An allergy occurs when the immune system attacks a harmless substance that enters the body from the outside. A substance that causes an allergy is called an allergen. It is the immune system, not the allergen, that causes the symptoms of an allergy. Did you ever hear of hay fever? Its not really a fever at all. Its an allergy to plant pollens. People with this type of allergy have symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. A common cause of hay fever is the pollen of ragweed. Many people are also allergic to poison ivy ( Figure 1.2). Skin contact with poison ivy leads to an itchy rash in people who are allergic to the plant. Ragweed is a common roadside weed found throughout the United States. Many people are allergic to its pollen. Some people are allergic to certain foods. Nuts and shellfish are common causes of food allergies. Other common causes of allergies include: Drugs, such as penicillin. Mold. Dust. The dead skin cells of dogs and cats, called dander. Stings of wasps and bees. Most allergies can be treated with medicines. Medicines used to treat allergies include antihistamines and corticos- teroids. These medicines help control the immune system when it attacks an allergen. Sometimes, allergies cause severe symptoms, a condition known as anaphylaxis. For example, they may cause the throat to swell so it is hard to breathe. Severe allergies may be life threatening. They require emergency medical care.
Does it make sense for an immune system to attack the cells it is meant to protect? No, but an immune system that does not function properly will attack its own cells. An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the immune system attacks the bodys own cells. One example is type 1 diabetes. In this disease, the immune system attacks cells of the pancreas. Other examples are multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks nerve cells. This causes weakness and pain. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the cells of joints. This causes joint damage and pain. Autoimmune diseases cannot be cured. But they can be helped with medicines that weaken the immune systems attack on normal cells. Other autoimmune diseases include celiac disease (damages to the small intestine), inflam- matory bowel disease (damage to the digestive tract), psoriasis (damage to the skin), and lupus (damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, and lungs).
diseases of the immune system
The immune system usually protects you from pathogens and other causes of disease. When the immune system is working properly, it keeps you from getting sick. But the immune system is like any other system of the body. It can break down or develop diseases. AIDS is an infectious disease of the immune system caused by a virus. Some diseases of the immune system are noninfectious. They include autoimmune diseases and allergies.
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aids is an autoimmune disease.
a. true --> b. false
people can die from an allergic reaction.
--> a. true b. false
hay fever is an allergy to
a) hay. --> b) plant pollens. c) dust d) mold.
multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks
--> a) nerve cells. b) muscle cells. c) the joints. d) brain cells.
common allergies include allergies to
a) certain medicines. b) nuts and shellfish. c) dander. --> d) all of the above
inflammatory bowel disease is a severe autoimmune disease in which the immune system damages
a) the stomach. b) the bladder. --> c) the digestive tract. d) the kidney.
autoimmune diseases can be cured with
a) diet changes. b) specific medicines. c) regular exercise. --> d) autoimmune diseases cannot be cured.
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