The word from the nutritionist

Spring: pay attention to allergies!

During springtime many people suffer from allergies, but what is an “allergy”?

It is an excessive reaction of our immune system to the extraneous agents (the allergens), usually innocuous, that are wrongly perceived as a menace by our body.

In this season the prevalent allergens are the pollens, that are minuscule grains, invisible to the naked eye, that are produced by plants for reproductive purposes. The pollens, that produce an allergic reaction, are originated from the wild grass family as the bermuda grass, while the cultivated grass family (as wheat, rye and barley) rarely causes allergy.

Other allergenic pollens are produced from the olive tree, the beech, the birch, the hazelnut tree, the cypress, the parietaria, the artemisia and the ragweed. During springtime there is the highest aerial concentration of pollens and for this reason this is the season with the greatest number of people suffering from allergies.

Which are the symptoms of allergies?

The most common symptoms are:
- Allergic rhinitis: a series of sneezes, usually combined with itch and sting at the nose. Many times people suffer also from reddened eyes and abundant nasal discharge.
- Asthma: it is caused by the shrinking of the breathing apparatus and the symptoms are lack of air, sensation of suffocation, need of air, hissing breath and sometimes cough.
- Allergic oral syndrome: it is an irritation of the lips and the mouth.


Published 01 April 2016