Allergy is a very present concept in our lives, perhaps due to the frequency of its manifestations. This article is an approximation to its nature and most frequent causes, as well as to clarify some concepts that I believe are erroneous about it.
The word allergy has its origin in two Greek words: " A elós " which means different or opposite and " ergon " which means movement, meaning no where a thing moves. Therefore you can say that allergy means "Movement different and / or contrary to normal". In the case of the allergy that we know, this movement is usually due to excess (hyper- ergia) and not by defect (hypo- ergia).
We can define it as a state of hypersensitivity caused by different factors, and that affects both the emotional and the physical sphere, being through the physical manifestations that the diagnosis is reached and usually occur in reactions of the skin and the respiratory system and digestive. The latest advances on the most intimate mechanisms of allergy point to a hyperreactivity of the Immune System (SI). It seems that certain substances belonging to the SI are found in large quantities and very active in the tissues that present the reactions we call allergic. A substance that makes the body called Histamine is also found in large quantities as a result of this excess of immune activity.
Factors that provoke allergies
Allergic reactions are produced by the sum of several factors. First, there is the hereditary predisposition. Allergies are observed in people in whom we will find a family history of certain diseases such as Migraines, tendency to respiratory processes, digestive intolerances and, in some cases, Tuberculosis .
Second, and as a more immediate cause, we must observe the character and way of facing the life of each individual (personality) that will have a decisive influence on the life challenges, changes, traumas, stress, family problems, relationship, work or school that have to cause emotional disturbances.
Immunology has already been able to determine the direct relationship between emotional disturbances and those of the Immune System (SI). For these phenomena to occur, you have to have sensitive grounds that only individuals of certain personalities will have. Therefore the cause is always the person.
In these processes we find environmental factors such as the presence of substances that are called allergenic and that may be the ones that trigger a crisis; external factors or additions among which we will find food, chemical medications, vaccinations, etc.. These are the triggers or the circumstances that can improve or worsen the process.
How allergic reactions occur
How much the organism for any of the aforementioned causal factors enters a state that we would qualify as stress due to work, affective, family, social, economic and also physical situations, produces a series of disorders that affect all of its metabolic functions as endocrine or the Neurovegetative Nervous System but, in the assumption that it deals with allergies, the most important disorder occurs at the level of the Immune System as I have already pointed out.
These disorders consist of an excess of activity of different factors and cells that carry to the blood substances that are fixed to the respiratory and digestive mucous membranes or the skin, producing an inflammation that predisposes them to react in an exaggerated way to the presence or contact of those substances to which each individual is especially sensitive.
Therefore we can now say that allergic diseases can be classified as autoimmune, caused by substances and cells generated in the body itself and not by external factors.
Which agents are allergens
We already know that the allergy is a state, therefore, we can be allergic to any circumstance, or substance to which our body becomes sensitive.
The substances that most often trigger reactions to allergens are called allergens, generators of allergies and among the most "famous" for their frequency are dust mites and a variety of pollens, in addition to certain chemical drugs and foods .
In any case, it is easy to understand that allergy is due to these allergens but in the state of sensitivity that the body has developed regarding them.
How to identify an allergy
One of the usual practices in the study of allergic states is the realization of a series of tests to determine what sleep the substances to which each person is especially sensitive in order to be able to carry out a desensitization therapy through vaccines.
The idea of carrying out these tests arises from the concept that the affected person must be isolated from the substances to which they are sensitive, in addition to making other treatments that suppress the symptoms.
The validity of these tests, but, is limited and often unreliable by a number of circumstances:
- It is completely impossible to analyze all the substances to which the person is in contact.
- The system of inoculation under the skin of the substances that usually connect with the person in other ways often produces false positive results.
- It is common for people with clear symptoms to suffer an allergy to be negative to allergic tests.
- The sensitivity of the individual may vary over time to different stimuli.
- There is a series of stimuli that provoke allergy such as humidity, cold, alone or emotional impressions, for example, which are unquantifiable.