Immunodeficiency is the result of the immune system not working properly. When you hear immunodeficiency, you automatically think it is a result of a weakened immune system. Although that is true, it can also be an overactive immune system. You probably think that is a good thing, but it is not. An overactive immune system causes diseases as well. Allergies, in fact, are a result of an overactive immune system. Allergies are not a serious disease or usually life-threatening, but it can be considered harmful, especially when it occurs along with asthma. As you read on, you will find out how allergies and the immune system correlate.
Immune deficiencies are typically very serious. Sometimes you are born with immune diseases and other times it is something you acquire. You can affect your immune system and decrease its effectiveness by not eating right and exercising. Lack of sleep and stress are other factors. Your emotional state plays a role in your physical health. It is all connected. When you suffer from chronic illnesses, your immune system will also be affected, typically because of the drugs being used to treat the disease. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system attacks its healthy parts. Sometimes it destroys good blood cells and other times it can destroy joints and muscles. Immune deficiencies limit your ability to fight off infection. You will find yourself sick more than usual and longer than normal.
As stated earlier, there are many different causes of immune deficiencies, some of which we can control. An overactive immune system sounds like a good thing. If the immune system is working overtime, you should be healthier, right? No, not at all. An overactive immune system can lead to sickness. Allergies are not necessarily called an illness, but it is an immune-related disorder. When you have allergies, your body works to fight off something that is not even harmful to it. Allergies have a direct connection with the immune system.
Allergens are anything that causes an allergy. Allergens come in all forms. Some people are allergic to dust, pollen, and anything in the environment. Others are allergic to foods. Peanuts, seafood, and gluten are other common food allergies. Then other things like mold and the sun can also be allergens. When an allergen enters the body, it usually comes through the mouth or nose. Allergens that enter into the nasal cavity usually travels to the sinuses. The symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, and itching eyes. When you swallow an allergen, you may end up with diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes hives and acne breakouts. So now the question is where does all this come from?
When an allergen enters the body, even though it is not harmful, your body creates an immune response to it. The immune system is made of many different cells and proteins that fight infection. Antibodies are proteins that are made specifically for fighting different types of infections. IgE antibodies are specific for allergens. Once an allergen is detected, IgE antibodies start working. They run to attack the allergen. The moment an IgE antibody attaches to an allergen, it makes histamines. These Histamines are what cause all your problems. As soon as histamines are created, your body responds with sneezing, itching, hives, etc. There are many categories of allergies, and they are a result of different things.
Types of Allergies
- Drug Allergies
- Hay Fever
- Food Allergies
- Allergic Asthma
These categories of allergies differ, but they are a result of the same immune response. Sometimes a response is severe and leads to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening. The body pretty much goes into shock when exposed to allergens.
Immunodeficiencies can be associated with allergies. Two common immunodeficient diseases that affect allergies are Hyper- IgE and IPEX. Hyper- IgE is the overproduction of IgE antibodies. It tends to cause a lot of eczemas. In more severe forms, it leads to a lot of fungal infections, and pneumonia. IPEX is an immune disorder that affects other systems in the body, specifically the endocrine system and intestinal tract. This disease causes severe allergies and eczema. It has a greater effect on boys than girls because it is X-linked. Any disorder connected with the X-chromosome has the worst effect on boys because they only have one X-chromosome instead of two like girls.
Immunodeficiencies take a toll on your body. Allergies are not the most serious immune disease, but it can affect your quality of life. Life should be enjoyed, and when you have allergies, you can miss out on some things life has to offer. Some allergens are hard to avoid, so it is important to get the proper treatment. Maybe all you need is a good over-the-counter medication. In more severe cases, you might need allergy shots. If your allergies can cause anaphylaxis, you will need medicine to carry around with you. Allergies and the immune system have a strong correlation, but if you can control your immune response to allergies, you can control your symptoms.
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