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Allergies are reactions by the body’s immune system to harmless substances. When the body tries to fight an innocent substance as an invader, it is called an allergic reaction, and the substance is referred to as an allergen.

Foodstuffs such as milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, fish and shellfish. Pollen, mold and dust mites. Insect stings and cockroaches.

Children up to the age of three frequently outgrow food allergies, but it is more likely that children will develop allergies as they grow older. Allergies are generally most pronounced about the age of nineteen, and may subside somewhat in later years.

Some of the most common symptoms include: Sneezing, Wheezing, Swelling, Sinus pain, Nasal congestion, Shortness of breath, Runny nose, Coughing, Hives and rashes.

Symptoms typically appear within minutes to two hours after exposure to the allergen.

The most common include severe reactions to foods such as peanuts, shellfish and cod. Stinging insects such as the yellow jackets and fire ants can also cause fatal reactions.

A qualified professional will make a diagnosis on the basis of a detailed medical history. Usually skin and blood tests will also be undertaken to detect the causes of the allergic reaction.

The first step for the patient is to avoid the allergen. If this is impossible, doctors may prescribe some form of drug therapy which treats allergy symptoms.

If this proves ineffective, doctors will possibly prescribe allergen immunotherapy (allergy infections) that help to desensitize the body’s immune system to the allergen.

If people have life endangering allergic reactions to antibiotics or bee sting reactions, they should wear an ID bracelet and carry an emergency kit containing epinephrine.

Patients who have suffered severe reactions in the past should have an emergency adrenaline kit at home for self-administration should It be necessary.

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