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Information About Allergies

Anaphylaxis symptoms
Angioedema Pathophysiology
Angioedema Therapy
Allergies are brought on by and are the direct result of a hypersensitive immune system. The hypersensitive immune system condition causes the allergic immune system to misidentify an otherwise innocuous substance as harmful, and then attacks the substance with far greater intensity than required. The problems this allergic attack can cause range from mildly inconvenient and uncomfortable to the total failure of the individual the immune system is intending to protect.

There are a variety of substances that can cause allergic reactions. Some of the substances that cause allergic reactions are categorized as follows:

  • Foods
  • Dust
  • Plant Pollen
  • Medicines

During an allergic reaction, the immune system attempts to protect the body by producing IgE antibodies that specifically target the allergen that come in contact with the body. The antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream. One of the chemicals that is released into the bloodstream is Histamine, which then acts upon a person’s eyes, throat, lungs, nose, and digestive tract. The body will trigger the antibody response any time the allergens are in contact with the body. In some cases an allergen will cause multiple symptoms to occur during an allergic reaction. In rare cases, the allergic reaction will reach a state of severity called anaphylaxis. Consider the following signs of anaphylaxis:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, and other body parts
  • Dizziness and even loss of consciousness

Reaction time of any allergic reaction can be anywhere from instantaneous to even as long as four hours from contact with the allergen.

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