Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder that affects the immune system. This is often caused by an excessive activation of white blood cells that cause extreme inflammatory response in the patient. This is because of the antibody known as IgE. There are people who are more susceptible to developing allergies than others.
It is now possible to test if the person is allergic to a certain drug, food item, or to insect bites with the use of a variety of diagnostic tests. These tests will determine if the patient has abnormalities in the levels of certain allergen-specific IgE.
Common allergic reactions include hay fever, eczema, hives, food allergies, and asthma attacks. Even though allergic reactions are often mild, there are cases when these could be life-threatening.
What can Cause Allergy in Body?
There are many reasons why a person may be prone to allergies. Sometimes a person may have allergies due to heredity, while at other times, a person may be prone to allergies simply because of how their body reacts to certain substances. A lot of substances can trigger allergy attacks and here are some of the more popularly known ones:
- Pollen and Other Airborne Allergens. Airborne allergens are often those substances that cause an allergic reaction to occur once a person comes in contact with these substances through the air. They can either breathe these substances in or have these substances land on their skin from the air.
- Food and Other Ingested Allergens. Food is another common source of allergies for people. Most of the people who are known to have allergies to food often include shellfish, seafood, eggs, milk, and nuts as the cause of allergic reactions.
- Drugs and Medication. This allergen can be confusing sometimes since a lot of drugs do have certain side effects that can be easily be seen as an allergic reaction or the other way around.
- Insect Bites. Some people may get a little itch or a small swollen area when bitten by a particular insect but those who have allergies to certain insect bites or stings often experience extreme reactions to such bites, indicating that they are allergic to such an insect bite.
Symptoms of Allergies from Food, Drugs, Insect Bites
What can help the patient determine that he/she is allergic to a particular substance? How does he/she find out if he/she is allergic to what is about to be eaten or to the insect that just bit him/her? Here are some indications of an allergic reaction:
- Not all allergic reactions show up the same way. Depending on the sensitivity of the person to the allergen, he or she can expect to experience such cold-like symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and difficulty in breathing due to mucus build-up.
- An allergic reaction to certain foods and substances can also cause a person to break out in rashes or in acne. Some people may see small red dots all over their body emerge as a result of an allergic reaction. Sometimes the skin swells up in certain areas where the allergen may have come in contact with the skin.
- Severe allergic symptoms that include difficulty in breathing, inflammation of the throat, diarrhea, and shock may require immediate medical attention. These severe symptoms are often seen when a person is allergic to something he/she ate or when he/she gets stung or bitten by an insect that has venom, like bees or wasps.
How You can Prevent Allergic Reaction?
Preventing allergy attacks is often dependent on what kind of allergen you react to. Since there are airborne allergens, food allergens and such, these require different preventative measures to keep you safe from these. Here are some examples:
- To avoid allergies that are brought about by pollen and other similar allergens, keep windows to your home closed when the season for pollination comes around. You can also try to stay home or indoors during the times when pollen is active, usually between the hours of 5 to 10 in the morning.
- The logical preventive measure when avoiding food allergies is to avoid the kind of food that you are allergic to. To be sure that what you eat or drink does not have substances or ingredients that you are allergic to, ask at restaurants what may be in the food you order or read the labels of the food you buy before eating them.
- When trying to avoid certain insect bite or sting allergies, you will need to avoid the insects you are allergic to. If you find that there are insects that you are allergic to in your home, have someone exterminate them for you. Also, if you are outdoors, to prevent bee stings, try not to smell flowers that you find or wear flowery- and bright-colored clothing in areas with flowers and possibly bees.
Home Remedies for Allergies
Treating allergies from home and through natural methods can be done depending on what type of allergy a person may have and how severe this allergy may be. Here are a few examples of home remedies that can be used for some allergies:
- When you have an allergic reaction to certain substances that requires you take an antihistamine, you might want to use the natural equivalent of an antihistamine, and this is the stinging nettle. There are nettle capsule sold in some areas in the U.S. for those who want to try natural allergy treatments.
- When stung by an insect, like a bee, you may need to seek medical help but you can try to minimize swelling in the area with the use of an ice cube or a cold compress. This is also a good idea to use when the stinger of the bee or the insect is still in the skin.
- Some people help relieve the cold-like symptoms of an allergic reaction with saline nasal flushes. With the use of what is called a netti pot, salt water is used to flush out such airborne allergens from the sinuses. Sometimes, in the absence of a netti pot, salt water in a cupped hand is the remedy that is used.
- If the allergic reaction is due to some substance getting on your skin, best solution is usually to wash it off or shower it off.
- The first option to treat allergies is for the patient to take anti-histamines. The patient may also be given oral medications and steroids to help control the symptoms.
- It is also possible to use home remedies to treat allergies.
- Boil turmeric to make a tea. Drink 1 cup of this turmeric tea.
- Take 150 to 500 mg of nettle 2 to 3 times a day.
Diet and Food For Allergic Reaction
There are people who go to certain lengths to strengthen their immune system from these allergens, and they do so by taking in a diet that helps with such a goal. Here are some tips on what you might want to eat to help increase your resistance to allergies:
- As long as you are not allergic to nuts and fruits, there has been a study that indicates eating more nuts, vegetables, and fruits can help reduce the incidence of developing asthma and certain allergies in children.
- When you are allergic to certain foods, it is important to check the labels of the food you buy for the inclusion of any of these items and their by-products in these food items. For example, if you are allergic to eggs, try to make sure that the food you buy does not have any eggs in them or egg products like egg powder, egg solids, or their by-products.
- If you are not sure about an ingredient or suspect that an ingredient in some food you are planning on buying is something you are allergic to, don’t buy it. Some ingredients go by other names that may mislead you, like peanut oil in some foods may be labelled as hydrolysed plant protein or eggs may be added on labels as globulin.