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Worldwide Allergies on the Rise

Allergies are most assuredly becoming more common on a world-wide scale. According to several highly respected organizations, such as “The World Allergy Organization (WAO) and Global Resources in Allergy, all types of allergies have definitely and clearly been on the rise in the last 20 years and allergies are considered a 21st Century major problem. And, it is predicted to worsen as this century moves ahead.

However, there is good news. Professor Canonica, President of WAO, says, “The WAO is determined to provide a framework for the collaboration among physicians, scientists and government officials to address the global allergy problem, in particular the medical, social and economic issues associated with allergic diseases.” Full report can be viewed at http://www.waojournal.org

Worldwide, it is estimated 400 million people suffer from allergies and over 300 million suffer with asthma. Further, people are developing allergic reactions to more than one allergic disorder. These statistics do not include people who have not yet been diagnosed in 3rd world nations, for lack of medical treatment. This alarming worldwide report is cause for growing concern.

The causes for this great increase in allergies is due to many factors, as noted by WAO. Some are due to enviornmental changes, climate change, faster-developing industrial nations, higher standards of hygiene, and synthetic substances which were not around us 20 or 30 years ago.

Allergies are becoming more common because of air pollution. Science has discovered that fumes from diesal fuels break down the outer membranes of certain pollens, creating an easier way for offending pollens to enter the body and make a more rapid attack.

Due to urban sprawl and the loss of many trees, creating open spaces for other pollen-producing plants and grasses to take hold and spread out over wider areas, this continues to add to the problem.

Genetic predispostion also is a factor. A study of twins, identical and fraternal, both revealed they all developed the same allergies, with fraternal twin allergies being 20% less than identical. However, this test as well as others from family medical historys, clearly show a correlation between family members and certain allergic diseases.

Well-known common allergens, such as molds, seasonal pollens, and pet danders are known to becoming more common due to modern homes which have a lot of carpeting. This creates a breeding ground for dust mites, which are associated with 40% of those who have an allergy. Household cleaning chemicals, some energy-saving ideas, such as washing bedding and clothes in cold water contribute to keeping dust mites alive. A temperature of at least 130 degrees is what it takes to kill these tiny, offending critters.

Latex gloves common in hospitals, are useful, however these and other synthetics have become a modern day convenience, but at the same time can produce allergies in those who are susceptible.

Food altering creates added reasons for allergies becoming more common. Natural foods grown 50 years ago, or more, did not contain additives, colorants, too much wheat and whey and preservatives (with names most of us can’t even pronounce), which do interfere, in varying degrees, compromising immune systems. Mass production of fruits and vegetables with insecticides, hormone-induced growth in animals all play a part in lowering our bodies defenses, leaving us more vulnerable to fight off allergens.

For further information as to why allergies are becoming more common, as well as staying attuned to the latest world-wide reports of scientific and medical discoveries, progresses made and the like, contact the following organizations:

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: www.foodallergy.org

American Latex Allergy Foundation: www.latexallergyresource.org

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, Immunology: www.acaai.org/public/azallergytopics.htm

Global Allergy Web Links: Google search. This site gives you worldwide resource information in many major languages.

World Allergy Organization: http://www.waojournal.org