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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
what are the differences between the way a person's body reacts to an enviormental allergy as apposed to a food one?

My knowlege is generally about how enviormental stimulatants effects my skin, my nose and my lungs. That my body has decided that dust and certain chemicals are something that it needs to attack with lovely little things called histmines, which makes me itchy, break into hives, sneeze, cough, and sometimes make my eyes water. And that anti-histimines keep these evil little buggers at bay, somewhat in simplest terms. I've done more reasarch of course of other things that can help but that's the genral long and short of it.

Is a food allergy different at all? And what is the makes the throat swell up exactly and cause the anafalaxisis (still cannot spell it and i'm sorry)?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
Hi!

I'm not a physician, and since everyone's symptoms differ, best to check with your allergist.

In general, though, environmental allergens usually affect the body by means of inhalation or contact (e.g., eyes, hands which then rub eyes or nose). This differs from the ingestion of a food directly into the body in terms of both route and amount of allergen. As a result, it makes sense that a food allergy can affect the body and its organ systems in extremely severe ways, depending on an individual's unique sensitivities and levels of reactivity.

That said, some individuals react to environmental allergens such as dust, pollens, or dog or cat dander with very severe allergic symptoms, including allergic asthma. Others simply sniffle a bit.

There are also some who suffer from latex allergy, and depending on the severity of their reactions, they can sometimes suffer anaphylaxis by contact with latex, which is a natural rubber.

During anaphylaxis (the most severe form of allergic reaction, with the same mechanism as any allergic reaction, but in far more explosive and severe form), the immune system has already been sensitized to one or more allergens. As a result, IgE (a kind of immune globulin, a part of the immune response) is produced to match the 'shape' of that particular allergen. This is like a 'lock and key' mechanism.

After the immune system is sensitized to a given substance, the IgE then continues to circulate throughout the body as part of the immune system's patrol, so to speak. If it recognizes allergens that enter the body, the IgE connects to the allergen and this 'match' between the lock and key mechanism sets off a cascade of chemicals – that is, allergic mediators, such as histamines, leukotreines, and other chemicals that cause sneezing, hives, allergic asthma, and whatever your unique symptoms might be. These are released by cells called 'mast cells'.

If one of the symptoms is throat swelling, then this means that the allergic mediators/chemicals that have been released are affecting the tissue in the throat area, leading to itchiness, a sense of a lump in the throat, and mucous production. Throat swelling can be very serious, so if this affects you and you haven't already done so, you might want to consider seeing an allergist about your allergy action plan.

I hope this is helpful.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
that is very helpful actually, thank you, i'm just looking for personal knowledge of the difference of the two so that i don't feel stupid when i'm talking to people unfamiliar with allergies, so the less scientefic terms and doctor speak the better! but i find talking or chatting or being on forums with people who have the condition that i'm learning about helps because then i have a more personal connection to it, and they have had to learn how to explain their conditions and such in more broad terms for others to understand

also i am a writer and i'll often use medical conditions in my writting to add drama or conflict as well as realism to to my charcters when i do that i like to be as accurate as possible, so now who knows in my next endvour my character may end up with food allergies, and i'll feel slightly more comfortable now that i am learning more about it! there is nothing worse then reading a story where the author does not have enough knowledge of their subject matter


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