Can you build immunity to allergies: Allergy Cures: The Truth Behind 10 Myths
Allergies and the Immune System
Allergic disease is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world. People with a family history of allergies have an increase risk of developing allergic disease. Hay fever (allergic rhinitis), eczema, hives, asthma, and food allergy are some types of allergic diseases. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Allergic reactions begin in your immune system. When a harmless substance such as dust, mold, or pollen is encountered by a person who is allergic to that substance, the immune system may over react by producing antibodies that “attack” the allergen. The can cause wheezing, itching, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and other symptoms.
What is the immune system?
The purpose of the immune system is to defend itself and keep microorganisms, such as certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi, out of the body, and to destroy any infectious microorganisms that do invade the body. The immune system is made up of a complex and vital network of cells and organs that protect the body from infection.
The organs involved with the immune system are called the lymphoid organs. They affect growth, development, and the release of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). The blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are important parts of the lymphoid organs. They carry the lymphocytes to and from different areas in the body. Each lymphoid organ plays a role in the production and activation of lymphocytes.
Lymphoid organs include:
Adenoids (two glands located at the back of the nasal passages)
Appendix (a small tube that is connected to the large intestine)
Blood vessels (the arteries, veins, and capillaries through which blood flows)
Bone marrow (the soft, fatty tissue found in bone cavities)
Lymph nodes (small organs shaped like beans, which are located throughout the body and connect via the lymphatic vessels)
Lymphatic vessels (a network of channels throughout the body that carries lymphocytes to the lymphoid organs and bloodstream)
Peyer’s patches (lymphoid tissue in the small intestine)
Spleen (a fist-sized organ located in the abdominal cavity)
Thymus (two lobes that join in front of the trachea behind the breast bone)
Tonsils (two oval masses in the back of the throat)
How does a person become allergic?
Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, certain types of asthma, and hives are linked to an antibody produced by the body called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Each IgE antibody can be very specific, reacting against certain pollens and other allergens. In other words, a person can be allergic to one type of pollen, but not another. When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing a large quantity of similar IgE antibodies. The next exposure to the same allergen may result in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary depending on the type and amount of allergen encountered and the manner in which the body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.
Allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. However, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or environmental irritants may also play a role in the development or severity of allergies.
What is anaphylactic shock?
Anaphylactic shock, also called anaphylaxis, is a severe, life-threatening reaction to certain allergens. Body tissues may swell, including tissues in the throat. Anaphylactic shock is also characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure. The following are the most common symptoms of anaphylactic shock. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Other symptoms may include:
Itching and hives over most of the body
Swelling of the throat and tongue or tightness in throat
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or cramps
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Loss of consciousness
Abnormal heart rate (too fast or too slow)
Anaphylactic shock can be caused by an allergic reaction to a drug, food, serum, insect venom, allergen extract, or chemical. Some people who are aware of their allergic reactions or allergens carry an emergency anaphylaxis kit that contains injectable epinephrine (a drug that stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the rate and force of the heartbeat).
For information about food allergies please visit the following pages:
Are allergies a sign of a strong immune system?
Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans every year. They originate from the immune system (the body’s defense mechanism) which defends the body against harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria by releasing antibodies that kill the invaders.
Allergic reactions occur when the body releases antibodies in response to harmless substances such as dust and pollen. Allergies cause different discomforts, ranging from wheezing to itchy eyes. Allergy testing Los Angeles will help you know the exact substances causing your allergy and what to do.
Do Allergies Benefit Your Health?
While allergies indicate that the immune system is not functioning correctly, a group of researchers’ suggests otherwise. They argue that these allergies could be the body’s mechanism of getting rid of toxic substances and that allergies are indicators of strong immune systems. The concept is:
- Allergy symptoms keep unhealthy irritants out of the body. For instance, if you inhale an undesirable substance such as pollen, you may sneeze to exhale it or produce extra mucus.
- Allergic reactions are the body’s means of warning you to avoid toxic substances. Undoubtedly, if you sneeze or cough a lot when exposed to dust, you are likely to avoid dusty environments.
Currently, there are different studies about allergic reactions. Some indicate that allergies are more robust defenses against certain cancers.
One way of explaining the relationship between allergies and better responses to certain cancers is that allergies strengthen the body’s defense system. It makes it more effective in identifying and eliminating cancer-causing toxins. This concept forms the basis of Los Angeles allergy immunotherapy.
What is Los Angeles Allergy Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy in Los Angeles is a common treatment for certain types of diseases. Los Angeles allergy immunotherapy entails training the immune system to identify and fight diseases. It boosts the body’s defense system. Immunotherapy has proven effective in the treatment of certain conditions and it takes two approaches:
- Introducing foreign substances in the body to trigger immune responses
- Using antibody-like substances to fight diseases
The use of immunotherapy in Los Angeles to treat diseases has developed a great deal in this century. However, research into more effective ways of training the immune system to fight diseases is still ongoing.
Allergies May Be Saving Your Life After All!
Allergies are often treated by medication or avoidance of the allergens. Treating allergy symptoms could seem convenient. However, reducing exposure to allergens could be a missed opportunity to train the body’s defense system.
It is imperative to consult an allergy doctor Los Angeles as soon as you develop allergies. If you don’t know the exact substances causing your allergy, you should undergo an allergy testing Los Angeles. An ENT doctor Los Angeles will examine your case and advise you accordingly.
Strengthen Your Immune System to Fight Allergies
Over-the-counter medications aren’t the only way to improve your allergy symptoms. You can also build up your defenses against them by strengthening your immune system. As we start a new year, take a look at some of the ways that you can boost your immunity and possibly improve your allergy symptoms in the process.
Immunotherapy is the only way that you can actually change your immune system and your responses to allergens like ragweed or pollen. With immunotherapy, or allergy shots, you receive injections containing the substance you’re allergic to. The amounts are slowly increased, and this process desensitizes the immune system. Immunotherapy is effective, but it’s only necessary if you have year-round allergies that aren’t controlled by OTC medications.
Meditation is surprisingly powerful when it comes to your physical and mental health. Research shows that stress can worsen existing allergies, and meditation can help you manage your stress levels. It’s believed that high levels of stress mess with your immune system response, and this is why your allergies may get worse. At the very least, you’ll learn how to relax by practicing meditation.
Nutrition and Exercise
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be good for your allergies. While it won’t cure them completely, a healthy diet and routine exercise can minimize symptoms and also improve other health conditions. For one, if you exercise and eat right, you’ll be better able to withstand the effects of allergies compared to if you’re overweight and already struggling to breathe. Second, certain foods can reduce seasonal allergy symptoms such as fatty fish, flaxseed, broccoli, oranges, peppers and strawberries.
Have a Sense of Humor
A good laugh can bring you more than happiness. Research shows that humor may increase immune function because it increases immunoglobulin, a protein found in the eyes, ears, mouth, throat and nose. This protein protects against infection, so one would assume that raising it would lead to increased immunity. When seasonal allergies are at their worst, watch a funny movie or catch a comedy club. Maybe you’ll see your symptoms improve.
While allergies are a nuisance to live with, there are many treatment options available. Strengthening your immune system is just one of them.
How to Build Immunity to Cat Allergies? [ANSWERED]
It’s almost worse than heartbreak when you come across a cute kitty, maybe a large tabby, come close to give it a kiss and a pet, and find yourself sneezing and scaring the poor thing away!
Oops – you’re allergic to cats, doomed to never pet Garfield in your whole life. Or are you?
Is there perhaps a way to build up an immunity to cat allergies?
In this article we’ll discuss if it’s possible to build up an immunity to an allergen, and if you can finally say goodbye to your sneezing fits whenever a cute cat is around.
What is an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions can stem from something as simple as an itch in your mouth to something as severe as anaphylaxis, which is a dangerous condition that demands medical attention.
Common allergic reactions include:
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Red, watery eyes
- Skin rash
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the lips
For people suffering from cat allergies, you may find your eyes watering or you may start sneezing whenever you’re in the vicinity of one.
What causes an allergic reaction?
Typically our body reacts in several ways to foreign substances that it deems harmful.
When we get a fever, a cold, and even when we sneeze, it means our body is trying to expel whatever foreign material has entered it.
Strangely enough, this is also what happens to us when we have an allergic reaction. The body creates antibodies that identify a particular substance as harmful – even when it really isn’t!
This is why people suffer from allergies – one person may be allergic to peanuts, and another may be allergic to pollen.
Essentially, their bodies have created antibodies that react to peanuts and pollen respectively, causing them to have allergic reactions.
Why am I allergic to my cat?
While cat fur has often been pointed as the perpetrator of cat allergies, it is in fact cat dander that causes a reaction in allergic people.
Cat dander is essentially a cat’s dead skin cells, which is sloughed off whenever a cat licks itself clean. It then finds its way into the air you breathe.
Interestingly enough, the protein found within cat dander that makes it an allergen to some people can also be found in a cat’s saliva, so while it may be rude, you’re better off declining kisses from your feline friend.
Cat dander is only 1/10th the size of dust mites, so you’re never going to be able to physically clean it up and expel it from your home.
Because it is airborne, cat dander can be inhaled through the mouth, and thus enter the lungs.
This spells danger for those who are allergic and asthmatic, because it will almost always cause an asthma attack in conjunction with your allergic reaction.
You can also just as easily inhale cat dander through your nose, which will lead to sneezing, nasal congestion, and even postnasal drip.
This kind of reaction is called allergic rhinitis.
If cat dander falls on your skin, or if your little pet decides to lick you, this can also result in an allergic reaction.
You can break out into an itchy rash, or even worse, develop eczema if your little friend licked you on the face!
So, how do I build an immunity to cat allergies?
Is it possible to build up an immunity to something that you’re allergic to?
Because it’s possible for you to develop allergies even as an adult, it’s also possible for you to lose them!
That’s right, you can say goodbye to your coughing fits and sneeze attacks with a little bit of work.
The key to developing immunity is tolerance.
When you’re allergic to something, your body is intolerant of that substance, thus the violent response to its entering your system.
So what can you do to build up tolerance to cat dander?
The simple solution to this is increased exposure. Increased exposure follows the same principle as taking allergen shots.
Through introducing your body to the allergen, eventually you build immunity. This process is called immunotherapy.
How does immunotherapy work?
Allergen shots are typically taken over the course of a long period – usually around three to five years.
You’re injected with a small amount of the substance you’re allergic to – in this case, cat dander – with the amount increasing with each shot.
You’ll get a small allergic reaction, of course, but over time, your body will be desensitized to the allergen, and voila – you’ll stop getting allergic reactions at the mere sight of a cat!
You should consider allergen shots if your current allergic medications aren’t working for you, or if they’re interfering with another medication that you’re taking.
When should I avoid getting immunotherapy?
However, allergen shots aren’t recommended for those who have asthma, as they could experience a severe attack after being deliberately exposed to the allergen.
Pregnant women, are also discouraged from starting immunotherapy treatment during pregnancy.
Women who have already started the treatment even before getting pregnant aren’t encouraged from discontinuing the therapy, though, as stopping the treatment midway could lead to worse allergic reactions once the treatment is picked up again.
After finishing your allergen shots, you should find yourself able to live with your furry friends again.
Is immunotherapy possible without allergen shots?
You can try and build up immunity on your own at home simply by exposing yourself to your cat.
Research suggests that this builds up tolerance with your allergic reactions, and while they may not disappear completely, soon you’ll find yourself unbothered by small sniffles and occasional sneezes.
How to manage cat allergies?
What if immunotherapy didn’t work, or if you need a short term solution to manage your symptoms? Well, you have several options:
1. Create an “allergy free” zone by isolating allergens
Have certain rooms out-of-bounds for your cat. This is especially applicable for a good night’s rest. Allergens can especially disrupt your sleep, so strictly keep your cat out of your bedroom or specific rooms for an allergy-free “haven”.
2. Get on a cat bed!
If your beloved feline loves snuggling up on something soft, reserve a dedicated bed for it to reduce the build-up of dander on your furniture. Here’s where you can get one.
Your bedding and other fabrics like carpets can easily become a trap for allergens that are typically tough to dislodge. Hence, keep your cat off these pieces.
In addition, make sure to wash the cat bed often with hot water.
3. Bathe your cat regularly
Doing this once every 1-2 weeks can significantly help to reduce the allergy load your cat carries around.
Some cats hate baths, so you could also bring your cat to the groomer. Different cats carry different dispositions, so this one’s really up to you.
Alternatively, if bathing is totally out of the question, you can try wiping your cat with fragrance-free hypoallergenic baby wipes!
4. Use HEPA filters
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are designed to remove allergens from the air. We go into great detail here on why HEPA air purifiers are perfect for cat allergies.
5. Clean your home regularly
This includes washing articles such as rugs, carpets, curtains, and couch and pillow covers. High-efficiency vacuum cleaners or central vacuums can also help to remove dust and reduce allergen levels.
Do note that they are only effective if you use a HEPA filter or double bag.
6. Take medication
Anti-histamines in particular can significantly help to manage your allergy’s symptoms.
Nasal symptoms can be treated with oral anti-histamines or other medications like Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin, eye symptoms with antihistamine eye-drops, and respiratory symptoms with inhaled cortisteriods or bronchodilators. Always consult your medical professional before taking any of these medications.
7. Use preventive measures
If you want to pet or hug your cat, wear long sleeves. Arm sleeves like these have worked pretty well for me too. This minimizes your skins contact with dander while still allowing you to get the nice serotonin boost from loving your cat.
In addition, wash your hands immediately after with soap or water.
Conclusion – How to Build Immunity to Cat Allergies?
So there’s your answer: if you’re allergic to cat dander, then you’ll be pleased to find that building up an immunity is actually possible.
All you need is the help of a doctor, and, if your symptoms are manageable enough, then all you need is your little feline friend!
Remember to check with your doctor first if taking allergen shots is possible in your situation, since people who suffer from severe reactions to allergens are generally discouraged from taking allergen shots.
Can Allergies Lower Your Immune System?
Spring is upon us – and with it, the usual threat of seasonal allergies.
But to make matters worse, we’re in the midst of one of the worst cold and flu seasons in recent years. Which raises an interesting question – do allergies weaken our immune system, and are those who suffer from allergies thus at greater risk of getting sick?
The short answer to that question is yes. While having allergies doesn’t cause you to come down with a cold or the flu, the treatment of your allergies is a factor in your vulnerability to other illnesses. Here’s why …
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between allergies and illness. For example, if you start sneezing, have a runny nose and a sore throat, you may mistake the symptoms of an allergy for a cold. It’s only when you start to have a fever or a headache and achiness that you realize it’s more than just an allergy. Plus, a cold may only linger for a week or so, while your allergies will be raging as long as you’re exposed to the allergen.
However, if you do have ongoing allergies and they aren’t treated effectively, it could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to viruses and other germs. That, in turn, could enable your uncontrolled allergies to evolve into a sinus, ear, or upper respiratory infection.
If you are prone to allergic asthma, your sensitive air passages may be more reactive to viral and bacterial triggers. And when your allergy symptoms disturb your ability to get a good night’s sleep, that too affects your immune system and makes you more likely to succumb to infection. Should you get sick while suffering from allergic asthma, you could be at greater risk of experiencing complications from the illness.
How to Live with Allergies, Not Illness
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to strengthen your immune system and minimize your risk of getting sick despite your allergies. These include:
- Practicing good hygiene. Keep germs and viruses at bay by washing your hands often with hot water, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Making sure you eat a balanced diet. Foods known to fight against infection include berries, garlic, leafy greens, poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.), cauliflower, kale, raw honey, and yogurt with live and active cultures.
- Get plenty of rest. This should go without saying. A healthy night’s rest boosts the immune system, and keeps stress levels down.
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick and may be contagious. Keep your distance and do not touch objects they have used.
- Cleaning your household and workstation surroundings regularly. That includes counters and other surfaces that you touch often with your hands, as well as toilets and sinks. Use soap and water or domestic detergents to cleanse. This helps eliminate viruses that can survive on hard surfaces.
- Getting vaccinated. Ask your doctor what vaccines against infections or diseases are available and whether they are right for you.
- Control your allergies. Don’t allow them to go undiagnosed and untreated. Work with your doctor to find the right treatment to manage, if not eliminate, your condition and take medication as prescribed.
To learn more about effective treatments for allergies or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please call Intercoastal Medical Group in Sarasota and Manatee County, Florida. You can also request an appointment online now.
Educating the immune system to prevent allergies — ScienceDaily
With the arrival of spring, millions of Canadians have begun their annual ritual of sneezing and wheezing due to seasonal allergies. A research team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is bringing them hope with a potential vaccine that nudges the immune response away from developing allergies. The findings published in the journal Mucosal Immunology have major clinical implications since allergies and asthma are lifelong conditions that often start in childhood and for which there is presently no cure.
“Our study, for the first time, offers a potential way of preventing allergies by using a molecule that redirects the immune response away from the allergic response,” says lead author Dr. Christine McCusker, allergist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and researcher at the RI-MUHC. “This discovery is very promising since the molecule we developed can be administered by a drop into the nose as a spray.”
It is estimated that 20 to 30 per cent of the Canadian population suffers from a range of allergies. Recent research reported that one in every 13 Canadians suffers from a significant food allergy. The reasons why allergies develop remain unexplained, but it is believed that all children are born with the potential to develop allergies. Children without allergies make a shift to the non-allergenic immune response when allergens are around. Those who do develop allergies have not shifted by the time they are exposed to the allergen.
Dr. McCusker and her team from the Meakins-Christie Laboratories started to work on a specific molecule — called STAT6 — which is important in the development of allergic response. They thought that if they could inhibit this molecule they would reduce the symptoms of allergic airways disease, such as asthma, in allergic animals. They also hoped to prevent the allergy from developing entirely. To do this, they developed an inhibitor peptide called STAT6-IP that was given to newborn mice by intranasal droplet.
“By giving the peptide STAT6-IP very early on, before allergies are present, we were able to teach the immune system. So when we tried to make the mice allergic later on, we couldn’t because the immune system had ‘learned’ to tolerate allergens,” explains Dr. McCusker who is also an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University.
“What’s beautiful about our approach is that you do not have to couple it with a specific allergen, you only use this peptide. It just redirects the immune system away from the allergic response and then it will not matter if the child is exposed to pollen, cats or dogs, because the immune system will not form an aggressive allergic reaction anymore,” adds Dr. McCusker.
“In subjects who have the propensity to develop allergies, their system has made the ‘wrong’ decision somewhere along the line,” she says. “It is like educating the immune system to follow the path we want it to follow.”
Researchers are now studying the effect of this peptide to see in what other areas this type of immune education will prevent disease, such as with food allergies. They then hope to move this discovery to clinical trials in humans.
Materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
How Are Allergies Linked to Your Immune System
Everyone is always so excited for the arrival of Spring, that is, until the pollen comes along with it. That’s because nearly 50 million people suffer from allergies in the United States, it’s the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the country, and costs $18 million annually. That’s an incredible amount of money to spend for what is essentially an overreaction on the part of the body’s immune system. Let’s explore how your hay fever and the immune system are intertwined, and whether or not you can do anything about it.
What is the Body’s Immune System?
The immune system is responsible for protecting your body from invading viruses, pathogens, fungi, or any other microorganism that may cause your body harm. This system is made up of a complex system of cells and organs that fight off infection. It includes plenty of parts playing different roles, from white blood cells called lymphocytes that confront microorganisms in the bloodstream to entire organs like the spleen or the appendix. Through the immune system, your body is able to protect itself from outside agents.
So Does That Mean Pollen is Dangerous to My Body?
No, not really. But because your immune system sees pollen as a foreign threat, it creates an immune response to deal with the invader. For most people that suffer from allergies, that immune response manifests as a runny nose and itchy eyes. The severity of the reaction can vary greatly from person to person or on the amount of allergen that made its way into a person’s body.
Some more severe allergies are capable of inducing anaphylactic shock. In these cases, the immune response could be life-threatening. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, hives or swelling, nausea or vomiting, and fainting or dizziness. Anaphylaxis can also cause a heart to stop beating entirely.
What Can Be Done to Suppress the Immune Response to an Allergen?
Solutions for a range of allergic symptoms exist. If you have an allergy that is severe enough to risk anaphylactic shock, a doctor may prescribe you an epinephrine auto-injector loaded with medicine to stave off an attack.
If you have more mild symptoms, you may be able to find relief through antihistamines, decongestants, or through the use of nasal sprays. In the event you have allergic-type asthma, talk to your healthcare professional about being prescribed an inhaler to mitigate your symptoms and ease attacks.
If these medications do not provide enough relief—there are other alternatives. In some cases, allergy shots can reduce a body’s immune response. By regularly receiving injections that introduce trace amounts of an allergen into their body, some patients can have their bodies “get used” to an offending agent, meaning that the response is less severe than it would be without a shot.
Other ways of easing your allergies are simply to avoid the cause altogether. For those with dust allergies, ensuring your home is regularly cleaned and dusted may mean that you suffer fewer attacks. For those with pollen allergies, keeping the windows closed and limiting the time spent outdoors during peak season could decrease the amount of time you spend rubbing your eyes red.
No matter what allergies you may have, it is important to know that you may have options for how to decrease the body’s immune response. Work with your health care professionals to choose a course of treatment that is right for you. Either through changing your habits, receiving over-the-counter or prescription medications, or regular allergy shots—there is a chance that the suffering that comes along with the change in seasons can be reduced.
90,000 Immunity and allergies – how are they related?
Each of us has probably heard that allergic reactions directly depend on the state of the immune system. But how do immune disorders cause allergies?
What is immunity?
Immunity (from Latin immunitas, which means “liberation” or getting rid of something) is the body’s immunity and resistance to infections, as well as to the effects of foreign substances that have toxic properties.
Immunity is divided into congenital and acquired.
- Congenital, or nonspecific, immunity is due to the physiological and anatomical features of the body, hereditarily fixed at the cellular or molecular level. This type of immunity includes properties such as the immunity of all people to canine distemper or the immunity of some to tuberculosis.
- Acquired immunity occurs after exposure to an infection or foreign protein.It is divided into active and passive.
- Active acquired immunity develops after a previous illness or after the introduction of a vaccine. That is, after contact with the causative agent of the disease.
- Passive acquired immunity is associated with the intake of ready-made antibodies into the body. Antibodies, or immunoglobulins, are specific substances that can be produced by cells of the immune system and are designed to neutralize infectious bodies and toxic waste products.But antibodies can enter the body from the outside in the form of serum, as well as when they are transferred with mother’s milk or in utero.
What is included in our immune system?
The immune system includes two types of defense: cellular and humoral. The cell type is immunocompetent cells (for example, T-lymphocytes), which are responsible for the destruction of foreign infectious microorganisms that enter our body. The humoral type combines immunocompetent cells (for example, B-lymphocytes) that produce specific antibodies to fight infection and toxic foreign molecules.
Organs of the immune system
The organs of the immune system are divided into central and peripheral.
- – Red bone marrow is the central organ of hematopoiesis and the production of cells of the immune system. It is located in flat and tubular bones.
- The thymus, or thymus gland, is the central organ of the immune system where the final maturation of T-lymphocytes from precursors that come from the red bone marrow takes place.
- Lymph nodes are peripheral organs of the immune system located along the lymphatic vessels. They are involved in both the mechanisms of humoral (B-type) and cellular (T-type) immunity, including the development of allergic reactions.
- The spleen is the largest organ of the immune system. It also participates in T- and B-immunity, and also ensures the conversion of monocytes into macrophages.
How are immunity and allergies interrelated?
Allergy is a hypersensitivity of the immune system that occurs when the allergen is repeatedly exposed to the body.To date, 5 types of reactions of such hypersensitivity have been described. But only one of them is called allergy, due to the production and effect of immunoglobulin E in response to the ingestion of foreign proteins into the body.
Allergy is characterized by excessive activity of mast cells, which translates into a general inflammatory response. It can also lead to various benign symptoms:
- runny nose;
- itchy skin;
- sneezing and coughing.
90,013 cuts in the eyes;
In addition, severe reactions can lead to life-threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock or Quincke’s edema.
A distinction should be made between allergies and autoimmune reactions. An autoimmune process occurs when defense mechanisms begin to attack the cells of the body’s own tissues. Allergy is always a reaction to foreign compounds.
Why does allergy develop?
Numerous studies indicate a hereditary predisposition to allergies.A child whose parents suffer from this pathology is at a greater risk of allergies than children from healthy couples.
The theory of the influence of hygiene states that compliance with hygiene standards prevents the body from contacting many pathological microorganisms and toxic substances. This leads to an insufficient load on the immune system, especially in children. Our body is designed in such a way that it must constantly withstand a certain level of threats and external intrusions. And if such a constant “training” and maintenance of the tone of the immune system does not occur, then it begins to react more and more pronouncedly to completely harmless substances.
Statistics show that various immunological diseases in third world countries are much less common than in developed countries. Moreover, the more time passes from the moment of immigration, the more often immigrants from developing countries suffer from immune disorders. And with the growth of well-being, and, accordingly, cleanliness and compliance with hygiene standards in the country, the number of cases of allergies among its population increases.
The theory of increased consumption of chemical products is also supported by scientific research. Many chemical products themselves can be quite strong allergens. In addition, they often create the prerequisites for the occurrence of allergic reactions, since they can disrupt the functions of the endocrine and nervous systems.
However, there is no unambiguous explanation of why the same factors act on some people and not on others. One thing can be said with certainty: a healthy lifestyle, proper balanced nutrition, giving up bad habits and taking care of your own body will be an excellent help to prevent the development of allergies.
what is the connection? – Medical center “Absolute”
Allergy is a “side effect” of a person’s immunity to disease, scientists have found out.
Not long ago, an “aristocratic” and “fashionable” disease – allergies – became a true scourge of humanity.To date, more than 10,000 substances are known that cause an allergic reaction in humans and animals. In the past few decades, the incidence of allergic reactions in people to a wide variety of substances has been growing rapidly. Allergies are not only fraught with reddening of the skin, rash, itching or runny nose – they can lead to much more serious problems, such as allergic asthma or anaphylactic shock (an immediate and sometimes fatal allergic reaction).
Allergy occurs due to the fact that immunoglobulins – a special class of complex proteins that are responsible for the functioning of the body’s immune system – recognize a certain spectrum of proteins found in plants and food. The main role in this process is played by an immunoglobulin called IgE. Scientists suggest that this protein appeared in humans during evolution to ensure the body’s ability to resist infectious diseases spread by multicellular parasites. However, in the absence of a threat from parasites, this part of the immune system can become hypersensitive to allergens and attack them with a vengeance.This process can provoke an uncontrolled allergic reaction and lead to death.
A group of scientists led by Nicholas Furnham of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine decided to find out why the part of the immune system responsible for resisting parasites causes an allergic reaction, as well as to understand how it chooses proteins to attack. The results of the scientists’ work were published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.
To find answers to these questions, the researchers analyzed the chemical composition of 2,712 of the most common allergenic proteins. It turned out that about half of them are among the ten most common allergy-causing protein families – large groups of evolutionarily related proteins with a similar amino acid sequence. Next, the researchers had to understand what it is in these proteins that makes them visible to immunoglobulins.
As a result of the work, scientists found 206 regions of antigenic determinants (regions of a protein that make the immune system recognize them as foreign), and then they began to look for the same regions in the composition of proteins secreted by parasitic worms (flatworms and nematode roundworms) …In total, scientists have sequenced 70 403 “parasitic” proteins.
In order to understand exactly what substances secreted by worms remain in the blood of people infected with them, scientists took blood and plasma samples from 372 people aged six to 40 years, living in the village of Namoni on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. The study involved only those people whose presence of parasites in the body could be determined as a result of one analysis of their feces.
By comparing the composition of proteins, scientists were able to establish that 1,387 proteins secreted by worms contain regions similar to those found in allergenic proteins.A complete list of relevant areas can also be found in the supplementary materials attached to this article.
In particular, the research team was able to find out that one of the most striking cases of similarity between “parasitic” and allergenic proteins is a pair of proteins found in the body of the human roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and in the pollen of the silver birch tree (Betula pendula). The composition of these proteins is 27% the same, which makes the human immune system react to them in a similar way.
Lead author of the research paper, Nicholas Fournham, comments on the findings as follows: “Our research was aimed at solving a difficult question: what makes an allergen an allergen? We have shown that the body’s immune system reacts to certain proteins because they resemble proteins secreted by parasitic worms. It turns out that allergy is the price a person pays for being immune to parasitic infections. ”
Despite the fact that while scientists cannot understand exactly how the regions of antigenic determinants attract immunoglobulins, they can now confidently say that allergy to pollen and food is a consequence of the body’s ability to defend against parasites.
Modern methods allow with a single blood sampling to conduct a test for almost all existing allergens: food, household, epidermal, pollen, bacterial, fungal, industrial, medicinal.
Even simple allergic rhinitis, not diagnosed in time, can lead to irreparable consequences. Every year tens of thousands of people become disabled due to bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, etc. Do not delay seeking medical attention!
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How to overcome allergies – Russian newspaper
Breakdown in the immune system
So what kind of attack is it that torments many? My question is addressed to Andrey Denisov, Candidate of Medical Sciences. I chose him for this conversation because he himself, his wife, who is also a doctor, suffers from allergies. And one of the two sons is also allergic. So Andrei Andreevich is familiar with this ailment not only theoretically.
– Allergy – from the Greek word Allos (other) plus Ergon (action), says the doctor. – This is the body’s reaction to some environmental factors, which the body regards as foreign, although in fact they are not. They are only strangers for some, and their own for others.At the heart of the disease is immune inflammation. An allergic reaction is triggered by the immune system.
– Why are you allergic, but I, for example, not? Everyone has an immune system.
– There is a certain breakdown in the immune system of some people. It can be congenital (atopy), or it can be acquired.
– You and your wife are allergic. But one son does not suffer from this ailment …
– God grant that he does not suffer in the future, since it is possible that for many years there may not be an allergy, and then it suddenly declares itself. As a child, my wife never parted with her beloved cat. And now she suffers from cat hair.
Murka is not guilty
– I once read information that if a child grows up in a family where there is a cat or a dog, then he is less likely to suffer from allergies, and it is desirable that both Murka and Sharik are in the house where there is a newborn .. .
– This may be a homespun truth. Some are allergic only to cats, others only to dogs. And not for all kinds of balls.Everything is very individual. You can get rid of allergies by desensitizing the body. That is, to undergo some kind of taming of the body to the allergen. They give a person, say, specific drugs that contain an allergen already known to this person. Such domestication sometimes takes years, but they are not wasted – a person gets rid of the disease.
– It turns out that an allergy, once it has arisen, still may not be forever?
– Differently. Here, a child suffers from such an ailment, and after puberty he leaves him.It is noticed that if the mother is breastfeeding the baby, then he is less likely to suffer from allergies.
– But back to the spring allergy, because now is its time …
– I feel it very well on myself. I walk with red eyes, I don’t have time to change my handkerchiefs. Everything is blooming around, and my allergy is blooming. But the wife and son now have no problems: the wife, as you understand, is allergic to cat hair, and the son to red berries. Spring allergies, like any other, are also dangerous because they sometimes turn into bronchial asthma.Therefore, it is imperative to take antihistamines: claritin, intal. Histamine is a biologically active substance that is involved in allergic reactions. It begins to be produced in an increased amount and causes symptoms such as redness, itching in the eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, urticaria – for some, for some, all together.
– The common cold has the same symptoms. How to distinguish one from the other?
– Colds usually go away in three to four days.Allergy does not leave a person much longer. So, if the treatment of a cold does not work, then the person has overtaken the allergenic component.
– It looks like there is no escape from the spring allergy …
– Difficult. But we must try to avoid places of flowering, do not go to the country, to nature. Especially at the end of April, in May, at the beginning of summer. This applies to central Russia. But in August there is no need to rush to the south – ragweed blooms there at this time, and it is often the culprit of allergies.
– Summer is just around the corner. The time of flowering will pass and the most bee-wasp time will come. What then?
– If you are bitten by a bee, then be sure to get rid of the sting. The bite often leads to allergies – with fever, swelling, and reddening of the skin. We need to call a doctor. And before his arrival, hide from the sun’s rays, give, if available, antihistamines, plenty of drink. Practically the same should be done when a wasp bites – it does not leave a sting, but, unlike a bee, it can bite more than once.
– There is also an allergy, so to speak, off-season, unrelated to murkas and balls.
– Dust. There are many allergens in it. It often leads to asthma, because there is simply no escape from it. Even if it seems to you that the apartment is clean and tidy, dust can still harm, because there are house dust mites. There are two or three types. In addition to the dust itself, they settle in blankets, pillows, mattresses. Now there are special anti-mite, or rather anti-allergenic pillows and mattresses.But, alas, I can’t name the addresses where you can buy them – I just don’t know.
– What do you order to do in this case – not in the sense of finding these pillows, but in not suffering from dust?
– If there is an allergic sin behind you, then do not do the cleaning yourself, do not be there even when someone else is doing it. And the cleaning itself must be wet. Avoid carpets – both floor and wall.
Dietary supplements and troubles
– Diet is of great importance in the prevention of allergies…
– Considerable. More precisely, very large. If it is known that a person develops hives, he begins to itch after eaten strawberries, orange slices, chocolate, if he has itching from fish or milk, then it is obvious: such products have no place in your diet. When my youngest son was very little, we, parents with allergies, decided to run (I emphasize, run) a slice of raspberry over his lips. And he got allergic. Here I want to say that children should be very carefully, very gradually, to accustom them to new products.That there was no trouble.
– And what about the current craze for biologically active food additives – dietary supplements?
– In our practice, there are many cases of allergies because of them. This is especially true for dietary supplements from China. They include components of exotic plants, animals that we do not know, we do not know what their effect on our body might be. Therefore, caution and caution again. Here, apparently, it is worth recalling the drug allergy.It is now very common: there is an abundance of drugs, many are dispensed without a doctor’s prescription, and everyone loves to self-medicate. This is especially true for antibiotics. Just a kind request: consult your doctor before swallowing a pill. There is such a thing – allergic shock. And often we ourselves are to blame for its occurrence.
– How to determine whether a person is allergic or not? What exactly is he allergic to?
– This question is not easy to answer.It is necessary to conduct allergic tests. After the initial consultation, a specialist directs them to them. An allergen is applied to the skin in the form of a special solution. And a small scratch is made in this place. According to the local skin reaction, the presence of one or another allergen is determined.
The most important questions of immunology – the opinion of the allergist-immunologist EuroMed
The main protector of our body is immunity, it is he who is responsible for how we feel, how often we get sick, how we resist bacteria and viruses.When the immune system malfunctions, many unpleasant conditions can occur, the most common disease that develops due to a failure of the immune system is allergy. It is about immunity, the features of its work, ways of strengthening, as well as about allergies and the prevention of its occurrence, we will talk today with the candidate of medical sciences, allergist-immunologist Yulia Borisovna SELIKHOVA.
- Yulia Borisovna, what is the reason for the appearance of allergies in a person, what are the reasons for its occurrence and development?
Allergy is a fairly young disease, the term itself appeared only in 1906. Despite the fact that isolated manifestations of allergic reactions were also noted by ancient scientists, the most intense increase in the incidence has been observed in recent decades. There are several theories of allergy, but they all boil down to one thing – allergy is associated with the development of civilization. Studies have shown that immunological and autoimmune diseases are much more common in developed countries compared to third world countries, in large industrial cities compared to small settlements.
On the one hand, we breathe polluted air, the use of products of the chemical industry, medicines, which both themselves cause allergies, and can create prerequisites for its development, are constantly growing, disrupting the functions of various internal organs and systems. Available food contains a huge amount of stabilizers, flavors, preservatives, GMOs, antibiotics, etc. We absorb all this every day, which does not pass without leaving a trace for our body.Contribute to the development of allergies and chronic diseases of the digestive tract, stress.
On the other hand, the gradual disappearance of natural selection can be attributed to the reasons for such an increase in allergic – and not only allergic diseases. In nature, mechanisms are provided for limiting the survival of weak individuals and, accordingly, reducing the likelihood of offspring from them. The development of modern medicine allows in many cases to resist natural selection.As a result, now, thanks to reproductive technologies, pregnancy is achieved in cases of prolonged infertility, doctors save newborn babies weighing half a kilogram, children with severe developmental pathologies. And here is a double-edged sword – in each particular case, people are given the happiness of having a child, but, in general, this affects the overall incidence in the population accordingly. Nature is nature, and all our invasions do not go unnoticed.
And another important reason for the growth of allergic diseases is that we have focused too much on hygiene, creating almost sterile conditions for life – especially for young children – precisely at the time when they must be in maximum contact with allergens in order to develop immunity to them. It has been proven that a decrease in infectious morbidity, especially at an early age (as a result of the isolation of children, vaccination, improvement of socio-economic conditions, the development of sanitary culture, excessive disinfection), is accompanied by an increase in allergic morbidity. Unreasonable antibiotic therapy also contributes. Antibiotics are prescribed for both pregnant and newborn children – during the most important period of the formation of immunity. Of course, one cannot say that antibiotics are an absolute evil, but they should only be taken if there are strict medical indications.
We protect children from any infection so much that it grows in almost sterile conditions, and the immune system has to look for another direction where it could show its activity. Allergy is a hyperimmune reaction, an immune response to relatively absolutely harmless protein molecules, which normally do not pose any threat to humans. But the immune system fights against them, trying to protect our body, although this is inappropriate.
There are a number of infections, the so-called “children’s”, which it is better to get sick precisely in childhood – they are more easily tolerated and contribute to the correct functioning of the immune system.There is evidence that the younger children in the family, children attending preschool, are less likely to suffer from allergies. Precisely because they have more contact with infections, with a variety of antigens.
Likewise, in relation to pets – you do not need to isolate children from them. The sooner the child begins to come into contact with animals, the lower the risk of developing allergies to wool, epithelium and other biological material. And earlier – this is from birth, and not in a year or two.
ALLERGY (Greek.allos other + ergon action) – increased sensitivity of the body to the effects of certain environmental factors (chemicals, microorganisms and their metabolic products, food, etc.), called allergens. Allergy leads to the development of allergic diseases.
The term “allergy” was proposed by the Austrian pediatrician Pirquet (CP Pirquet) in 1906 to denote an unusual, altered reaction of some children to the introduction of anti-diphtheria serum for therapeutic purposes.
Allergic diseases have been known since ancient times. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (V-IV centuries BC) described cases of intolerance to certain foods by his patients. The ancient Roman physician Galen (Galenus, II century AD) noted a runny nose arising from the smell of a rose. In the XIX century. hay fever has been described and proven to be caused by inhalation of pollen; it has also been suggested that dust inhalation may be of value when bronchial asthma occurs.
Allergic diseases are widespread throughout the world and are on the rise. Their prevalence in different countries ranges from 10 to 50%.
Most common allergens 90 105
- Household dust and mites
- Plant pollen (hay fever)
- Epithelium and animal hair
- Insect / Arthropod Poison
- Nickel compounds
- Foods (milk, nuts, eggs, seafood, cereals, etc. )d
- Chemical cleaning agents (washing powder, dishwashing liquid, etc.).
- Foreign proteins contained in donor plasma and vaccines
- Medicines: penicillins, sulfonamides, salicylates, local anesthetics
- Which allergies are more common in young children? And how can you reduce the risk of their occurrence?
In infancy, atopic dermatitis is most common.This is usually a food allergy. Later, closer to school age, a respiratory allergy is added – to the airborne allergens. It usually begins with rhinitis, and is often further transformed into bronchial asthma. This age sequence is called the “atopic march”.
Childhood allergies can go away over time. Some minimal manifestations of food intolerance are normal in infancy and childhood. In many developed countries, atopic dermatitis in young children is not treated at all, since the likelihood of its independent reverse development, spontaneous remission is very high.
Unfortunately, it happens that over time, allergies, on the contrary, turn into more severe chronic forms.
It depends on the genetic predisposition, lifestyle, nutrition of the child. The role of genetic factors is paramount. In this case, it is not only the genotype of the parents that matters, but also its own genetic mutation. But it can be unequivocally stated that if parents suffer from allergies, then the risk of developing allergies in a child is much higher.
- There is a widespread belief that a pregnant and lactating woman should follow a strict diet to protect her baby from allergens. How justified is this?
This is an outdated opinion. Indeed, earlier, literally still 3-5 years ago, it was believed that a pregnant, and even more so a nursing mother, should follow a strict hypoallergenic diet.
Now the tactics have changed almost to the opposite. It is believed that the earlier a child – even in utero – contacts, gets acquainted with allergens, the better he will tolerate them in the future. The main thing here is not to overdo it with quantity. In the diet of a pregnant and lactating mother, little by little everything should be present: berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, fish, etc. (of course, provided that the woman herself normally tolerates these products). You don’t need to exclude anything.
There is such a concept as the “window of tolerance”: this is the period from 3 to 8-9 months after the birth of a child, during which he can most favorably assimilate new allergens. That is, at this time, the child should get acquainted with the maximum amount of allergens.It is no coincidence that it is during this period that it is recommended to start introducing complementary foods. Pediatricians believe that up to one year old, a child should already become familiar with all major food groups. Again, I repeat: this should be done without fanaticism, a little bit, but it is necessary to ensure contact with a variety of allergens.
- There is an opinion that vaccination has a depressing effect on immunity. Is it true, vaccination trains the immune system or weakens?
The whole point of vaccination is precisely to stimulate immunity.A vaccine is, as a rule, an antigen – a particle of a microorganism from which we want to protect ourselves. This antigen, being a foreign element, once it enters the human body, stimulates the production of protective antibodies. Lymphocytes producing these antibodies then circulate in the form of memory cells for a long time, sometimes for life. This provides protection against a real infection in the event of a meeting with a full-fledged living microorganism.
During vaccination, specific immunity is formed – only against a specific type of pathogen, the work of the rest of the immune system is practically not affected.In rare cases, a vaccine protects not only against a specific virus, say influenza, but also against some other respiratory viruses. For the development of such cross-immunity, a certain similarity of antigens of microorganisms is required.
But the debate on the feasibility of vaccination does not cease in connection with the still existing risk of developing post-vaccination complications and its likely role in the development of allergization.
- How can general immunity be strengthened?
The most important thing, as we have said more than once, is a way of life: tempering, regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, good sleep and a positive attitude in life.Numerous studies prove that all this has a direct immunostimulating effect. Unfortunately, the dream of many about a magic pill for immunity is unrealizable.
And of course, our bad habits: smoking and excessive alcohol consumption directly negatively affect the state of our immune system.
It is necessary periodically, especially in the cold season, to take additional mono- or multivitamins, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – the doctor will help you choose specific drugs.
- People often find it useful to take immunomodulators in order to improve immunity and prevent diseases. What do you think about it?
The modern Russian pharmaceutical market is overflowing with immunomodulators. There is no such situation in any other country. This is alarming and compromises the direction of immunotherapy.
Immunomodulators can only be prescribed by a doctor and only if there are appropriate indications – a serious weakening of the immune system.An immunogram often helps a doctor decide on tactics, but does not reflect the state of all the subtle mechanisms of the immune system.
There are a number of signs of a weakened immune system, if you notice them in yourself, be sure to visit an immunologist.
Signs of a weakened immune system:
- ARI more than three times a year
- Complications of acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory viral infections in the form of bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, pneumonia
- Chronic sore throat
- Relapses of furunculosis
- Herpes recurrence more than 3-4 times a year
- The appearance of papillomas
- Recurrent candidiasis
- Other infectious processes that appear too often
The immunologist will most likely prescribe an immunogram – a special blood test that evaluates the work of the immune system. The immunogram helps the doctor determine the tactics, but does not reflect the state of all the subtle mechanisms of the immune system. The clinical picture is of paramount importance. Only a doctor will be able to evaluate both the test result and the general condition of the body, choose an adequate drug that will really help. It is very difficult to do this on your own.
Immunity or the immune system is a complex system of the body that protects it from all foreign substances from the outside, and controls the destruction of its own cells that have failed or become obsolete.The body is protected at many levels.
Immunity plays an exceptional role in maintaining the integrity of the human body. We are constantly attacked by various microorganisms living not only inside our body, but also constantly entering from the external environment (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa), as well as a huge amount of foreign substances (technogenic pollutants, dyes, preservatives, pollutants, heavy metal salts, etc. ).
The functions of the immune system: maintain the constancy of the internal environment of the body, maintain immunity to various infectious microorganisms, viruses, parasites, and other foreign agents that can lead to genetic failures.
Immunity can be conditionally divided into two types: nonspecific and specific.
Nonspecific (innate) immunity is transmitted to us with the genes of our parents. This type of immunity accounts for more than 60% of all the protection of our body.Its formation in the fetus begins in the middle of the first trimester of pregnancy.
Nonspecific immunity works simply and effectively: upon detecting an antigen, it attacks and destroys it.
Specific immunity begins to form at the same time as nonspecific, and from the same material – stem cells. Cells of nonspecific immunity become antibodies to various diseases. The more microorganisms the immune system encounters, the more antibodies it has in its arsenal to fight various diseases and the stronger the specific immunity becomes.
How to improve health and strengthen immunity
With the change of seasons and the temperature on the thermometer, our body is exposed to various kinds of diseases. In winter, it is colds and flu, and in summer it can be seasonal pollen allergy. There are many tips on how to improve your health, but each one has its own recipe. But let’s take a look at the most common ways to stay healthy at any time of the year.
How to strengthen the immune system and maintain well-being at any time of the year
Take time for yourself
The start of a new season may result in schedule changes.Overwork, stress, poor nutrition and lack of adequate rest contribute to the development of diseases. As a result, your immune system weakens and becomes more susceptible to viruses.
It is very important to rest every day and find new ways to relax. For example, meditate or read before bed. Even a little rest will help you relax and unwind.
An active lifestyle helps eliminate bacteria through the breath and strengthens the white blood cells that fight infections.Plus, this active lifestyle will help you keep stress in check.
At first, it can be difficult to fit regular exercise into your busy schedule. In such cases, you can start with small and short activities, such as taking a walk in the afternoon or doing yoga at the end of the day.
Even if you wash your hands regularly, there is no guarantee that others will do the same. Wipe surfaces at home and at work with a disinfectant, paying particular attention to particularly “dirty” areas such as doorknobs, telephone, keyboards.And, of course, try to avoid contact with sick people.
Food is a source of energy that will help you maintain a high pace of life and feel good at the same time. Here are foods that boost your immune system:
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins C, A and folic acid, which help to strengthen the immune system. Try to buy locally sourced produce, as foods that are harvested and consumed fresh tend to contain more nutrients.
- Fatty fish and eggs are rich in vitamin D, which activates the immune system when invaded by microbes.
- Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, which also helps fight infection.
- Unsweetened yoghurts contain beneficial bacteria that can help you maintain gut health.
Get enough sleep
Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Even if you sleep less than the prescribed amount of time for just a couple of days, you can weaken your immunity, and you will become more susceptible to various kinds of diseases.If you regularly skip getting ready for bed and stay up late, try setting your alarm to remind you it’s time to go to bed.
By paying a little more attention to yourself and your rest, you can stay healthy all year round.
Of course, we are not able to foresee all life situations, and we cannot protect ourselves from an accident. However, there is insurance for such cases. Life insurance programs will help you protect your life and health from unforeseen situations and guarantee a decent standard of living for you and your loved ones.Sovcombank Life offers unique life insurance programs that provide a wide range of risk protection and customer-friendly conditions. Together with a financial advisor, you can find an individual solution that meets your life goals. You can find out more about life insurance at Sovcombank Life on the life insurance page.
90,000 15 stupid questions about allergies
A lot. For example, about 300 million people suffer from bronchial asthma, and every second person on Earth experiences manifestations of urticaria at least once in their life.It is known that allergy is a global problem of our time: for example, if at the beginning of the 20th century no more than 1% of the population of Europe suffered from bronchial asthma, now the frequency of detection of this disease is 10-15%. At the same time, it is the last few decades that the number of patients has doubled every decade.
Doctors explain the significant spread of allergies by the “hygienic” hypothesis. The fact is that modern man, in comparison with our ancestors, lives in a completely different world.Due to the high level of hygiene, which is quite natural for us, he rarely comes into contact with surrounding microorganisms. At the same time, the immune system, not finding natural targets for microbes, begins to develop a reaction to harmless substances – house dust, animals, food. It is not for nothing that allergies are more common in countries with a high level of development. The development of allergies in children can be affected by a violation of the formation of their own microflora due to the unreasonable use of antibiotics, early refusal to breastfeeding.
Paradoxical as it may seem, but the mechanism of allergy is initially based on one of the variants of the normal immune response, which is necessary to protect against parasitic helminth worms. By the way, it is known that in those countries where helminthiases are less common, allergies are more common. This again confirms the “hygienic” hypothesis.
In total, immunity produces five different classes of immunoglobulins or antibodies. In case of allergy, one of them is formed – immunoglobulins of class E.These antibodies appear after the first contact with the allergen, then they attach to the surface of mast cells, which are found in the skin and mucous membranes. In this form, antibodies persist for a very long time. Upon repeated contact, the allergen interacts with immunoglobulin E on the surface of the mast cells, and after that, substances that cause inflammation are released. It manifests itself as swelling, redness, and itching. If the process takes place in the respiratory tract, then the bronchi narrow – bronchospasm is provoked.The symptoms of this inflammation may initially be recognized by the patient not as an allergy, but, for example, as frequent colds. Later, during examination by a specialist, it turns out that prolonged nasal congestion is a consequence of an allergy to house dust or an animal.
An allergy-type immune response is caused by substances with certain characteristics, the most important of which is molecular weight. Small molecules of water and other inorganic substances are not initially recognized by the immune system, and a reaction to it is impossible.But the “heavy molecules” proteins are easily determined by the body’s defense system and can trigger an immune response.
On the other hand, it is known that many drugs are low molecular weight substances, but they can also cause true allergies. How does this happen? The fact is that when a drug molecule, for example, penicillin, enters the body, it can bind to the body’s own protein and thus become a “heavy molecule” that is recognized by the immune system.
This is a condition similar to allergy in symptoms, but without the formation of specific E immunoglobulins: certain substances can directly activate mast cells. More often, such reactions are caused by certain medications, as well as foods, in particular those containing preservatives. Pseudo-allergy is characterized by the fact that it is dose-dependent: one orange is well tolerated, but two oranges eaten cause a rash. A common finding with a tendency to pseudo-allergies are diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Yes. This situation is common, especially if the disease is not controlled for a long time, and adequate treatment is not carried out. At the same time, the spectrum of allergies can expand over the years.Cross-allergy is known – an immune response to molecules similar in structure, which seem to have a different origin. For example, with a seasonal allergy to birch pollen, intolerance to food products is possible: apples, other stone fruits.
Both. As I said, a number of external factors are of great importance in the light of the “hygienic” hypothesis. On the other hand, there is a whole set of genes, the activity of which determines the propensity to allergies.