Allergy is an Over-Reaction

of the Immune System


“The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds”
John F. Kennedy

If you suffer from allergies, you're not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), more than 50 million people have allergic diseases, making them the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the USA. It is also a growing problem, with a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, showing that both food and skin allergies have risen in the past 14 years. Experts estimate that many allergies and immune-system diseases have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last few decades.

It's hard to have a dinner party these days, with everyone seemingly allergic to something or other. One guest can't eat gluten; another reacts to nuts; a third gets a rash from seafood; a fourth gets hives from your dog; a fifth has a sneezing fit caused by the dust on your neglected credenza. It isn't your imagination; more people than ever do have allergies these days.

Allergies are an extremely common health complaint these days. And while some symptoms are just plain annoying, such as a runny nose and itchy eyes, others like restricted airways can be downright life-threatening.

An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system, the body’s natural defense system. In short, the body responds as though it’s under attack, releasing antibodies and triggering inflammation, even though the stimulus of the attack (the allergen) is normally harmless.

Allergies are your body's reaction to allergens (particles your body considers foreign), a sign that your immune system is working overtime. The first time your body encounters an allergen, your plasma cells release an antibody specific to that allergen. It attaches to the surface of your mast cells. Mast cells are found in great numbers in your surface tissues, such as in your skin and in the mucous membranes of your nose, where they help mediate inflammatory responses. Mast cells release a number of important chemical mediators, one of which is histamine.

Histamine is an extremely important compound in the body. It acts as a neurotransmitter and regulates production of stomach acid, blood vessel permeability, and contraction of skeletal muscle. It’s also a major component of the immune response and thus a key mediator in allergic reactions. While we all need a certain amount of histamine for proper physiological function, some people produce excess histamine which affects your health in negative way.

The second time your body encounters a particular allergen, within a few minutes the mast cells become activated and release a powerful cocktail of histamine, which trigger the entire cascade of symptoms you associate with allergies: sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, hacky cough, itchy eyes, etc. Histamine can cause your airways to constrict, like with asthma, or cause blood vessels to become more permeable, leading to fluid leakage or hives.

Pollen is an extremely common mast cell activator, but other agents can trigger these processes as well. Mold spores, dust, airborne contaminants, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, environmental chemicals, cleaning products, personal care products and foods can all cause allergic reactions. Every person is different in what he or she reacts to. And, just because you haven't reacted to something in the past doesn't mean you won't react to it in the future—you can become sensitized at any point in time.

In this program you will learn:

  • What happens if person is exposed to an allergen

  • Why are allergies on the rise

  • Allergies, food and what to do about it

  • Allergies, your kids and your pets

  • Allergies and sterile environment

  • How to reduce your child’s risk of allergy