Allergy

Does your child really have a food allergy?

(HealthDay)—Many people misunderstand what food allergies are, and even doctors can be confused about how to best diagnose them, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jul 24, 2017
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Average increase in physician compensation 2.9% in 2016

(HealthDay)—The AMGA 2017 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey reports that 77 percent of physician specialties experienced increases in compensation in 2016, with an overall weighted average increase of 2.9 ...

Jul 25, 2017
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Scientists divulge latest in HIV prevention

A far cry from the 1990s "ABC" campaign promoting abstinence and monogamy as HIV protection, scientists reported on new approaches Tuesday allowing people to have all the safe sex they want.

Jul 25, 2017
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Candidate AIDS vaccine passes early test

The three-decade-old quest for an AIDS vaccine received a shot of hope Monday when developers announced that a prototype triggered the immune system in an early phase of human trials.

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Headway on AIDS threatened by funding slowdown

Progress in beating back the AIDS epidemic risks being eroded by a funding shortfall set to grow under Donald Trump's proposed cuts to global health projects, experts and campaigners warned ahead of a major HIV conference.

Jul 23, 2017
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An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is formally called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.

Mild allergies like hay fever are very common in the human population and cause symptoms such as red eyes, itchiness, and runny nose, eczema, hives, hay fever, or an asthma attack. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis. Food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees are often associated with these severe reactions.

A variety of tests exist to diagnose allergic conditions. These include placing possible allergens on the skin and looking for a reaction such as swelling. Blood tests can also be done to look for an allergen-specific IgE.

Treatments for allergies include avoiding known allergens, use of medications such as anti-histamines that specifically prevent allergic reactions, steroids that modify the immune system in general, and medications such as decongestants that reduce the symptoms. Many of these medications are taken by mouth, though epinephrine, which is used to treat anaphylactic reactions, is injected. Immunotherapy uses injected allergens to desensitize the body's response.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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