immune system to react to the substance (known as allergens) as if it was harmful. It is a good idea for any allergy sufferer to get to know which allergens you are allergic to so that you can control the symptoms.

Sometimes, people with allergies may experience a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. The signs of anaphylaxis can develop into more serious symptoms such as swelling of the lips, tongue and throat. This type of reaction usually occurs within minutes after been exposed to the triggering allergen (e.g. peanut). It is a rare, life-threatening emergency and medical attention is required immediately. There are considered to be many more that are intolerant to substances which may cause or aggravate a health issue, for instance most with auto-immune problems could have their symptoms made worse with food intolerances.

Allergies occur when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks the allergen as an invader and produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to combat these substances. These antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals such as histamine into the bloodstream. IgE reactions are usually rapid but other antibody reactions (for example IgG) may induce delayed effects but nonetheless can have profound health impacts. Allergic chemicals or foods can affect your eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin or gastrointestinal tract and produces allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Delayed effects are associated with bowel problems, eczema, headaches and other inflammatory problems. Every time that you are exposed to that same allergen, an allergic reaction will be triggered. If a person regularly and chronically experiences a systemic discomfort or reaction (for example, intestinal bloating that may vary over time) then it is probably an indicator of a sensitivity to particular foods or substances that they are exposed to. For the treatment of allergies to be effective, the individual has to be aware of the allergen or substance that is causing the allergy.

An apparent reaction to gluten does not necessarily mean that person is a coeliac and may need an elimination of all grains with gluten or resort to grains (e.g. kamut or spelt wheat) with lower chromosome levels and thereby less likely to cause an intolerance during digestion. Protecting digestion system with broad spectrum probiotics and/ improving stomach digestion with supplementary enzymes can, in many instances, reduce some intolerances.

Certain herbal and homeopathic remedies have been found to be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of allergies. These remedies are not only much safer to use than the traditional antihistamine drugs but also gentler for the body. Herbs such as Urtica Urens and Plantago lanceolata (also known as plantain) contain effective anti-inflammatory and astringent properties and have a long history of treating inflammation, allergies and respiratory complaints. Quercetin is a highly effective herb that contains antioxidants and helps to boost the immune system and improve circulation while Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright) maintains eye health and good vision.