I want to share with you some common facts that you might want to know about allergies if you are one or the millions of people who suffer from the miserable symptoms. Whether you have seasonal, environmental, chemical, food or any mixture of all of these, you are very aware of the health problems and the complexity of allergies.
Many factors play a role in why you have allergies which include, genetics and environmental factors, and geographical location.
A specific allergy is not usually inherited or genetic, but if both your parents have allergies, you are likely to have allergies. Allergic diseases are strongly familial: identical twins are likely to have the same allergic diseases about 70% of the time; the same allergy occurs about 40% of the time in non-identical twins. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children, and their allergies are likely to be more severe than those from non-allergic parents. The chance is greater if your mother has allergies.
The risk of allergic sensitization and the development of allergies varies with age, with young children most at risk. Several studies have shown that IgE levels are highest in childhood and fall rapidly between the ages of 10 and 30 years. The peak prevalence of hay fever is highest in children and young adults and the incidence of asthma is highest in children under 10. Overall, boys have a higher risk of developing allergies than girls ,except asthma is more common in female young adults. Sex differences tend to decrease in adulthood.
Ethnicity may play a role in some allergies; however, racial factors have been difficult to separate from environmental influences and changes due to migration. It has been suggested that different genetic loci are responsible for asthma, specifically people of European, Hispanic, Asian, and African origins.
Allergies may make certain medical conditions such as sinus problems, eczema, and asthma worse and many times these conditions are triggered by a certain allergen.
Definition of Allergy:–An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful.
The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. It also reacts to foreign substances called allergens, which are generally harmless and in most people, do not cause a problem.
But in a person with allergies, the immune response is oversensitive. When it recognizes an allergen, it releases chemicals such as histamines, which fight off the allergen. This causes itching, swelling, mucus production, muscle spasms, hives, rashes, and other symptoms, which vary from person to person.
Definition of an Allergen: A substance that is foreign to the body and can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Allergens are substances that, in some people, the immune system recognizes as dangerous, but cause no response for most people.
Common allergens include: Bacteria, viruses, animal parasites and common house dust that can have many pollutants and even metals. Drugs that have many chemicals such as antibiotics or even medications you put on your skin can be a factor. Foods such as milk, chocolate, strawberries, wheat, gluten, peanuts, and many more. Chemicals including perfumes and many cosmetics, pesticides, and off-gassing from carpets and other new products can play a role. Plants sometimes produce pollen, mold or fungus that is many times a common allergen. Pollen is sometimes seasonal as ragweed that starts in late summer. Smoke from cigarettes or from burning of trash, dander from animals such as dogs and cats, and allergic reactions can also be caused by insect bites, such bees.
Some people have allergy-like reactions to hot or cold temperatures, sunlight, or other environmental triggers. Sometimes, people even react to friction of rubbing or roughly stroking the skin, and will cause symptoms such as hives or other skin rashes.
An allergic reaction to food can cause skin inflammation (generally hives), gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea), upper respiratory tract symptoms (congestion, sneezing), and wheezing. The most common allergy-causing (allergenic) foods are eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, soy products, and wheat.
Definition of Antigen: An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. An antigen may be a foreign substance from the environment such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or pollen. An antigen may also be formed within the body, as with bacterial toxins or tissue cells.
Allergies are a complex problem that isn’t always easy to treat, but we can support our bodies by eating a healthy diet. Eat organic and local harvest foods as much as possible, keeping our immune system strong, and avoiding environmental toxins is very important. Use safe toxic-free, organic personal products, use chemical and fragrance free cleaning products and detergents or make your own DIY products. Taking supplements to support the immune system is always a good idea so that we can be sure we are getting proper vitamins and minerals.
Live a healthy, natural and green lifestyle!
Marla Gates is the owner of organic4greenlivings.com. Marla worked for over 10 years in healthcare, which helped her understand the dramatic need for changes in our society and how we view what healthy actually is. Her mission is education and awareness, so that people can make healthier choices and ensure a safe world for all of us to live in. Since she has suffered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), for 20 years or more it has given her the first-hand knowledge on what chemicals and pollution can do to your health. So come join her, read her blog and learn how to live healthy and green.