JUN 20, 2017 8:21 AM PDT

How and Why We Have Allergic Reactions

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis

Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. and have increased in incidence by an estimated 50% over the past 20 years. There are several theories as to why allergies have been steadily increasing, and why there are so many different ones.

Even though a person can be allergic to just about anything, there are only 8 foods that account for an estimated 90% of all food-related allergic reactions. Foods such as peanuts and shellfish are widely known to cause severe and potentially fatal allergic reactions, where allergies to wheat and soy tend to produce milder effects.

In considering the cause of allergic reactions, it all stems from the immune system just messing up. If the immune system mistakenly designs a certain antibody type in response to exposure of a specific food or allergen, the next time the body is exposed, an allergic reaction is launched as if the allergen were a foreign pathogen. Here, we discuss common allergens, what happens biologically, and what to do about it…

"Copy + Paste" the code below to embed this infographic into your website.

About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
AUG 29, 2017
Infographics
Vaccines Saves Lives
AUG 29, 2017
Vaccines Saves Lives
Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives. Currently, there are ove ...
OCT 30, 2017
Infographics
The Truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup...
OCT 30, 2017
The Truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup...
Everyone knows about high fructose corn syrup. Why? Because it is in everything. Check food labels for HFCS in cereal, c ...
NOV 13, 2017
Infographics
All you need to know about Alzheimer's disease
NOV 13, 2017
All you need to know about Alzheimer's disease
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As it turns ...
OCT 24, 2018
Infographics
The Truth About Body Farms
OCT 24, 2018
The Truth About Body Farms
With Halloween just 1 week away, we invite you to dive into some creepy crawly facts about Body Farms. Yes, they exist a ...
NOV 28, 2018
Health & Medicine
All you need to know about HIV and AIDS
NOV 28, 2018
All you need to know about HIV and AIDS
December 1 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potenti ...
JAN 21, 2019
Health & Medicine
The Biological Aspects of Postpartum Depression
JAN 21, 2019
The Biological Aspects of Postpartum Depression
The arrival of a new baby is usually a happy event, but it can also be stressful with all the new responsibilities, and ...
Loading Comments...