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What is an allergy?

What is an allergy?

Every day, your immune system encounters thousands of pathogens that try to penetrate and wreak havoc on your body. In fact, if it wasn’t for this system, none of us would be alive today!

Even though this system is highly sophisticated, it is not perfect. Every now and then, your immune system will launch a severe immune response against a harmless substance. If this process is recurrent, we are dealing with an allergy.

Causes of allergy

The exact causes of allergy have not yet been pinpointed; however, scientists believe it’s a combination of nature and nurture.

The nature part is the genetic predisposition that runs in families. If you have a close relative with many allergies, your risk of developing a new onset allergy is high.

The nature part relates to environmental exposure to chemical substances, which can be the trigger point of allergies.

Immunologists refer to the immune reaction that causes allergy symptoms as a hypersensitivity reaction. During a hypersensitivity reaction, your immune system will release several pro-inflammatory substances, such as histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins. All of these molecules will cause the typical symptoms of an allergic reaction, which include:

  • Congested nose
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hives
  • Swollen lips and tongue

Treatment options

At first, you might think that the best treatment option for allergies is to reduce the hyperactivity of the immune system. However, this treatment is left for extremely severe cases since it could be very damaging.

If you suppress your immune system, you will susceptible to developing many dangerous infections.

Therefore, the best treatment for allergies is to identify the substances that are causing these reactions.

Before the invention of allergy testing, this process was extremely expensive, long, and ineffective. Fortunately, you can accurately pinpoint the substance that’s causing your allergy from the comfort of your home, using home allergy testing.

Emma "the Health Coach"

Emma is a committed certified health education professional and a lifestyle diabetes prevention coach with over 20 years of experience helping others improve their overall health and well-being. Her own genetic profile, personal health issues and commitment to maintain her own health – by using an excess of prescription medications - further strengthened her enthusiasm for constantly changing her own healthier lifestyle habits. Not only did her challenges lead her to think differently but she followed the most natural healing process. Emma holds a Wellness Coach Certificate and has coached more than 500 people on their journeys to reach optimal wellness. She has worked with several companies where she developed new wellness techniques and policies, created new training guides and supervised a team of coaches. She is part of the GetTested team, and aims to mentor clients from all around the world.

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