sneezing, itching and wheezing for many people are part of daily life and, very
often, never fully diagnosed. Many people simply live with these symptoms
completely ignorant of the fact that they, in all likelihood, have some form of
allergy. There are those that will go through their entire lives with a naive
acceptance believing, “That’s just the way they are”.
Allergies are at
best annoying, negative reactions to something we have come into contact with,
directly or indirectly. Mild allergies can often be contained with drugs, shots
or by simply being lifestyle aware. At the other end of the scale, they can be entirely
debilitating and life threatening. So how is ‘Allergy’ actually defined?
An allergy is
the immune systems negative reaction in its defense to foreign bodies,
pathogens in particular, which a person imbibes or comes into contact with.
Common allergic triggers include some foods, dust mites, pollens, mold and
dander. Those people with a predisposition to allergies are known to be
allergic or atopic.
of having an allergic disposition is, for the most part, genetic. There is a
direct correlation between a person’s levels of allergic reactions and their
family history of the same. The offspring of parents, neither of which have
allergies, has a 15% chance of being atopic. If one parent is known to have
allergies this likelihood rises to 30%, and further rises to 60% if both
parents are allergy suffers.
Who, and Why Are People Susceptible to
allergies normally manifest themselves from a young age and are often hereditary,
allergic reactions can develop at any age. It is also known that the number of
people with allergies is on the increase. Studies carried out by the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention show that food and skin allergies in those under
the age of 18 are steadily on the increase. In addition to this, environmental
and inhalant allergies are increasing in the general population of all ages.
steady increase in the atopic population is very real, the reasons for it are
not truly definitive. One explanative theory for this was first floated in the
1980s by professor of epidemiology David P. Strachan and is supported by the American
Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), his theory is known as the
explains how, as a race, we have made our world a far more sterile place. Quite
simply we have made our living space healthier and cleaner, cleaner water
supplies, sanitation and advances in medical science are all contributing
factors to this. The demographics of atopic populations support this theory, in
the less developed countries around the world the percentage of atopic
populations is lower than in the more developed areas of the world.
developed countries there may be less industry, lower levels of health care,
less adequate sanitation and water supplies plus less awareness of general
hygiene. All this can lead to the population having a greater exposure to
endotoxins, the poisonous substances which exist in certain bacteria. These
endotoxins act as a stimulus to the immune system and teaches it how to react,
leading to a reduction in allergic reactions.
exposure to endotoxins has been closely studied by The American Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) the results of their studies support Professor Strachan’s
hygiene hypothesis. As a result of this, they suggest that the immune system
needs this ‘Education’ in order to function to its full potential and to defend
the body against infectious attack through building up the body’s immune
The Atopic Populous in Thailand
of the Thai indigenous population that suffer with allergies is lower than that
of Western countries. However, the overall numbers are increasing, this can be
partly attributed to the hygiene theory, but may also be due to the increasing
numbers of foreign nationals choosing Thailand as a place in which to live and
work. It may seem a little simplistic, but it’s a fact that if you travel to
another country, your predisposition to allergies will travel with you.
As little as 10
years ago, in Bangkok, the asthma rate in children was 4.2%, now that figure is
around 13%. In addition to this, other sinus related and respiratory allergies
are increasing, along with food allergies. But those with an atopic disposition
should not be put off traveling through or moving to the Land of Smiles,
particularly if you have children.
Thailand’s Pediatric Allergist
worldwide accredited hospitals and clinics are blessed with highly trained and
experienced pediatric allergist immunologists. Typically, these practitioners
will have completed at least 4 years of medical school, three years of primary
care pediatric residency training and a minimum of 2 to 3 more years of study
in an allergy and immunology program. Their attained medical knowledge and
skills go hand in hand with their natural, and immovable, dedication to caring
for the young.
Thailand’s leading hospitals have dedicated allergy clinics, each of which
offer comprehensive testing and treatment programs. Definitive allergy testing
is vital in understanding the exact, and extent, of a youngster’s allergy
reactive dispositions. Following accurate diagnosis appropriate and effective
treatment can then be offered.
Very often, for
those with allergies, lifestyle choices have to be made. Choices which avoid
allergy inducing triggers and situations. For any sufferer to do this they
require expert advice. Thailand’s pediatric allergist immunologists see the
defensive molding of lifestyle as an integral part of their treatment of
Bangkok, professors Kiatikhun, and Pakit Witchayanont, are renown specialists
in pediatric allergies and immunology and, jointly, they have a reputation that
is second to none. These highly respected professionals head up the allergy
and immunology clinic for the Samitivej group of hospitals.
It is through
their progressive research that advanced testing and treatment programs have
been developed. From airborne particle inhalants, food intolerance, to mites
and fleas, their programs now bring relief to thousands of young people with