The term "allergy" refers to an exaggerated or unusual response by the body to substances that are harmless, and even helpful, to most other people. According to most practitioners of holistic medicine, the incidence of allergies is much higher than is commonly believed, but in many cases allergies are merely nuisances. But for other people, contact with a substance they are allergic to can produce toxins in the body that can result in a host of health conditions, many of them quite severe. Unfortunately, the majority of allergy sufferers tend to be unaware that they are allergic in the first place, or else they are unable to identify the substance(s) causing their allergic response.
Allergenic substances generally fall into one of eight basic categories, depending on how they are contacted. These are: inhalants, ingestants, contactants, infectants, physical agents, genetic agents, molds and fungi. These categories, in turn, occur in two ways -- as food allergies or as allergies caused by environmental influences.
The following information can help you determine if you suffer from allergies. Please remember, however, that for a definitive diagnosis you are advised to contact a physician or health care provider trained in recognizing the role that allergies can play in illness.
Common Indicators of Allergy
The following symptoms are often signs of an allergic reaction.
If any of the above symptoms are a frequent occurrence in your life, there is a strong likelihood that allergies are part of overall health condition.
Additional Allergy Symptoms
Many allergic symptoms are hidden or misdiagnosed, but the following are often telltale warning signs that allergies are present. In particular, they can be an indication of food allergies, the most common group of undetected allergens.
Physical Symptoms: dark circles, swelling or wrinkles under the eyes; vascular headaches; faintness or dizziness; sleepiness soon after a meal; insomnia; frequent waking during the night, or premature waking followed by an inability to return to sleep; runny or stuffy nose; postnasal drip; excessive mucus; watery eyes and/or blurred vision; ringing of the ears; earaches; recurrent ear infections (particularly common among children); sinusitis; sore throats, hoarseness or chronic coughing; gagging; heart palpitations; chest congestion; mucus or undigested food in the stool; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; constipation; bloating after meals; flatulence; abdominal pains or cramping; extreme thirst; coated tongue; anal or vaginal itch; hives or rashes; dermatitis; brittle nails and hair; dry skin; dandruff; skin pallor; muscle ache; weakness and fatigue; arthritic symptoms or joint pain; symptoms of PMS;. frequent or urgent urination; and obesity.
Psychological Symptoms: anxiety or panic attacks; depressions; crying jags; aggressive behavior; irritability; mental dullness or lethargy; confusion; excessive daydreaming; restlessness; poor work habits; inability to concentrate; slurred speech; and indifference or lack of enthusiasm for life.
If you suffer from the above symptoms you also may have hidden allergies, and it is recommended that you consult a holistic health care practitioner trained in their treatment.