What is an allergy?
Allergy is an abnormal adaptive immune response where the immune system misidentifies a harmless substance (allergen) as a threat. In affected individuals, this misidentification elicits a response with symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis which can occur within minutes of allergen exposure. Common allergens are found in sources like peanuts, pollen and insect venom. These abnormal responses are classified into types depending on the mechanisms in which they occur. Most common allergies (hay fever, asthma, eczema, and food allergies) are classed as Type I hypersensitivities because they are mediated by IgE-antibodies.
What are seasonal allergies?
What are seasonal allergies? Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs when airborne pollen from wind pollinated grasses, trees, weeds and plants is inhaled and comes in contact with immune cells in the airways. Hay fever is usually worst between late March and September, when pollen count is the highest. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, red and itchy eyes – only a few symptoms of hay fever; whilst this may appear trivial at first, “it can significantly affect quality of life, work and school performance and attendance, and is a risk factor for the development of asthma” (Allergy UK, 2017).
How do allergies develop?
“The process through which a person’s body becomes sensitive to a given allergen is known as sensitisation” (British Society for Immunology, 2017). Allergies develop in two stages. In the first stage, a person encounters the allergen for the first time. The immune system mistakenly ‘sees’ an innocuous substance as unsafe and makes specific IgE-antibodies against it. These antibodies coat a type of cell known as mast cells, which contain inflammatory mediators, like histamine. Upon secondary exposure, the allergen cross-links adjacent IgE molecules on mast cells, leading to the release of chemicals, in particular histamine, which causes the clinical symptoms of swelling, rashes, shortness of breath and so on.
Why are some people allergic and other not?
Some people may have a greater allergic predisposition, a condition termed atopy. Atopic individuals are more likely to develop eczema, asthma and hay fever (the atopic triad) which develop in a sequence throughout the life-course. Scientists refer to this as the “atopic march” or “allergy march”. “Infants and children with gastrointestinal and cutaneous allergies have a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of later developing asthma and hay fever” (Roitt et al., 2017) but further research is needed to determine whether this relationship is causal.
There are many factors that affect someone’s likelihood of developing allergies. Combination of pathogens, nutritional deficiencies, pollution and heavy metal toxicities are some common risk factors.
LifeClinic Intergrative treatment:
At LifeClinic, we will guide you step by step to understand your allergies better and help manage the symptoms.
Functional Lab Test
Functional Lab Test A clinical work-up will be conducted to assess the levels of antibodies (IgE) and a number of sensitivities testing to test possible allergens, including food, environmental pollutants, etc.
Our nutritionist will provide you with a specific diet prescription, to ensure you have a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in each meal, as well as understanding the importance of food source.
Supplementation Base upon your personal biochemistry markers, our functional medicine practitioner will prescribe a supplement regime to enhance your healing result.
Book a consultation with us to find the best recommendations to address your allergies.