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Allergy FAQ Part II: Frequently Asked Questions on Allergy

Posted Apr 11 2012 1:34pm

In yesterday's post I discussed what an allergy is and how allergies are categorized. Today we will look at what are the symptoms for allergies. The symptoms that IgE and Non-IgE allergies (the difference between IgE and Non-IgE mediated allergies is discussed in Part I -  yesterday's post) can cause is lengthy and includes, but is not limited to: runny nose, stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, hay fever, asthma, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, rashes, coughing, wheezing, fever, postnasal drip, sore throat, dark circles under the eyes (allergy shiners), reddish or pink circles under the eyes, stomach problems, headache, migraine, hyperactivity, mood swings, irritability, bed-wetting, urinary incontinency, epilepsy, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, inability to concentrate, hypertension, joint and muscle pain as well as other gastrointestinal disturbances. Now this is a list of symptoms for both IgE and Non-IgE mediated allergies.

About twenty-five hundred years ago, Hippocrates, who is considered to be the Father of Medicine, wrote about how some people would react to foods:

“For cheese does not prove equally injurious to all men, for there are some who can take it to satiety, without being hurt by it in the least, but, on the contrary, it is wonderful what strength it imparts to those it agrees with; but there are some who do not bear it well, their constitutions are different, they differ in this respect, that what in their body is incompatible with cheese, is roused and put in commotion by such a thing; and those in whose bodies such a humor happens to prevail in greater quantity and intensity, are likely to suffer the more from it. But if the thing had been pernicious to the whole nature of man, it would have hurt all.” - Hippocrates

There is a rich body of research that states without question what Hippocrates is stating in the above quotation. In today's time, however, there are medical doctors who will assert that food can not cause the above listed symptoms. This is where, in part, the great divide begins. Consumers like me can go to the medical library - like I did repeatedly - or find in PubMed on-line the body of research on food, food allergies, food sensitivities or intolerances and the like. If your physician is one who tells you that food could not be the source of your health problem - you may want to look for a physician who is more educated on the impact food, nutrition and diet have on health. Of course, I am not saying that if you do have a symptom that it is caused by food, but it is possible that it could be caused by an allergy whether it is IgE or Non-IgE mediated.

Let me take a moment to repeat my warning from yesterday's post: If you get symptoms immediately after or soon after eating a food or after being exposed to a substance - you should seek out a medical doctor right away and make sure you do not have a life-threatening allergy. Allergies can be fatal and if you have an allergy that has the potential to be life-threatening - the IgE mediated allergy - you should know that and carry an Epi-Pen®. The above listed symptoms for IgE and Non-IgE mediated allergies is compiled from several medical resources. The more you know about allergies - the better you can manage your own health and well being! 



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