Thursday, October 1, 2009

Allergies 101

Many of you may not know what allergies or your immune system is. Others think that the symptoms like cough, itchy, watery eyes, hives, runny nose, sneezing, diarrhea, or rash or normal- they are not. For example, my Mom, one of the brightest sweetest people you'll ever meet, sneezes all the time. She thinks that's just who she is, but she actually has allergies.

So what are allergies? Your immune system is your bodies way of fighting off infections. However, in some people, for unknown reasons, their body mounts a response to items (allergens) in the environment that aren't harmful. Some common allergens are:

* pets
* pollen
* dust mite,
* medications,
* but really just about anything can cause an allergic reaction.

When your body mounts a response to allergens, it sets off a chain reaction in your body, much like when you are sick. Depending on where the body reacts, skin, nose, eyes, lungs, you can develop various symptoms. For example, when Pepper, a recently groomed Irish Setter, licks your hand and it starts itching, thats probably an allergy. Or when you wake up sneezing every morning after sleeping on your plush down pillows, thats probably an allergy. Or you notice, after a thunderstorm, you have an asthma exacerbation, that's probably an allergy. We'll talk more about each of these things as we go foreword.

If you think you have an allergy, but you're sure, I hope you'll post below so we can learn from it.

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