Written by: Dr Erik Boudreau, ND FABNO
In a sense, having an allergy makes life easier. More dangerous, perhaps, but potentially less complicated. For example, if you have a peanut allergy, then you know without exception that you must avoid peanuts at all costs or face the consequences (hives, itching, swollen throat, coughing, etc). Same thing with allergies to eggs, strawberries, shellfish, bee stings, or pretty much anything else a person may be exposed to. And, once you become aware of the issue, then your allergy just becomes part of your identity-- complete with declarative alert bracelet, Epi-Pen, perpetual scrutiny of restaurant menus, and avoidance of any other potentially problematic situations. Finally, if you’re unfortunate enough to encounter the offending substance again, the anaphylactic reaction that quickly follows is your body’s (potentially fatal) way of telling you that something’s wrong.
Yikes--that was dramatic. Now let’s change the pace a little, and rather than discussing full-blown allergies (ie. your immune system’s powerful and immediate rejection of a foreign substance), let’s think about something a little less intense: a sensitivity. In the case of a sensitivity, your body’s reaction to a foreign substance is typically much milder-- so mild, in fact, that you may not even know it’s there.