Allergy is a condition characterised by a level of sensitivity greater than normal to a specific substance or group of substances. These substances, called allergens, trigger a response in susceptible individuals. They can enter the body through various routes like inhalation, ingestion, injection, and external skin contact. They react with antibodies in a susceptible person, causing the release of histamine (a chemical mediator in allergic reactions) and other chemical substances that cause various symptoms, thus creating a chain response known as the allergic response.
Cause and Pathogenesis
Allergic reactions may be caused by a multitude of factors. These include the most common allergy 'triggers' like pollen grains, dust, moulds and foodstuffs. Other triggers include animal proteins from hair, and fur and substances that cause skin allergic reactions such as certain oils found in plants, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals etc.
The allergies can be classified as seasonal allergies and perennial allergies.
Seasonal allergies occur during certain seasons of the year. They are caused by inhaling microscopic particles in the air and substances like pollen released by plants, grasses and weeds. It can lead to a sustained allergic response.
Perennial allergies occur throughout the year. They occur due to mould, fungi and dust found indoors. Perennial Allergies can be caused due to fur from cats and dogs and other pets.
An exaggerated response to specific food allergens is termed as food allergy.
Food allergy occurs when the body's immune system reacts to otherwise harmless substance in certain foods. This is different from food intolerance which does not involve immune system. While most food allergies are mild, in some cases they can cause anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of most food allergies are hives, swelling, itching, nausea, vomiting, swelling of eyelids, face, lips, tongue, throat, wheezing, nasal congestion, changes in breathing.
Most common food allergies include
Shellfish such as shrimp, crab or lobster, Tree nut allergy which includes walnuts, almonds, Pecans, Peanuts, Fruits particularly Strawberries, Fish.
Foods that may cause intolerance include Wheat and other Gluten containing grains, Cow's Milk and other dairy products, Corn products.
The homeopathic approach to food allergies may surprise some people, food allergies can completely disappear with the proper treatment. To achieve this level of health homeopathic patients are treated with constitutional remedies. These remedies have the profound effect on the whole constitution of the individual. Homeopathy views food allergies as an expression of a disturbance in the patient's healing system. Food allergies are not a disease to be cured in themselves but a reflection of underlying imbalance. food intolerance can be treated by the homeopathic medicines that are specific to that particular medicine.