Did you know that “respiratory” allergy in parents can manifest itself as atopic dermatitis in a child? What is the likelihood of passing the allergy “gene”? And how is sensitization different from allergies?
The term “allergy” was first coined by the Viennese pediatrician Clemens von Pirke back in 1906, to refer to the unusual reaction of some children to the administration of antidiphtheria serum.
The name “allergy” was borrowed by him from ancient Greek, and literally translates as “acting differently.” This is the essence of allergy: the immune system begins to defend itself against neutral, and even beneficial, substances for most people. And in 85% of cases such hyperreactivity is based on a genetic feature.
Studies of recent years have not yet been able to convincingly prove the “guilt” of any one gene in the development of allergies, and today the “group of suspects” has about 150 variants. Among them, 40 are much more common than others.
Here and the genes encoding the features of the barrier function of the epithelium (for example, FLG, which is involved in the development of atopy), and cytokines, and many others.
And the probability of inheriting one of these genes reaches 40-45% if only one parent suffers from allergies, and up to 75-80% if both.
Accidental mutations in a child’s genes from “allergic” healthy parents cannot be ruled out either. True, the likelihood of an allergy under such conditions does not exceed 15%.
Allergy or sensitization
At its core, allergies are immune defenses. True, such protection is aimed at usually safe objects of the environment.
In addition, unlike other defense mechanisms, the first meeting with a “disliked” substance only causes the formation of “memories” – IgE antibodies. And the reaction, as such, unfolds “in all its glory” only with repeated and subsequent meetings with the allergen.
The presence of such “unpleasant memories” is called sensitization, and reflects the readiness of the body to give an allergic reaction.
The higher the concentration of IgE to the object, the greater the sensitization and the higher the risk of a violent allergic reaction.
For example, if a runny nose, cough, and sneezing occurs:
in rooms where there is mold (corner rooms, balconies, under the wallpaper, in the bathroom) – it is worth checking the IgE level for mold fungi;
in a certain season of the year (spring, summer, autumn) – to weeds and grasses, as well as trees, the flowering of which coincides with allergies;
immediately after sleep – to assess IgE to feather mites, down or feathers of pillows (goose, duck and others).
The analysis is relevant for food products, albeit with some caveat – most products have a multicomponent composition.
So, even “pure” types of chocolate contain trace concentrations of nuts, milk, gluten and some other substances. And any baked product is a mixture of yeast, grain crops, eggs and other ingredients.
In addition, for one meal, most people consume several types of food at once, which means that it is often extremely difficult to “guess” which of them the allergy has “gone” to.
In this case, you can use panels from the most common allergens. For example, the food allergy complex RIDA-screen №3, which includes the most allergenic representatives of almost all food groups (vegetables, fruits, seafood, nuts, flour and others). Or panels by groups – vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, meat and others.