What are Allergies?
A general health article about Allergies from
Your Health Online the A to Z directory of
dealing with Health Problems & Self Care Strategies
An allergic reaction can be described as sensitiveness of the body to a substance which does not normally affect other persons.
There are innumerable substances in the environment which can cause mild to violent reactions in many people.
These reactions range from a true allergy due to intolerance of certain foods and substances, to those resulting from pollution.
Allergic reactions may occur within a few minutes of the patient coming in contact with the allergen, or they may be delayed for several hours or even several days. Almost any part of the body can be affected by allergies.
The portion of the body which is affected is called a shock organ. Common sites are the nose and eyes, the skin, chest, intestines and ears.
Allergic reactions are caused by a wide range of substances and conditions.
These include pollen, dust, cosmetics and animal hair; poisonous plants, serums, vaccines and drugs; physical agents such as heat, cold and sunlight; as well as a variety of foods.
Allergic reactions can be mild, like a runny nose, or they can be severe, like difficulty breathing.
An asthma attack, for example, is often an allergic reaction to something that is breathed into the lungs in a person who is susceptible.
Signs & Symptoms of Allergies
The symptoms of allergy are as varied as the substances causing the reaction. These include recurring headache, migraine, dizziness, irritability, nervousness, depression, neuralgia, sneezing, conjunctivitis, diabetes, eczema, heart-burn, hay fever, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric ulcer, asthma, overweight, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attacks, a stuffy or runny nose, shortness of breath, swelling of the face and eyes, etc.
The same food can cause different symptoms in different people. Many allergies are multiple and may be caused by multiple allergens.
Types of Allergies
• Airborne Pollen Allergies - allergies and asthma symptoms triggered by trees, grass, plants and flowers.
• Dust Mite Allergies - allergies and asthma symptoms activated by microscopic bugs that live in carpets, upholstered furniture, bed linens, mattresses and box springs, animal dander and house dust.
• Pet Allergies - allergies and asthma symptoms triggered by animal dander, old skin scales.
• Mold Allergies - allergies and asthma symptoms set off by mold, mildew and fungi, inside and out.
• Food Allergies - allergies and asthma symptoms triggered by something eaten. Although any food can cause an allergy, life-threatening food allergies can be caused by allergic reactions to peanuts, shellfish, citrus and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed down through your genes.
However, just because a parent or sibling might have allergies, that doesn't mean you will definitely get them, too. A person usually doesn't inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.
Avoid smoking and heavy alcohol consumption ( research points to having a small amount of red wine per day is actually beneficial, although we suggest that it is hard to limit ones self to just a bit without it becoming a problem so it's best to avoid or only on occasion ).
Heavy coffee consumption is to be avoided ( 1 or 2 regular cups per day is not considered harmful ).
You will find your triggers can be particles that are called in the air and settle in your lungs. These types of triggers can be found in your home and even outside of your home. The first thing that causes most attacks is smoke.
You should never allow anyone to smoke near you if you have an allergy to tobacco smoke or even any smoke. You should set your burning barrels far awhile from the house and then you should enclose the house so that no smoke can come through an open window or door. Another thing is perfume or other aureole sprays. Anything that is sprayed and lingers in the air can make your passageways become constricted. The cold air will also harm your breathing. The shock of the cold air in your passageways makes them tighten up.
When to seek Medical Advice:
There are millions of people who suffer from allergies and asthma. They are exposed to certain agents that will trigger their asthma attacks. Usually your asthma starts in the nasal and sinus area, and then you may end up getting hives and then going into an attack. There are certain things that are in the home and the working environment
You may find that there are animal proteins and hair, certain enzymes, flour, latex, and certain chemicals that will trigger your asthma at work. That is why you should always have an inhaler on you at all times.
Some of the first signs of an attack is wheezing, chest tighten up, shortness of breath, coughing and more. You will need to take your medication right away, because the attack and can get worse and within seconds, you can be in an asthma attack that you cannot control.
There are various ways to tackle many of the allergic disturbances. First, the sources must be identified.
This is a difficult but not impossible task. Second, once the sources are discovered, they should be avoided. Third, and most important, general health and resistance should be built up to establish immunity to them.
There are two methods to detect disturbing foods. The first method is the trial and error elimination diet. This automatically eliminates many hazards and foods.
Keep to organic, uncreated, unprocessed foods as far as possible, and you will eliminate another set of hazards such as pesticides, various sprays and other poisons.
After having eliminated as many disturbing factors as possible, a self-search should be carried out to ascertain any suspicious symptoms from foods.
It is advisable to try an eliminatory diet, excluding suspected foods for two weeks until the cause is detected. Occasionally, by changing the brand or the type, you can find a food substitute that does not upset you.
The best way, however, to prevent or overcome allergies is to strengthen the overall physical resistance so as not to fall an easy prey to every allergen that comes along.
To start with, the patient should fast on fresh fruit juices for four or five days. Repeated short juice fasts are likely to result in better tolerance to previous allergies.
After the fruit juice fast, the patient can take a mono diet of vegetables or fruits such as carrots, grapes or apples, for one week. After that one more food is added to the mono diet.
A week later the third food is added and so on. After four weeks, the protein foods can be introduced, one at a time.
In case an allergic reaction to a newly introduced food is noticed, it should be discontinued and a new food tried. In this way all real allergens can be eventually eliminated from the diet.
The body requires a large alkaline reserve for its daily activity. The many emergencies of acid formation through the day from wrong foods, fatigue, mental stress and lack of sleep can be met by the competency of the alkaline reserves.
Boosting the normal body reserve of alkaline's by liberal use of alkaline forming foods is essential for those suffering from allergies.
Self Care strategies for Living with Allergies
Once you realize that you are allergic to something, you should do your best to avoid the area. If it is at work, you can easily file a petition to leave that station and move on to something else. You can also ask them to use different materials.
Allergies - Keeping a Clean Environment
In addition, when you have allergies and asthma, you have to keep your home very clean. You need to have someone dust your house everyday and you might want to avoid pets. The dander from the pets can cause you to have an asthma attack. In addition, the saliva from pets causes some people to do into attack.
You need to also take care of yourself. The tiniest cold or illness can have a serious effect on your respiratory system. You find yourself wheezing over the cold and it may be uncomfortable to breathe deep.
• The use of five drops of castor oil in a little juice or water taken or an empty stomach in the morning, is highly beneficial for allergies in the intestinal tract, skin and nasal passages.
• Drink 2 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar every day. Make sure to dilute it in a big glass of water else you will ruin your teeth. Apple Cider Vinegar helps fight the seasonal allergies.
Diet change strategies:
The foods which should be excluded from the diet are tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, sugar, sweets and foods containing sugar, refined cereals, meats, fish, chicken, tobacco, milk, cheese, butter, smoked, salted, pickled foods and foods containing any chemical additives, preservatives and flavouring.
These foods cause either toxic accumulations or over-stimulation of adrenal glands or strain on pancreatic enzymes production or disturb the blood sugar balance.
For preventive purposes, the entire C complex vitamins - known as the bioflavonoids, are recommended. They gradually strengthen cell permeability to help immunise the body from various allergies, especially hay fever. Often the addition B5 , or pantothenic acid brings great relief to allergy sufferers.
Multiple allergies may result from poor adrenal gland functioning. In such cases liberal amounts of pantothenic acids help cure them, although the recovery will take several weeks. An adequate intake of vitamin E is also beneficial as this vitamin possesses effective anti-allergic properties, as some studies have shown.
Nutrition support strategies:
Nutrition support can make a big difference to living with Allergies.
Over more than a decade of working with nutrition supplement I have found and interesting phenomena. If your general wellness is high then your immune system is able to better protect you. A lot of people with allergies find that the allergies diminish and often disappear when the sufferer uses a strong nutrition program.
I am not taking about treating symptoms. I am talking about core wellness.
It appears that there needs to be a certain level of pollen, mites, cat hair, whatever is triggering the allergic reaction, in the environment before the effects of most allergies manifest themselves.
My experience is that when someone gets their personal wellness high and their immune system working properly then they can be in an environment where they previously would have had an allergic reaction but now they find that the reaction does not occur.
It appears that the allergy has been cured though I seriously doubt that this is the case. What is happening is that the level of contaminates that the body can cope with is much higher and so the symptoms are not being triggered.
I have seen people who are using asthma medication every day get to a point where they do not even carry their puffers to work. I recall sitting with a lady named Karen Winter (story below) and having lunch. She was a chronic fatigue sufferer and her food allergies were so bad that she had been restricted by her doctors to 5 different vegetables to be eaten raw or steamed and only drinking bottled water. The day I sat with her she was eating pizza. Her eyes sparkled as she explained her history as she had believed her life was over.
Some of the asthma people turn around in a matter of days, hay fever allergy can improve in just a couple of weeks, Karen Winter had been on her road to recovery for two years. The time can vary but the knowledge that there is hope is critical to knowing you are still in contol of your life.
If you would like more information I suggest you read the pages here on nutrition for the Cells and maybe check our AtoZ page on Asthma.
Specific product information on Nutrition programs and also, if the allergy is to environmental factors, check out Nature’s Raw Guarana (NRG) as it can give very quick relief to allergic reaction to environmental factors that cause things like hay fever
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