Heal Yourself At Home



What are Allergies?


      An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system (IS) in which normal body tissue is injured - normally protective components of the IS, antibodies, lymphocytes, and other cells, are involved in allergic reactions and also in autoimmune disease and organ transplant rejection. An allergic reaction usually refers to reactions that involve Immunoglobulin Class E (IgE) antibodies. IgE antibodies bind to certain IS cells, including basophils in the circulation and mast cells (histamine-releasing cells) in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes.  When IgE antibodies bound to IS cells encounter antigens (called allergens when involved with allergies), the cells are prompted to release chemicals that injure surrounding tissues causing inflammation.


Inflammation Information


Autoimmune Disorders


      Typical allergens include - plant pollens, some fungi, house plants, mold spores / mildew, dust mites, animal dander, industrial chemicals / pollutants, tobacco smoke, perfume, chemicals in hair dye, foods, medicines and insect venom, that act as an antigen to stimulate an immune response.


      Who gets allergies? – people any age, but:


-       Some more than others:


         Women with major depression more likely than women who are not depressed


         More common in men with nervous, anxious (i.e. Type A) personalities


         Those having psychological stress and anxiety - can make seasonal attacks worse and linger longer


-       People with allergies may face an increased risk of panic attacks – a 1995-96 household survey of > 3,000 US adults found that those who reported having hay fever also reported ~twice as many panic attacks.


      Atopic allergies – when allergies tend to run in families, they are referred to as atopic allergies


Why the Allergies?


      Hygiene Hypothesis - proposes that the increase in allergic diseases, including asthma, atopic dermatitis, and atopic rhinitis in many developed countries is through the lack of early exposure to bacteria



      Sinus Sensitivity and Allergies


-       Certain people have sensitivity to things in the environment and to the foods they eat - This sensitivity triggers a dilation of blood vessels in the nose, and sometimes releases chemicals from cells in the nose that cause swelling.




      Increased herbicides, digestive problems and allergies


-       GM Soy


         Farmers use nearly double the amount of herbicide on GM soy compared to non-GM soy - higher herbicide residues might cause reactions.


         GM soy reduces digestive enzymes in mice - If proteins “digest” slowly in humans, there is more time for allergic reactions (possibly to many food proteins).



      Hair dyes are a common cause of itching and skin rash


-       Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) - although you can develop an allergy to many ingredients in hair coloring, the chemical PPD is the most likely culprit. PPD has been a major component of most hair-coloring products used in the western world since the 1880s and has caused problems almost since it was first developed, according to the American Contact Dermatitis Society--which named PPD as its "allergen of the year" in 2006. Because of its potential to cause an allergic reaction, PPD was banned in Sweden, France and Germany for most of the last century (it re-entered the market after the formation of the European Union). PPD remains popular as a permanent dye because it produces a natural color that doesn’t fade with shampooing.



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ALLERGIES Related Links


Treatments for Allergies

Allergic Rhinitis - "Hayfever"

Post Nasal Drip