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Allergies and the Immune System

Allergies and the Immune System

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Did you know that allergies are linked to the immune system? Most of the time when your child has an allergy, it is a result of his or her immune system reacting to a false alarm.

29/09/2016 - 12:05

Did you know that allergies are linked to the immune system? Most of the time when your child has an allergy, it is a result of his or her immune system reacting to a false alarm. Allergens are normally harmless substances; however, when a child is allergic to that substance, the immune system produces antibodies to protect your child by attacking the allergen. If your child has allergies, and encounters an allergen, there may be reactions such as itching, a runny nose, wheezing or other more severe symptoms. Common allergens include dust mites, mould, pet dander and tree pollen.

Your Child’s Immune System
The immune system is a very vital part of your child’s body. It helps keep infectious and harmful microorganisms at bay, by preventing them from entering the body and destroying those that do get in. In short, it helps defend your child against sickness or disease. That’s why they may mistakenly identify allergens as harmful invaders, and react with defensive antibodies.

Types of Allergies

Airborne Allergens
There are allergens that are carried through the air, and may cause allergic reactions when breathed in. Some examples of airborne allergens include dust mites, pollen, mould, and pet allergens. When exposed to airborne allergens, your child may face difficulty breathing, wheezing or sneezing.

Food Allergies
Food allergies occur when you eat food which you’re allergic to, such as cow’s milk, eggs, shellfish, other seafood and nuts. When eaten, they can cause symptoms such as hives, itching skin, and diarrhoea.

Other Allergens
Your child may also be allergic to other substances at home. For example, certain types of medicines may cause allergic reactions. There are also chemicals which may cause allergic reactions, such as some laundry detergents. In such cases, you should speak to your doctor for advice.

Where Do Allergies Come From?
Atopic diseases, or allergies, can be hereditary. For example, if both you and your partner have allergies, your child may be at a higher risk of allergy. If you happen to have an allergy, your child runs a 20-40% risk of developing an allergy as well. If both you and your spouse suffer from allergy, there’s a greater chance (50-80%) that your kid will too.1-6

What can you do about allergies?
The risk of allergies can be reduced. The best outcome comes from an early diagnosis. As family history plays a crucial role determining the risk of allergy, the first step, and perhaps the most fundamental, is to look into parental history. Give the Allergy Risk Tracker (ART) a try to help you identify your child’s risk of allergy.

The right proteins in your child’s diet can help reduce the risk of allergies. Not all proteins are the same. Proteins that are broken down to smaller particles are scientifically shown to be easier to digest compared to regular cow’s milk. NANKID® OPTIPRO® HA 3 uses Nestlé’s Most Advanced Protein, which are proteins broken down into 10x smaller through a hydrolysis technology. NANKID® OPTIPRO® HA 3 contains Partially Hydrolysed Protein, 50mg of DHA & ARA** and 100 million BIFIDUS BL beneficial bacteria**.

**per 100g of milk powder


References:
1. Exl BM and Fritsché R. Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy and Possible Means for Its Prevention. Int J Applied Basic Nutr Sci 2001;17:642-651.
2. Aberg N, Sundell J, Eriksson B et al. Prevalence of allergic diseases in schoolchildren in relation to family history, upper respiratory infections, and residential characteristics. Allergy 1996;51:232-237.
3. Bergmann RL, Edenharter G, Bergmann KE et al. Predictability of early atopy by cord blood-IgE and parental history. Clin Exp Allergy 1997;27:752-760.
4. Hays T and Wood RA. A Systematic Review of the Role of Hydrolyzed Infant Formulas in Allergy Prevention. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005;159:810-816.
5. Tariq SM, Matthews SM, Hakim EA et al. The prevalence of and risk factors for atopy in early childhood: A whole population birth cohort study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998;101:587-593.
6. Wahn U, Bergmann RL and Nickel R. Early life markers of atopy and asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 1998;28:20-21.

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