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Immunology, from my point of view, is medicine itself

Added to all this knowledge and her years of experience, Graciela Varizat (MP 14151 – ME 9352) will take us through the world of allergies a few days before World Allergy Day is commemorated, which was on July 8, proclaimed by the Organization World of Allergy to raise awareness among the population in the prevention of this type of condition.

Allergies and the skin have their link…

-The skin is an organ of our body, an organ where we see several of our pathologies and allergies are the most manifested. Comparing the immunological mechanisms of healthy skin with diseased skin, and seeing the repair of the skin, is that all this passion for dermatology and aesthetics arises in me, to work on healthy skin.

Regarding allergies, what do you find during the consultation?

-The patient arrives fed up with a situation that persecutes him, having consulted different doctors and specialists, with very specific ailments. In general, they are problems of the upper or lower respiratory tract, dermatological, digestive problems, or a history of allergies to drugs, or to the bite of an insect. But punctually, the skin, the respiratory and digestive systems are the three organs where all the pathologies are reflected.

The patient then arrives exhausted, late…

-The query sometimes takes time, it’s true. An earlier consultation would have relieved many sorrows. The allergy has been handled incorrectly and was related to the doctor who prepared the vaccine and nothing else. Allergy is part of immunology, which is the world of medicine, medicine itself. Each process that occurs in our body is an immunological reaction, it is a mini cell that sends a little message to a receptor that takes it and a reaction is produced in the neighboring cellulite and in the other, and thus it expands to the tissue. So immunology itself, from my point of view, is medicine itself. Everything has an immunological background. That is why the importance of consulting an allergist.

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What about allergies and pediatrics?

-In that case, it is one of the queries that take the longest because there is the concept that children up to the age of five are not treated, and that is not the case. The child from birth can be born with an allergic profile and that profile must be diagnosed, we are not going to treat it with conventional treatments, but it must be prevented, a prevention that comes from pregnancy. The allergic mother has to lead us to turn on certain red lights because she can transmit that to her conception, because it is a genetic disease, which is transmitted from parents to children and from grandparents to grandchildren, sometimes generations are skipped.

Graciela Varizat | allergist

In those cases, what care should be taken?

-A special diet, free of preservatives, additives, a natural, healthy diet, with the total absence of tobacco or tobacco smoke, so that the mother’s environment is as free of allergens as possible, free of dust and pollutants. That in prenatal. When the child is born, breastfeeding is essential, not only does the mother give him food but also gives him all the immunoglobulins that are necessary to stimulate her immune system, so that it grows healthy. And while the child grows you have to be careful with the environment, contact with pets, no contact with smokers. All this is part of the prevention that is part of the treatment, we have not talked about drugs until now.

How much does the climate impact the region we live in?

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-Impact. All the pathologies that we can suffer from have a genetic background, I inherit it, it is in my genes; the second is a personal factor, a genotype, I express that inheritance as my body wants; and a third factor is environmental, which is epigenetic, everything that surrounds us influences our genes. If we are in a very hot, very humid climate, we will have a tendency for rhinitis problems to express themselves more easily. If we are in a smoking environment, or with stoves that release coal burning, we will be more prone to irritation of the airways and that leads to allergic sensitization.

How have treatments evolved over the years?

Over the years, treatments have changed. At this moment we have the advent of biological treatments, it is the one where there are no chemical substances, the treatment is extracted from human cells, bacteria and fungi, it is what is coming. Although they have been used for years, they are not yet widespread, because of their cost, it is something very exquisite. For example, allergic urticaria is treated with a specific antibody that will specifically block that allergy. But going back to conventional treatments, our gold treatment is immunotherapy, it’s vaccines. Over the years this type of treatment has been changing, not only is there subcutaneous, the typical puncture, but also oral immunotherapy; sublingual with drops and now simpler with a spray. Of course, not all patients are candidates for this type of treatment.

You put a lot of emphasis on prevention…

-Always for the disease to improve we have to make a triad; prevention first, that is, I control that part of the environment to which the person is allergic, that is the first step in treatment. The second is to have a healthy patient, the allergy cannot be treated if the patient has an immunodeficiency, if he lacks vitamin D, if he is anemic, if he has an infectious condition, we have to balance it. And the third step of the treatment is to go to the specific, immunotherapy, yes that treatment is long because we have to adapt to the immune system. I want to clarify that the vaccine does not contain drugs or corticosteroids, it contains the protein compounds of the allergens that are going to make the message reach and be read by the immune cells.

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Are allergy sufferers discharged?

-In many cases yes, that’s why the road is long, because we have to change the message, it’s two, three, five years, there are many pathologies that benefit greatly, such as allergy to insects, asthma, rhinitis, among others. others.

Are there reactions that can be life-threatening?

-Yes, that is the dark part of the allergy. An unexpected reaction, such as contact with food, medicine or an insect can generate an explosive reaction that puts the patient’s life at risk and in a short time. So whoever has suffered some type of reaction of these, should not only remain as an isolated event, they have to make their query because in the next contact with that reaction factor the same thing can happen, or sometimes it is not the food itself, but a food contaminated with that which generates the reaction.

By Fernanda Bireni

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