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The Effect of Allergens on Asthma Patients

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Asthma is a (chronic) inflammatory condition affecting more than 250-300 million people of the world population. It is a disease affecting the lung, airways and subsequently breathing. Patients suffering from this condition complain of symptoms such as airway obstruction, difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.

The cause and sympthoms of Asthma

The cause of Asthma is yet to be properly understood in science, it seems that it combines an inflammatory condition, genetic origin with environmental triggers. The condition most commonly develops during childhood; however, some people begin experiencing symptoms at a late age.

Symptoms of Asthma can occur once or twice a year, or once or twice a day depending on the severity of the condition. The symptoms are usually related to certain allergens in the environment, which act as triggers and the complaints start.

The link between Asthma and alergens from the air

Low air quality is one of the main triggers for developing Asthma attack1. It has been reported that low air quality and the alergens present on it is responsible for more than half of the Asthma attacks that occur in the USA2. Some Allergens are present indoor in various household allergens and equipment, such as phthalates which are in certain types of PVC pipes3.

Some medications have also been associated with Asthma, such as Aspirin and Paracetamol4. Other environmental allergens include dust mites, cockroaches and animal fur and feathers5. Recently, some viruses have been discovered to be in close relation to inducing Asthma attacks, such as respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus6.

In our current research and diagnostics, we also see on virus level a relation with several viruses such as Epstein Barr virus, Herpes virus and Cytomegalovirus.

Developing an attack in allergic Asthma

The process of developing an Asthma attack is immunological and inflammatory in origin. In 1968 Andor Szentivanyi first described The Beta Adrenergic Theory of Asthma; in which blockage of certain receptors of pulmonary smooth muscle cells causes asthma7.

In 1995 Szentivanyi and colleagues demonstrated that IgE (Immunoglobulin E (IgE) are antibodies produced by the immune system) blocks these receptors8. IgE is the main substance secreted by the body during any inflammation, and these receptors in allergic Asthma patients are highly excited, and production of any amount of IgE can cause an attack.

When an Asthma patient is exposed to an allergen, the cells and muscles of their airway are prone to being affected by these triggers, and a type I hypersensitivity reaction occurs9,10. The muscles of the bronchi contract (spasm) in response to this reaction, and mucus secretion is increased.

Next, inflammation of various parts the airways occur, causing further narrowing, as well as coughing and more difficulty in breathing. Bronchospasm may resolve spontaneously in 1–2 hours, or in about 50% of subjects, patients may develop a late response, where the initial exposure and inflammation is followed 3–12 hours later with further bronchoconstriction and inflammation11.

The exact mechanism behind this immunological and inflammatory response is more complex. In any person, when an allergen is inhaled and reaches the inner airway, they are swallowed by cells called antigen presenting cells (or APCs), which sort of peels the protection off the allergen and presents the active component of any allergen or virus called the antigen.

The antigen is then taken up by cells called Th0 cells. In normal people, these cells delete the antigen and no effect occurs, but in allergic Asthma patients, they are transformed into another type named Th2 cells through the action of Interleukin 4 that is secreted by mast cells. These Th2 cells activate a part of the immune system named the Humoral immune system, which is responsible for producing antibodies against these antigens.

These antibodies remain in the patients’ system until they are exposed to the antigen again. That time, the antibody binds to the antigen and causes the body to release inflammatory mediators such as interleukins and other hormones, and causes the inflammation and muscle spasm12.

In our Natural Asthma Treatment, we focus on body level and look for virusses, bacteria, parasites, toxifocations that can be related to Asthma symptoms, allergie symptoms and inflammation conditions in general.  

References

1. Gold DR, Wright R. 2005; "POPULATION DISPARITIES IN ASTHMA" (107):89-113. doi:10.1146/annurev.publhealth.26.021304.144528.

2. Pollution UA. 2014 . Urban Air Pollution and Health Inequities : A Workshop Report.;109:357-374.

3. Jaakkola JJK, Knight TL. , 2008 , "Review The Role of Exposure to Phthalates from Polyvinyl Chloride Products in the Development of Asthma and Allergies : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.";116(7):845-853. doi:10.1289/ehp.10846.

4. Henderson, AJ; Shaheen, SO (Mar 2013). "Acetaminophen and asthma.". Paediatric Respiratory Reviews. 14 (1): 9–15; quiz 16. doi:10.1016/j.prrv.2012.04.004

5. Arshad SH. 2010 "Does Exposure to Indoor Allergens Contribute to the Development of Asthma and Allergy ?" 2010:49-55. doi:10.1007/s11882-009-0082-6.

6. Murray, John F. (2010). "Ch. 38 Asthma". In Mason, Robert J.; Murray, John F.; Broaddus, V. Courtney; Nadel, Jay A.; Martin, Thomas R.; King, Jr., Talmadge E.; Schraufnagel, Dean E. Murray and Nadel's textbook of respiratory medicine (5th ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 1-4160-4710-7

7. Andor Szentivanyi, M.D., Omaha, Neb. 1968, "The beta adrenergic theory of the atopic abnormality in bronchial asthma"

8. Szentivanyi A.; Ali K.; Calderon EG.; Brooks SM.; Coffey RG.; Lockey RF. 1993. "The in vitro effect of Immunoglobulin E {IgE} on cyclic AMP concentrations in A549 human pulmonary epithelial cells with or without beta adrenergic stimulation". The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 91: 379 , doi:10.1016/0091-6749(93)90360-R

9. Lecture 14: Hypersensitivity". Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2008-09-18.

10. Allergy & Asthma Disease Management Center: Ask the Expert". Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2008-09-18.

11. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 4th Ed. Robert J. Mason, John F. Murray, Jay A. Nadel, 2005, Elsevier pp. 334

12. Nauta AJ, Engels F, Knippels LM, Garssen J, Nijkamp FP, Redegeld FA., 2008 , “Mechanisms of allergy and asthma.” 2008;585:354-360. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.02.094.

Topics: asthma

Dr Mohamed Abdel Hamid

Written by Dr Mohamed Abdel Hamid

Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamid is a practicing dentist, the founder and owner of confidential clinic in Cairo, Egypt. He graduated from the faculty of dentistry, Ain Shams University, obtaining his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 and has been practicing ever since. He acquired a postgraduate diploma of Oral Surgery in 2013 from the same university. In 2014, he acquired the membership of faculty of dental surgery (MFDS) from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), one of the highest honors in professional dentistry. In 2016, He became a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the highest recognized institution in the world pertaining to cosmetic dentistry and beauty.