Allergies can manifest in various forms, affecting individuals differently. In regions like China, North America, and Western Europe, approximately five to eight percent of the population grapples with some form of allergy. However, allergies to specific foods, such as peanuts, eggs, milk, and shellfish like lobster and crabs, can pose life-threatening risks, necessitating heightened vigilance. The root cause of allergies lies in an individual’s immune system. Those with allergies experience an overactive immune response, where hyperactive cells wreak havoc where they are unwelcome. Even harmless food particles in the intestines become targets of this overzealous response. The immune system produces different antibodies, known as IgE antibodies, leading to an erroneous battle within the body.
This internal conflict recruits various cells, including mast cells, basophils, and eosinophils, resulting in the release of the neurotransmitter histamine. Histamine triggers a cascade of reactions, causing itching, hives, and a drop in blood pressure. It can even lead to tracheal constriction and swelling, endangering an individual’s life. However, not all adverse reactions to food are allergies. Some individuals may experience discomfort, such as gas, when consuming high-fiber foods like leafy vegetables or cucumbers. In these cases, it is not an allergy but rather a digestive issue.
Furthermore, conditions like lactose intolerance, where the body fails to produce enzymes needed to digest milk sugar, can cause bloating and diarrhea. These problems have different origins compared to allergies. In certain instances, fish like Bangde, Tuna, Pedwe, and Tarli can lead to symptoms resembling a severe allergy due to the presence of histamine deposits caused by exposure to specific parasites. Despite the similarities, it’s important to distinguish such cases from true allergies. Life-threatening allergy incidents underscore the importance of vigilance. A simple oversight, like the absence of a clear peanut warning on a chocolate label, can have dire consequences. Peanut allergies are especially notorious, but approximately 40 percent of children with other allergies also face potentially life-threatening situations. Allergic reactions can develop suddenly and escalate rapidly, as demonstrated by Natasha’s terrifying experience. Prompt administration of adrenaline and other medications saved her life, emphasizing the importance of preparedness.