Allergic Reactions

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allergic-reactionMechanisms of Allergic Reactions

The most common hypersensitivity reaction is the allergic reaction. In susceptible people, IgE antibodies are induced when an individual is exposed to such antigens as airborne pollen of grasses, trees or weeds; animal dander, urine or saliva; mold spores; various insect-derived dusts and airborne organic dust; the venom of a certain stinging insect; or specific foods or drugs.

Allergens are antigens that produce allergic reactions. As encountered in nature, most allergic substances contain many different antigens or molecules capable of inducing an immune response. Most of the time, however, only a few of the antigens in these substances act as allergens. In recent years, allergens from a few pollen and animal sources have been identified, characterized and in many cases, isolated in pure form. In most cases the allergens clearly identified have proven to be proteins in a specific weight range of 10,000 to 40,000 daltons or in other words, they are microscopic in size.

The Single Allergy Gene Theory

We do not yet know what it is that leads to the spontaneous production of large amounts of IgE antibodies in some people. Recent evidence suggest that a person’s total IgE level is genetically determined by a single gene. In allergic individuals, the IgE levels are often two to four times above normal and is presumed to be from a result of the person’s  previous responses to environmental allergens. Exposure to small doses of antigens tend to favor IgE antibody production that is regulated by both helper and suppressor T cells.

Scientist now know that the level of IgE antibodies for ragweed-pollen antigens rises dramatically during and immediate after the annual ragweed season. The level then falls slowly until the next pollen season starts, when it rises quickly again.  Apparantly, T cells cause an influx of mast cells and basophils into an area such as the nose lining when exposed to ragweed pollen. As a result, symptoms of ragweed allergies can occur weeks after the official ragweed season has ended.

Allergy researchers have concluded that to understand and control allergic diseases, we must understand how the immune system functions. Recent knowledge has been harnessed allowing scientist to better control allergic reactions by controlling how the immune system reacts to a given allergen.

Source: The Allergy Encyclopedia

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Food Allergies

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Sometimes a feeling of uneasiness and discomfort occurs immediately after a meal. It is often thought that the result of a food allergy. In most cases, however, this feeling of discomfort is the result of the intolerance of some foods rather than food allergy. The difference in food intolerance and allergy is mainly realized through the difference in time scale and severity of symptoms.

To understand and diagnose the difference between the two is important. Symptoms of food intolerance can manifest within hours or even a day later. In the case of allergies, the onset is immediate and generally within an hour. Food allergy occurs when the immune system attempts to process a protein found in the food incorrectly, leading to an overreaction by the body and the production of certain chemicals. It is important to identify the allergen in question is causing the food allergy so that it can be avoided in future.

Some of the key symptoms that occur with food allergies are:

1. Skin rashes and itching
2. Severe diarrhea and vomiting
3. Stomach cramps
4. Swelling skin especially in areas of procurement, such as the eyelids, lips and inside the mouth
5. A runny nose and blocked nasal passages
6. Inflammation throat, trachea and larynx
7. Headaches
8. Fatigue and dizziness
9. Joint pain
10. Hives

These symptoms should be identified immediately as delayed treatment can lead to malfunctioning of the internal systems. Ingredient labels should be read carefully when buying food and when eating out it is always a good idea to check with the waiter at the restaurant about ingredients used to prepare a plate. Some patients are so vulnerable that doctors even advise them to carry self-injectable epinephrine pens, which can literally save your life during  a severe allergic reaction.

The foods below are five of the most allergic foods for people with food allergies:

1. Eggs
2. Milk or dairy products
3. Seafood and shellfish
4. Peanuts and cashews
5. Wheat

These are the foods which most common affect children and adults, and it is important to visit a medical professional as soon as you experience any signs of a food allergy. In cases of food intolerance, smaller degrees of similar symptoms may occur but usually disappear after a short time. In the cases of food allergies these symptoms even more pronounced and severe, and may also lead to severe breathing problems or diarrhea.

Source: For over 20 years, the ALCAT Test has provided both patients as well as healthcare professionals with a tool to successfully overcome a wide variety of conditions which result from chemical sensitivity and food intolerance. Their site is:

Related Posts: Candida Allergies, Shellfish Allergies, Yeast Allergies.

Understanding Food Allergy

Chicken Allergies

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chicken-allergyAcross the world, people are rush to food restaurants, thinking about what to have for dinner or eat a quick snack at the office. Most of them probably are not thinking about the food-borne illnesses or food allergies from a piece of chicken.

Nevertheless, some of them get sick from food they consumed, while at home or away from home. While it is not something you want to dwell on, it is important to know the facts so you can protect your health and prevent serious complications.

Chicken or Egg?

Some people who are known to have egg allergies do also have an allergy to other chicken products. However, it is rare to find allergy sufferers who are allergic to both.  Allergic reactions to food occur when a person eats a food to which he or she is allergic. Unless the person is not aware of his allergy, consumption is usually unintentional.

The Chicken-Foodborne Connection

Ill effects that occur after eating improperly cooked chicken may be the result of foodborne illnesses. Foodborne diseases more commonly known as intoxicated food and are the result of eating contaminated food. Everyone is susceptible to them to some degree. There are four major classes of pollutants that can cause foodborne illness and they are:

  1. Bacteria
  2. Virus
  3. Parasites
  4. Bacterial toxins

Symptoms of the above pollutants can include fever, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. Renal failure and paralysis of a couple of effects most serious associated with certain types of bacteria, including E. coli and Clostridium botulinum.

However, it is important to note that allergic food reactions produce many of the same symptoms as foodborne diseases, such as stomach pain, abdominal cramps, fatigue and vomiting. Allergic reactions, however, have the potential to be much more serious. A person who has a severe allergy to a food can go into anaphylactic shock if consumed, which can lead to respiratory failure and even death. The only way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid contact with problem foods. That means carefully reading labels and provided information about restaurant food ingredients.

If you feel you may have a chicken related allergy, then it becomes important to inquire as to the unlisted ingredients which may be in poultry dishes. If a restaurant does not fully disclose their ingredients, then you should choose to eat elsewhere.

However, in cases where a restaurant, company or person is responsible for your food poisoning or severe allergic reaction, then you may wish to seek out the advice of a personal injury attorney.

Related Post: Food Allergies.

Provided by: Bernard Law Group

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