Today parents increasingly face such a problem as children’s allergies: over the last 25 years the number of allergic children has increased twice or, according to some estimates, even three times. That’s why Canadian Health&Care Mall advices paying a special attention to this problem.
Theoretically, any substance which structure differs from human tissue structure, that is, any substance brought in from the outside, can elicit an immune response. But normally the body must not be mistaken, separating agents for harmful and harmless. Allergy is an abnormal reaction of the body to a substance considering it dangerous, though it is not.
A bit of science
There are two concepts that are often confused: allergy and pseudo-allergy.
The difference between them is principled, it lies in the nature of the immune response mechanism. But we are not going “into the jungle”. Let’s say that a true allergy is a hereditary disease; if one of the parents suffers from an allergy, the child will have the same allergy with a chance of 30%; if both parents suffer frmo an allergy, the child will be allergic with a probability up to 60%.
Pseudoallergy is a group of reactions, different in origin, most of which are somehow related by excess histamine in the body or its general intoxication. But the immune system is not originally involved in these reactions developing process. Specific causes of children’s allergies in this case may be different: a violation of the mechanisms of development and binding histamine or its excess amount brought in with food. For example, a large amount of this hormone is found in seafood, and chocolate promotes the production of histamine in the body.
Types of children’s allergies
Food allergy is the most common. Allergic reactions may be caused practically by any food product, especially if it contains a large amount of histamine or substances providing a deleterious effect to the body (at a high concentration), such as dyes, preservatives, stabilizers, flavors. Children under two years old often suffer from them against a background of dysbiosis or too early feeding. In most cases, the allergic reation is caused by cow milk, egg white, fish, some kinds of fruit and vegetables.
Allergic to animals is also quite frequent. But in fact it is not quite what it seems to be. It is not an allergy to hair, as people usually say, but one of the animal waste products: saliva, serum, epithelium, urine or feces.
Allergies to pollen usually occur after 8 years old. The period of the first symptoms may help define a group of “suspected” plants: from April to May – the period of flowering trees, from June to July – meadow grasses, from August to September – weeds.
Children’s allergy to drugs is often caused by penicillin and its derivatives, but may also occur in response to practically any group of drugs. Drug allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, so it is extremely dangerous.
Allergy to house dust is exaggerated reaction to the release of small mites living in our home in large quantities. Even a daily general cleaning of the house won’t get rid us from them completely.
Allergy to insect stings (usually bees or wasps) is hypersensitivity to the venom of stinging insects.
Allergy to cold is not an allergy in its essence: the response to the sudden drop in temperature, which is manifested in the form of a rash and redness, similar to hives, ramaining even few hours after exposure to cold.
Helminth intoxication also often leads to pseudoallergic reactions. In case of allergy symptoms, check the child for the presence of worms. (more…)