Why do some people have allergies?
Allergies occur when your
immune system recognizes an allergen (such as cat dander) as a foreign body and
acts as if that fb is an infection trying to harm the body. Thus the
immune system responds by releasing markers that create havoc on the
body. The inflammation created results in the symptoms of the allergy
sufferer. The reason some develop allergies and some do not remains a
mystery. However, we know that genetics play a role and that allergies to
specific triggers develop with multiple exposures./p>
Is there anything I can do to prevent allergies?
There isn't much you can
do. However, delaying solid food intake until 4 months of age in infants
has been shown to reduce the likelihood of allergies. Also, highly
allergenic foods such as nuts(peanut butter), shellfish, eggs, and certain
fruits with small berries should be avoided until 12 months of age for all
children and until 24 months in those with strong family histories of food
allergies and asthma. Breastfeeding has also been shown to decrease the
incidence of allergies.
What types of things could I be allergic to?
The list is large and there are
likely many things still unknown that may contribute to allergies.
Seasonal allergies are typically to things such as trees and grasses.
Dust mites, cock roaches, household pets are examples of things that are not
seasonal that can cause allergy symptoms. Then, of course, there
are foods, medications, and stinging insects that some people are allergic
Should I get tested for allergies?
are many reasons that your physician might recommend allergy testing.
However, for symptoms that are obviously consistent with allergies and are
seasonal (usually spring and fall) testing is not usually helpful until allergy
shots are considered as treatment. Testing is more likely to be
recommended to determine allergies to foods or pets. Testing is done by
skin testing by an allergist usually after age 3.