Why is this not happening to my friend, Erica?”
Lauren, an 18-year-old college student, used to have a mildly runny and stuffy nose, mostly in the fall. While on spring
break, she spent several hours at an outdoor barbecue and developed episodes of sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. She wondered “Am I allergic to something the air? Why is this not happening to my friend, Erica?”
What is an allergy?
An allergy is defined as an “abnormal sensitivity to a substance that is normally tolerated and generally considered harmless, such as pollen, food, drugs or even an insect sting. This means that while some substances are well tolerated by most people, they can induce an adverse reaction (allergic reaction) in others, mainly due to the presence of the IgE antibody.
What is an IgE antibody?
First, we need to understand our immune system. B lymphocytes, with the help of T lymphocytes and macrophages, can produce five separate and distinct classes of immunoglobulins (antibodies), IgA, IgG, IgM, IgD and IgE.
Despite its presence in our body in only a minute quantity, IgE is a key player in allergic reactions. The reason why some substances (allergens) have the ability to induce IgE production, and others substances (non-allergens) do not, or why only some individuals develop an allergic reaction after exposure to some particular allergens, is still not fully understood. However, we do know that genetic predisposition plays a significant role in developing allergic conditions. For example, children whose parents have allergic rhinitis, asthma, or eczema have a significantly increased likelihood of developing the same conditions.
Take Lauren’s case…
Her mother has a history of eczema and allergic asthma. Lauren has inherited the ability to produce IgE to tree pollen. After exposure for a period of time, she produced the specific IgE to tree pollen that bound themselves to the surface mast and basophil cells in the lining of her nose and conjunctiva. The mast and basophil cells immediately released a variety of potent chemical mediators (histamine, leukotriene and prostaglandins) after tree pollen attached to specific IgE. It caused her sneeze, have a stuffy and runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Unlike Lauren, Erica did not produce IgE to tree pollen. For her, tree pollen is not an allergen and would not cause the symptoms that Lauren has experienced.
Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders, & Allergy
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Dr. Tsai organizes several of these articles together to discuss common arthritis, autoimmune, and allergy conditions. The goal of this book is to help those who may be suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or allergies gain a better understanding of what they’re feeling and how their condition may be treated.
Read the full book description...
For several years, Dr. Tsai has been writing bi-weekly medical columns for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. In this book, Dr. Tsai organizes several of these articles together to discuss common arthritis, autoimmune, and allergy conditions. The goal of this book is to help those who may be suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or allergies gain a better understanding of what they’re feeling and how their condition may be treated.
This book is broken into three parts:
Part 1 focuses on inflammatory arthritis conditions and their treatments. These include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. (For information about osteoarthritis, check out Dr. Tsai’s second book:
Osteoarthritis, Soft Tissue Rheumatism, & Osteoporosis)
Part 2 looks at some autoimmune disorders and analyzes their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Topics in this section include lupus and vasculitis.
Part 3 discusses allergies. The section explains types of allergic reactions, how they work, types of allergies, and how they can be treated.
Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders, & Allergy was written to be easily read by anyone, no matter their level of medical knowledge. Additionally, several illustrations and photos are included to help visualize concepts and make them easier to grasp.
This book can be purchased online as an eBook or as a physical copy at our main office at the checkout desk or over the phone.