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Why Do We Get Allergies As We Get Older

Why Do We Gain Weight As We Get Older

Why Do We Get Allergies?

The simple truth is that as we get older, its not as easy to lose weight and its much easier to gain fat. Why is that?

One of the biggest contributors to age-related weight gain is hormonal change. As women enter menopause and men enter their 40s, hormone production naturally starts to decrease. This leads to lower energy levels, muscle decline, and slower recovery times. We tend not to exercise as much or as vigorously as before.

This leads to the next big cause of weight gain as we get older: reduced physical activity. Our physical activity tends to be less intense as we get older because of:

  • Muscle breakdown.
  • Accumulated wear and tear in our bodies.
  • Difficulty recovering from injury.

These factors naturally lead us to choose less intense exercises: walking instead of tennis, or golf instead of basketball, for example.

Why Do We Get Allergies

The more you think about sickness and health, the trickier it gets to draw a clean line between them. We tend to think of ourselves as being prepared by nature for a good life. If we can just keep bacteria and viruses from killing us, and avoid walking into open elevator shafts, well live a long, healthy life.

But we are actually the products of evolution, and evolution cant give us perfect health. It has endowed us with powerful immune systems, thank you very much. And it has endowed us with quick reflexes that can, in some cases, keep us out of open elevator shafts. But evolution doesnt automatically march to perfection. It stops short, leaving us with grave imperfections.

We have lots of defenses against cancer, for example, but they weaken as we get old. Thats a recipe for heartbreak in millions of families. But in the game of evolution, thats a winning formula. Natural selection strongly favors defenses against cancer that threaten our ability to survive to adulthood and have kids. But if we die of cancer at age sixty, our kids are well on their way, carrying out genes down to the next generation.

Ive written a profile of Medzhitov. It appeared today originally in Mosaic, but its now propagating through the Internet. You can also find it on Ars Technica, Discover, Gizmodo, Digg, and elsewhere. Check it out at the outlet of your choice. And good luck this pollen season!

Knowing When An Allergy Is An Emergency

In some people, exposure to certain allergens such as foods, mediations, insect stings and latex can trigger a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. It is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment, including prompt administration of intramuscular epinephrine, and it can be fatal if not treated properly.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis typically start within a few minutes of encountering the allergen, so its important to call 911 or your local emergency number and get to an emergency department as quickly as possible. Serious allergy symptoms that should not be ignored include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness.
  • Hives Itching flushed, pale or blue skin
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, lips or throat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

The best way to avoid having an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen thats causing the allergy, if possible.

Your doctor will work with you to create a game plan to deal with your allergy, Dr. Ravell says. This could include taking steps to avoid certain foods or exposures, carrying an EpiPen, taking medication or getting injections.

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What Will Happen If Allergies Are Not Treated

Untreated allergies can result in other complications in the body. For example, if allergic rhinitis is left untreated for a very long time, it can result in ear infections and sinus infections due to swelling and inflammation. Untreated allergies can provide a perfect breeding place for bacteria to grow and cause such infections. Untreated allergies can also worsen other conditions, such as skin disorders, inflammation in the body and asthma.

What Does This Mean

The Bingham Diaries: October 2013

When food-related symptoms occur more frequently with age, this does not necessary mean that we have developed a medical problem food intolerance that needs to be treated by completely avoiding certain foods. It might just mean the we need to change our eating habits, like when we eat, how much we eat, and how much we can expect to indulge. For example, an adult with lactose intolerance may still be able to eat small amounts of dairy products throughout the day, but they shouldnt expect to go out after a soccer game and eat an ice cream sundae on an empty stomach like the rest of the kids. That said, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, see your doctor before attributing them to age.

© 2014-5 Anna Laforest. All rights reserved.FoodConnections.org Food intolerance resource with a scientific twist

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Know Where To Go For Allergy Care: Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center

Allergies can begin in childhood, adulthood and anytime in between. If youre dealing with a new or persistent case of allergies, we encourage you to reach out to us at Carolina Asthma & Allergy. We serve patients throughout North and South Carolina and work with traditional allergy treatment methods as well as allergy shots and allergy drops.

Our board-certified doctors are experts in food allergies, asthma, insect bite allergies and other uncommon, yet often serious allergies that require specialized care. We even offer anaphylaxis prevention and treatment, immunotherapy care and treatments for the lungs, skin, throat, nose, ears, and eyes. To set up your appointment today, contact us today!

Causes Of Adult Onset Allergies

While there are many things that experts dont fully understand about allergies, there are a couple different theories as to why more and more adults are struggling with allergies later in life. The first theory is that the rise in airborne pollutants is much higher that is has been in the past. The poor indoor air quality that we live with coupled with the sedentary lifestyle that many people live are said to be a big cause. The other being the fact that we live in an environment that is too clean. The fact that we arent exposed to as much bacteria, doesnt allow our immune systems to develop as they should. We dont have the ability to fight off allergies like people did in the past.

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Allergic Skin Manifestations And Adverse Drug Reactions

Among all adverse drug reactions, immunologically mediated reactions represent a minority, but when a cutaneous drug reaction occurs more often, it is a drug induced allergic reaction. Many different lesions can be observed as the result of a drug induced cutaneous allergic reaction, and the recognition of the various skin patterns is fundamental for the diagnosis and the management of these allergic conditions. A mixed immunopathogenesis of some skin reactions may add confusion to the clinical picture. An extensive review and discussion of the different adverse drug reactions of the skin, has been done elsewhere , but some of the most common and severe among them will be pointed out below. Different clinical pictures of cutaneous adverse drug reactions in the elderly are described, varying from xerosis only or contact dermatitis to urticaria, lichenoid rash, morbilliform rash, cutaneous vasculitis and drug induced autoimmune reactions, including lupus erythematosus, bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus related to the use of systemic agents. Topical sensitization is more frequent than oral route sensitization. Moreover, also drugs administered by injection and inhalation can cause skin reactions. When observing morbilliform, lichenoid or urticarial lesions with or without eczema, on the skin of older individuals with an itching rash, the most likely diagnosis is adverse reaction to systemic medication.

Can You Suddenly Develop A Food Allergy

Why do we sometimes get food allergies as an adult?

Nearly half of adults reporting food allergies developed them later in life, according to a study in JAMA. Because our immune systems typically become more tolerant as we age, in the case of adult food allergies, we dont think people are developing an allergy as much as they are losing their tolerance of something, says Alice E.W. Hoyt, MD, host of theFood Allergy and Your Kiddo podcast. You might see this when someone who used to be able to eat peanuts now has an immune response because theyve lost their peanut tolerance. Or, it could be a cross-reaction to another allergen in food, such as pollen.

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Changes In Your Immune System

With age, your immune system changes, which can also affect your tolerance toward allergens, according to an April 2017 paper in âAging and Disease.â

The authors state that immunological function â including defenses against infections, inflammation and allergic reactions â can shift over time. And this can possibly exacerbate allergies in older people.

What Should I Do If I Develop Adult Onset Allergies

If you believe you have developed allergies as an adult, avoid any suspected allergens while you are waiting to see your allergist. Your allergist may order some tests such as blood or skin tests to further evaluate your allergies.

If allergy testing confirms a diagnosis of allergy, your allergist will work with you to develop a treatment plan including avoidance measures, medications, and/or other treatment options such as immunotherapy for environmental allergies.

Also Check: How To Soothe Allergy Cough

What Causes Allergies

Allergies develop when your immune system overreacts to allergens like pollen or cat dander. Although these allergens are technically harmless, your body sees them as a threat and forms antibodies to destroy them.

Next time you come in contact with that allergen, the antibodies start an immune response to remove the allergen that results in allergy symptoms.

Are You At Risk

Float Your Paper Boat

If you arent currently experiencing any new-found allergy symptoms, how do you know if you are at risk? Allergies are most common in adults with genetic susceptibility or family history of allergies. Everyone has a different personal vulnerability to allergies, which is why some may develop sensitivities and others will never experience any symptoms. Environmental exposures to certain allergens can also put you at risk of developing allergies. For example, several years of exposure to allergens can cause you to develop skin or lung sensitivities. As you age, you may lose tolerance to chemicals and ingredients in shampoo, perfumes or makeup, which can lead to allergic reactions on your skin.

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Changes Of Aging In The Gut

Changes in local immune responses of the digestive tract may contribute to the development of food allergies at any age. Like all other forms of allergy in the elderly, even food allergy appears to be increasing, although it may be masked by various symptoms corresponding with a general age-induced decline of physiological functions. Structural and functional changes or effects caused by drugs , in addition to immunological alterations encountered at old age, might be responsible for food allergy development in the elderly . Elderly people are at higher risk of food allergy due to their aging immune systems. The induction of mucosal tolerance has been proven to be compromised in elderly animals, while the effector phase is preserved. This may be reinforced by weakened secretory antigen-specific IgA responses and an increase in intestinal permeability with aging.

Why Do I Have Allergies Now

The sudden onset of allergies is frustrating, but common. Its not always clear why some people develop sudden allergies later in life. Genetics may play a role, as might changes in adult immune systems. Adult-onset allergies occur most often for people in their 20s and 30s, though its possible to develop allergies at any age.

Moving to a new area is one common cause experts agree on. When you move to a new part of the country that has a different mix of grass, trees or weeds youve never been exposed to, theres a chance you could develop sudden allergies to the new plants.

Also Check: Why Do My Allergies Get Worse At Night

Testing For Adult Allergies

If you think you have an allergy, its best to see a professional for a definitive diagnosis. A healthcare provider or allergist may perform some tests to confirm your allergy and help you figure out a plan to prevent and treat symptoms.

Your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose your allergies based on symptoms alone. If you have typical seasonal allergy symptoms like sneezing or a runny nose at certain times of the year, that may be enough information. In some cases, though, healthcare providers order other diagnostic tests, like a skin test, to help confirm which allergen is causing the reaction. Allergists and other providers may also recommend blood tests or different kinds of lab work to confirm specific allergies.

Can Allergies Stop On Their Own

How Close Are We to IMMORTALITY – Why Do We Get Old and Die

A question commonly asked at diagnosis is how likely is it that my allergy will improve with time? The severity and types of symptoms you had at your initial reaction and the number of foods to which you are allergic can help predict your chances of outgrowing the allergy. In addition, we know that milk, egg and soy allergies most often improve with time while peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish are less likely to improve.

Its not recommended you simply assume that youve outgrown a reaction to an allergen instead, you should visit an allergist for testing. For food allergies, if your test results indicate that it is safe, you will participate in an in office oral food challenge to determine if you still have symptoms.

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Treatments For Severe Allergies

If you find yourself suffering from allergy symptoms out of nowhere, you could be experiencing adult onset allergies. There are many over the counter antihistamines that can be effective in dealing with them. If you all of a sudden have a food allergy, it isnt something to take lightly. They can be life threatening at times. You should be working with the right doctors to help you navigate what foods to avoid and which ones are safe. The team of skilled physicians at ENT Specialists can help you identify your allergies and triggers. We will work with you to find the solutions you need to manage them. to schedule your appointment.

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Genetic Theory Of Aging

The genetic theory proposes that aging primarily depends on genetics. In other words, our life expectancy is regulated by the genes we got from our parents.

Since genes have predetermined traits, its thought this theory overlaps with programmed theories of aging.

Genetic theories include:

  • Telomere theory.Telomeres protect the ends of your chromosomes as they multiply. Over time, telomeres shorten, which is associated with disease and aging.
  • Programmed senescence theory. Cellular senescence occurs when cells stop dividing and growing, but dont die. This theory suggests that this causes aging.
  • Stem cell theory. Stem cells can turn into other cells, which helps repair tissue and organs. But the function of stem cells declines over time, potentially contributing to aging.
  • Longevity gene theory. This is the idea that certain genes extend lifespan. More research is necessary.

The limitation of genetic theories is that they disregard the importance of external factors. In fact, its estimated that just of lifespan is influenced by genetics. This suggests that environmental and lifestyle factors play a major role.

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Evolutionary Theory Of Aging

Natural selection refers to the adaptive traits of an organism. These traits can help the organism adjust to their environment, so theyre more likely to survive.

According to evolutionary theories, aging is based on natural selection. It says that an organism begins aging after they have reached their peak of reproduction and have passed down adaptive traits.

Evolutionary theories include:

  • Mutation accumulation. This theory presumes that random mutations accumulate later in life.
  • Antagonistic pleiotropy. According to this theory, genes that promote fertility early in life have negative effects later on.
  • Disposable soma theory. The theory claims that when more metabolic resources are directed toward reproduction, the less is put toward DNA repair. The result is cell damage and aging.

These theories are still being researched and require more evidence.

What Things Are People Allergic To

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Some of the most common allergens are:

Airborne particles. Often called environmental allergens, these are the most common allergens. Airborne particles that can cause allergies include dust mites mold spores animal dander and dried saliva from your pets and pollen from grass, ragweed, and trees.

Foods.Food allergies are most common in babies and may go away as people get older. Although some food allergies can be serious, many just cause annoying symptoms like an itchy rash, a tingly tongue, and diarrhea. The most common food allergies are: milk and other dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, and seafood.

Insect stings. The venom in& insect stings can cause allergic reactions, and can be severe and even cause an anaphylactic reaction in some people.

Medicines. Antibiotics medicines used to treat infections are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Many other medicines, including over-the-counter medications , also can cause allergic reactions.

Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Usually, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

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Biochemical Theory Of Aging

Another theory is that biochemical reactions cause aging. These reactions occur naturally and continuously throughout life.

This theory is rooted in various concepts, including:

  • Advanced glycation end products .AGEs develop when fats or protein are exposed to sugar. High levels may lead to oxidative stress, which speeds up aging.
  • Heat shock response. Heat shock proteins protect cells from stress, but their response decreases as we age.
  • Damage accumulation. Normal chemical reactions damage DNA, proteins, and metabolites over time.

In recent decades, life expectancy around the world has increased. This is due many factors, including:

  • better nutrition

Though aging is inevitable, its possible to slow down some of the effects. You can do this by following healthy lifestyle habits.

Heres how to slow aging:

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