The term 'Allergy’ as utilized by Allergy Link
refers to the generic term commonly used by the general public describing any form of adverse or negative reaction. We use the term interchangibly with adverse reaction, substance sensitivity and intolerance. (see definition)
Adverse reactions are associated with many common diseases
'Adverse reactions' can be either a contributing factor, minor or major, or even the primary cause of ill health. They are experienced differently by every person. You can have an adverse reaction to just about anything, though some substances and irritants more commonly cause symptoms than others.
Allergies however, can cause severe allergic reactions or life threatening anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis). Any person suffering an immediate IgE mediated reaction to a specific food should consult a medical practitioner to discuss avoidance, testing for type 1 allergy (IgE mediated), risk assessment for anaphylaxis and emergency medication.
An allergy typically occurs when the body over-reacts to a substance normally considered harmless.
Adverse reactions (including allergies) have multiple roots.
One is inherited, since these conditions are more frequent in children of parents with allergic histories. Another is in the mind and nervous system. Emotional Stress can trigger allergic reactions. A person who is strongly allergic to dogs may react to the sight of a plastic dog, demonstrating the involvement of mind over body in the learned aspect of these inappropriate immune responses.
The body’s ability to cope with everything we eat or are exposed to is dependant on many individual factors. It is often due to the accumulation or ‘rain barrel’ effect that an allergy all of a sudden develops or breaks out.
When the barrel is very full (high amounts - exposed to or in the diet), even a drop of additional water (exposure) will cause the barrel to overflow (symptoms activated). But when the barrel is less full, it would take more water (exposure) to cause a response. This phenomena, dictated by lifestyle, stress or trauma, can result in the weakening of the immune system and therefore cause an increase in adverse reactions, explaining why at certain times we are more prone to develop various adverse reactions, intolerances and/or experience varying degrees of allergy like reactions and heightened sensitivities.
For some people, when the stress/trauma has passed, the body will regain homeostasis again and will no longer react to the offending substance.
Why are Adverse reactions (including allergies) on the increase?
There are many reasons and factors for the increase in the various 'adverse' reactions and sensitivities. Most obvious is the exposure to more and more 'matters and substances' that our bodies were never exposed to during our evolution. Being overburdened by modern life and all its implications, gives rise to various reactions.
One of the main contributing causes is stress - physical and emotional. Followed by over-exposure to artificial, synthetic or ‘hazardous’ substances both in our food and the environment.
Increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation everywhere, our home, shools and work environment,; but health implications of electromagnetic frequencies have always been played down. But why are we not allowed to use electronic devices in airoplaines? .... because of interference? Well, our body is also an incredibly complex and finetuned system that can be affected.
Today we are consuming 'estranged' foods; ingesting and inhaling chemicals - on a daily basis - whose names we can’t even pronounce, yet assume our bodies will cope. We believe that the food industry has our best interest at heart when manufacturing enticing food products - engineered for our health?
Why is it that we humans assume that we can eat anything and everything and seem surprised when something goes wrong? While on the other hand we know for example, that animals shouldn't consume 'human foods' - as any pet or animal owner knows. Unsuitable foods can be downright noxious! In dogs can chocolate cause blindness and raisins cause diabetes and kidney failure...
Is it a surprise then that we can experience adverse reactions - to any and everything - no matter the distinction.
Allergies can always be the underlying cause or at least part of the problem. Any substance can become an ‘allergen’ and trigger reactions. Foods and environmental substances are known to either cause or worsen symptoms.
Establishing which food or substance is affecting you, or if you are affected at all, can turn out to be more than valuable information; giving you options to take control of your health & well-being and manage your allergic response/s.