In the dictionary, the answer to 'what is an allergy' is defined as an immune response that causes injury as a result of exposure to a substance that is normally harmless such as pollen, animal fur dander, foods or dust for which some have become hypersensitive to.
For most people, the allergen does not cause any problem. For those who are allergic, the body treats the allergen like an enemy insurgent and responds with an all out military assault like immune response.
Before you go on, you should know that at WaterCures.org, we have a very different view of what is an allergy. Although there are no clinical trials (yet) to prove this, thousands have eliminated their allergies using the water cures protocols. We believe allergies are signs and symptoms of chronic and unintentional fluid and electrolyte imbalance. More on that below.
Our unconventional definition, the non-medical definition is that allergy is an indication of a drought in the body.
At WaterCures.org, we believe the answer to what is an allergy is as Dr.B says, dehydration. It to be that simple. But first, back to the simplified medical explanation of what allergies are.
There are two classes or distinct types of allergies. The two types are IgE allergens and non-IgE allergens.
With IgE allergens, your body makes way more IgE than you need when it comes in contact with something that it perceives as a threat (the allergen). Then the IgE, when traveling through the body and on finding the invading insurgent (allergen) is identified by one of your radar like mast cells, causes a defense mechanism, the allergic reaction.
The mast cells incidentally are in any part of our body that has exposure to the outside world. So, obviously they are in the skin and eyes. They are also present in the nasal cavities, throat, lungs and even our stomach and gut. When picking up the insurgent allergen, mast cells release a number of chemicals, including histamine as your body does an all out chemical warfare on the invading allergens. As with all war, the innocent suffer. In this case, the collateral damage is the cells in your body that did nothing but be there.
Depending on where the chemical warfare agent histamine is delivered, you will have various responses.
Because of the response of histamine, it is considered as a bad thing. It is as if the body has unleashed the weapon that produces numerous collateral casualties at the cellular level.
You should know that the histamine is in reality, your friend. It is your warning beacon that you have been invaded by an enemy insurgent that means to do you harm. It is screaming to you to do something to protect yourself. Before telling you what to do, first, consider the casualties.
These casualties include....
In your nose: itching, sneezing, runny nose.
In your eyes: itching, red irritated eyes,
In your skin: redness, hives, wheals.
In your respiratory tract: wheezing, dry unproductive coughing, shortness of breath. When it is severe, your throat may swell. Some have severe asthma, a decrease in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis can cause total respiratory shutdown and as such is life-threatening.
In your gut: nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Histamine has 28 or more functions that we know of. One is regulating the water and where it is stored in the body. Also it works with the nerves to help them do what they do. Research has shown that increasing hydration dilutes histamine and its effects, thus, water is the safest antihistamine known to man.
Like anything we use as a medication, there are side effects. Taking too much at one time can cause serious health problems. Inhaling it can cause sudden death.
The non-IgE allergy responses involve numerous cells that react abnormally when exposed to the allergen.
Some non-IgE caused allergies symptoms may appear after more time. These are more difficult to determine if the cause is allergic and what the allergen really is.
The first treatment often suggested is avoidance of the offending allergen. This is of course very difficult for people who are allergic to pollen. Simply put, not breathing is not an option. Carrying around air tanks is too expensive for most although (Project Runway Spoiler Allert) it may become a chick fashion statement in the distant future.
The next treatment of choice is to alleviate the symptoms. This usually happens by using anti-histamines. Remember, histamine does a lot of different things. In your gut for instance, histamine helps make acid to aid digestion.
Antihistamines work by blocking the cells that act like receivers for the histamine. Think of them as an anti-chem or antidote to the chemical warfare agent, histamine and what it does in allergies.
One of the side effects is dry mouth. No wonder, since histamine helps regulate the water in the body.
Interesting Question: Why not make a histamine inhibitor? Actually a doctor invented one. It was put through a small clinical trial. The problem, it basically helped people become immune to the allergens over time and thus the product would no longer be needed (read: no long range profitability).
What if there was a better way?
For instance, did you know that simply eating the same food over and over could possibly make you sensitive and allergic to that food?
Do you know what foods are most likely to make you allergic?
When is a dairy allergy not really a dairy allergy? Spoiler alert! When you are sensitive to either the Bovine Growth Hormone or BGH (in almost all commercial milk but not Organic) or to antibiotics given to cows or both.
We will continue to explore the question, what is an allergy. Please return for new information.
The Solution to What is an Allergy: The Water Cures and the science behind this view.