Gastroenterology

Specific bacterium in the gut linked to irritable bowel syndrome

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have detected a connection between Brachyspira, a genus of bacteria in the intestines, and IBS—especially the form that causes diarrhea. Although the discovery needs confirmation ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Mothers pass on allergies to offspring, preclinical study shows

Mothers can pass allergies to offspring while they are developing in the womb, researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and Duke-NUS Medical School ...

Vaccination

Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?

Question: What are my options for the shingles vaccine? If I've already had shingles, should I get the vaccine so that I don't get shingles again?

Immunology

Even cooked carrots can trigger allergic reactions

The consumption of raw carrots triggers allergic reactions in many people. Contrary to popular belief, cooked carrots can also have this effect. This was recently discovered by a research team at the University of Bayreuth. ...

Pediatrics

Spike in new nut anaphylaxis in children at Halloween and Easter

A new study looking at the link between peanut and tree-nut anaphylaxis in children and holidays found spikes at Halloween and Easter. The study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found that most were ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Symptoms, treatment and prevention of swimmer's itch

Swimmer's itch is an itchy rash that can occur after you go swimming or wading outdoors. Also known as cercarial dermatitis, swimmer's itch is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but it occasionally occurs in salt ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Skip the 'maskne,' not the mask

(HealthDay)—For most people, wearing a face mask is a harmless inconvenience, but wearing the coverings may cause skin problems for some, one dermatologist explains.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Therapy helps children with food allergies manage severe anxiety

Imagine a young girl with a peanut allergy, so stricken by fear of anaphylaxis that she no longer takes part in everyday activities many children take for granted. She's stopped playing with her siblings, worried that residue ...

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Allergy

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.

Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent in the human population and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness, and runny nose. 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 anaphylactic reactions and potentially death.

A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.

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