What are allergies?
Allergies are the body’s instinctive response to external substances known as allergens, or allergy-causing agents. Almost everything external to the human body qualifies as an allergen.
Pollen makes some folks sneeze, while others might suffer an adverse reaction after consuming a specific food. Common allergens include: nuts, cosmetics, dairy products, dust, pollen, molds, poisonous plants, specific medicines, insect stings, seafood, tomatoes, chocolates, as well as certain fruits and grains.

What causes a person to become allergic?
Allergies occur when the body feels threatened by a foreign material ingested, inhaled, or simply touched by the skin.
When the external threat is perceived, the immune system responds by producing antibodies which cause various reactions to a allergen -- a sneeze, a gag, a rash. If an individual is sensitive to a specific allergen, he or she will react when exposed to it, while people not sensitive to that particular allergen remain unaffected. Genetics and environment both play a part in susceptibility to allergies.

What are the symptoms of allergies?
There are almost as many different symptoms as there are allergens and people! The degree of sensitivity to any particular allergen varies among individuals. Two people may both be allergic to cats, for example, but exhibit different reactions; one might sneeze, while other develops watery eyes or a rash. Among the most frequently observed symptoms of allergies are:
• Congestion
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Itching
• Vomiting
• Wheezing
• Diarrhea
• Watery or dry eyes
• Hives
• Swelling of the feet and hands
Depending upon the severity of the allergic reaction, the symptoms can range from mild to moderate to serious. In some extreme cases, allergies can even be fatal.

Are there natural treatments for allergies?
Everyone knows exercise, such as yoga and engaging in outdoor activities, is key in maintaining physical fitness, but it’s also beneficial in fighting allergic reactions, too. In addition, consuming certain foods found have been shown to minimize the body’s hypersensitivity to allergens as well:
BANANAS (provided you’re not allergic to them!) are rich in vitamins and nutrition and offer an excellent means for controlling and avoiding allergic reactions, especially those that involve stomach upset.
CARROT, CUCUMBER, AND BEET JUICE combined and consumed daily helps combat allergies, too. Mix three parts carrot juice to one part cucumber juice and one part beet juice and you’re good to go.
LIME OR LEMON halved and squeezed into a glass of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of honey eliminates toxins and fights allergens (for those not allergic to citrus fruits, of course).

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