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Descriptions - What is an Allergy?

Updated on March 27, 2012
Food Allergies are hell on the body
Food Allergies are hell on the body | Source

Allergies are our body's way of telling you something isn't right. Our immune system reacts to normal substances that others find harmless. A person with allergies will have a reaction where as someone with no allergies will not. When a person with allergies comes in contact with something they are allergic to it triggers a chemical reaction in their system that expose the symptoms.

The basic symptoms are sneezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting and cramping. There are some symptoms that are allergy specific and in some cases can be life threatening and are known to cause death if the reaction is severe enough. It's important to know the different allergies, their symptoms and what the protocol is in the event of an emergency.

Hay Fever - caused by pollen or other air borne substances. This normally cause sneezing, stuffiness and sometimes headaches.

Hives - has various causes, it could be a reaction to a cleaning chemical, digested food, medication, soaps, laundry detergents, ect ...

Poison Ivy , Poison Oak - Some people are highly allergic, their body reacts to the air borne and others have to come in contact with these plants to cause a reaction.

Bee Stings - some people have a localize reaction where the spot they were stung will turn red and swell up. That reaction is mild. Those with severe must carry an epi pen, receive a shot immediately or their throat will close blocking the air passage and they stand the chance of dying.

Pet Allergies - Dogs and cats are the most common pets that we are allergic to for the most part. There are some who are allergic to any animal with fur, even hamsters and guinea pigs. This can sometimes trigger an asthma related attack in children who are asthmatic. This type of allergy may require receipt of shots for an allergist.

Food - the first source of food allergy for infants and babies is milk related. This is treated by removing the milk and replacing it with soy based formulas. For the most part this works though some children have soy allergies as well. The more serious of food allergies that can cause severe harm and in some cases are fatal.

Peanuts, both ingested and airborne - Shell Fish / Fish Products. Those with these allergies must also carry an epi pen to be injected immediately. Those are the two most common food allergies that can cause fatalities. There are however quite a few different food items that can cause reactions anywhere from upset stomach, vomiting, cramps, rashes and headaches.

I've listed a few and what the reactions can be however their are quite a few more that cause allergic reactions in people. If you're wondering whether or not you are having an allergic reaction don't hesitate to contact your doctor. If it is a reaction, the first time might be mild but the next time may not be.


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    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you Dawn

    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      I have dairy allergies and was sick for years before they figured it out. One of my daughters has weird food allergies, pork, potatoe, green olives, sole and rubarb. It's amazing how many different allergies there are now.

    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your comments and the vote up.

    • DAWNEMARS profile image

      DAWNEMARS 5 years ago from The Edge of a Forest in Europe

      Great: easy to read and informative hub. Voted up!

    • oldersister profile image

      oldersister 5 years ago

      I have terrible food allergies. I am allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. You are so right. One day you can have a mild reaction another time a full blown. It is very important to carry a epipen and remember to go strait to the hospital after using one

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      I loved your "just remember to take care of yourself..." I like that you have lots of basic information in an easy to read format! Voted interesting and up!