Allergen

by Allergy Guy

Allergen | Define Allergen | Allergen Definition

An allergen is a substance that triggers an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to that substance.

For example, if you are allergic to gluten, then for you, gluten is an allergen.  Gluten is not an allergen of other people who are not sensitive to this food.

Each person may have their own unique set of allergens, and unique symptoms for each allergy.  It is often very difficult to realize if someone has allergies or not.  Because symptoms vary, it is impossible to know what allergen is the problem based on the reaction.

Common allergens include:

… to name just a few.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy September 3, 2009 at 07:23

Allergy vs intolerance

Hi,

Actually the body produces different antibodies to a food sensitivity
than to an allergen. Food sensitivities cause IGA and IGG antibodies.

In an allergy, like those who react to peanuts and need an epi pen,
the body produces an IGE antibody. The allergy can be immediately
life threatening.

Gluten sensitivity is considered a food sensitivity in most people
rather than an actual allergy.

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2 admin September 3, 2009 at 09:13

Term used loosely

The term allergy is used a bit loosely on this site. The reason for this is that people without food sensitivities understand the word “allergy”.

If I go into a restaurant and say “I am sensitive to wheat”, they won’t take it as seriously as if I say “I am allergic to wheat”.

We can’t afford to have an entire month of our lives ruined by someone who does not understand how bad a sensitivity can be, due to a simple matter of semantics!

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3 Kathy September 7, 2009 at 08:14

Term used loosely

I understand completely. I use it that way myself in public.

I just thought it would be good for readers to understand the
difference. Regular allergy testing wouldn’t pick up the IGG or
most IGA antibodies. It has to be the right type of testing for
food sensitivities. Also, it helps to know you aren’t likely to
have a life threatening reaction…even though you may feel
really awful for several days or even weeks.

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4 admin September 7, 2009 at 12:32

Agreed

Good point, Kathy.

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