Thursday, March 24, 2011

Part 3: Common Cases of Allergy

Abe V Rotor

Corn pollen is a common cause of allergy rhinitis.

Let me present some cases of allergy that are commonly encountered. These were gathered from our radio listeners on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid. (People's School-on-Air)

1. Smoking. Drivers, office workers, mechanics, farmers, writers, teachers, name it, and the habit is widespread. I know one whose only bisyo is paninigarillo. He didn’t live long.

2. “Canned entertainment” such as parties in fastfoods predisposes kids to various ailments and psychological trauma, and to certain kinds of allergy. It is devoid of the natural environment that builds resistance to allergy as the children grow up.

3. Some common allergens are pollen from flowers of trees and annuals - kasoy, kupkupyes, macopa, and tapilan. Lipang Kalabao, a very itchy plant that grows into a tree. The sap of aldelfa and yellow bell may cause paralysis of the pharynx leading to asphyxiation.

5. Mushroom Allergy. There are spores of fungi like Auricularia or “tainga ng daga” and wild tree mushroom even when they have dried up.

Red mushroom is not only poisonous, it causes allergy.

6. Fowls and wild birds are common causes of allergy, from their feathers and parasites, to their droppings. The filthiest bird second to the vulture is the crow carries vermin from carcasses of animals and garbage. Allergy from reptiles – from skin casting to vermin attracted by their food and droppings.

7. Don’t play with spiders. Spiders cause allergy with the hair coverings of their body, and web or silk of certain species. The Black Widow is one of the few poisonous species.

8. Allergic to trees like Ipil-ipil? It’s due to “plant lice” like Psylla, a minute insect pest that wiped out ipil-ipil plantations in the seventies and eighties. They build dense colonies on a single tree, sapping its vitality until it dies.

9. Mealybugs and scale insects (Order Homoptera) produce waxy covering layer for protection and camouflage, as well as casing of their eggs and young. Cottony mealybug (Pseudococcos) on guava leaf; the insect without waxy covering.

10. Pesticide Residue in fruits. Fruits may carry pesticide residues of dangerous chemicals like Folidol, BHC and Malathion. Pesticide residues on vegetables, particularly on crucifers – cabbage, lettuce, pechay, cauliflower – register above allowable levels. Lack of monitoring may predispose consumers to the effects of pesticides.

12. Kapok or Cotton Tree (Ceiba pentandra L) releases seeds covered with lint from the mature pod The fiber is gathered mainly for pillow. It is cool and preferred over synthetic fills. Dehiscence period is towards the end of the year.

13. Fire Tree (Delonix regia) Both flowers and caterpillars attacking the tree may cause allergy. Higad or the hairy caterpillar of Tussock moth causes irritation of the skin which may last for days. A common remedy is to apply vinegar on the affected skin. If the sharp hairs are imbedded, apply candle drops and allow to solidify. Then peel off with the encased hair. Mosses, algae, ferns and short growing annuals may cause allergy, including their substrates that undergo transformation by weathering.

14. Allergic to Termites? It may be the termite or the mushroom in farms in its chamber - or both - that cause the allergy. Termites work with lignin-breaking fungi that soften the wood. Inside their guts are protozoa that break up cellulose, aiding digestion – a classical case of symbiosis.


Global Warming and Climate Change increase incidence of Asthma and Allergy cases around the world.


15. Pesticide Residues. Poisonous hydrocarbon and phosphate compounds find their way through the food chain – in the case of frog from sprayed insects that serve as its prey. Pesticide residues accumulate in its tissues and transferred to the its predators, including man.

16. Are you allergic to native delicacies? Sinanglaw (left) is a favorite Ilocano dish from internal organs of carabao or cattle cooked in slow fire and heavily spiced with hot pepper, paminta and ginger. Pinapaitan and kilawin prepared from goat’s meat are a native delicacy in many parts of the country. Other delicacies include kaldereta and soup “number 5.”

18. Tulingan or Tanggigi is a common cause of allergy to many people. It is a practice to drain the blood by cutting the tail, and carefully removing the entrails before the fish is cut and served raw or cooked. The danger worsens when the fish is no longer fresh. There People who are also allergic to tuna.

19. Shellfish – tahong, talaba and halaan may harbor the red tide dinoflagellate is large quantity that may lead to Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) in man. PSP symptoms may first appear as allergy, and may be lethal if not treated immediately.

21. Allergy is caused by insects Banana and mabolo (left) attacked by fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis/cucurbitae). It attacks dozens of popular fruits and vegetables, including mango, citrus, guava, macopa, cucumber, ampalaya.

23. The domesticated honeybee (Apis melifera) normally does not sting unless provoked, unlike the notorious African honeybee which threatens the US honeybee industry today. There are as many deaths due to bee sting as snake bites. People vary in reaction to bee sting, from swelling to difficulty in breathing.

24. Millipedes (Class Diplopods) exude Cyanide gas to stun their prey as well as repel their predators. Thus children should warned not to play with the “diken-diken,” playing possum by curling its body into a tight ring.

25. Skin repellants. Avoid obnoxious and annoying insects - all kinds of bugs, plant lice, aggressive Insects such as wasp and hantik ant. Hemipterans- the bugs – exude an obnoxious odor which is caustic to the skin and eyes, a chemical offensive that wards off would-be predators attracted by their brilliant colors and attractive designs.

26. Perfectly camouflaged, these insects lie surreptitious to their prey and predator and people may be unwary of them. Lepidopterans – butterflies, moths and skippers – are covered with scales of of chitin, a very resistant cellulose-like compound. The practice of releasing butterflies in place of throwing rice on a newly married couple has been discouraged because of the danger the chitinous scales cause such as irritation of the skin and eyes.

27. There are various allergic reactions to fowls and birds, not only for their feathers, but mites and lice belonging to two Orders Anoplura (sucling lice) and Mallophaga (chewing lice) - that reside in their bodies and nests.

28. Ngarasangas is a very small bivalve that occurs in colonies in estuaries. The shells are gathered for food and for ducks in raising balot. Allergy cases have been reported by eating this favorite soup of the Ilocanos. Below, increasing lead pollution has forced the shutdown of many salt beds in the country. Salt made near cities and industrial sites may pose danger to health.

29. Does radiation cause allergy? Radiation emitted by radio transmitters have been found t
to be the cause of a number of ailments from insomnia to sterility. It is also associated
with cancer, abnormal blood levels and heart conditions which may be related to allergy
or allergy symptoms.

30. Danger lurks in murky water – diseases, vermin, etc. Heavily polluted waterways such as the Pasig River contain high levels of Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia, Methane, other gases, and toxic metals.

31. Allergy to plastics and other synthetic materials. Stuffed toys may cause allergy, so with many things put into the mouth.

32. Aflatoxin in peanut, corn and others go unnoticed with the preserved food.

33. Believe it or not – kapre lives in old balete tree. Naan-annongan (Ilk) is different from nakasagsagid (Ilk), but the symptoms are quite similar - profuse sweating and feeling of general weakness.

34. Allergy from yeast and young wine.

35. Are you allergic to fireworks, and on New Year’s Eve?

To what extent does nature provide immunity? Fortunately as children grow to maturity, particularly so under natural environment, they acquire the defense the body systems need against a host of health problems from allergy to physiologic and pathological diseases, albeit adaptation to emotional and psychological stress.

Homogenization is likened to Globalization – one economy, one media, one culture, one car, one MRT, one computer, one bank. There’s one thing we are missing – the environment. In fact we are missing Nature in our lives. Our children are now spending more and more waking hours with the computer as if it were man’s best friend.

Come to think of the computer as the root of allergy and many ailments.
Spending more time with the computer deprives millions especially children of participating in health promoting games and resistance-building exposure to nature.

It is a scenario that we see everywhere, a scenario of our own making. And yet, like artists before the canvas we have the power to create one that is beautiful and conducive to our well being. But we do not or we refuse to do so, although we are aware that a healthy environment is primordial to good health and a happy life.

Ever wonder what it means to enjoy childhood outside of the confines of air conditioned room? Many children look forward to the first rain in May. Boy scouts and girl scouts do. To the athlete, the naturalist. And many boys and girls wishing to play outdoor.

But our children are no longer children of nature; they are captives of education and media, of malls and cafes. They like to think that the mind is like the computer, that the more information it acquires the better of is the individual. This is not so. Not when it pertains to health, not with the ability to arrive at correct decisions, not when and where survival is the name of the game. And not when it comes to matters of love.

Which reminds me a story of a young man who was in love. So he asked the computer, What love is.

Whereupon, came a prompt answer – not one or two, but in many definitions, technical and literary.

“How does it feel to be in love?” the young man continued.

This time the computer did not respond. He entered his query once more, and again, but still there was no response. After several attempts, the computer finally gave up. “I cannot feel.”

And here are our children spending most of their waking hours with an “intelligent” thing in the shape of a box, a thing that has no feeling at all! Even when the computer can tell us of all kinds of the sickness in the world, it cannot comfort you. Because a robot has no feeling. ~

Living with Nature, AVR

1 comment:

Maria Ruth said...

This blog is actually topic of my paper. The blog talks about Hygiene hypothesis, which was first proposed by David Strachan in 1989. He proposed that exposure to microorganisms protect an individual against other diseases like allergies and autoimmune diseases. However, until now, there is not exact mechanism on how this protecteion is conferred. Children not exposed to the nevironemnt "nature" is more prone to develop allergies. Let your children experience the joy of being close to nature.