Allergic diseases in urban and rural populations

Allergy refers to the response of the immune system to certain substances. Human immunity is tuned to recognize substances potentially hazardous to human health, but in the case of allergies, a false-positive reaction occurs. Allergies affect millions of people around the world, the symptoms can be as minor (rash, redness, nausea), and quite serious and life-threatening (choking, edema, anaphylactic shock).

Allergies are most common in the city, an observation made by scientists in the last decade. Experts agree that this situation is associated with the deteriorating environmental situation in megacities. According to statistics, allergies in rural areas are almost two times less common than in cities.

Allergies in the city are especially common among residents of developed Western countries, where they are surrounded by a large number of industrial enterprises that pollute the environment. In addition, the inhabitants of megacities are more likely to follow diets low in vitamins and minerals, which also has a negative effect on the immune system.

In the city, human immunity is much less likely to encounter microbes and parasites, therefore, the ability to recognize them and respond is reduced. If allergens enter the body, an unforeseen reaction may occur even to completely harmless foods such as peanuts, lactose, eggs.

Allergies in rural areas are much less common, since outside the city the environmental situation is more favorable. The main difference is sanitary conditions; outside the city, the human body is more likely to meet with animal endotoxins and is closer to nature, so the immune response is less pronounced.

Another reason for allergies in the city is the lack of vitamin D, which is produced with sufficient exposure to the sun. Urban residents, for the most part, do not receive vitamin D, which affects the entire body and immunity as well.

As a preventive measure for allergies, it is recommended from infancy to adapt the child's immune system to environmental conditions, not to avoid eating foods that could potentially provoke an allergic reaction (within reasonable limits), to send the child to a preschool to train his immunity to respond correctly to germs and bacteria.