WHAT IS ALLERGY?
Normally, our immune system helps protect us. It does this by sending in special cells, that attack whenever viruses, bacteria, or other harmful substances invade our body. This response helps neutralize the foreign invaders. But many things enter our body that the immune system usually views as harmless. This can include things like pet hair; dust mites; and tree, weed, or grass pollen. In a person with allergies, the immune system mistakes these harmless substances, known as allergens, for a potential threat and starts to react it in an altered way and as result different allergic symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, asthmatic symptoms, skin rashes develops. Allergies can strike anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, or social or economic status. One of the most common forms of allergies is an allergic reaction to something in the air. These tiny particles floating in the air are so small that they cannot even be seen. But, when breathed into the nose or lungs, or when they come in contact with the eyes, they can cause an allergic reaction. These particles are called allergens, a name given to substances that cause an allergic reaction.
Allergy can be differentiated broadly into two type – seasonal allergy & year-round allergy. As the names imply, seasonal allergies are those that occur or get worse during a particular time of year. Year-round allergies, on the other hand, are allergies that can occur all-year long.
Common triggers of seasonal allergies are found outdoors and include spores from fungi and mold along with pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. With pollen, each plant has a pollinating period that is more or less the same from year to year, whether it be during the spring, summer, or fall. A person will have symptoms based on when the allergen they are allergic to is in the air.
Year-round allergies are often triggered by allergens found indoors. Common indoor allergens include dust mites, which are bugs so small that you can’t see them, mold, cockroaches, and animal dander, which are dead skin flakes from animals with fur.
TYPES OF ALLERGY: Many health disorders are caused by an allergic reaction. The most commons are given below
Allergic bronchial asthma
It is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. It is triggered by various allergens or irritants. In allergic asthma, when the airways come in contact with an allergen, the immune system reacts and releases chemicals. These chemicals cause the muscles around the airways to tighten. Inflammation, swelling, and a buildup of mucus in the airways causes further narrowing.
Allergic rhinitis is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways. It occurs when an allergen, such as pollen, dust or animal dander (particles of shed skin and hair) is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system. It causes sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages, and an increase in mucus production. Many of the same factors that trigger allergic rhinitis can also trigger an allergic bronchial asthma attack.
Urticaria or hives
Urticaria (or hives) is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives is frequently caused by allergic reactions; however, there are many non-allergic causes. Most cases of hives lasting less than six weeks (acute urticaria) are the result of an allergic trigger.
Atopic dermatitis is a type of skin rash. The term “atopic” refers to a tendency to develop allergy conditions, and the term “dermatitis” means swelling of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is often referred to as eczema, which is a general term for several types of skin inflammation. People who live in cities and/or dry climates may be more likely to get the condition. Atopic dermatitis usually develops in early childhood and continues into the teen years, but it can affect people of all ages.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, whole-body allergic reaction to any allergen. The Common causes include drug allergies, food allergies, insect bites/stings. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and can occur at any time. Risks include a history of any type of allergic reaction.
PATHOGENESIS OF ALLERGY
Our body’s immune system is designed to recognize and to attack of any foreign particle or protein that enter inside our body. It has the remarkable ability to distinguish between “self” and “non-self” cells. There are many things enter our body that our immune system usually views as harmless. But in a person with allergies, the immune system by mistakes looks these harmless substances known as allergens as a potential threat and starts reacting. This is where the allergic reaction starts. The cascade of allergic reaction is like this – Lymphocytes are white blood cells that play a key role in both immunity and allergy. They are divided into two types, the T and B lymphocytes. The T lymphocytes can be classified into killer T cells and helper T cells (TH). The helper T cells (TH) is divided into two types – TH1 (infection fighters) and TH2 (allergy promoters). The B-lymphocytes produces antibodies to help destroy foreign substances when stimulated to do so by the TH2 cells. When the T cells come into contact with any allergen the”helper” T cells (TH2) are activated, thus releasing chemicals (cytokines) that stimulate B lymphocytes. B lymphocytes produce IgE antibodies that bind to the allergens.
Cytokines are small proteins that can either step-up or step-down the immune response. One of the cytokines, interleukin 4 (IL4), is essential for the production of IgE. Interleukin 5 (IL5) and others are important in attracting other cells, particularly eosinophils, to promote inflammation. These spectrums of cytokines are released by the TH2 lymphocytes.
Once the IgE is produced, it specifically recognizes its allergen and will recognize it on future exposure. Mast cells and basophils are the next key players in the allergic cascade. They are volatile cells with potentially explosive behavior. Mast cells reside in tissues while basophils are found in the blood. Each of these cells has over 100,000 receptor sites for IgE, which binds on their surfaces. The binding of IgE to these cells acts like the fuse on a bomb. Each mast cell and basophil may contain over 1000 tiny packets (granules). Each of these granules holds more than 30 allergy chemicals, called chemical mediators. When a sensitized individual is exposed to the specific allergen again, the IgE is ready to bind to this allergen. When this occurs, the mast cells and basophils are activated and explosively release the number of chemicals from their granules that ultimately produce the allergic reaction that we can see and feel. Wherever these chemicals are released in the body will display the allergy symptoms. The most important of these chemical mediators is histamine. Once released into the tissues or blood stream, histamine attaches to histamine receptors (H1 receptors) that are present on the surface of most cells. This attachment results in certain effects on the blood vessels, mucous glands, and bronchial tubes. These effects cause typical allergic symptoms such as swelling, sneezing, and itching of the nose, throat, and roof of the mouth. Some chemical mediators are not formed until 5 to 30 minutes after activation of the mast cells or basophils. The most prominent of these are the leukotrienes. Leukotriene D4 is 10 times more potent than histamine. Its effects are similar to those of histamine, but leukotriene D4 also attracts other cells to that area, thereby aggravating the inflammation. The other group of inflammation-causing chemical mediators that form after mast cell stimulation is the prostaglandins. Prostaglandin D2, in particular, is a very potent contributor to the inflammation of the lung airways (bronchial tubes) in allergic asthma.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF ALLERGY
There are many things enter our body that our immune system usually views as harmless. But in a person with allergies, the immune system by mistakes looks these harmless substances known as allergens as a potential threat and starts reacting. So how we can define those allergic persons whose body immune power reacts vigorously to the harmless substances whereas the same immune power in another non allergic person does not react. How we can differentiate an allergic person from a non allergic person. What are the things present in an allergic person that differentiate him from a non allergic person. The answer is the HYPERSENSITIVITY. One allergic person is more hypersensitive towards certain allergens while the healthy person is not. One allergic person has the excessive susceptibility to wards some particular allergens which are harmful for that person whereas harmless to the healthy one. A proper homeopathy treatment helps to change that hypersensitivity of the person. It helps to modify the hyper susceptibilities of the person. When the hypersensitivity or the hyper susceptibilities of the person is modified he will not then react adversely to the harmless allergens which he was reacting earlier. This can only be possible by a proper constitutional homeopathy treatment by taking the totality of symptoms. Homeopathy treatment acts at the body’s deep seated energetic level. It is because the hypersensitivity of the person makes his immune cells to react adversely to the normal substances. That tendency of hypersensitiveness of the person cannot be defined at physical level. It can only be define at nature or character or an energy level. A proper homeopathy treatment fixes that problem at the root level and makes that person health as a whole.
Some hypothesis says that individual homeopathy medicines (‘individual’ means the medicines selected for any patient is only specific or individual for that patient and if given to any other same patient will not show the desire effect as it is not individual for that person) may block the release of different cytokines like IL4, IL5 from the Th2 cells or desensitize those chemical mediators cytokines thus prevent the activation of B cells to produce IgE antibodies. So helps to manage the clinical symptoms of allergy if given at the time of allergic reaction set up. There are some hypothesis also tells that individual homeopathy remedies may desensitize the IgE receptor over mast cell surface thus prevents the IgE fusion to mast cell and thus helps to check the allergic symptoms.
It is very true that patient having any allergic disorder if takes a proper homeopathy treatment can be cured if takes the medicines systematically and for a certain period of time. Hundreds and hundreds of allergic patients have been successfully cured and now living a very healthy life by our modern scientific approach of homeopathy treatment