Are there ways of controlling allergies? Many times, to bring comic relief to a certain scene in a movie, there is a part where the protagonists are suffering from some allergies. The hero gives a bunch of flowers to the heroine as a gesture of apology and she starts sneezing in a cute way. She then says she is allergic to the flowers. In reality, there is nothing cute or simple about an allergy.
What is an allergy?
An allergic reaction is a reaction that the immune system of the body has toward a foreign substance entering the body. The production of histamine causes itching and swelling, which are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
The foreign bodies or allergens can be any everyday items like food (shrimp, nuts, eggs), pollens, dust, etc. When any such allergen enters the body, the immune system perceives it as a harmful organism that will cause damage to the body.
The immune system attacks the allergen accordingly. Even a pet’s single hair can trigger a fatal allergic reaction in a person with an extreme allergic reaction.
Here are some of the most common allergies faced by the world
- Dust allergy
- Pollen allergy
- Food allergy
- Dander allergy
- Bee allergy
- Mold allergy
As mentioned above, people having an allergic reaction to a certain category need not be allergic to every item in that category. A person allergic to rose pollen will not have any issues with marigolds, chrysanthemums, or other flower pollens.
Similarly, a person allergic to shrimp is not allergic to all seafood. This allergic reaction is mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE); this antibody IgE has specific reactions to specific chemicals. Since the composition of each item is different, the antibody reaction is different.
What are the symptoms of an allergy?
While the antibody IgE latches onto the allergen, it triggers the release of the hormone histamine into the bloodstream. This histamine gives rise to the symptoms seen in an allergic reaction.
There can be various tell-tale signs ranging from mild to life-threatening reactions. My mother has a dust allergy. So if she ever comes in contact with dust mites, she starts sneezing, itching, and within seconds her face swells up.
Different types of allergies have different forms of allergic reactions. People suffering from food allergies often suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People having seasonal allergies suffer from hay fever, rashes, a runny nose, and colds. People with dust allergies often suffer from itching and inflammatory reactions. Allergies to dander can be mild, like itching or rashes, to severe anxiety.
Another severe and life-threatening reaction of allergies is anaphylactic shock. In this, the blood pressure drops rapidly and the throat tissues start to swell rapidly, causing a choking feeling that can cause death if not treated immediately.
When you know that you can have such a severe reaction to elements that are unavoidable, you can carry an emergency kit that contains epinephrine. This drug is known to counter the effects of anaphylaxis by forcing the heartbeat to increase.
People often confuse lactose intolerance with a milk allergy. While the symptoms may be similar, the two are not synonymous. Lactose intolerance is caused by the body not producing enough lactase enzyme to digest the milk.
In a milk allergy, the person is allergic to the protein found in milk. Here. it should be noted that not all such reactions are physiological. Sometimes, people having some psychological fear of something can induce these symptoms.
Remedies to deal with controlling allergies
Curing allergies permanently is not possible, but taking preventive measures is. As mentioned above, carrying epinephrine is a way to deal with severe cases. A person is often not aware of what is causing the allergic reaction when exposed to multiple elements.
People are turning to natural ways to control their allergic reactions. Making lifestyle changes or opting for herbal concoctions are often seen to help people not react so severely to allergens as these boost the immune system.
De-stressing and detoxification can help in dealing with and managing allergic reactions. You can also opt for getting yourself tested. Blood tests are conducted and doctors can usually tell you which food or things to avoid. Similarly, carrying antihistamines aids in dealing with the symptoms.