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Women’s Health Concerns

  • December 20,2021
  • 2 Min Read
Women’s Health Concerns

Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to specific substances (normally present in the environment) that it identifies as harmful. This overreaction of the body’s immune system is known as an allergic reaction and the substances that cause it are called allergens. 

During the winter when one tends to spend more time inside, you may notice allergy symptoms increase, especially if you are allergic to common indoor allergens:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Animal dander/saliva
  • Cockroaches
Allergy symptoms can be:
  • Mild- rash, itching, watery eyes, congestion
  • Moderate- itchiness, difficulty in breathing
  • Severe- varying degrees of swellings that can make breathing and swallowing difficult, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, mental confusion or dizziness
Severe allergies may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis – which if untreated can lead to death.

 How do you differentiate it from a cold/flu?

A cold usually doesn't last for more than 10 days. Allergies can linger for weeks or even months. Also, colds and flu sometimes have a fever and aches and pains, which don’t usually happen with allergies.

 The things that you are allergic to, really add up!

If you are allergic to dust mites, that might not be the only reason you are sneezing, and if you have asthma that might not be the only reason you are wheezing. It may be because you are sensitive to more than one allergen.

 Allergic March

Allergies often begin early in life, first expressing themselves as eczema in young children. The progression from eczema to later developing food allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma is called the ‘Allergic March’. 

 Should you do an allergy test?

All patients with recurrent or persistent “allergy-like” symptoms should get tested. Correctly identifying the allergen can help:

  • Reduce exposure
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce symptoms
  • Reduce the need for medication
  • Improve the patient’s quality-of-life
  • Help the patient receive allergy specific treatment.
 
Why should you prefer a blood test for allergies (ImmunoCAP) over the skin prick test?

Blood test for allergies (ImmunoCAP)

Skin prick test

The blood sample can be collected anywhere, even at home.

Can be done only in a doctor’s clinic or hospital.

The blood tests provide results with little to no risk – hence it is a safer option for those who are at higher risk for a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, as well as for those with unstable heart disease or asthma.

A skin prick test for allergies provides quick results but is more risky as compared to a blood test. Though rare, it’s possible to have a serious reaction.

Blood tests are preferred in those with extensive skin rashes or eczema.

Skin testing may be difficult or not be possible for those with extensive skin rash or eczema.

No need to stop anti histamine medication prior to testing.

Prior to taking a skin prick test, you will have to stop all antihistamine medications for a few days.

Can be done at any time.

Ideally done 4-6 weeks after an acute allergic reaction.

Why isn’t medical history sufficient?

  • Up to 50% of the population may suffer from ‘allergy-like’ symptoms, but about 1 in 4 suffer from an actual IgE-mediated allergy.
  • 80% of allergic patients have more than one allergen.
 

Phadiatop Allergy Test: is a blood test designed to detect the presence of antibodies to common inhalant allergens – it acts as an objective and reliable first step when testing for allergy.

Know your allergies and be careful with them.

Make your health a priority!

 

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