Need to di­ag­nose the right al­ler­gens

BioSpectrum (India) - - BIO CONTENT -

Grow­ing in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and fast chang­ing bio­di­ver­sity cou­pled with seden­tary life­styles are caus­ing a surge in al­ler­gic dis­eases, es­pe­cially among chil­dren in the coun­try. The rising al­lergy rate among the pop­u­la­tion is alarm­ing and calls for ac­tion. The best de­fense against al­ler­gic symp­toms is to know what’s caus­ing them and to avoid those trig­gers. This doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean cut­ting ev­ery­thing one is al­ler­gic to, out of life.

Al­lergy oc­curs when the re­ac­tion is be­lieved to be me­di­ated by Im­munoglob­u­lin E (IgE), which is one of the ma­jor me­di­a­tors of im­me­di­ate hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity re­ac­tion that un­der­lie atopic con­di­tions such as asthma and ana­phy­laxis. The al­ler­gen could be in the air, chem­i­cals that one comes in con­tact with or the food that one eats.

As per World Al­lergy Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WAO) about 20 to 30 per cent of peo­ple in In­dia have one or more al­ler­gic dis­eases and the preva­lence is rising dra­mat­i­cally. The bur­den of al­ler­gic dis­eases in In­dia has been on an up­ris­ing trend in terms of preva­lence and sever­ity. These al­ler­gic dis­eases in­clude asthma, rhini­tis, ana­phy­laxis, drug, food and in­sect al­lergy, eczema and ur­ticaria and an­gioedema. Al­ler­gies are com­mon; some al­lergy symp­toms last for a few min­utes, while oth­ers may con­tinue for months or more, and some al­ler­gies can also be­come life threat­en­ing. Out of this, the preva­lence of asthma and al­ler­gic rhini­tis (AR) are the two ma­jor forms of al­ler­gies world-wide.

Ev­ery­one has their own unique com­bi­na­tion of al­ler­gic trig­gers and not all of them are ob­vi­ous. While most al­ler­gic re­ac­tions are only mild to mod­er­ate in sever­ity (and can be treated with an­ti­his­tamines), some can be life-threat­en­ing and re­quire emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment.

The most se­vere, sys­temic al­ler­gic re­ac­tions are known as ana­phy­laxis. Peo­ple with known se­vere al­ler­gies should have an emer­gency man­age­ment plan that in­cludes an adren­a­line auto-in­jec­tor for emer­gency use. In the case of food al­lergy, if the prob­a­bil­ity of an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion is low, peo­ple are given a food chal­lenge where in­creas­ing amounts of the of­fend­ing food are ad­min­is­tered while the per­son is closely ob­served for any signs of an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion. Of course, it can re­sult in a re­ac­tion which is why this is con­ducted un­der close ob­ser­va­tion.

An al­lergy can broadly be con­firmed by two tech­niques. A

Skin Prick Test (SPT) or a blood test (In-vitro) that checks whether their im­mune sys­tem has pro­duced an­ti­bod­ies to an al­ler­gen. The dis­cov­ery of IgE is a break­through in the field of al­lergy and im­munol­ogy. Sev­eral re­fine­ments in di­ag­nos­tic modal­i­ties have re­sulted in highly sen­si­tive and ac­cu­rate sys­tems, al­low­ing mea­sure­ments of IgE an­ti­bod­ies to hun­dreds of al­ler­gens. Pha­di­aTop is an ad­vanced qual­i­ta­tive serum spe­cific IgE as­say test for de­tec­tion of al­ler­gic sen­si­ti­za­tion that works to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the man­age­ment of al­lergy and au­toim­mune dis­eases by pro­vid­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als with su­pe­rior di­ag­nos­tic tech­niques and clin­i­cal ex­per­tise.

Al­lergy blood tests are wellthought-out and safe, since the per­son is not ex­posed to any al­ler­gens dur­ing the test­ing pro­ce­dure.

Many com­mon ill­nesses that dis­play symp­toms com­monly as­so­ci­ated with al­lergy have dif­fer­ent eti­olo­gies and, there­fore, dif­fer­ent treat­ments. A com­mon blood sam­ple can help you see whether these symp­toms are due to al­lergy. Rather than iden­ti­fy­ing just one al­ler­gen, be­lieved to have ini­ti­ated the al­ler­gic re­sponse in the body, it is of ut­most im­por­tance to map all the al­ler­gens to which pa­tients are sen­si­tized and eval­u­ate how the al­ler­gens to­gether can ag­gra­vate the al­ler­gic symp­toms in the pa­tient. Sev­eral other fac­tors such as age, de­gree of atopy, al­ler­gen load, type of symp­toms and in­door en­vi­ron­ment, along with tests that are ac­cu­rate and re­li­able, can pro­vide doc­tors with ad­e­quate in­for­ma­tion needed for the di­ag­no­sis and man­age­ment of al­ler­gic dis­eases.

AL­LERGY BLOOD TESTS ARE WELL- THOUGHT-OUT

AND SAFE, SINCE THE PER­SON IS NOT EX­POSED TO ANY AL­LER­GENS DUR­ING THE TEST­ING

PRO­CE­DURE.

AMIT CHO­PRA,

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor & VP/GM,Thermo Fisher Sci­en­tific, In­dia, SouthAsia & Mid­dle East

AMIT CHO­PRA,Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor & VP/GM, Thermo Fisher Sci­en­tific, In­dia, SouthAsia & Mid­dle East

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