This website was developed for a reader who wants to learn more about immune
mediated disease. We use the term Allergy according to the original definition
included all immune mediated disease. There are different types of allergy. The
immediate or type 1 hypersensitivity is easily recognized because it involves
quick and dramatic symptoms. Common problems related to immediate
patterns of allergy include hay fever, asthma, rhinitis, otitis media, atopic
dermatitis, urticaria, and anaphylaxis. Hay fever is the most common expression
of type 1 allergy and is a prototype of immediate hypersensitivity. Hay fever is
a reaction to airborne plant pollens in the eyes, nose and throat. Allergy tests
are positive to the allergenic pollens, antihistamines help and allergy shots
can reduce the reactivity over time. Delayed patterns of allergy
are not so obvious and generally go unrecognized. Allergy skin tests do
not show this problem nor do IgE serum antibody tests
The original concept of allergy included all immune-mediated disease and the
term allergy was interchangeable with the term "hypersensitivity." Allergy can
be thought of as hypersensitivity disorders with external causes. Substances
that trigger allergic responses are antigens. These are often proteins that can
be found in air, food and water. Airborne antigens such as plant pollens or
house dust are well known. Other airborne antigens and food antigens are
The first distinction that recurs in the allergy literature is
between immediate and delayed patterns of allergic reactivity that loosely
correspond to IgE-mediated allergy and non-IgE mediated responses. Many authors
refer to the original four categories of immune-mediated injury defined by Gell
and Coombs. The concept of four mechanisms is just a starting point for
understanding immune-mediated disease. These very complicated defense-injury
sequences cause a variety of disease states. The immediate or type 1 allergy
pattern is easily recognized because it involves quick and dramatic symptoms.
Hay fever is the most common type 1 allergy and can be diagnosed by allergy skin
tests and by IgE antibody tests such as RAST or ELIZA. Delayed patterns of
allergy are not so obvious and generally go unrecognized. Allergy skin tests do
not show this problem. Symptom onset is delayed many hours after exposure
to the trigger. Allergic reactions to drugs such as penicillin and to foods are
Type 1 Hypersensitivity
Common allergy is the immediate or type 1 pattern that can largely be attributed
to IgE and a sub-population of immune cells, the mast cells and basophils. These
cells degranulate if sufficient antigen reacts with IgE antibodies which act as
receptors on the cell's surface. Allergy skin tests detect mast cells armed with
antigen-specific IgE. Patients who tend to have type 1 reactions are
easily identified by their history; they tend to have hay fever, asthma, and
eczema as do family members. This triad of allergic manifestations has been
called "atopy". An inherited tendency to make excessive amounts of IgE antibody
is one characteristic of some atopic individuals. Skin tests are useful in
diagnosing inhalant allergies in atopic patients and will reveal some but not
all food allergy. Type 1 food allergy produces immediate, dramatic symptoms,
easily recognized by patients. Typical type 1 food reactions are anaphylaxis,
hives, acute abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea
Allergic rhinitis is the most obvious environmental disease. Hay fever is the
prototype of Type I allergy. The mechanism was thought to be a straight forward
histamine-mediated response to inhaled antigens such as tree and grass pollens.
Drugs that block histamine are effective in relieving hay fever symptoms. The
early, immediate response is sneezing and anterior nasal discharge, often
profuse. Hay fever is the most clear-cut case of allergy. Ads for antihistamines
proclaim the simplest mechanism of allergy: an inhaled allergen (antigen), grass
pollen, meets antibody-coated mast cells waiting in the mucosal surface of the
A typical hay fever attack with sneezing, itching, and nose congestion
results. A similar reaction in the throat produces soreness, mucus flow,
swelling, and difficulty in swallowing and breathing (pharyngitis, laryngitis).
A similar reaction in the lungs produces cough, mucus obstruction to airflow,
and asthmatic wheezing (bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis).
How to Use the Allergy Center
Begin with the Introduction to Allergy that
provides essential knowledge.
There are at least two kinds of allergies the immediate and the delayed
patterns. To understand the distinction better, click on the section that
compares and contrasts Allergy Types.
If you are interested in Airborne Allergy,
go to that section to learn more about hay fever and asthma.
Learn more about Ear, nose and throat symptoms.
If you are interested in Food Allergy,
then click on the section devoted to that complicated and fascinating subject.
Allergic reactions to drugs resemble food allergy more than inhalant allergy.
Click on hay fever, asthma, rhinitis, otitis media, atopic dermatitis, urticaria,
and anaphylaxis for more information.
Listen to Allergy as Hypersensitivity Diseases
The list of immune-mediated disorders is very long. To learn more about conditions
disorders and diseases that have an immune basis go to all discussions of
Allergic Disorders and Diseases
Immunology is a complicated subject that grows more dense and interesting
every day. Most MDs will have a rudimentary knowledge of immunology and even the
experts tend to specialize in one specific area because the field is so vast. It
is possible for a smart reader to learn some basic concepts that make the
subject somewhat comprehensible. Our emphasis is in providing information that's
useful for self-management and for making decisions about your treatment
options. Immunology Notes is an excellent introductory course..
The section on Diagnosis and Tests will steer the reader away from tests that look quick and easy but are invalid. The
diagnosis of food allergy is the biggest, unsolved challenge. Physicians often
default in the diagnosis and treatment of food-related illnesses and non-medical
practitioners have launched careers in the food and chemical "sensitivity"
business, using diverse and sometimes bizarre method of diagnosis and treatment.
Several Books in the Alpha Nutrition Health Education Series provide more
detailed examination of specify problems such as skin and gastrointestinal
disorders and celiac disease.
Hypoallergenic Nutrient Formulas
Alpha Nutrition Formulas are hypoallergenic; they are gluten free and do not contain cows milk, soya, or egg
ingredients. They do not contain food dyes or other additives. They are suitable
The Allergy Center is devoted to explaining a complicated subject. We
offer resources online and encourage our readers to further pursue their
interest by reading other books such as Air and Breathing, Managing Food Allergy
and Immunology Notes written by Stephen Gislason MD.
The book, Gluten Problems and Solutions, describes the patterns of food
allergy triggered by the proteins in cereal grains. The book, Air and
Breathing, discusses airborne and food allergy as causes of respiratory
disease. Immunology Notes explains in more detail how the immune system
works and how immune mediated diseases develop.
For a detailed discussion of all the problems related to food allergy
go to Food Allergy
Alpha Education books refer
to the Alpha Nutrition Program standard
method of diet revision originally designed to solve the problems of food
Starter Packs bundlethe Alpha Nutrition Program
with other books and
formulas to help you get started solving your medical problems.
Alpha Education printed books, Alpha Nutrition formulas and Starter packs
are ordered at Alpha Online. Click the Add to Cart buttons to begin your order
printed books, sent by the Post Office to all destinations in
Canada and USA. Click the Download buttons to order eBooks.
Alpha Nutrition Formulas are
hypoallergenic, gluten free and do not contain cows milk, soya, or egg ingredients. They do not
contain food dyes or other additives. They are suitable for vegetarians. Alpha Nutrition ® is a registered trademark and a division of
Inc., Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada. In business since 1984. Online since