An allergy is the body's increased sensitivity to substances called allergens. The body has an immune system that produces antibodies to defend against infection, disease, and invaders such as these allergens.
In most cases, when an allergic person is exposed to an allergen over a period of time , the immunoglobulin E antibody is activated causing the release of inflammatory chemicals that produce allergic symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, stomach cramps, and rashes amongst others.
Allergy is not just a runny nose! It is also:
- Joint pain
- Sinus problems
- Recurrent earaches
- Stomach cramps and diarrhea
Allergens enter the body in many different ways; they may be inhaled, like pollen, mold spores, or dog dander. They may be swallowed, like food or medicine. They may be absorbed through the skin like poison ivy or injected like insect venom.
Now a days it is very easy to test for allergies; with a simple laboratory blood sample we can easily determine if the cause of the allergy is inhalants, nutritional or a mixture of both.