Allergy symptoms and allergens
The main symptoms of allergy are sneezing, coughing, bronchospasm, wheezing and dyspnea, sometimes outright attacks of asthma, in severe cases, the airways narrow due to swelling of the larynx. Widespread swelling of the nasal mucosa (allergic rhinitis), allergic sinuses (sinusitis), redness and itching of conjunctiva (allergic conjunctivitis), feeling of fullness in ears, pain and possible hearing impairment.
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“Mild allergy” (or hay fever) is very common in the human population and cause symptoms such as redness, itching, and runny nose, eczema, hives, or an asthma attack. In some people, severe allergies to environmental, food or drug allergies, may also have life-threatening reaction called anaphylactic shock. Food allergies and reactions to the venom of stinging insects (wasps and bees) are also often the cause of such serious events.
Allergies can also affect the gastrointestinal tract, then the patient suffers pain in the abdomen, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea.
The causes of allergy can be divided into two groups:
Hereditary (genetic) factors – heredity, gender, race, age.
Environmental factors – infectious diseases at an early age, pollution, increased allergens and dietary changes.
However, lately more and more cases of allergies are not explained by genetic factors.
Genetic basis of allergic reactions
These allergic diseases are among the family. Identical twins tend to have the same allergic disease (approximately 70 % of cases), the same as allergy occurs in about 40 % of non-identical twins. Parental allergies transmitted to children. Children with “allergic” parents reaction heavier than children whose parents do not have this problem. Transfer of allergy associated with inherited imbalance in the immune system, but the specific allergen is independent of.
Allergic diseases are caused by inappropriate immunological responses to harmless antigens. People living in too sterile environment are not exposed to pathogens sufficient action to keep in shape your immune system. Since our bodies evolved faced with a certain level of such pathogens and is not ready for this, the immune system will attack harmless antigens and thus, as a rule, even benign microbial objects such as pollen cause an immune response.
This explains the fact that, for example, hay fever and eczema are less common in children from large families who are more interaction transmitted infection from siblings, than in children from families in which there is only one child. This hygiene hypothesis has been extensively investigated by immunologists and epidemiologists and has become an important theoretical basis for the study of allergic diseases. It is used to explain the increase in allergic diseases, which was observed with the process of industrialization, as well as higher levels of allergic diseases in more developed countries. This hypothesis has now also expanded to include the effects of symbiotic bacteria and parasites as important modulators of immune system development, along with infectious agents.
Exposure to environmental allergens, especially at an early age is an important risk factor for allergies. Changes in the influence of microorganisms is another possible explanation. One of the allergens is also untreated drinking water in developing countries. Recent studies have shown that some of the most common parasites such as helminths (e.g., nematodes) secrete chemicals in the gut (and therefore to blood) which suppresses the immune system.
Many allergens such as pollen or dust contained in air. In these cases, symptoms arise in dusty areas or places certain flowering plants, when exposed to air such organs as eyes, nose, and lungs. For example, allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, nasal irritation occurs, starts sneezing, itching, and redness of eyes. Inhaled allergens can also lead to the symptoms of asthma induced by constriction of the respiratory tract (bronchi), and increased production of mucus in the lungs, dyspnea, cough, and wheezing.
In addition to these external allergens, allergic reactions can also occur when food intake, insect stings and reactions to medications, such as aspirin and penicillin antibiotics.
Food allergy symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, itching and swelling of the skin. Food allergies rarely cause respiratory (asthmatic) reactions, or rhinitis. Allergic reactions can be caused by a wide variety of foods, but 90 % are caused by products such as cow’s milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. The most common food allergy is a sensitivity to the crustaceans. But peanut allergy, although it is notorious your weight, but it is not the most common food allergies in adults and children.
Rates of allergies in children and adults differ. Peanut allergies can sometimes pass the child with age. Allergic to egg protein outgrow, usually two-thirds of children under 5 years.
Allergic to milk protein foods tend to cause proctocolitis. These symptoms are most common in children. Some people can not consume milk of goats and sheep, and cows, and many of them also do not eat cheese. Small proportion of children with milk allergy roughly ten percent will also have an allergic reaction to beef, because that contains a small amount of protein present in cow’s milk. Lactose intolerance to milk the overall reaction, not a form of allergy, and this reaction is likely to occur due to lack of the necessary enzyme in the gastrointestinal tract of humans.
People allergic to nuts may also suffer as a single kind or several at once. These nuts can be pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts. Allergic reactions can also cause the seeds, including sesame and poppy containing oil, wherein the protein allergen is present.
Allergens can be transferred from one food to another, through genetic engineering, genetic modification, but can also destroy and allergens.
In anaphylactic shock as an allergic reaction may affect by several organ systems – digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. Depending on the severity of the reaction speed and it may cause skin reactions, bronchoconstriction, edema, hypotension ( low blood pressure), coma, and even death. This type of reaction can occur suddenly or gradually evolving to 5 hours. The severity of this type of allergic reaction requires an injection of adrenaline. Nature of anaphylaxis is such that the reaction, apparent weakening, and may be reappointed for a long period of time.
Can cause allergic substances that come into contact with the skin. For example, latex causes skin reactions such as eczema or contact dermatitis. Very often on the point of contact appear rash, swelling, or blisters. This reaction usually lasts 48 to 96 hours, and is characteristic of angioedema.
People who have allergic reactions may also have a sensitivity to certain fruits and vegetables such as bananas, avocados, kiwi and chestnut. Researchers suspect that the cross-reactivity of latex and above products is because latex proteins are structurally homologous structures of some plant proteins.
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