What causes an allergic reaction?
Last Updated: 12th January 2023 · Written by Kate Young
There are many questions which come about due to people suffering from an allergic reaction. But do you know all about the symptoms of an allergy? Do you know how to diagnose an allergy? Do you know about the treatment and management of an allergy? If you want to know the answers to any of these questions, read on below…
Allergies are a chronic condition
Allergies themselves are one of the most common chronic conditions around the world. Varied from an intolerance due to their life-long nature, allergies can be life-threatening. However, not all are that serious, but they all have an impact on someone’s livelihood.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction range drastically, from leaving someone a bit down in the dumps, to being at risk of a life-threatening reaction.
Where does an allergic reaction begin?
Unlike an intolerance, an allergic reaction begins in the immune system. This is important to note as the terms allergy and intolerance are often used interchangeably, but they are completely different. Leading scientists and experts believe that an allergic reaction starts with the immune system. Well, our immune system to protect us from invading organisms which often cause illnesses. BUT, if you have an allergy, your immune system thinks that a harmless substance actually has the potential to harm you. This item that is harmful is known as an allergen.
Lifelab Testing is able to help you get closer to knowing if you as an individual are suffering from an allergy or an intolerance. An allergic reaction is when the immune system produces Immunoglobulin E (aka IgE antibodies) antibodies because it thinks it is protecting the body. As stated by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the antibodies will travel to cells which are releasing histamines and other chemicals, leading to an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction
An allergic reaction itself typically triggers symptoms in the body, but not necessarily the immune system. Swelling of the tongue, throat and constant headaches, as well as itchy skin, is usually a sign of a food allergy or a non-food allergy.
What are the most common allergens?
Harmful foods and non-foods which most people report an allergy to include pollen (hay fever), dust (from not cleaning the skirting boards), insect stings (wasps and bees), and also latex (washing up gloves etc). If you suspect that you have an allergy to any of these items, then an allergy test would be able to help you gain an idea of what you may have an allergy to.
Are you wanting to find out what is causing your allergic reaction?
If you are wanting to know which foods are potentially causing your issues, then a food allergy test would be ideal for you. Allergic reactions come about from anything, but you do need to know which items are more likely to cause issues. Lifelab Testing offers a range of allergy and intolerance tests, priced competitively.