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The Complicated World of Allergies

Essay By: XxLoveXHateXMexX
Non-fiction



The essay I wrote for a class on something I have and wanted to learn more about.
Note: When it says 'see appendix' it was pictures which are not available to you, sorry.


Submitted:Jun 24, 2011    Reads: 188    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Allergies.
Allergies, are the annoying things that people are born with, and that at their worst, can be fatal. Rain or shine, cold or hot, windy or not, allergies exist even when your body least expects them.
The term "Allergy" was first introduced back in 1906 by a Vietnamese pediatrician Clemens Von Pirquet, when he noticed that some of his patients were hypersensitive to innocuous entries such as dust, pollen, and grass. Pirquet called his new found phenomenon "Allergy" after the Greek term, "Allos" for other, and "Ergon" for work.
Historically all hypersensitivity to an allergen was classified as an allergy.
In 1963, with the advancement of technology also came the advancement of many medical machines. Now, these discoveries also included the fact that it became clear to scientists that many different diseases are what cause hypersensitivity to an allergen. Philip Gell and Robin Coombs discovered four types of hypersensitivity reactions known as type I to type IV hypersensitivity. Thanks to Gell and Coombs, the word, "Allergy" was restricted to immediate also known as "Rapidly occurring," hypersensitive reactions.
What is an Allergy? An Allergy is an overactive immune system that you are born with. All around the world there are millions of types of allergies; some that many would not even believe exists. an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact, often manifested by itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, or diarrhea. ("Allergy.")
Interestingly enough, it is possible for you to grow out of allergies. Most food allergies children grow out of by the age of five or six. Others, stay dormant in your immune system until they become awakened by that specific allergen. An example of this is Asthma. Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that is characterized by recurring symptoms reversible airflow obstruction and bronchial spasms. Asthma can become un-dormant at any time in the humans life, this includes during adulthood. Shocking? Not quite. Many children don't know that they have asthma until they are doing a sport in the heat of the day, and they drop to their knees, their throat enclosed, and there airways constricted.
Back to the invention of allergies. Like what happened with Albert Einstein, people thought that the new invention that Pirquet had come across was fake; people called him a liar, and questioned his thoughts, and also deemed him as crazy. Pirquet worked at his discovery, publishing it in science journals, eventually people saw that Pirquet, was given the light he deserved when he was given a scientific achievement award for his discovery my allergies.
An Allergist is someone, a physician who studies, and works with patients that have allergies. ("Allergist.") In the United States, doctors who hold certifications from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) have formed a program that successfully shows, and teaches people about allergies, as well as shows them how to safely watch for symptoms in children; this includes the knowledge of the safe way to examine symptoms that are shown by the skin, or lack of breathing. Since the end of 1906 all the way until now, the information of allergies have grown so much many books have been created just to inform many people of their immune disorder, and what is going on inside their bodies.("Allergies")
When dealing with Allergies, the term IgE will be tossed around more than once. An Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an allergy antibody. ("Allergy (Allergies) Symptoms and Causes") An IgE is found in mammals, and is a monomeric with 4 lg- like domains (CH1->CH4). IgE's tend to be located in the immune system of mammals, as well as helps when attacking parasite worms in the stomach or other parts of the body. ("Immunoglobulin E")
IgE picks an immune response by binding to FC receptors found on the surface of mast cells and basophils, and are also found on esoinophils, monocytes, macrophages, and paletes in humans. Fc has two types: FcεRI, the high-affinity receptor. FcεRII, also known as CD23, is the low-affinity IgE receptor. IgE can up-regulate the expression of both Fcε receptors. FcεRI is expressed only on mast cells and/or basophiles in both mice and humans. Aggregation of antigens and binding of IgE to the FcεRI on mast cells causes degranulation. Degranulation is the cellular process that releases antimicrobial cytotoxic molecules from the secretary vesicles called granules found inside of some cells. ("Degranulation")
The release of mediators from the cells, while basophiles cross-linked with IgE release type 2 cytokines like interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) and other inflammatory mediators. The low-affinity receptor (FcεRII) is always shown on B cells; but its expression can be induced on the surfaces of macrophages, eosinophils, platelets, and some T cells by IL-4. ("Immunoglobulin E")
Allergies can occur during all times of the year, at any moment of the day or night. It doesn't matter one bit if it is Spring or not, your allergies will sneak up on you and bother you.
Mentioned earlier in this paper, food allergies are able to be grown out of, as well as all other allergies, but some are nearly impossible to grow out of. With the research that has been scrounged together from other scientists, a complete list of allergies was put together.
Some allergies are almost so insane that people wouldn't even think that they exist. Around the world people have allergies to fabric, minerals in water, minerals in soil, even the pollutants in the air. Sounds ridiculous, but in fact this is true; the jokes about the, "Bubble boy," aren't funny to children that are cooped up in their houses all day so that when they walk outside they don't die from an allergic reaction.
Many people find that the idea of allergies are unreal; they think that nothing can cause a reaction to something so small, such as dust molecules, pollen, or pollution molecules that float around in the air above our heads. See Appendix D for a graph of allergies in the United States compared to Europe. It is nearly impossible to make a complete list of allergies, seeing as everything is a possible allergen; being Lactose intolerant, means that your immune system will react to that particular allergen, in this case dairy. ("Allergy")
The most active food allergen still do date, is the allergy to nuts and trees. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is also true for the blossoming flowers in spring.
-Segment from an anonymous member of the FDA. (Davis)
"Milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish (like shrimp), tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans are common allergens in food. The labeling will list these ingredients or say 'contains' followed by the name of the source of the food allergen."
The most common question still asked by children mainly is, "Why am I allergic to peanuts?" the answer to this is simple. Peanut allergies are the most life threatening allergy of all allergies. The symptoms can range from minor a minor reaction to a life threatening reaction (anaphylaxis); and for many, even the smallest trace of peanut can cause a reaction beyond belief. The symptoms of a peanut allergy can appear within minutes of being exposed to the allergen the symptoms include: Skin reactions such as hives, redness or swelling, Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat, Digestive problems such as diarrhea stomach cramps nausea or vomiting, Tightening of the chest, Shortness of breath or wheezing, Runny or stuffy nose. ("Peanut Allergy") In the case of a peanut allergy, you are almost always rushed to the emergency room, if you are not taken to the emergency room, or a hospital, you could die due to lack of air, or too much swelling inside your body. Allergies of any sort are not anything to be taken lightly or to joke around about.
In Arizona, allergies and asthma are both extremely common. Allergies are formed from the flowers on the blossoming Cacti, and asthma is caused from the thick smog that looms over the town due to the wind blowing it all the way from Los Angeles California. Smog is what is caused from the carbon dioxide and nitrogen that is formed from a cars exhaust pipe. This thick heavy fog can be seen in the morning around dawn as the sun is rising. It will appear dark grey or brown, due to the burning of oil and fossil fuels inside of automobiles, factories, and power plants. See Appendix B. ("Smog")
The thickness of smog, makes the thick and hard to breathe, if the body cannot take in clean air, or if it can't take in air at all, the lungs begin to spasm, causing the human or organism to, "Gasp," for air. A scientific name for this is Asthma. Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchial spasm. ("Asthma") Asthma is in fact a form of allergy, it is sparked by an allergen, is most causes pollutants in the air, and causes the body to have a reaction. The medicine most commonly used is an Inhaler, or an Albuterol Treatment. See Appendix C. Both of these machines help lower the inflammation in the throat and air ways, so that the victim of this allergen may breath, as well as helps slows the heart beat back to normal levels. ("Asthma") .
What still remains to be mentioned in this paper is the treatments of the millions of allergies in the world. Treatments range from many different things, like mentioned earlier and inhaler, is one other include: shots, rubbing creams, juices, liquid medicines, pills, abluterol breathing treatments, and much more.
To go into a bit of detail, over the counter drugs, the ones you can buy at CVS, help relieve your symptoms for a short while, say six hours; but when it gets to the end of that time, the symptoms are still there, they were just put to sleep. Using natural remedies, like "How Grandma used to make it," relieves all the symptoms and helps stop the bad allergen in its tracks; this is bad for the allergen trying to attack you, but good for you.
A great remedy is to take Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps support your immune system, and keeps it working in tip-top shape. If you take Quecetin, it's a small supplement you can get from a doctor, it helps relieve pollen allergies before they begin, taking one pill a day has been proven to help millions of people already. (Schneider)
Another remedy that has been proven to work is the remedy of taking Reishi. Reishi is a supplement made of mushrooms, proven to also, like Quecetin, stop the symptoms of allergies before they begin. Both of these pills are one hundred percent natural and are perfectly safe to take. The down side is that if you have an allergy to mushrooms, or anything else the pills are made up of, the pill does not stop your reaction, therefore, you would still have the allergic reaction. (Schneider)
Shots, the worst thing a person can imagine are a cure to allergies; though you cry, and wince, you become fully relieved once the medicine goes into the bloodstream and starts working its magic to heal you from your painful allergic reaction.
The most common medicine used in the needle today is some salt water saline with a very small amount of Allergens in it. ("Allergy Shots") this is like what doctors do when a patient has the chicken pox, they inject dead cells that hold the virus into the body, and then the immune system builds up an immunity to it, which will later help the body fend off the newly found enemy once it returns again.
The most recent of allergies relief by far is the use of medicine, without needles. In a sense it is, "Needle-free." The treatment is called Needle Free Allergy Desensitization (NFAD). NFAD is a non invasion, needle-less technique using acupunctural points, and manipulation of the spinal cord to desensitize the individual to the allergen. It is a modified version of NAET and MT techniques that are still commonly used by doctors. It works by unblocking the messages being sent to the brain caused by the allergen, by this, it stops a rash from forming, or pain in the stomach or head, or any other symptoms, and allows the body to not have to be forced into attacking the allergen. This entire process is done using cold lasers so that it can be pin-pointed into the spinal cord. NFAD can be given to any patient that is over the age of five, it is safe, and easy; but of course nothing is free. See Appendix E for a complete list of symptoms that are eligible for the use of NFAD. ("Need-Free Allergy Relief")
A bump on your arm, does not necessarily mean you have an allergic reaction, it could simply be a bruise. If the bumps on your arm or any other place on your body become inflamed then you have Hives. Chronic hives, also known as urticaria, are batches of raised, red or white itchy welts (wheals) of various sizes that appear and disappear. While most cases of hives go away within a few weeks or less, for some people they are a long-term problem. Chronic hives are defined as hives that last more than six weeks or hives that go away, but recur frequently. Like all annoying bumps, ointments are used to cure them they stop the burning and iching, and help them go away within an hour. However, it is always recommended you ask, or call a doctor to make sure that you are purchasing the right ointment. ("Hives") See Appendix F for an image of Hives.
Hives, however are not the only rash that can appear on the skin due to an allergic reaction. Other things can show up such as: Scaly patches of skin, scaly patches of skin caused by fungi, red itchy bumps that appear on the back or chest. With Skin, never self-diagnose yourself, when you do this, you could mix up what you have for something fatal and this can cause you to go into panic. It's best to see a Dermatologist, they will let you know the best medicine for your rash so it may heal quickly. (Rockoff)
A name for a scaly rash that is not caused by an infection is known as Psoriases this is when your skin becomes scaly and itchy; this is also referred to as Eczema. The interesting thing about Eczema is that it is not directly connected to allergies, or allergic reactions, however Eczema may appear when it is triggered by the allergen. Eczema is hereditary; the first signs of it can begin forming around the fifth age of life. Many signs include dry cheeks, or scaly patches of skin on the arms, legs, scalp, or chest. Many of these signs can be sparked by soaps, clothing detergents, and least commonly, but it's still common, in food; changing detergents or your diet also helps Eczema start up a bit. (Rockoff) Just because you skin itches does not mean you have the Eczema virus, it could mean your skin is ashy and is asking you to put lotion on it; always be cautious of what chemicals are in the lotion. If you body or hands, begin to burn, sting, or itch, call a Dermatologist, and have them look at you immediately; if you body begins to swell, such as large bumps appearing on your arm, go to the emergency room, and have them help you as soon as possible.
The two main ways to relieve allergies have been covered, this includes NFAD. As mentioned before when speaking of peanut allergies, allergies are not something to be taken lightly. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean that you should say that you are allergic to it, because there is a person on this world who has an actual allergic reaction to that thing you don't like, and could be dying right now.
If you see someone having trouble breathing, offer to take them to the hospital, or if they have their inhaler get it for them from their bag, or get them some water. Having the fault of someone's death on your shoulders is a heavy burden, a burden that no one would want to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Allergies are never a joke.
Authors Notes
Hello dearest reader, I extremely enjoyed writing this paper for multiple reasons. I learned why I have such terrible reactions to simple things such as onions, pepperoni, and many, many spices that I could not list even if I honestly wanted too.
I found it interesting see as what the allergy to peanuts actually was, and seeing how much suffering peanut allergy victims must go through to eat chocolate, and how much of risk they have every day of being exposed to peanuts.
I wish, just as myself, I wish allergies didn't exist, and the rate for allergies was not so high in my home state of Arizona. Smog is gross, I'm not a smoker, nor do I ever wish to be one, but I can't help but feeling, when I walk outside in the capital of my state, that I am inhaling nothing but tar, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which all of this will accumulate and destroy my lungs; this is why I have asthma. It's a scientific fact.
If I could move some place without allergies? That doesn't exist. No one is safe from allergies, you can tell yourself that you would be safe, but even the smallest spice in a meal can make you be on your death bed.
One last note; always and I mean always keep your inhaler by your side. I made the mistake of not taking it with me to bed, by this I mean placing it on my bed side table, and I woke and couldn't breathe due to the inflammation of my tonsils. Not pleasant. I had no voice for three weeks, all I could do was just sit on my bed, and wait for the swelling to go down so I could drink water without wincing, and before you ask, I did not have to have my tonsils removed they were just simply there but puffy.
Enjoy your Earth, keep it clean, a hybrid is not the best car, well what I saying, no car is the best car. All cars release poisonous gases into our beautiful Earth; walk people, it's not that hard. Your hazardous nitrogen, combined with carbon dioxide is raising the temperature of the Earth; polar ice caps are melting, as this happens, water levels rise, and cities that now are beautiful beach stays, are going to be under water, just like the lost city of Atlantis. I know I sound like a hippy nagging at you, but all this smog and filth in the air is dangerous. This is why people have asthma, and bronchitis, this is why people suffer as much as they do! It's the humans fault! We need to stop all of this before what happened in the Middle Ages happens again; in case you don't know of the black plague, it was a deadly disease that killed thousands thanks to people coming back from explorations with disease filled rats on ships.
My dear reader, you are reading this paper thinking I might be crazy for writing about this topic, when in fact I am passionate about allergies, for I have seen and heard of many peoples' lives being taken away by a fatal, and much accidental food eating mistake; don't take this lightly my dear reader, when unexpected, you could be next.
Like I stated before, no one is safe from allergies. No one.
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