Biochemical mechanism of allergy, symptoms, and treatment

photo by Harvard health care

If a substance in the environment causes a certain number of people, it is called an allergen and its symptoms are called allergies.

Pollen, animal hair/fur, drugs, dust, and certain chemicals found in foods can cause allergies.

The immune system stimulates the body by entering or touching one of these substances.

Thus, allergy symptoms are shown.

Biochemical mechanism

photo by Science Direct

Immunoglobulin (IgE) antibodies in the immune system react with the allergens.

All the allergens in the food are proteins.

The amino acid chain is bound by peptide bonds and carbohydrates residues in the glycopeptide complex.

Allergic proteins act as antigens and have different types of immunoglobulins (IgE) that are sensitive to different antigens.

Antigenicity varies from protein to protein.

Further, the host’s antigenicity is based on genetic, environmental, and supporting factors.

Therefore, a substance that is a stimulant for someone is normal to another.

Because immunoglobulin (IgE) is different, the symptoms also vary.

Types of allergies

The amino acid sequence of these proteins varies with the intrinsic strength of the protein chain.

The allergy factor of a substance can be divided into three basic types depending on how it affects people.

  • Major allergen
  • Intermediate allergen
  • Minor allergen

If an allergen causes 50% of the allergic population, is a major allergen, and if some allergen causes an allergic reaction to a minority of the population, it is also known as a minor allergy. If an allergen causing in-between among the population, is an intermediate allergen.

In some cases, minor allergen reactions can cause severe symptoms and even death.

In addition, it is re-classified based on allergies.

  • Drug allergy
  • Food allergy
  • Insect allergies
  • Latex allergies
  • Mold allergies
  • Fur (PET) allergies
  • Pollen allergy


There are two subtypes, depending on the impact of allergy symptoms.

Allergic factors trigger different systems in the body and cause different symptoms.

Minor symptoms

Image by Penn medicine

Immunoglobulin (IgE), which is sensitive to certain allergens, induces a very serious allergic reaction.

There are also cases where a person may die as a result of not seeking medical help.

  • Sore throat, swollen lips
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Mild headache
  • Complication
  • Blue eyes or skin
  • Unconsciousness

How does an allergy to a person or a small part of a substance that is normal to other people?

Photo by Mehrshad Rajabi on Unsplash

Consider milk as an example. Milk is sometimes consumed as a beverage and sometimes as a food.

The total milk production for the year 2019 is 522 MT. 2.5% of children under the age of 3 indicates allergic symptoms to milk. What causes 97.5% to be normal and 2.5% to show symptoms?

Milk contains calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamins B2 and B12.

Casein is the main protein in milk and contains another protein called beta lactoglobulin.

This works as an allergen. The body produces anti-beta lactoglobulin antibodies.

This is a type of immunoglobulin (IgE) antibody. These antibodies induce allergic symptoms.

Ovalbumin is also the main protein in eggs, and another protein in it, Ovumucoid, acts as an allergen.

Hence foods can cause allergic reactions to people who can produce beta globulin against food allergen.

Here are some of the foods that cause allergies.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash                                           
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish


Photo by Kendal on Unsplash

1. Pharmacotherapy

Immunoglobulins (IgE) triggered by the allergen are producing and secrete various hormones.

These hormones act on different parts of the body causing allergic symptoms. Histamine is a hormone produced by the immune system in allergies. This triggers allergic reactions in the body.

In the case of allergies, the immune system produces a variety of chemical compounds.

The medication blocks the chemicals from bonding on organs or tissues and inducing symptoms.

Various drugs are available in the market as pills, drops, sprays, lotions, liquids.

In addition, vaccines are used to stop certain symptoms of allergies.

2. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is quite the opposite of pharmacotherapy. What is happening here is adapting the immune system to the allergen. What really happens is gradually inserting an allergen to the body and making the immune system adapted to the allergen. This is done by injection or pill.

This is started once or twice a week in small doses and gradually increased in dose.

3. Treatment for severe allergies

This is used in an acute allergic condition a drug called epinephrine or known as adrenaline is used to treat. It is important to have two automated syringes with the doctor’s knowledge.

You should also seek medical attention after receiving the vaccine.



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