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Anti Allergy, Additive And Chemicals

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Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problem in most people. These diseases include hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis. Symptoms may include red eyes, an itchy rash, runny nose, shortness of breath or swelling. Food intolerances and food poisoning are separate conditions.

Common allergens include pollen and certain food. Metals and other substances may also cause problems. Food, insect stings, and medications are common causes of severe reactions. Their development is due to both genetic and environmental factors. The underlying mechanism involves immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE), part of the body's immune system, binding to an allergen and then to a receptor on mast cells or basophils where it triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine. Diagnosis is typically based on a person's medical history. Further testing of the skin or blood may be useful in certain cases. Positive tests, however, may not mean there is a significant allergy to the substance in question.

Early exposure to potential allergens may be protective. Treatments for allergies include avoiding known allergens and the use of medications such as steroids and antihistamines. In severe reactions injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) is recommended. Allergen immunotherapy, which gradually exposes people to larger and larger amounts of allergen, is useful for some types of allergies such as hay fever and reactions to insect bites. Its use in food allergies is unclear.

A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to food. The signs and symptoms may range from mild to severe. They may include itchiness, swelling of the tongue, vomiting, diarrhoea, hives, trouble breathing or low blood pressure. This typically occurs within minutes to several hours of exposure. When the symptoms are severe, it is known as anaphylaxis. Food intolerance and food poisoning are separate conditions.

Common foods involved include cow's milk, peanuts, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, rice and fruit. The common allergies in a region vary depending on the country. Risk factors include a family history of allergies, vitamin D deficiency, obesity and high levels of cleanliness. Allergies occur when immunoglobulin E (IgE), part of the body's immune system, binds to food molecules. It is usually a protein in the food that is the problem. This triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine. Diagnosis is usually based on a medical history, elimination diet, skin prick test, blood tests for food-specific IgE antibodies, or oral food challenge.

Early exposure to potential allergens may be protective. Management primarily involves avoiding the food in question and having a plan if exposure occurs. This plan may include giving adrenaline (epinephrine) and wearing medical alert jewellery. The benefits of allergen immunotherapy for food allergies is unclear and thus not recommended as of 2015. Some types of food allergies among children resolve with age including that to milk, eggs and soy; while others such as to nuts and shellfish typically do not.

In the developed world about 4% to 8% of people have at least one food allergy. They are more common in children than adults and appear to be increasing in frequency. Male children appear to be more commonly affected than females. Some allergies more commonly develop early in life while others typically develop in later life. In developed countries, a large proportion of people believe they have food allergies when they actually do not have them.

One of the most common food allergies is a sensitivity to peanuts, a member of the bean family. Peanut allergies may be severe, but children with peanut allergies sometimes outgrow them. Tree nuts, including cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, coconuts and walnuts, are also common allergens. Sufferers may be sensitive to one particular tree nut or to many different tree nuts. Also seeds, including sesame seeds and poppy seeds, contain oils where protein is present, which may elicit an allergic reaction.

Egg allergies affect about one in fifty children but are frequently outgrown by children when they reach age five. Typically the sensitivity is to proteins in the white, rather than the yolk.

Milk, from cows, goats or sheep, is another common food allergen, and many sufferers are also unable to tolerate dairy products such as cheese. A small portion of children with a milk allergy, roughly ten percent, will have a reaction to beef. Beef contains a small amount of protein that is present in cow's milk.

Other foods containing allergenic proteins include soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, maize, spices, synthetic and natural colours and chemical additives.

Although sensitivity levels vary by country, the most common food allergies are allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat. These are often referred to as "the big eight." Allergies to seeds especially sesame seem to be increasing in many countries. An example an allergy more common to a particular region is that to rice in East Asia where rice forms a large part of the diet.