An acquired hypersensitivity to a substance (allergen) that does not normally cause a reaction. It is essentially an antibody-antigen reaction but in some cases the antibody cannot be demonstrated. The reaction is due to the release of histamine or histamine-like substances from injured cells. There may be a genetic predisposition to acquire a particular allergy. The number of exposures necessary to produce enough antibodies to cause an allergy varies. An allergy may occur the second time a person is exposed to a particular allergen, or may not occur until years later when repeated exposures have produced sufficient antibodies. Manifestations most commonly involve the respiratory tract or the skin. Allergic conditions include eczema, allergic rhinitis or coryza, hay fever, bronchial asthma, urticaria (hives), and food allergy.
The immune system is a highly complex defense mechanism that helps us to combat infection. It does this by identifying “foreign bodies” and mobilizing the body’s white blood cells to fight the infection. In some people, the immune system wrongly identifies a non-toxic substance as an invader, and the white blood cells overreact and do more damage to the body than the invader.
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Pollen, dust, hair, fur, feathers, scales, wool, chemicals, drugs, insect bites; also specific foods such as eggs, chocolate, milk, wheat, tomatoes, citrus fruits, oatmeal, potatoes.
An allergen is any substance that causes manifestations of allergy. It may or may not be a protein or an antigen. Among common allergens are inhalants (dust, pollens, fungi, smoke, perfumes, odors of plastics), foods (wheat, eggs, milk, chocolate, shellfish, strawberries), drugs (aspirin, antibiotics, serums), infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi, animal parasites), contactants (chemicals, animals, plants, metals), and physical agents (heat, cold, light, pressure, radiations), some additives (benzoic acid, sulfur dioxide), and chemicals found in soap and washing powder.
No one knows why some people are allergic to certain substances. Allergies do run in families and it is also believed that babies that are not breastfed are ore likely to develop allergies. There may be an emotional cause to the problem as well; stress and anger, especially when the immune system is suppressed, are frequently contributing factors.
Molds are microscopic living organisms, neither animal nor insect, that thrive where no other life form can. Molds live throughout the house; under the sink and in the bathroom, basement, refrigerator, and any damp, dark place. They also flourish in the air, in the soil, on dead leaves, and on other organic material. They may be destructive, but they are also beneficial. They help to make cheese, fertilize gardens, and speed decaying of garbage and fallen leaves. Penicillin is made from molds.
Mold spores are carried by the wind and predominate in the summer and early fall. In warm climates they thrive year round. Cutting grass, harvesting crops, or walking through tall vegetation will provoke a reaction. Those who repair old used furniture are also at risk. Keep rooms free from dust and use a dehumidifier in the basement. Use mold-proof paint and a disinfectant on walls and furniture.
Food allergies and food intolerance are not the same. People with intolerance lack certain enzymes needed for digestion, and therefore do not break down the food properly. Undigested food can enter the bloodstream and cause a reaction. A food allergy occurs when a person has an antibody response to the ingested food. A few foods may provoke a reaction as soon as one starts chewing. These are easy to identify and eliminate from the diet. A delayed reaction is harder to detect. An irritating cough or tickle in the throat is most often a food sensitivity.
Research is being done on the ability of coenzyme Q10 to counter histamine for asthma and other allergy sufferers.
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Nasal congestion, tearing, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching, rash, eruptions.
There is an abnormal immune globulin called IgE, which is an antibody that is formed in an allergic response to a food substance. When this substance is found in lung tissue, it frequently causes a reaction such as shortness of breath or asthma. It can cause hives if found in the skin. Many intestinal problems commonly occur because IgE is most often found in the intestinal tract, often resulting in severe pain, gas, or bloating. IgE can be located anywhere in the body, causing severe problems. Even natural health foods can adversely affect the immune system.
Stemming from a reaction to food pollutants, a cerebral allergy causes a swelling of the lining of the brain. Entire food families will cause allergic reactions. Schizophrenic, violent, and aggressive reactions could be an indicator. Foods such as corn, wheat, rice, milk, chocolate, and food additives may produce violent reactions in those suffering from allergies.
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Bee pollen (raw crude pollen), 2 tsp. per day or taken in capsule form, beginning with a few granules at a time (best when produced within a 10-mile radius of where you live).
Calcium chelate, 15,00-2,000 mg. per day, is needed to help reduce stress.
Magnesium, 750 mg. per day.
Multienzymes or pancreatin, taken with meals (if ulcers are present, take a brand without hydrcholoric acid (HCL)).
Raw adrenal, raw spleen, and raw thymus glandulars, 500 mg. each twice per day, simulates immune function.
Vitamin B complex (high stress), 100 mg. per day.
Pantothenic acid (B5), 100 mg. 3 times per day.
Vitamin B12, injections.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, 2,000 mg. 3 times per day, stimulates immune function.
Beta-carotene, 1,500 IU per day, is a free radical scavenger that stimulates immune response.
Coenzyme Q10, 100 mg. per day, improves cellular oxygenation and immune function.
Germanium, 60 mg. per day, stimulates immune response.
L-Tyrosine and L-cysteine, 500 mg. each on an empty stomach.
Vitamins B6 and C, 50 mg. each per day.
Manganese chelate, use for 3 months, is an important component in many of the body’s enzyme systems.
Milk-free acidophilus, taken as directed on the label.
Multivitamin and mineral complex, taken as directed on the label (use hypoallergenic product).
Potassium chelate, 99 mg. per day, is necessary for adrenal gland function.
Proteolytic enzymes, 2 tablets between meals on an empty stomach, aids digestion and destroys free radicals.
Vitamin A, 10,000 IU per day, is necessary for proper immune function.
Vitamin D, 600 IU per day, is essential for calcium metabolism.
Vitamin E, 600 IU per day, is necessary for proper immune function.
Zinc, 50 mg. per day, is necessary for proper immune function.
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- Aloe vera
- Cabbage, skunk
- Eyebright, red
- Fire weed
- Fringe tree
- Goldenseal root
- Gum plant
- Marsh cudweed
- St. Mary’s thistle
If desensitization by medication is used, it should be done year-round and not seasonally even when treating seasonal allergies.
Avoid the following foods: bananas, beef products, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, dairy products, eggs, oats, oysters, peanuts, processed and refined foods, salmon, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat and white rice.
Avoid F, D, and C yellow #5 dyes. Other additives to avoid are vanillin, benzyldehyde, eucalyptol, monosodium glutamate, BHT-BHA, benzoates, and annatto. Read labels carefully.
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If a specific food is suspected to produce allergic symptoms, a simple test can help determine if there is an allergy or not. Using a watch with a second hand, sit down and relax for a few minutes. When completely relaxed, take your pulse at the wrist. Count the number of beats in a sixty-second period. A normal pulse reading is
Another way to test for allergy is to keep a journal. Every time an allergic reaction is noted, write down everything that was eaten, touched, or smelled. In time, a study of these notes should reveal the recurrence of a certain substance, perhaps a food item, a fruit or a flower. This may be a clue as to the cause of the allergy.
An old remedy for allergies includes the theory that pollen collected by the honey bee will be digested and deposited into the honey it makes. Minute deposits of this pollen, taken in the form of this local honey, will slowly immunize against the allergy and irritation of these pollens. The honey must be local to the residence of the patient and collected with the honeycomb without refinement. Refining the honey destroys or removes the pollen deposits. Taken with cod liver oil (tablets are not the same, must have the oil), it will take several weeks to notice the changes, but the immunity will kick in and the next hay fever season will be lighter until the allergy is controllable or goes away completely. This applies to all allergies that are food, pollen, or skin allergies that produce eczema and rashes.
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If allergic to ragweed, take caution when using goldenseal; these herbs are from the same family.
Smokers with allergies should stop smoking.
Avoid taking aspirin within 3 hours off eating if a food allergy is present.
Check with the doctor to determine if an underactive thyroid is a problem.
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