What are the different types of allergies?
Allergies are one of the most common immune pathologies today. It already affects more than 30% of the population against only 3% in the 1960s!`
When we talk about different types of allergies, it is important to distinguish between the grade of an allergy (from 1 to 4 or 5, depending on the classification) and what you are allergic to.
In the medical world, the types of allergies will mostly refer to the grade, whereas for everyday people, it will refer to what we are allergic to.
We can be allergic to almost everything, but here are the most common ones:
- Pet hair
What is an allergy?
Allergy is an inappropriate reaction of the immune system against an antigen, even in minimal quantities. For healthy individuals that are not suffering from allergies, this same antigen causes no reaction.
As more than 1 person out of 3 has allergies, this disease is wrongly trivialized.
Allergy is not like a common cold, it is a disease that can lead to death depending on its severity.
In all cases, it is a sign that your immune system is malfunctioning and hypersensitive.
Symptoms of allergies
The symptoms of allergies can be mild or severe. On the severe side, we have these symptoms:
- Face swell (angioedema)
- Severe asthma attack
- Giant urticaria
- Anaphylactic shock
For people that are suffering from the most dangerous form, the anaphylactic shock reaction, they carry with them what we call an Epinephrine auto-injector, also named “EpiPen”, which is an adrenalin syringe to be used immediately when the reaction starts in order to block it.
Luckily, the most common symptoms are:
- Hay fever
- Skin rashes
- Allergic rhinitis
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Types of allergies
Another way we can talk about different types of allergies is how they trigger the allergic reaction.
In this regard, we can distinguish 3 different types:
- By ingestion (food allergies)
- By inhalation (pollen, dust allergies)
- By contact with the skin (substance allergies)
Concerning food allergies, it is important not to confuse allergies with intolerances. Nowadays, many people complain about digestive symptoms after eating certain foodstuffs such as:
- Stomach pain
But these are, most of the time, related to food intolerance and not a food allergy. They are many technical ways to make the distinction between the two, but to keep it simple, here is what we can say.
Food allergies are specific reactions of the immune system through specific antibodies that appears quickly after contact with the antigen and creates specific symptoms more or less dangerous to life-threatening.
Food intolerances are global activation of the immune system, through different antibodies than allergy reaction, that appears slowly after ingesting the foodstuff and creates mild symptoms locally and/or globally.
Risk of not treating allergies
No matter how we want to classify the different types of allergies, all allergies tell the same thing: an immune disorder.
As we said previously, even if this immune disorder is well spread throughout the population and most forms are not life-threatening, it is no reason not to consider it seriously.
Treating allergies, especially forms that are not life-threatening, is very important to avoid more severe diseases.
Be careful, when we say “treating allergies”, we are not talking about allergy desensitization but natural treatment done by a holistic natural health expert. Allergy desensitization is a non-natural medicine procedure that involves receiving small doses of the allergen (antigen) to train the immune system not to react to it.
This procedure has a low success rate if not followed for years and is dangerous as it is a way to force your immune system to accept something that it does not want, exposing yourself to possible severe reactions.
If not treated, allergies often lead to auto-immune diseases. Why? Because the mechanism is very similar.
In the case of allergies, your immune system has an inappropriate reaction against something from the outside (that is not part of the body).
In the case of auto-immune disease, your immune system reacts against something from the inside (your own body) and starts to kill it.
As you can see, auto-immune diseases may come from an aggravation of an existing immune disorder, like an allergy, for example.
Can allergies be prevented?
Yes, they can, but for that, you need to work on the possible causes of allergies, and they are numerous. Why? Because you are looking at all the things that can harm, disturb, and deregulate your immune system.
Indeed, it is your immune system that is responsible for any type of allergic reaction. Therefore, if you suffer from an allergy, the important is not what you are allergic to but why your immune system is malfunctioning.
On top of that, your immune system can also malfunction because of other health problems that are not directly related to your immune system.
Finally, nowadays, most of us are immersed in a toxic environment for our health that we can’t fully escape. Luckily, our immune system is robust and can sustain a lot of damage, yet the number of people having immune problems like allergies is constantly increasing.
Realistically, we can say that today, except for those living in the most remote and natural places of the world with the best conditions possible, the only thing we can do is try to reduce as much as possible the harm done to our immune system.
If you want to know more about how to do that, read our article on “How to protect the immune system?”
Please note that we are talking here about prevention, not treatment. If you already have allergies that you want to treat, reducing the harm done to your immune system won’t be enough.
For that, we advise you to get the help of a holistic natural health expert who will be able to establish a personalized care plan with the tools of natural medicines.
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