Tackling Allergies

So how do you tackle allergies effectively in your everyday life?

I believe there are 4 primary ways to go about this:

  1. Avoidance
  2. Antihistamines
  3. Decongestants
  4. Immunotherapy

There has been research and experiments done on genetic engineering to shutdown specific proteins.

Common types of antihistamines are Seldane, but it provoked cross reactions with other medications so now it is being marketed as Allegra, which has less or none of the side effects of Seldane which were causing problems previously. There's also Cetirizine, Loratadine, etc. Sometimes one medication works while another doesn't, so don't hesitate to try others if you feel like the one you're using isn't being too effective. Of course, do consult a professional in the field if you are able to.

For asthma, leukotrienes are chemicals that can be released by white blood cells and can trigger the asthma. Ventolin is the most common inhaler, it works like adrenalin, but has less effects on our hearts.

You can also go for allergy testing, but that's not really fool proof though...

If avoidance doesn't work, and antihistamines don't work either, then you could try to opt for allergy shots. These could be altered forms of the allergen, and tiny amounts get injected into your body. This would allow for the reduction in the IgG antibody of the ones responsible for the allergic reaction, and therefore prevents IgE to the allergen.

Good luck!

Culprits of Allergies

The main culprit at hand here is the mast cell. It is a particular white blood cell. Immunoglobulin E, or abbreviated as IgE, can give an antibody-allergen reaction, which is basically the antibody trying to protect against the allergen. This causes the release of histamine into the blood stream, and from that it causes the particular reaction.

There are 2 main antibodies: IgE and IgG.

Image source: Wikipedia.com

The histamine molecule can be easily described with an analogy. It is like a structure where a key needs to be bound and be the right fit for activation to occur. They float all around in your body. Histamines fit into receptors and 'unlocks' the effect. What you want is therefore anti-histamines, which are similar to histamines in the first place, but while they fit into receptors, they don't 'unlock'. Hence this will block out the histamines and no effect will occur.

Some anti-histamines make you drowsy, so sometimes companies tend to market them into sleeping aids as well! Smart but tricky if you ask me! Just make sure you are all aware of this.

Funky Allergies

One can be allergic to Urushiol in poison ivy / oak / Japanese lacquer tree. Poison ivy reactions do not spread. It is a contact dermatitis. Flip flops can also be a source of contact dermatitis  The metal nickel too. It is actually a very allergenic metal. It isn't a protein! It is also a contact dermatitis. 'Pure' gold may be gold mixed with nickel alloy so watch out!

Image source: Wikipedia.com

Other funky allergies include garlic, detergent, henna, dyes, latex (which unusually could lead to papaya and banana allergies as well), water, etc. These are all contact allergies. They could very well affect the whole body because it can travel in the blood stream. Some people even have a photoallergy. No, this isn't the condition where one is allergic to photos or taking photos. This refers to being allergic to the sun or some other light. The origin of the cause is still quite a mystery at this point.

Types of Allergies

Image source: Wikipedia.com

Peanut allergies can be lethal. Research has shown that this form of allergy seems to be geographic. Handling something from someone who reacted to some allergy can cause allergies too. So make sure to be aware of this! Allergies are also very genetic.

If you have a severe allergic reaction, adrenalin is something that could save your life! But it should definitely be administered with benadryl, which is an antihistamine. Adrenalin only buys you time, so you still have to be monitored! Also, exposure at the right time depends if allergies will develop or not. Very early could be good, any later could be bad.

Anaphylaxis is a common consequence to insect stings. These usually involve a rapid progression, which is a serious matter as it can be life threatening!

Contact dermatitis is a type of reaction on the skin. There are two types: irritant or immune system mediated. For example, detergent allergy is immune system mediated, whereas pickle juice is acidic and is considered an irritant.