What is an Allergy?
An allergy can be the cause of that runny nose you’ve had for months, or your itchy eyes and that annoying rash. It happens when a usually harmless substance triggers your body’s immune system to overreact.
Substances in the environment, known as allergens, are the cause of allergic reactions. Common allergens are:
•Tree and grass pollen
•House dust mites
•Foods like milk and eggs
A special type of antibody (IgE) is produced by an allergic person’s immune system to attack allergens which it believes to be harmful. As a result, other blood cells release more chemicals (including histamine), which when combined, cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
An ‘Allergy’ which is a reaction to a substance, is different to a ‘Sensitivity’. A ‘Sensitivity’ is an exaggeration of a normal side effect produced by that substance.
An ‘Intolerance’ occurs when your body doesn’t produce the right amount of a particular chemical, or enzyme, needed to break down the food you’ve eaten and help digestion.
It is important that the causes of symptoms are correctly diagnosed so as to appropriately manage and treat the allergy, sensitivity or intolerance.
Allergic reactions tend to run in families and this condition is known as ATOPY. It is not an illness but an inherited feature. However, not everyone with a family history of allergic disorders will go on to develop them. The disorders include:
•Perennial rhinitis (Hayfever)
Nutrition – The Future:
Modern lifestyle and eating habits have led to a massive increase in complaints of digestive disturbances such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, acne, rashes, and fatigue as well as inflaming and exacerbating more serious diseases existing in the body, such as Ulcerative Colitis (U.C) and Crohn’s Disease.
Another major issue is a weak digestive system which can result in poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. As a result, this can lead to food intolerances as the body interprets undigested food as a foreign substance, thus considering it a threat to the immune system. These days people tend to eat poor refined foods which provides little, if any, fibre or nutrients. Combine this with stress and long working hours and it’s easy to see why the body is now under far more pressure.
The easiest route to a healthier body is to feed it nutrient enriched food.