Traditional Chinese Medicine Newsletter 6

The Prevention of Hypersensitivity Disease

Hypersensitivity disease, which is also known as allergic disease, is a type of pathological immune reaction when the body is re-stimulated by the same antigen. Hypersensitivity disease is also known as anaphylaxis or hypersensitivity. It occurs in about 20% of the population, regardless of age group and gender. However, there is evidence of hereditary factors. Common hypersensitivity diseases are:

  1. Dermal sensitivity: Commonly known as hive. The common ones are allergic dermatitis, drug dermatitis, eczema, urticaria (rubella), cutaneous pruritus, ultraviolet allergy (dermatitis solaris), food allergy, allergy to cosmetics and dermatitis caused by mosquito bites etc.

  2. Rhinallergosis: The main signs are paroxysmal and continuous sneezing, followed by clear nasal discharge, and the alternate presence of blocked nose etc. For some patients, the condition would develop into bronchial asthma when they reach their adult years if rhinallergosis is not controlled effectively.

  3. Allergic asthma: Also known as bronchial asthma. Usually occurs in the young. In recent years, there is evidence to suggest that more youths have developed allergic asthma. When attacked, the patient will cough, have difficulty in breathing, and the phlegm is lodged in the throat when he/she breathes. Once lying down, the patient will experience shortness of breath. The lips and nails will even turn blue. If the attack is not controlled immediately, it could be life-threatening.

  4. Henoch-Schonlein purpura: Is a type of hypersensitivity vasculitis, hemorrhagic disease. When the body is allergic to a certain type of substance, widespread arteriolar inflammation occurs, causing the permeability and fragility of the arteriolar and capillary to increase and the presence of hemorrhage and edema. One week after the onset of the disease,some children will have hematuria and proteinuria, and the condition develops into chronic glomerulonephritis, which can even lead to renal failure.

  5. Allergic enteritis: Diarrhea or watery diarrhea after consuming a certain type of food product or food. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and stomachache etc.

  6. Allergic shock: Is a type of strong bodily allergic reaction and its main symptoms are the body breaking into cold sweat, rapid heartbeat, a drop in blood pressure, edema in the throat and breathing difficulty. If treatment is not given promptly, allergic shock could be life-threatening.

Preventive measures:

  1. Try to find out the allergens and to avoid such food, substance, mist, cosmetics etc.

  2. When allergy occurs, quickly stay away from the sensitinogen and seek medical attention. Under the guidance of the physician, overall control is accorded based on the specific disease and taking into consideration the individual bodily differences. Both the signs and causes are treated in traditional chinese medicine, so as to enhance the body immune system, treat and prevent allergic attack and the worsening of the condition.

  3. Pay attention to one’s diet and living conditions, enhance physical training so as to build up the body’s immunity against foreign allergen.

  4. Those with allergy problems should watch their diet and be careful of coming into contact with food products, substance and food that could trigger an allergic reaction.

Professor Tian Xiu Ying