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Every allergy is an immunity mistake!

Nowadays, it is hardly possible to find a person who has not heard anything about allergies. Alas, in one form or another this disease occurs very often. Unfortunately, even allergy sufferers themselves have no idea what exactly they suffer from.

Allergy is a mistake of immunity

The classical definition of allergy states that it is "hypersensitivity of the immune system", but it would be more accurate to say - "an erroneous reaction of the immune system". It is in this sense that allergies are spoken of - a mistake. Absolutely harmless seemingly substances: dust, skin flakes, food, pollen - are perceived by the immune system as the worst enemies, which is accompanied by a violent reaction that destroys these harmless substances and at the same time damages the cells and tissues around, which can even lead to death. An example of such an over response of the body is the so-called "cytokine storm" in the current pandemic of Civid-19, where the body of severely ill patients self-destructs (the immune system perceives almost all its cells as foreign).

Allergies can be endlessly classified by different signs and types. There are classifications according to the mechanism of reaction development and speed, according to symptoms, according to severity, according to allergens. But it is much more interesting to understand and give answers to the simple traditional questions, in our opinion, namely : "Who is to blame?" and "What to do?"

Where did this allergy come from?

For the emergence of this disease is to blame ... modern civilization. At a time when man was much closer to nature, no one heard of allergies - then people were busy with more pressing matters - for example, where to find food and how not to get poisoned by it. The level of hygiene, even taking into account Roman aqueducts and Russian baths, was, frankly, much easier. No antibiotics, no refrigeration, and heat treatment of food was used mainly to make chewing easier than sterilization. Almost everyone, from peasants to kings, had fleas, lice, maggots and a whole host of other parasites (it's like nature - try finding a lion without fleas in the African savannah.) For the immune system, such a situation was normal, even if it was impossible to get rid of an infinite number of parasites, at least their numbers and their destructive activity could be controlled.

Allergy is a fertile niche for quacks. Until recently it was thought that allergy was almost incurable, as one could only achieve a symptom-free state, remission. The official medical opinion is that those who promise to cure allergies completely are dishonest healers. No supplements, medications, herbs or laser devices that "banish parasites" can help with this. No "revolutionary technologies" using mummies and other biological exotics exist. Scientists are working on this problem and there is already a solution.

Many of our healers, do not differentiate between food intolerances.

Food intolerances (FI) should be distinguished from food allergies (FA).

Food intolerance is a complex of symptoms caused by the use in the diet of products to which the body does not respond adequately. The causes of food intolerance can be many:

- gastrointestinal diseases;

- toxic properties of products;

- the use of foods that cause the release of histamine (egg whites, crab, strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate, pineapples, peanuts);

- eating foods that contain a lot of histamine and similar active substances (red wine, salami, ketchup, eggplant, bananas, hard cheeses);

- intake of drugs that inhibit histamine-degrading enzymes, etc. In any case, food intolerance is not caused by any of the four types of immune hypersensitivity reactions and is not associated with allergies. However, some "diagnosticians" present food intolerance as a true cause of allergic manifestations and diagnose it using immunoglobulin G tests, neutrophil tests, erythrocyte tests, etc. Meanwhile, food intolerance is a separate (moreover rare) pathology that is not detected by these tests.

For this control, we have a full-fledged, specialized unit of immunity: eosinophils, mast cells, basophils, lymphocytes, connected to a special system of receptors and signaling molecules, and also molecules with a rapid reaction (the most famous of these is histamine ), and all this happens with the participation of immunoglobulin E (IgE). What does this system do in the conditions of modern, hygiene-obsessedcivilization, when the presence of a parasite in the body, as well as a serious infection, are quite rare situations?

Solving the situation "Who is to blame?" and "What to do?" preoccupy doctors and scientists working within the hygiene hypothesis, a rather new field in immunology. It seems that if increasing the level of hygiene and getting rid of parasites causes an increase in allergies, then to cure it, it is enough to stop washing and start eating unwashed fruits and vegetables, and half-baked meat to get infected with helminths .

Sounds quite logical, although the result will be far from expected: in the presence of an allergy, the probability of "retraining" the immune system by finding the right activity for it is small, but the risk of poisoning and worsening helminthiasis is very high. Nevertheless, many clinical trials are now underway to treat very severe cases of allergy by infecting the patient with modified (for safety) live helminths. Furthermore, the results of these tests look very promising.

But there are still more pleasant and safer ways. The first thing that comes to mind when you mention allergies is dust. Not only is it a strong allergen, but it serves as a breeding ground for the allergy sufferer's dreaded enemies - house dust mites. That's why it's important to minimize the number of woolly, spongy and furry surfaces in the house, such as:

- remove carpets;

- replace curtains with blinds;

- replace down and feather pillows and blankets with synthetic fabrics;

- do wet cleaning at least once a week, etc.

Dust, however, is an important but not the only factor. Diet has a serious influence on the manifestation of allergies. The beneficial bacteria in the gut are able to eat and break down some of the allergens, they also give the immune system constant signals to reduce the level of reaction - "tolerogenic signals", and these signals work not only in the digestive system but also at the level of the whole organism. So, each of us should know that by correcting the situation in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), it is possible to reduce allergic conjunctivitis or rhinitis. By the way, you should not bother and rely on the ads about magic yogurts and supplements, and sometimes it is enough just to increase the amount of "live" food: raw vegetables and fruits, dairy products.

The basis of each type of reaction is based on an inadequate response of the immune system: instead of protecting the body, it destroys its own tissues and cells. The first contact with an allergen causes the formation of a large number of IgE antibodies (less often IgG4). These antibodies are fixed on mast cells and basophils. When the allergen enters the body a second time, the antibodies on the cell surface recognize it, the cells become activated and secrete a huge amount of molecules that cause allergy symptoms and tissue damage around the site of contact with the allergen - histamine, heparin, serotonin, platelet-activating factor, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, etc. Depending on which molecules predominate and how many of them are expelled, different manifestations of allergies develop: from itching and runny nose to difficulty breathing (asthma) and even anaphylaxis, for example in the form of Quincke's oedema.

Another important factor is the climate. The worst option for allergy sufferers is a cold, windy and humid climate. The best is dry and warm, with a small amount of lush tropical growth. This is why a trip to the seaside is a great option. Salt sea water helps relieve skin allergies, and the sun triggers another tolerance mechanism related to vitamin D, increased skin heating and regulatory T cells. It just so happens that two weeks of sea vacation for allergy sufferers is enough to "get by" with fewer allergy manifestations all year until next summer. In severe cases you can consider a change of climate. However, this does not always help and the medical aspects have nothing to do with it. For example, the Australian government, during the years of settling the desert and semi-desert areas of the continent, purposefully studied allergy statistics. It turned out that these places, due to the lack of allergens (plants and animals) and almost zero humidity, were just a gift to allergy sufferers. However, after the territories were settled, the situation changed - people quickly stocked up on allergens, built greenhouses with lushly flowering plants, created an irrigation system, and brought home domestic animals.

Another universal advice is to completely stop self-medicating with antibiotics. These drugs should only be taken as directed by your doctor. Self-reduce the dose and duration - and you can already grow a colony of resistant bacteria surviving a partial incomplete course of treatment with the antibiotic. They will resist the normal microflora, reduce its tolerogenic signals, causing allergies. On the contrary, the use of antibiotics with each "sneeze" will lead to the suppression of the beneficial microflora and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains - the most stubborn and harmful.

As you can see, there are many factors that can cause allergies. To reduce their manifestations, you need to reduce contact with allergens, but how do you determine what exactly is causing the allergic reaction?

Official medicine believes that in the case of food allergies, especially in children, it is necessary to act by trial and error - one by one (not a set of ten!) new products are introduced, controlling the reaction. This method is good, but has a huge drawback - it happens that the allergy develops not to the food, but, say, to the dishwashing liquid. In this case, the coincidence of various factors can lead to completely incorrect conclusions: for example, those foods that are eaten cold from a plate with a spoon, on which this liquid remains, will lead to allergic manifestations, and those that are eaten hot do not (ie, the allergen is destroyed) . . so while you are doing a food diary, you should not get carried away with restrictions without looking back, and from time to time you should carefully bring back forbidden foods, as the reaction may change (especially in children), but not only in them. Furthermore, there is now official medical equipment that is able to detect and identify in about an hour or two any allergen that you don't even suspect no matter what type or nature it is.

According to official medicine, all allergy medications should be prescribed exclusively by an allergist or dermatologist. Naturally, they have not heard of and do not use equipment by which any medication or preparation prescribed to a patient can be tested for effectiveness, tolerability and dosage. Official medicine currently adopts and applies the view that each prescribed preparation depends on the type of allergic reaction and where it occurs. There are several groups of drugs.

Antihistamines. These drugs suppress the response of cells in the immune system to histamine, reducing allergy symptoms. Old-generation drugs (tavegil, suprastin) inhibit all types of histamine receptors, causing drowsiness and other side effects; the latest-generation (H1-specific) drugs are devoid of this drawback (loratadine group, cetirizine (zirtec), telfast, and others). For the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis, rhinitis there are similar antihistamines in the form of eye drops or nasal spray.

Anti-inflammatories. The most powerful hormonal drugs - corticosteroids and their analogues. For the treatment of skin manifestations there are forms in the form of creams/ointments, there are eye drops, for the treatment of asthma - inhalers, sometimes tablets. The use of this group of drugs without a doctor's prescription can lead to very serious and unpleasant side effects. On the other hand, refusal to use them if prescribed by a doctor, especially with asthma, can end very lamentably. Leukotriene inhibitors (another group of inflammatory molecules). A new group of effective drugs possessing anti-inflammatory action. They are mainly used in asthma.

Bronchodilators. They are needed by asthmatics to eliminate the most dreaded symptom of asthma - difficulty breathing, which occurs due to spasm of smooth muscles in the airways. They usually come in the form of an inhaler, but are also available in tablet form. Sodium cromoglicate. Inhibits the release of products of inflammation from mast cells, stabilizes their cell membrane. As a result, after contact with an allergen, mast cells do not cause such a serious cascade of reactions. It can be effective in all forms of allergies and accordingly comes in various forms: tablets, inhalers, eye drops, nasal spray.

Enterosorbents. Often help with food allergies. Medical fasting, fighting constipation, enzyme therapy (after diagnosis of enzyme deficiency) can also relieve the manifestations of food allergy. IgE antibodies. This is one of the newest treatments for asthma and allergic rhinitis (type I hypersensitivity). The antibodies bind immunoglobulin IgE in the blood and prevent (prevent it from) binding to immune cells, reducing the latter's response to already bound IgE and reducing the production of new IgE. Suppress other inflammatory mediators and molecules. In general, drugs from this group are still so far studied only at the level of clinical trials.

From 3-5 years of age it also makes sense to do allergy tests: in vitro (in a test tube) or in vivo (on the skin). However, these tests only show the likelihood of allergies (which can also change over time). Each method has its pros and cons, so the choice is up to the allergist.

Children and pets are a big topic. Almost always (even before testing or in case of a negative result), patients are advised to get rid of, fearing the risk of developing asthma. In the concept of allergen exclusion (elimination), this approach is correct. However, statistics in large groups studied show the opposite: in families where children grew up with pets, allergies develop less frequently and their manifestations are much less severe. The most significant differences are observed at ages up to one year, the youngest at three years, and after five years the difference disappears. Scientists explain these data in the following way: during the training of the child's immune system, when its mechanisms are not yet built, it is provided with a generous source of wool, saliva, epithelium, etc. In this way, the same dysfunctional unit of immunity works out its reactions to all these substances and builds up a correct and adequate response.

According to official medicine, the allergies already manifested and developed are, alas, incurable, and is this so? Any therapy at present is aimed only at reducing symptoms and the best result that can be obtained is a state of absence of symptoms. But this state (remission) with the right approach can last for years.

In the first place it is necessary to identify the allergen and exclude or reduce contact with it. In some types of allergy (usually to pollen, to flowering plants) a method of treatment called "specific hyposensitization" works, where the patient is injected with the allergen in increasing concentration, switching the immune response to an adequate one. This method requires long courses of treatment (up to three years) but can be very effective. "Pet therapy" works the same way when an adult allergic person gets a cat or dog, goes through 2-3 difficult weeks, and then finds that allergic manifestations have diminished or even disappeared. This is explained by the fact that a huge amount of allergens penetrating the skin and mucous membranes can switch the allergic reaction to adequate. But this method is by no means recommended for those who have severe forms of allergies, especially with breathing difficulties (asthma), and in any case requires a doctor's consultation.

In fact, almost half of the manifestations of allergies are psychosomatic: neurodermatitis, psychosomatic bronchial asthma, etc. A true allergy manifests itself regardless of whether the allergy sufferer knows that he has eaten a dangerous product. And psychosomatic - when an allergic person thinks he has eaten a dangerous product (regardless of whether he has really eaten it). The latter is exactly the case when "all diseases are from nerves" and you need to treat it with a competent psychotherapist or just sort your nerves - take up exercise or your favorite hobby and the allergy will disappear by itself. If the nerves are left untreated, allergy test results will be positive all the time and at different allergens, and the drugs will have no effect. Thus, if allergies are more likely to occur during times of stress, it is worth considering to what extent they are psychosomatic.

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