What Causes Allergy Symptoms?

Allergies are an abnormal response or overreaction that occurs when the body develops antigens against a substance. Symptoms arise when the person is exposed to the allergen and the body produces excessive amounts of a chemical known as histamine, which helps counteract the allergen.

In an attempt to rid the body of the threat, the immune system trips its internal alarm system by producing large amounts of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that attack the allergen and, in turn, set off a chain reaction of inflammatory responses.

At this stage, the body is exhibiting an exaggerated reaction to a substance that, to a correctly functioning immune system, should be considered harmless.

Common Allergy Symptoms

While symptoms naturally vary on an individual basis and depend on how much of the allergen was encountered and the degree of the immunological response, below are symptoms commonly experienced by allergy sufferers:

  • Breaking out in skin rash, redness, hives, or eczema
  • Tingling or itchy sensations in the mouth, lips, or throat
  • Feeling overheated or anxious
  • Swelling of tongue, face, or throat
  • Itching or watering of nose or eyes
  • Congested sinuses accompanied by pain or pressure
  • Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, or vomiting
  • Coughing, wheezing, labored breathing, allergy-induced asthma
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches
  • Shock or loss of consciousness in severe cases

As humans, our natural inclination is to avoid anything that causes pain or symptoms. We may even be told by a well-meaning medical doctor to avoid the culprit that is causing us symptoms.

While that may take away our issues for a time, does that practice really get to the bottom of the bigger, underlying problem beneath the surface? No. It’s important to address why the body is having an exaggerated response in the first place and train your body to no longer see allergens as a threat. Chances are, if allergens go unaddressed and exposure continues, the antibodies will continue to build, as will the severity of the reaction over time.


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