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Allergies

An allergy is the result of an abnormal reaction to a substance that is usually not dangerous. When you have an allergic reaction to something, your body mistakes the substance (allergen), as something that is harmful and attempts to fight it. Some substances may cause a stronger reaction than other substances and in some cases your body’s reaction may actually do more harm than good. An example of this is an allergy to the poison in bee stings. The poison in a bee sting is not actually enough to kill you, however some peoples’ bodies over-react to the sting to such and extent that they may cause them to go into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is when your body releases too much histamine (a substance that is released when there is an infection) and this causes the passages in their lungs to close, making it difficult to breathe. For some people, their reaction to bee stings may be so strong that it may cause their heart to stop as well. People who are so allergic to a substance that they may die from the reaction usually carry a kit with medicines to counter act the harmful effects of their allergic reaction or wear bracelets that inform those around them of their allergy.

Not all allergies are severe enough to threaten your life. Skin allergies occur when your skin reacts abnormally to a substance that it comes into contact with. This may result in a skin eruption that is itchy and/or painful. Often skin allergies cause great distress as people may feel embarrassed and self conscious of the area with the rash.

If the lining of your nose over-reacts to a substance that is inhaled, for example dust or pollen, then your nose produces excess mucous and causes nasal congestion or a runny nose, this kind of reaction is also known as hayfever. The irritation in your nasal passages may also cause sneezing.

When your intestines react to a substance that you have eaten the reaction may result in diarrhoea, skin rashes or even anaphylactic shock. Milder reactions by the intestines are commonly referred to as food allergies and substance such as milk and dairy are common allergens. If you are experiencing allergic type symptoms, e.g. sneezing, runny nose, coughing, diarrhoea, itching or hives for longer than a week then please consult your healthcare practitioner.

 

Symptoms

Sneezing, runny nose, coughing, diarrhoea, itching or hives.

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