Thursday, 9 February 2012

Allergy Types

By Tim Howden ND BHSc MNHAA
Food Allergy has be come a major worldwide health concern over the past two decades and is associated with a significantly negative impact on quality of life.  Approximately 8% of children are affected by food allergy. True food allergy is an associated with abnormal immune response that is driven by food proteins leading to adverse clinical reactions. Food intolerance is not associated with an immune response and includes  such things as enzyme insufficiency, lactose intolerance, amine sensitivity and various toxic reactions.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects up to 20% of children living in industrialized countries.

Eczema can have an allergic element driven by an overactive and inappropriate immune response.  It  typically arises in small patches behind the knees or in the creases of the elbows.  It can be dry or weeping in character and is always red and angry looking.

Asthma is a condition of inflammation and hypersensitivity. It is indirectly associated with allegic cnditions. The prevalence of Asthma is highest in westernized countries with up to 20% of children under 12 months being diagnosed. It is characterized by inflammation of the lower lower respiratory tract with airway narrowing and the production of mucous. Asthma is a result of a complex interaction between several cells, mediators and neural pathways. The airways become hypersensitive, the individual becomes wheezy, breathless and coughing is usually present.  Commonly, it is worse in cold weather and may be bought on by strenuous exercise or stress. Chronic asthma is a debilitating condition when poorly managed and can be life threatening to certain individuals.

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