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Allergies

Alpha-Gal Syndrome . Food . Environmental

"What is food to one man is bitter poison to others." -Roman Philosopher Lucretius

An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance known as an allergen. Allergies are prevalent in the US, with over 50 million Americans suffering from various types of allergies, making it the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Allergies can be triggered by ingesting, inhaling, injecting, or touching a substance, leading to a range of symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, and, in severe cases, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, asthma attacks, and anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction.

In 2018, approximately 8% of adults and 7% of children were diagnosed with hay fever, and roughly 32 million Americans were affected by food allergies. Anaphylaxis to food results in 30,000 emergency room visits in the US each year. About 5% of the US population experiences an insect sting allergy annually, with medicines, food, and insect stings being the leading causes of anaphylaxis. However, a study conducted between 1999 and 2010 showed that medicines cause the most allergy-related deaths. Although there is no cure for allergies, they can be managed through prevention and treatment. Despite being among the most common diseases in the country, allergies are often overlooked.

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