The Vector Between Inhalant and Food Allergies

No matter what time of the year it is, you may suddenly find yourself sneezing, coughing, or finding that your throat, nose, and sinus passages start swelling up. While these can also be symptoms of an illness or other condition, it may be that you've developed a sensitivity to a substance that is causing your body to have an allergic reaction.

In the United States, more than 50 million people suffer from allergies, and hundreds of millions more around the world have developed sensitivities to food, toxins, pollutants, and other substances. While many people are familiar with food allergies, scientists have lately discovered that airborne and food-based allergies can combine and mix together, causing people to suffer more severely than in past decades.

What are Allergies?
Our bodies have an in-built defense system designed to fend off foreign invaders, viruses, and other microscopic particles that could cause injury or sickness. When a foreign invader is detector, our bodies begin a rapid process that includes swelling (to crush the attacker), vomiting, coughing, sneezing and/or runny eyes (to physically expel the invader) and localized inflammation (especially in the tongue or throat) to prevent further ingestion of the particles trying to cause damage.

Allergies are defined as when our body's natural auto-immune systems become overly sensitive to certain substances, causing the attack process to begin even when all we've been exposed to are natural foods or airborne particles. In some cases, allergies lead to mild discomfort, while in rare cases, allergic reactions can lead to a severe illness or even death.

Food Allergies
Food allergies are now a staple part of life in the United States and other countries, as people's auto-immune systems are under constant attack from a variety of sources, including genetically-modified organisms. In other cases, allergies are partially or wholly inherited from family genes.

Although there are people who suffer from a wide variety of different foods, medical researchers now understand that just eight different foods cause more than 90% of all food allergies:
    ● Peanuts (which grow underground)
    ● Nuts (which grow on trees)
    ● Milk
    ● Wheat
    ● Soy
    ● Fish
    ● Shellfish
In addition to the eight foods listed above, sesame seeds and mustard are also common triggers of food allergies in some people.

Inhalant Allergies
Inhalant allergies is the term used for small particles that get breathed in that then cause an allergic reaction. Because some of these are natural particles like airborne seeds and dander, it may be more difficult to avoid inhaling substances that provoke an allergic reaction.

Some of the most common inhalant allergens include:

    ● Dust mites - Found almost exclusively in homes, these microscopic creatures feed on food debris, human skin, mold, and tiny clothing fibers.
    ● Pollen - Many plants produce a microscopic spore and pollen, which is essential for propagation and development. The types of plants that most commonly produce allergy-inducing pollen include trees, weeds, and grasses.
    Carpet cleaner - Sold under a variety of names but usually a mix of powerful chemicals that are designed to be sprinkled onto rugs and carpets and then vacuumed. The finely ground particles are particularly easy to inhale.
    ● Mold - Usually not a problem outdoors, mold can quickly grow indoors anywhere there is dampness, such as a refrigerator, shower, or basement. Mold can also develop on plant leaves, in old paper, as well as on leather.
    ● Animals - Pet owners love their animals, but these furry friends produce tiny flakes of skin next to their fur and dander, which can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
If you suspect you are suffering from allergies, it is important to visit your doctor to get a complete allergen test performed. If you have developed a food allergy, then be sure to avoid consumption of those items, and always be sure to carefully read labels. Airborne allergens are more difficult to defend against, but keeping a clean house, and removing carpets and rugs, can help minimize these particles.


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