Allergies are caused by allergens – ie substances we are in contact with that the body identifies as harmful, though they cause no ill-health in individuals who are not prone to such a reaction. They can be triggered by various factors including:
- Environmental inhalants (ie things you breath in), eg pollen, pet dander, hair/room sprays and house dust.
- Many types of food (here is our article outlining the 14 most likely cause of food allergies).
- Things you touch, eg certain metals like nickel, plants like poison ivy, soaps, chemicals in leather.
Q. So how can you keep track of everything you breath in, eat and touch, every day?
A. It’s tricky. It requires that you keep a meticulous record of what you did, when and where, and what happened next – ie what symptoms did you get?
Typical allergy symptoms:
Much rarer reaction:
Keeping a daily diary of everything you do
For some people keeping a diary is second nature – they jot down everything that happened in their day. They record it all on social media. They take snaps of their meals and take note of every time they have a symptom, from a sniffle to a sneeze. They colour-code, using marker pens and pencils. It’s fun!
Well, maybe it is, for some.
Staying on top of it
For many others, the idea of having to stay on top of your whole life, keeping count of your food intake, the air quality, the weather, what you came into contact with – were you stung or bitten by an insect? Did you wear earrings with hooks made of base metal? Did you eat anything just prior to breaking out in a rash? …etc, etc…can all seem a bit much.
It’s essential that you stay focused and don’t get bored, give up, and resign yourself to whatever allergic symptoms are making your life so uncomfortable, (or even, with anaphylactic shock, life-threatening). Put simply, if you want to find out what is causing your allergies, you need to work out a system that enables you to connect each cause with each symptom, every time. Though before you panic or give up before you start, there is help out there.
A medically-endorsed, easy-to-use health tracker app can help you to get it right
Using a health-tracker app can be a big time saver, and also take the tedium and stress out of noting down every possible, potential allergen in your life. AlliApp health-tracker app is medically endorsed and easy to use. Download it to your phone (Standard AlliApp is free, and Premium AlliApp has many valuable additional features), and you have a handy way to keep track of all you do, eat, and are in contact with, together with all your symptoms.
Anaphylactic shock and adrenalin auto-injector
Anaphylactic shock is a rare, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction which involves the whole immune system (a ‘systemic’ reaction) and which requires immediate medical attention. In susceptible individuals it can be brought on by common foodstuffs like peanuts (though it can also be brought on by other, non-dietary irritants like insect stings). It can be reversed by administering emergency adrenalin. Once any susceptibility to anaphylaxis has been established, it is essential that you carry an adrenalin auto-injector around with you, particularly if you are eating ready-prepared foods like restaurant meals, bought lunches and takeaways. Sometimes trigger foods like sesame or peanuts are not obviously visible in your sandwich or meal.
Identify your allergy triggers
Work with your health provider to identify your allergens, armed with your diary or health-tracker app providing a day-to-day record of all your possible triggers and resulting symptoms.
Using AlliApp you can visit your GP or allergy specialist and show them your symptoms and possible causes, going back over time, on your phone. A reliable health-tracker app helps you regain your good health in a proactive, practical way that won’t all just get too much or too tedious. If you forget to keep note on any one day, with Premium AlliApp you can input information to the app any time you like, and you can share your health information with your family (allergies often run in ‘atopic’ families).
Help yourself back to better health
Having allergies is not fun, though by being proactive and keeping a meticulous day-to-day diary of all possible allergens and of all your allergic symptoms, you can help yourself back to better health.