Megan Johnson McCullough — The immune system can become hypersensitive to certain foreign substances. The immune system produces antibodies and when a person has allergies, the immune system makes antibodies that identify an allergen as harmful (even though it isn’t). then when the person comes into contact with that allergen, the immune system creates a reaction that can inflame the skin, sinuses, or digestive system. There are so many types of allergies, it’s hard to think a person might not have at least one of them.
- Pollen allergies: More than 25 million Americans are allergic to grass, trees, or weeds.
- Winter allergies: During this time of year, mold and dust mites are more present because people increase their amount of time spent indoors.
- Dust mites: These are not visible, but they create a lot of trouble.
- Hay fever: A person is allergic to pollen grains which can either be a seasonal problem for someone or year-round.
- Dog allergy: Even though between 37-47% of Americans have a dog, many people are allergic.
- Cat allergy: These allergies are twice as common compared to dogs, and about 10% of Americans have a cat.
- Poison oak, poison ivy, and sumac: The sap of these plants can result in an itchy rash once exposed to the skin.
- Nickel allergy: Some people have a reaction to contact with this metal, such as wearing earrings made of nickel.
- Insect stings: Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can wreak havoc.
- Wheat allergy: This is hard because it is in so many different items.
- Egg allergy: This is more common in kids than adults.
- Milk allergy: Some people have to avoid any type of food that contains milk.
- Fish allergy: A person may not be allergic to all types of fish, but it might be safer to avoid the other types if allergic to one.
- Casein allergy: This is a protein in milk. This protein is associated with whey products.
- Shellfish: This can cause a lot of problems for a person so if allergic to one, it is best to avoid all.
- Soy allergy: Soybeans should be avoided, so that means tofu and any of these products.
Sometimes a person has to find out the hard way that they are allergic to an item. Sometimes it takes the process of elimination to figure out what is causing a reaction. Children are often times tested to help avoid future problems and the use of an EpiPen. It isn’t always easy to avoid these triggers, but over time a person knows what they can and cannot tolerate and live life allergy suffering free.
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