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Allergies and hypersensitivities

2-minute read

People have immune systems that recognize what is usually part of the body (blood, cells, hair etc.) and what is not (bacteria, viruses, splinters etc.). Sometimes the immune system becomes hypersensitive to chemicals from foods (peanuts, shellfish, nuts, eggs, wheat); animals (dogs, cats); and other materials (grasses, dust, dustmites, medicines).

This causes allergic reactions. For most people, the allergic reaction is hay fever (runny nose and itchy eyes) or hives (a bumpy skin rash). In some people this reaction is severe and causes anaphylaxis, which is an emergency needing immediate injection with adrenaline from an epi-pen.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) recommends that for a severe allergic reaction adrenaline is the initial treatment. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

Allergies can be treated with antihistamine medicines, and allergy tests might find the cause of the hypersensitivity. If so, it may be possible to have regular injections to stop the body overreacting.

ASCIA also recommends that you should speak to your doctor or specialist about the benefits and safety of allergen immunotherapy or before attempting any allergy testing or treatment. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about allergies and hypersensitivities.

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Peanut allergy in children - myDr.com.au

Peanut allergy is the most common serious food allergy in children. About 3 in every 100 infants are allergic to peanuts, and the prevalence seems to be rising.

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Food allergy - myDr.com.au

A food allergy is an immune response triggered by eating specific foods that cause certain well known symptoms to develop.

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Whats the difference between food allergy and food intolerance? Dietitians Association of Australia

Whats the difference between food allergy and food intolerance? Food allergies and intolerances are often confused, as their symptoms can seem similar

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Kids' Health - Topics - Food allergies

Sometimes proteins in some foods can cause allergic reactions. The reaction happens soon after you have had that food, usually within 2 hours. Sometimes you and your doctor can find out what you are reacting to.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity | ARPANSA

The scientific evidence does not establish that Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) symptoms are caused by exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.

Read more on ARPANSA – Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website

Non-food allergies in children | Raising Children Network

If your child has allergies to dust mites, pollen, grass, animals, latex, insect stings and bites, read this guide for reliable allergy management advice.

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Reactions to food

Foods can cause a wide variety of reactions in children. A food allergy can be life-threatening in some rare cases, but most reactions to food are less severe.

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Cow's milk allergy

The human body is, fortunately, able to fight off many different diseases and chemicals that could do us harm because of the immune system. However sometimes the body's defences go wrong and there is an allergic reaction to something such as a food.

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Type II hypersensitivity reaction information | myVMC

Hypersensitivity reaction type II is also called cytotoxic reaction or antibody-dependent hypersensitivity reaction. This is its defining feature.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Healthy Kids : Allergies

Explanation of food allergies and intolerance.

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