An allergy can disguise itself as a poisoning or a cold, and painstaking research is required to determine what exactly your body perceives as a threat.
Even if you have never suffered from any allergies, one spring day you may suddenly feel an unreasonable runny nose, severe pain in the eyes or nausea. Then it also suddenly disappears and is forgotten. But when this is repeated several times, then it is worth considering: it is very likely that this is an allergy.
There are more and more people susceptible to this ailment in our time. It got to the point that before inviting guests to dinner, you have to find out who has what restrictions on food. Ecology, technologically processed food and other circumstances of modern life lead to an aggravated reaction of the human body.
The following main types of allergies are distinguished:
Food allergy. Symptoms: acute urticaria, atopic dermatitis, various disorders of the digestive system.
Hay fever is an allergy to plant pollen. Manifestations: sneezing, watery nasal discharge, lacrimation, itching, sometimes - swelling of the eyes, unpleasant painful sensations in the mouth and throat, can reach asthma attacks.
Bronchial asthma - the most severe manifestation of an allergic respiratory disease.
“There is an increase in the number of people reacting to a variety of allergens,” comments Olga Malinovskaya, doctor of clinical laboratory diagnostics, medical director of Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories (KDL). - Allergies can lie in wait for us where we do not expect it.
For example, the flu or measles vaccine contains ovalbumin, a component of chicken eggs. Therefore, an unusual or severe reaction to vaccination can be expected in people with egg allergies. Probiotics are used in the treatment of many diseases. Many of them contain components of cow's milk, which can also cause reactions in sensitive people."
If the human body for some reason began to perceive certain substances as hostile, it develops its own individual reaction. It is different for everyone.
"Allergies are usually caused by the interaction of special proteins - immunoglobulins E, circulating in the blood along with the allergen that has entered the body," says Olga Malinovskaya. - This reaction is stereotyped, does not depend on the type of allergen and most often has features inherent in a particular person. For some, allergies can manifest itself in the form of rhinitis or conjunctivitis, for others it looks like an attack of acute abdominal pain, for others, itching and strange sensations in the throat. Moreover, usually with a classic food allergy, these symptoms occur no later than two hours after the product is consumed."
It is not always possible to immediately determine exactly what is an allergen, therefore, if an allergy is suspected, the search is usually carried out in a sequential way.
First, the level of total immunoglobulin E, which binds the allergen in the blood, is determined. This is done in order to make sure that this is definitely an allergy and not something else. For research, it is necessary to take blood from a vein, no earlier than 3 hours after eating.
And it is better if at this moment there are manifestations of allergies, then the result will be more accurate. If there has been no contact with the allergen for a long time, then the level of specific immunoglobulin E may be low, which will lead to the so-called false-negative result.
Next, an analysis is used on the panel of the most likely allergens, then a specific allergen is identified.
Today in the world there are three main ways to deal with allergic diseases:
Stopping or reducing contact with the allergen or irritant Using drugs to relieve symptoms Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) Unfortunately, none of the drugs currently can change the body's response to the allergen. Medicines relieve symptoms. And they, as a rule, begin to increase and multiply over time.
First, a person sneezes at the moment of the peak of flowering, that is, the highest concentration of pollen in the air, and then he begins to react as soon as the first particles appear. Then, other types of irritation can join hay fever - for example, house dust.
ASIT - reduces the body's sensitivity to the allergen to which it has a reaction. Treatment consists of injections with microscopic doses of hostile allergens that are gradually increased, resulting in increased resistance.
If the allergist decides on ASIT, then the analysis for the presence of IgE (antibodies of the IgE class) to allergic components is used.
Can allergies be dealt with? Olga Malinovskaya believes that it is difficult to completely cope with allergies. Such a method of treatment as ASIT can successfully relieve the patient of allergies. But not every type of allergy can be used.
For patients with food allergies, it is important to exclude the allergen product from the diet, and in case of hay fever, it is better to change the climatic zone for the time of intense flowering. But the main thing, of course, is to consult an allergist and start treatment on time.