What are allergies and how to know if I am allergic?
What is an allergy?
According to the World Allergy Organization and the World Health Organization, allergies are defined as the presence of symptoms or reproducible signs, detonated by exposure (by inhalation, ingestion or contact) to a substance or particle, which, in a normal person It would be tolerated.
How common are allergies?
The organizations mentioned above consider, based on epidemiological studies that allergic diseases are increasing. Of a population studied between 10% and 40% may have allergies.
Why do allergies occur?
Allergies are heterogeneous diseases where the genetic traits of the patient play an important role, as well as environmental and sociocultural characteristics.
What diseases can be considered allergic?
Allergic diseases are multiple. Among others, we have allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergies of the eyes, food allergies, drug allergies, occupational allergies, and allergy to wasp poisons, bees, and ants, gastrointestinal allergies, cutaneous and anaphylaxis.
How do I know what I’m allergic to?
The first thing we must take into account is the personal and family history of allergies. If we have a history of allergy in the family, it is possible that we inherit this condition. The second is a very detailed medical history in which the doctor must define if his disease fits a profile of possible allergy and consider the agent (s). Finally, the allergy specialist will perform tests to clarify the mechanism involved and define a treatment to follow.
Does delaying the start of complementary feeding after the first year of life protects against allergies?
At present, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that starting solid foods after the first year of life, protect children from developing allergies.
Complementary feeding should be started from the first 4-6 months of life.
On the contrary, it has been found that starting supplementary feeding after 6 months of life is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies than of protection.
What foods can be given before the first year of age to prevent children from developing allergies?
It is generally accepted that every child should receive all the food that he will receive throughout his life before the first year of life.
Are there vaccines for allergies?
There is a treatment known as Immunotherapy with allergen extracts, where high doses of allergens are applied to which the patient is allergic, which modulates the immune system taking the patient to a state very close to the healthy patient. However, it is not effective in 100% of allergic patients.
Do allergies have a cure?
Being a disease with a high genetic load, it is not easy to talk about a cure, so you should educate the patient about his disease, make environmental control measures and in most cases, it is best to detect what is allergic to avoid such stimuli.
The patient must receive medication and in many cases can receive immunotherapy or can be performed procedures such as desensitization, which is as close to a cure.