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Saturday, 3 October 2015
Allergy & Treatment :
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is the response of the body's immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollen, foods, and house dust mite. Whilst in most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a’ threat’ and produces an inappropriate response.
Allergies are classified into IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated allergies. In IgE mediated allergies the immune system produces exaggerated amounts of a distinct class of antibodies known as IgE antibodies that are, specific for the particular offending allergens. These IgE antibodies bind to the surface of cells in the body called mast cells which become ‘IgE-sensitised’ such that these cells can then identify particular allergens the next time they come in contact with the body. This process is called sensitisation, and at this stage there are no physical symptoms of an allergy.
ALLERGY INCREASING .
Allergy is caused when the body's immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen, food, or house dust mite. The body identifies the substance as a threat and produces an inappropriate, exaggerated response to it. What we are only beginning to understand is what tips the balance in favour of allergy. Researchers have suggested that a number of factors might cause someone to become allergic:
Children born into families where allergies already exist have a higher than average chance of developing allergies themselves. In the UK today, children have a 1 in 5 predisposition of developing an allergy. However, the risk is doubled if one parent has an allergy (particularly if that parent is the mother). If both parents have allergies, the risk is increased to 60-80%. This increased tendency for individuals to develop allergies because of their genes is known as being atopic.
The Hygiene Hypothesis:
This suggests that the immune system needs to come into contact with a variety of micro-organisms and bacteria while it is developing at the infant stage, in order that it responds appropriately later in life. We now live in an environment where we use cleaners containing anti-microbial agents, and food preparation is more hygienic than ever. Whilst children living in farms were previously directly exposed to animals, and their environment contained a range of microbial agents and plant derived agents, most of us now live in cities where we have minimal exposure to animals. We know that children with regular contact with farm animals have a lower incidence of allergy. Inadequate exposure to environmental micro-organisms may therefore result in the immune system of atopic children developing a tendency towards allergy.
Changes in the foods we eat:
Our diets tend to include more processed foods and less fruit and vegetables. It has been suggested that the increase in food allergy might be due to more allergenic foods, such as peanut, in our diet. However, there is no evidence that this has happened, and many cultures traditionally eat high amounts of certain allergenic foods
Our environment today is very different from 50 years ago. While there is evidence that pollutants can exacerbate existing airway allergy, the question of whether pollution can cause new allergy remains controversial. One hypothesis for which there are accumulating data, is that the increase in allergy mirrors our declining exposure to bacteria and other micro-organisms in our environment. This has led to the Hygiene Hypothesis.
So an intriguing possibility is that many of the above dietary and environmental factors may increase allergy risk by regulating genes which promote an allergic-type immune system. Hopefully, our understanding of genetics will increase over the coming years, offering new potential strategies by which we might be able to prevent allergy.
ALLERGY CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO THERE DIFFERENT ACTION .