Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Are allergies bad for your health?

Are allergies bad for your health?

Patient: If you have allergies(pets, dust, plants, tree’s), you have an allergic reaction and your body releases histamines to combat the foreign pathogens. Though for most people who have allergies, it’s recommended to take anti-histamine medication. This resolves the symptoms and your bodies defense against these pathogens. But it does not prevent the pathogens from entering and affecting your body. So, are these pathogens which your body has an allergic reaction to still bad for you? If so, then how so and why are we always told to take medication which is meant to hinder your bodies defenses?

 

 

Symptoms: None

 

 

Doctor: Hello,You are mistaken in your concept that histamine is released by our body, NO, histamines are inflammatory cytoki nes released at the entry of an allergen into the body an they cause chemotaxis which attracts varoius Bcells to act at the allergen and destroy it ( antibody).Histamine per se is an inflammatory mediator and can cause various effects like vasoconstriction, initial tachycardia then bradycardia, and can cause anaphylaxis if the allergen causes an excessive histamine release and can be fatal sometimes. So it is important to control this histamine reaction with anti histaminic to allow reduced symptoms and to allow the antibodies to act easily over the allergen which they anyway would on any foreign particle entering our body.It is difficult to quantify allergens as they may be in millions, it is difficult to completely label as to what all allergens one is allergic to , it is only after an episode of allergy that one would no his/her allergies and not otherwise. Though there are allergy screens offered in labs but for the most common allergens only.I hope i have answered your query in detail,wishing you good health,regards

 


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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