Allergies: Defining and Preventing
What is that master work that fight against allergies in our body?
It is the result of a physiological process that allow us to fight against disease germs and foreign substances that find their way into our blood and tissues, its name is immune system.
If you have been endowed with an intact immune mechanism you are really fortunate. But in the case of the allergic person, his or her immune mechanism has become overstimulated and has now turned its guns upon itself. Usually, the immune mechanism can distinguish between self and non-self, but under certain circumstances the recognition equipment breaks down, or chemicals are produced that unite with the products of the warfare which injure certain specific tissues such as the skin, the joints, the nasal passages, the blood or the gastrointestinal tract. Thus it is how an allergy surge.
Allergies are not a simply rash or runny nose, they can lead to defective thinking and to cognitive dysfunction in children (Behavioural Brain Research Volume 364, 17 May 2019, Pages 374-382) and is another factor for the development and/or progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer Disease (Journal of Cellular and Molecular Med. September 26, 2012).
According to a report by the WHO, 10-30% of the population worldwide suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever. In the UK affect more than 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives. In the USA allergies are the number one cause of chronic disease according to the American Family Physician. A large proportion of the physical suffering in the United States is caused by allergies. Notwithstanding many believe that an adequate management of the diet from birth to old age could help to eliminate much of the problem.
Defining the battle
We can describe an allergy as a response of the body, an attempt to protect that leads to an injury. How it works?:
An external substance, an antigen, enter into the body, is picked up by the macrophages a specialized cell, which can only partially digest the antigens. When the macrophages finish their job on the antigen as much as they can, it is bring out into the bloodstream where it is picked up by another group of special cells called lymphocytes. The lymphocytes are designed to prepare antibodies against antigens. Antibodies are capable of neutralizing antigens. When the antigen and antibody unite, a “third compound” is formed which in some instances turns out to be the villain in allergies. Because the third compound injures the body, the cells in the skin, digestive tract, or nasal passages may release chemicals of injury which act on various target tissues. As a result of injury to the target tissues, this is a type of reflexive action—such as spasms, secretions of mucus, swelling of tissue, and inflammation.
As a result of this battle we have a long list of symptoms: Fatigue, poor concentration, learning disabilities, pale face or blotchy skin, dark circles or bags under the eyes, acne, dermatitis, cough, colds, sore throat, sinusitis, asthma, bedwetting, cystitis, leg aches, growing pains, restless legs, backache, arthritis, headache, ringing in the ears, dizziness, blurred vision, mouth ulcers (canker sores), urinary symptoms, indigestion, gas, constipation, overweight, nausea of pregnancy, tremor, recurrent pneumonia, swollen lips and tongue, collapse or weakness, irregular heartbeat, pain in rectum, pruritus ani (itching around anus), loss of appetite or conversely a craving for the offending food (especially milk and its products), itching or burning mouth, hematologic, neurologic, and cardiovascular symptoms.
What to do?
Lifestyle: The susceptibility to be injured by the “third chemical compound” described above, in many cases is the result of an improper management of the person in early childhood. During the first six months, the child should receive no food except for breast milk, gradually being weaned during the second six months from the breast to family fare that does not contain a high-protein, rich, or otherwise unhealthful menu, but has plain and simple food. It is well-known that breast-fed infants have less childhood health problems such as colic, infantile eczema, asthma, runny nose, and other infections and allergies.
“It is necessary a carefully designed environment to prevent allergic reactions”
It is necessary a carefully designed environment to prevent allergic reactions, dust and insects impart allergens to the air. Furred and feathered pets are famous for their production of allergy producing dust and dandruff. The routine immunizations for children should be postponed at least until after the 6th month has passed to avoid over-stimulating of the immune mechanism. Some physicians believe the immune system is permanently and irreversibly damaged by immunizations.
To introduce solid foods before six months of life will also increase the likelihood of developing allergies. A baby should not be fed solid foods until he is drooling well and has teeth, evidence that his digestive apparatus is maturing and secreting important enzymes like ptyalin. The foods known to cause allergy should not be fed to a baby during the first year of life, including eggs, coffee, tea, colas, pork, beef, strawberries, tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, nuts, fish, seafood, and especially cow’s milk and all dairy products. Food allergies develop in relation to the frequency of their use; a food eaten frequently being most likely to cause problems.
For more information or special consultation contact:
Amazing Natural Medicine
Phone: 44- 756 2425 749
Silvia Rojas Reyes, N.D., Health & Life Couch
(Specialist in Lifestyle Medicine, Harvard)