Allergy is a Disorder of the Immune System
20. April 2016.

Allergy is a changed and hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system to external matters from the environment that are otherwise harmless for the majority of people. Our immune system has evolved for millions of years into an infinitely complex and exceptionally efficient immune defence system. Its role is to defend our body from infectious germs, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, i.e. from antigens. An antigen can be any matter that is strange to the body. Allergens are a type of antigens, which are not harmful for the body of majority of people, but the immune system of certain number of people recognises them in a wrong way as such. An allergen can be any substance which causes an allergic reaction. Some of the most typical sources of allergens are: tree, grass and weed pollen, house dust, mould, animals, certain types of food and medicines, as well as insect bites.

Various groups of white blood cells of adventurous names, such as lymphocytes, killer cells, vulture cells, etc. fight on the front line. They engage in the battle on their own, they sacrifice themselves for the body that feeds them or they produce and develop the weapons – the antibodies. In order to be able to play their role and attack their intruders everywhere, white blood cells ‘patrol’ the blood and lymphocyte paths. Only in this way is it possible to call them to the ‘battlefield’. Some tissues and organs such as: bone marrow, liver, spleen, thyroid gland, and lymphatic tissue, are in charge of producing and supplementing these ‘defending substances’. Lymph nodes in the intestines are particularly important because they account for around 70% of the total lymphatic system of human body. Therefore, it is very important that the lymphatic system and intestines function properly for the successful outcome of allergy treatment.

Allergies are hereditary to a certain degree. The probability of developing an allergy increases if one or both parents have suffered from an allergy, although it does not necessarily mean the child will be sensitive to the same allergens. The first symptoms of an allergy can occur at any period in life. People prone to allergies can acquire symptoms already in their childhood. An allergy is in principle a physical disorder, although strong emotional stress, feeling of fear, anxiety, anger or pressure of any kind can overload the nervous system and worsen or even trigger some allergic symptoms.

Allergic reactions most often occur:
• in the nose, as allergic rhinitis with sneezing, abundant secretion, blocked nose;
• in the lungs, as asthma – with the most typical symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest tightness;
• in the eyes, as conjunctivitis followed by itches, redness, and lachrymation;
• in the digestive tract, with cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea;
• in the mouth cavity, the occurrence of tongue and mucous membrane swelling, tickling and itching;
• in the skin as:
1. eczema with itching rash which usually occurs on skin folds around arms, legs and neck, but they can also occur on other body parts as well;
2. contact dermatitis with itching prickling rash;
3. urticaria with itching swellings of different sizes which often appear on the skin, lips, and inside the mouth or ears.

There is still no method to prevent the development of allergies in people who were born with a predisposition for their development. Allergic reactions appear only when an allergen comes into contact with the body, so the best way of successfully controlling allergies is to avoid contact with the allergens.

If you develop moderate symptoms, your problem can be successfully controlled with antihistamines and decongestants.