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Histamine Reaction

Histamine Reaction

 

The body’s internal defense system is a superb mechanism that readily fights foreign invaders. However, there are instances when it is very sensitive to even harmless foreign bodies. This is commonly known as histamine or allergic reaction.

 

When the body senses foreign bodies, the mast cells and basophils release histamine. Foreign bodies that cause hypersensitivity reactions are called allergens. Examples of these are dust, mites, pollen and bee stings. Other foods and medicines also cause allergic reaction.

 

This neurotransmitter is related to AdreCor, ExcitaPlus, and NorLox.

When released, histamine bind onto histamine receptors and depending on the receptor, certain reactions occur. The most common reaction that occurs is the inflammatory reaction when histamine binds with H1 receptors. Since histamine is a vasoactive substance, it acts on the blood vessels causing them to dilate. This is in an attempt to accommodate more white blood cells to fight the foreign body. However, since the blood vessels are stretched, it becomes more permeable causing fluid to go into the skin making it swell. Due to the increased capacity of the blood vessels, the rush of blood also causes redness. These reactions cause the signs and symptoms of rashes, hives, redness, swelling, itchiness, runny nose, headache and congestion. This is usually treated with antihistamines.

 

A more serious effect called anaphylactic reaction also occurs in many cases. This is an exaggerated manifestation of the allergy symptoms that occur systemically. The spasm of the smooth muscles, combined with the swelling of tissues in the neck and face, and the excess fluid that congests the lungs, compromises the airway and breathing of an individual. This is an emergency situation and the patient must be given immediate medical care.

 

Histamine also binds with H2 receptors causing increase in the production of gastric acid. If this goes on recurrently for a long time, the linings of the stomach might get damaged causing ulcerations. The medication to avoid this is called H2-receptor blocker.


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