Apple, ticks, bugs … those allergies we know less

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Apple, ticks, bugs ... those allergies we know less

Nearly one in four French people suffers from a respiratory allergy (due mainly to pollen) in 2019. For their part, food allergies are constantly increasing and affect nearly 4% of adults and 8% of children. But many causes of allergies are better and better identified by doctors. Rather rare and not very serious, they can nevertheless be very worrying.

Insects, who rubs themselves

Allergies to hymenoptera (wasps, bees, etc.) are the most common. But many insects can also induce allergic reactions by their bite, with local reactions (edema) or inflammatory called "immunoallergic": redness, hives, respiratory symptoms, digestive or heart. The arthropods concerned are mosquitoes including the tiger mosquito, horseflies, black flies, small black flies (in the Camargue wetlands or near the banks of rivers ...) and other biting insects (fleas, bedbugs, bed bugs), not to mention spiders (Malmignatte de Corse, European Loxsceles) or banana spiders found in crates from South America, Pyemotes in wood infested furniture, chiggers, other mites ... Molecules Allergens are known for the most part, such as nitrophorin and apyrase in bed bug saliva.

Emerging food allergens

Conventional food allergens (peanuts, milk, shellfish ...) are added new, so-called "emerging". Buckwheat, kiwi, sheep's milk, pine nuts, peas, lentils, alpha-galactose (sugar present in mammalian meat) or even apple, the new consumption habits favor the appearance of these new allergens whose ingestion can cause severe allergic reactions. Between 2002 and 2017, there are twelve severe allergic food reactions that have been recorded, due to ingestion of banal apples! According to ANSES, buckwheat and goat's milk or sheep's milk cause at least as many serious allergies as shellfish or soya. As for kiwis, pine nuts, alpha-galactose, they are responsible for more than 1% of cases of serious allergies (more than mustard and sulphites, yet reportable allergenic ingredients).

Ticks: it's not just Lyme disease

Ticks are well known for transmitting diseases during bites, especially Lyme disease. But we forget the protein-related allergies of the tick's saliva. A variety of soft ticks, Argas reflexus, infesting pigeons, gives nocturnal allergic reactions, sometimes serious as anaphylactic shock. This parasite of the night, running for example in Alsace, multiplies in hot periods (20 to 25 ° C). The tick can be found in the sheets or beds.

Pollen and pollution, watch out for storms!

Several cases of allergic asthma have been observed during heavy summer storms during the pollen period (Nantes, London, Naples ...). The phenomenon is called "Thunderstorm asthma". The pollen, a kind of little bag, suddenly sinks with moisture, which makes it burst. Fragmented into many particles of a few microns, it is introduced deep in the bronchi, causing severe asthma in people allergic to pollen. Watch out for young adults who already have pollen rhinitis or badly treated asthma.

"Allergic" to the effort?

An expression to take in the first degree. Indeed, the allergy to the effort does exist and corresponds to a "food anaphylaxis induced by the effort". This manifests itself in case of allergenic food contact (wheat in the majority of cases), followed within 2 or 3 hours by an effort such as walking or running, dancing ... The allergic reaction to ingestion of food would not have occurred had it not been followed by an effort. The mechanism remains unknown.

Night allergies

These allergies have the particularity to occur at night, because they appear late after ingestion of the allergen (food or drug, especially anti-inflammatory). The allergic reaction is called "immediate delayed effect" because it can occur 3 to 6 hours after ingestion of the food responsible. This is mammalian meat, especially offal or even dairy products or foods containing gelatin, because of the presence of a sugar: ⍺-galactosidase. Sensitization, that is, the first contact with the allergen, is via a tick bite.

Vibrational allergy

The uvula, this small fleshy outgrowth in the back of the throat, can begin to swell. This edema of the uvula occurs because of the vibrations of the snoring. This allergy can also be triggered by vibrations (jackhammer, applause, mountain biking ...).

Alcohol: be careful!

Alcohol is an aggravating factor of allergy symptoms, as is the use of medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain medicines to treat high blood pressure.

Can love cause allergies?

During a kiss, a person who has previously consumed a dangerous allergen (peanut, nut or drug) can induce an allergic reaction sometimes severe in his (her) partner, itself allergic (simple erythema, edema of the lips, angioedema, asthma). This "proxy allergy" can also occur during sex with transmission, via seminal fluid, again a food (cashew ...) or a drug that causes an allergic reaction in the partner. Precautions, and condom use, may be recommended when one of the partners is taking a treatment that may cause an allergy to the other, if the latter has a particular sensitivity. This has nothing to do with seminal fluid allergy itself where the type of allergy is different. In this case, the partner may be allergic to a protein it contains (PSA protein -Prostate Specific Antigen). Allergies to vaginal secretions have recently been observed. As for true allergies to latex as spermicides, they remain rare, as angioedema (inflammatory edema) "vibratory", due to the vibration of sextoys.

How to react in case of anaphylactic shock?

The incidence of allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) has been increasing for about twenty years. One in three hundred Europeans will be confronted. Epinephrine is to be injected in case of serious, brutal manifestations immediately, or without delay when a mild manifestation (urticaria) worsens. This intramuscular injection, ideally on the skin or otherwise through clothing, is done by means of auto-injectable syringes (always wear on oneself). The injection is to be renewed if the signs have not improved within 5 to 10 minutes. Always call for help for hospital care.

Read also:

⋙ Food allergy: the signs that must alert

⋙ True / False: 10 myths about asthma

⋙ Lyme, Charcot, fibromyalgia ... these diseases that come out of the shadows

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