Are there any benefits to having an allergy?

Allergy benefits

Are there any benefits to having an allergy?

From annoying symptoms to lethal ones, allergies can feel like nothing but a problem. But as scientists are gathering a greater understanding of our immune systems, perhaps your allergies aren’t all bad. In fact, your allergies may even protect you against certain diseases.

Where did allergies come from?

Allergies didn’t just fall out of the sky as a way to make us miserable. Scientists believe that the allergic response evolved as a defensive response against venom, toxic substances, and even worms.

When we look at our allergy symptoms this way, vomiting, coughing, sneezing, itching, and diarrhoea are actually ways our body gets rid of harmful invaders. Plus, these symptoms are also warning you to avoid coming into contact with these toxic invaders in the future and help prevent disease.  

This isn’t really helpful though. After all, common allergies like pollen and peanuts aren’t toxic. But for those with allergies, the body’s extra sensitivity to foreign invaders may provide greater protection against disease.

Can allergies protect us from disease?

Scientists have found evidence suggesting that the sensitive immune systems of allergy sufferers are doing a better job of keeping cancer-causing substances and toxins out of their bodies. It’s also been suggested that they are better at recognising cancer cells at an early stage and suppressing them

Other findings have found that those with allergies are at nearly 50% lower risk for developing gliomas (a type of brain tumour). Also, those with both hay fever and asthma have a 17% lower chance of dying from colorectal cancer than people without these conditions.

The growing body of scientific research surrounding allergies and defensive benefits is a fast-developing field. Scientists are making progress in studying how allergies can actually treat or prevent certain diseases. Sadly, their symptoms will still be a cause of great misery to many of us.

If you need help understanding your allergies, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with The London Allergy and Immunology Centre. Our specialist consultants can help you find the best treatments to make sure your allergies don’t take their toll on your daily life. Give us a call on 02 031 433 449 today.

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