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What are Allergies?

Holistic Health - Allergies & Intolerance

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What are Allergies - Food Sensitivity - Intolerance?

Active Prevention... nutritional strategies to support a healthy lifestyle

..... by Dieter Luske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

Holistic Therapy Consultant - Gold Coast - Canungra

"Holistic Therapies” .. the natural way to free yourself from physical and mental decline.

What are Allergies - Hypersensitivity - Intolerance

Anyone can have an allergy or develope a sensitivity to virtualy everything.

People are reacting not only to milk or wheat, but also to carrots, onions, strawberries, apples, yeast, bread, zucchinies, corn and everything else you can think of. - On top of all that, allergies seem to get worse which may be due to our increasing toxic environment, as well as stress.

For the past two hundred years, industry has evolved so fast that our bodies have not had the time to develop defences or a tolerance against many of its by-products, resulting in a world that is toxic to the human organism.

Further more, the combination of organic and chemical substances in our environment such as:

  • The air we breath, including pollen and polluted air.
  • Depleted soils, sprayed with dangerous pesticides.
  • Food, processed and laden with chemical additives and preservatives.
  • Even our drinking water is treated with chemicals. - Have you ever wondered what effect chlorine has on the beneficial bacteria in your gut?
  • Possible Elctro-magnetic influences, microwaves, electro smog.
  • Now add work commitments, money problems or other personal stresses to the mix, and you have the perfect scenario for an onslaught of allergies, seemingly increasing year by year.

What are we doing about it?

What is anyone doing about Allergies or Hypersensitivities?

Anti-histamines anyone? The marketing guys are certainly active :-)

Many holistic treatments are offered, such as:
Probably the most common treatment is Diet or rather Diet restrictions, which obviously is not much help with airborne allergies.

In most cases, allergies come in a combination of offending substances, and often the elimination of one substance may lessen the overall impact.

Allergy is such a complex problem it nearly defies explanation....

Even the term allergy is confusing; therefore, we will break it down into all kind of different reactive system behavior, including food intolerance and other sensitivities, starting with a basic definition and differentiation between an allergy and intolerance.

  • An allergy or as it is sometimes called a “Real Allergy“ requires the presence of IgE antibodies against the substance, eg; food,  and it is diagnosed as an Immune response, and the reaction is quick, usually within half an hour, which makes it easy to identify.
  • An intolerance or sensitivity requires NO IgE antibody involvement, it is a chemical reaction, and often associated with  asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ADD, ADHD and mmany more. Reactions can be delayed by hours or days and the effects can be cumulative.

Generally speaking an allergy is easier to diagnose. The pathways of non-IgE-mediated intolerance are poorly understood, which has hindered the development of simple and reliable diagnostic tests.

What is an Allergy?

Our immune system defends us against viruses or bacteria or other harmful organism and substances. However, many substances that enter our body can be regarded as harmless, and in an ideal world our immune system would ignore those.

If a substance causes a reaction, we call it an “allergen”. Allergens are usually harmless substances, but they can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Food allergy is a common and good example; a usually harmless substance such as a peanut, can cause a violent reaction known as anaphylaxis shock, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction characterized by swelling of body tissues, including the throat, and a sudden fall in blood pressure.

Pollen, house dust mites, mold, and animal dander are other examples of allergens.

In an allergic person, the body mistakes the allergen for a harmful substance.

Why are allergies occuring in the first place is hard to answer, but we know, that it may run in families, you may have genetic predispositions or it may have been brought on by overexposure to certain substances or even because of past viral, bacterial or parasite infections.

Overexposure occurs through a process called sensitization, where a person’s immune system is exposed to enough of the allergen to make the body produce allergic antibodies to that substance. With later exposures, that same allergen binds to its corresponding IgE on allergic cells, and the body reacts with symptoms of allergies.

Other factors are general digestive problems or stress.

Allergy reactions often can be divided into body systems, such as the typical hay fever symptoms which effects your respiratory system with symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing, itching, swelling, or asthma. Others will cause digestive symptoms or skin rushes.

Allergies can occur at any time during our lives, and they seem to increase.

It appears that the allergic response was once meant to protect the body against parasitic infections, which is still a possible underlying cause.

With a true allergy, a sufferer will even react to a minute particle.

Whereas with a sensitivity / intolerance, the amount of the food or substance which you get in contact with before reacting may vary greatly, and not only that, but it may come from a combination of many different substances, be it organic or chemical in nature.

With a sensitivity you will react to the sum of the exposure.

With a severe sensitivity, you will react constantly and you will not even know what you are reacting to. This is sometimes called a “masked allergy”, you simply feel not well, and may have chronic respiratory, skin, digestive or muscle/skeletal symptoms, which are usually accompanied by a lack of energy and possible brain fag. - With other words, you don’t know what the heck is going on.


I personally believe that allergies are one of our biggest health problems.

Any symptom, any illness, any disease, and any chronic disease will have an allergy or sensitivity factor as either a causative or a contributing factor.

I also believe allergies are getting worse. Not only are we reacting to natural food or airborne substances, we are reacting more and more to manufactured substances, chemicals and their interaction within our environment.

Diagnostic procedures are still unreliable, inconclusive or not even available.

As bad as all that sounds, there are many solutions, and hopefully we can coordinate lots of information in our following articles.


  1. How to help Food Sensitivities?

  2. What is a Lactose Intolerance

  3. Are you allergic to the 20th Century? - (aren't we all?)

  4. Holistic Health & Lifestyle Foundation - active prevention... nutritional strategies to support a health lifestyle

Article supplied by the editor of use Nature - Dieter Luske

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The information provided in this article is intended for general use and for personal interest only. It should not be used or understood as suggestion or medical advice.

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Dieter Luske - Editor for useNatureuseNature Editor

Dieter Lüske

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