Allergies? An upcoming lifestyle disease?

Hi everyone! This is my first blog for my site. I’ll like to clarify a few things about allergy in this post. Hoping to make things better for all of you and your allergies in future.

What do you exactly mean by allergy?

Allergy means an altered response of the body. The body has natural defense mechanisms, the immune system,which handle any foreign substances which enter the body such as microbes and bacteria. Sometimes, if a foreign protein enters the body, the immune system overreacts to that protein, and can cause a  reaction which is harmful.

What are the natural defense mechanisms of the body?

The natural barriers of the body are the skin, mucosal lining of the nose, windpipe, foodpipe and the digestive system as a whole. Any breach in these layers exposes the body to allergen. however, below these barriers is a layer of antibodies and specialised white blood cells.

what causes allergy?

A foreign substance introduced in the body. This is a protein or part of it known as an allergen. you can eat it, breathe it in, or if it comes in contact with your skin. Once it crosses the natural barriers of the body it gets introduced to the immune system. You may not have a reaction the first time, but once the body develops antibodies to the particular allergen, on subsequent exposure you can get some severe allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms of allergy?

Running nose, sneezing ,itchy eyes, stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes. In extreme cases you can get a life threatening reaction called anaphylaxis in which you get into shock. Swelling of  lips and face and occasionally of the tongue and voice box can lead to choking.

Why is allergy a lifestyle disease?

We can see in today’s world allergies are more rampant than 20-30 years ago.  Lifestyle changes, global warming, all have lead to increasing allergies.

Lifestyle changes: Earlier, we used to be more exposed to nature. Deliveries used to be conducted at home. Kids used to play outside in the dirt and with animals. This boosted their immune system as they used to be exposed to a lot of allergens. Nowadays kids are born in the hospital in a sterile environment and extensively protected.

More of an Urban lifestyle with closed environment , air conditioning and central heating leads to over exposure to dust mites, fungi, and other indoor allergens. early weaning, exposure to processed food, and early introduction of cow’s milk to the diet of children predispose to allergies.

Global warming: Warm climate predisposes more to plants releasing their pollen in the atmosphere more quickly and frequently. this leads to more and more pollen allergies.

Next: What are the main things that cause allergy.

Published by allergy care

I am an ENT specialist practicing allergy for the last 5 years. feel free to contact me

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