allergyAllergies are not Drug Deficiencies

If you suffer from allergies you may spend several months in spring, fall or even year-round with red, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sinus headaches, congestion, constant sneezing, or even asthmatic symptoms that make breathing a chore.

An allergy is an overreaction of your body’s immune system to substances that usually cause no reaction in most other individuals. For example, someone with airborne allergies suffers from an overreactive immune system that over-responds to relatively harmless ingestible substances in the atmosphere.

The Basics of Allergies

What actually occurs inside the body is an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) binds to the offending allergen at one end, and to the mast cells that line the respiratory tract at the other end. The mast cells burst open releasing histamine, interleukins and other natural inflammatory agents.

These mast cells are important parts of our bodies. They contain tiny granules rich in histamine and heparin. These cells are important for wound healing and fighting against pathogens. Mast cells play a key role in the inflammatory process.

When activated, a mast cell rapidly releases its characteristic granules and various hormonal mediators. These granules directly cause the obvious symptoms associated with allergy; redness, swelling, itchiness, excess mucous, flushing, sweating, sneezing.

Mast cells can be stimulated to degranulate by direct injury caused by physical or chemical instigators commonly referred to as “allergens”.

A few examples:

  • pollen
  • mold
  • spores
  • animal dander
  • opioids
  • alcohols
  • corn
  • certain foods
  • certain types of active proteins

The Common Medical Approach

Doctors normally confront allergies by recommending or prescribing a substance that can counteract the effects of the chemicals from the mast cells. Antihistamines are popular choices. Steroids are also common treatment options. Yet every drug used to treat allergies will only mask the symptoms and are usually accompanied by many side effects – some of which can be deadly.

Not every person is allergic to the same things. This suggests that some people might have “tougher mast cells”, or ones that don’t rupture as easily in the presence of allergens. The goal in any health issue is to prevent problems, not merely to mask them temporarily.

Antihistamines and steroids cover symptoms and are never able to get at the root cause. Those substances, like most drugs, are not designed to cure allergies. Research indicates that it is often possible to improve a person’s immune system and strengthen their mast cells.

How does one strengthen their mast cells? Read more.