What is an allergy really? You will learn this from this article. Our immune system is there to fight off invaders in the body. The immune system has powerful weapons in its arsenal, which is needed to kill the most malicious viruses, bacteria or parasites. During the course of evolution, before hospitals and antibiotics, a powerful immune system that saved the host from dangerous bacterial and viral infections has certainly been beneficial.
Unfortunately, the weapons of the immune system are really dangerous even for the owners of the immune system, ie ourselves. The immune cells that are designed to initiate an immune response to something in the owner's body are sorted out and wound up. It's good when it works, and it usually does.
The immune system should also be able to distinguish bacteria, viruses, parasites and other dangerous things that come into our body from food, or pollen we breathe, or cat hair or dog bark. Which is not dangerous. In immunology, we say that we must develop tolerance to things that enter the body but are not dangerous.
Is a piece of beef a parasite?
When tolerance does not develop, the immune system treats harmless molecules as if they were dangerous parasites (yes, just parasites for some reason, not viruses or bacteria) and initiates a more or less powerful immune response to something harmless. The immune response, if strong, can become really dangerous (deadly) for its owner.
Allergy - immune system phobias
In a person who has a phobia the brain perceives, a harmless spider, or syringe, or blood drop can be something completely terrifying, life-threatening. The brain's fear reaction starts and accelerates the body's escape system. In a person who has an allergy, the immune system reacts in the same way. The main difference is that the immune system has more powerful weapons in its arsenal than the brain. A panic attack due to a phobia is not fatal (although it feels so) while an allergic shock is fatal if not treated quickly with strong drugs.
What things does the immune system get phobias against?
Some things are more common than others for the immune system to get phobias of. In babies, milk, eggs and soy protein are common. In school children different pollens, different species of fur or dandruff, some nuts, eggs, fish are common. There are more. These substances are usually called "allergens".
Some substances are known to cause allergic shock more often than others, including peanuts, eggs, fish, hazelnuts and other nuts. Pollen, on the other hand, usually does not cause allergic shock, but rather a runny nose and itchy eyes. Pollen can also aggravate an existing allergic asthma.
Can you avoid allergies by avoiding things that the immune system usually gets phobias against?
No. This was believed for a long time. But it is well shown in many scientific studies that one cannot prevent allergies by avoiding so-called "allergens". It's no wonder, then, if you consider that the fault is in the ability of the immune system to distinguish between the dangerous and harmless.
Therefore, there is never a reason to avoid food or pets or going out unless you get sick from it!
However, I do not think there is reason to expose children's skin to perfumes or essential plant oils etc, because they do not add anything positive to the child's health.
What if my child is already allergic then?
If your child has suffered severe allergic shocks then it is obvious that you need to be careful to protect the child from more, by avoiding what the child has reacted to. Then you should also have contact with a paediatrician. They will probably suggest controlled testing on the things the child is allergic to at certain intervals. It's good, but don't do it at home if your child has severe allergic reactions. However, if the child has mild symptoms, you can always try a little sometimes if the allergy is mild or gone. Allergies are tricky, suddenly they are there and then they disappear.