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How Do You Determine If You Have An Allergy?

Sep 7, 2007
Generally, allergy is a word that describes as reaction of body tissues in certain individuals, which is uncommon in substance and has no noticeable or characteristic result on other people. Studies have shown that out of every one hundred Americans seventeen of them are indeed hypersensitive to some substances that are known to cause uncommon reactions, in other words they are allergic to common sources of allergens. These allergens may range widely from varies sources of irritants. For instance, some individuals show signs of allergies when introduced to certain annoyances such as dust and pet dander as well as insect venom, mold spores and pollens. Others may show signs of allergies when exposed to flowers and yet other individuals may show signs of being allergic to certain soaps.

Common Allergies:

1. Anaphylaxis - generated by food, insect stings or drugs
2. Contact Allergies - activated by skin-affecting allergens
3. Food Allergies - provoked by certain types of food
4. Insect Sting Allergies - produced by insect venom
5. Respiratory Allergies - prompted by airborne allergens

In view of the fact that all individuals may display reactions unique to their own bodily system, allergic reactions may vary widely as well as show signs to all or some of the reactions listed below. Always seek advice from your physician if any allergic reaction becomes severe or persistent. Here you will find symptoms, which are associated with common allergy types, these symptoms may range from mild to very severe.


Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal allergic reaction that has sudden and severe affects on varies areas of the body. This allergic reaction is most commonly found resulting from food or drug allergies as well as from insect stings. Anaphylaxis requires urgent medical attention. Anaphylaxis is generally noticeable very soon after the exposure of the affecting allergens, and can very well bring on a life endangering shock. As well, other signs of Anaphylaxis are distress of the respiratory system, swelling in certain areas of the body or the total body and an extreme itching over the total body.

Anaphylactic symptoms include:

1. Abnormal heartbeat
2. Tightening sensation of the chest
3. Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
4. Swelling of the throat, mouth and tongue
5. Flushing of the skin
6. Tingling or itching throughout the body
7. Agitation, anxiety or distress
8. Confusion or disorientation
9. Dizziness or lightheadedness
10. Fainting or nausea
11. Stomach upsets such as abdominal cramps, vomiting or diarrhea

Since some severe cases of anaphylactic shock, can occur and can prove to be life threatening it is best to get proper medical treatment immediately. As a sudden drop in blood pressure, which results from the dilation of blood vessels may also cause the loss of consciousness and the swelling of the body's bronchial tissues can cause choking before the loss of consciousness.

Contact Allergies

The symptoms of contact allergies normally occur within a few moments of exposure to the allergen; however, it is possible for reactions to the allergens to show up several hours after exposure. There are many common allergens such as poison oak and poison ivy as well as medications, latex, dyes, fragrances or perfumes and cosmetics, preservatives and nickel, rubber and hair dyes. Nickel is a frequently used metal in jewelry, hairpins, buttons and zippers as well as snaps and metal clips and is frequently associated with allergies. Some individuals may also display signs of being allergic to the exposure of the sun.

Mild Symptoms:

1. Eczema
2. Hives
3. Redness or swelling of the skin
4. Itchy or a bumpy rash
5. Skin bumps that are filled with fluid

Severe Symptoms:

1. Anaphylaxis

Food Allergies

Certain types of food, which normally occurs within a few minutes, generally bring on a food allergy symptom. As well as showing, up several hours after the food consumption. Although it is possible for food allergies to involve many areas of the body, it is usually seen around the areas of the mouth and lips as well as the digestive tract. Foods that are commonly known to cause allergic reactions are milk, nuts, eggs, wheat and soy as well as shellfish and fish products.

Mild Symptoms:

1. Tightness of the throat
2. Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
3. Itching, swelling or tingling in the areas of the mouth, throat, tongue and lips
4. Wheezing
5. Sneezing
6. Coughing or congestion
7. Rashes of the skin
8. Itchy, stuffy or runny nose
9. Nausea
10. Abdominal cramping and indigestion
11. Diarrhea and vomiting

Severe Symptoms:

1. Difficulty in breathing
2. Sudden increase of heart rate
3. Sudden hoarseness or inability to speak
4. Extreme facial swelling
5. Sudden outbreak of facial itching
6. Dizziness and fainting
7. Sudden and profuse sweating
8. Anaphylaxis

Insect Sting Allergies

Although it is possible to develop symptoms of allergies to insect stings can occur several hours after exposure, most symptoms of allergies from insect stings normally happen just a few moments after being stung. Allergic reactions from insect venom can come from such insects as bees, hornets and wasps as well as yellow jackets and fire ants.

Mild Symptoms:

1. Swelling of the tongue
2. Tightness of the chest
3. Difficulty in breathing
4. Fever
5. Nausea or fatigue
6. Hives
7. Swelling in other areas of the body, including the stung area
8. Itching in other areas of the body, including the stung area
9. Pain in other areas of the body, including the stung area

Severe Symptoms:

1. Anaphylaxis

Respiratory Allergies

Respiratory allergies symptoms generally occur after several hours of exposure, which is normally provoked by airborne allergens, such as dust mites, plant pollens, and pet dander and mold spores.

Mild Symptoms:

1. Itchy, watery, red swollen eyes
2. Impaired sense of smell
3. Postnasal drip
4. Runny or stuffy nose running with clear thin mucus
5. Sneezing
6. Wheezing
7. Coughing
8. Itchy nose or throat
9. Congestion
10. Hoarseness of the throat
11. Conjunctivitis
12. Fatigue

Severe Symptoms:

1. Pain and tightness in the chest
2. Difficult or shortness of breathing

It is vital to understand that many allergies have symptoms similar to other diseases or conditions. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you consult with your physician while assessing a condition and getting a proper diagnosis.
About the Author
Gaetane Ross is a Certified Natural Health Consultant who has spent 4 years focusing on Nutrition and Health. She also specializes in Alternative Medicine.

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