The rise and rise of allergies

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The rise and rise of allergies

文章 #1  未閱讀文章PoP » 2011-02-23 22:34


Allergic reactions come from the immune system reacting to harmless substances as if they were a threat to the body.

Symptoms can include sneezing, skin rashes and potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

But why are the number of cases increasing? Dr Fox says there is no easy answer: "There are lots of theories, unfortunately lots of them have holes in them and we don't really know the answer."

As Dr Fox suggests, the truth is there is no all-encompassing piece of research which says "the rise in allergies is as a result of ..."

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee reviewed the evidence in 2007 after speaking to a several specialists. Their report suggested that the following could contribute to allergies:

  • Hygiene theory - Living cleaner lifestyles means the immune system has fewer germs to deal with and over reacts when it comes into contact with harmless substances
  • Mother's diet - Pregnancy and breastfeeding could offer protection against allergies
  • Allergen exposure - Higher exposure to substances which provoke an immune reaction
  • Atmospheric pollution - Chemicals in the air provoking an immune response
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