[Common questions about allergy. Practical approach to diagnosis and management in primary care]

Rev Alerg Mex. Jul-Sep 2018;65(3):197-207. doi: 10.29262/ram.v65i3.309.
[Article in Spanish]

Abstract

Allergic diseases are disorders with different clinical manifestations that are present in 20 to 40% of the general population. Since they share a common mechanism, several processes of this type often occur in the same individual, thus generating numerous symptoms and important economic costs for patients and their families. Currently, medical management of these diseases is focused on three main aspects: to identify and avoid the causative agent, acute symptoms' control through pharmacological treatment and generation of tolerance with immunomodulation or desensitization. However, owing to the different underlying mechanisms, different diagnostic approaches are necessary, which can become a real challenge for the treating physician. In addition, sometimes patients undergo different restrictions and unnecessary treatments, thus limiting their daily activities, modifying their diet and directly affecting their quality of life. A review is made, aimed at answering different concerns arising from daily patient consultation.

Las alergias son enfermedades con diferentes manifestaciones clínicas, presentes en 20 a 40 % de la población general. Debido a que comparten un mismo mecanismo, en muchas ocasiones se presentan varios procesos de este tipo en una misma persona, generando numerosos síntomas y costos económicos importantes para el paciente y su familia. Actualmente, el manejo médico de estas enfermedades está enfocado en tres puntos principales: identificar y evitar el agente causal, control de los síntomas agudos mediante tratamiento farmacológico y generación de tolerancia con inmunomodulación o la desensibilización. Sin embargo, debido a los diferentes mecanismos subyacentes, es necesario realizar diferentes aproximaciones diagnósticas, las cuales pueden transformarse en un verdadero reto para el médico tratante. Adicionalmente, en ocasiones el paciente lleva a cabo restricciones y tratamientos innecesarios, limitando sus actividades diarias, modificando su dieta y afectando de forma directa su calidad de vida. Se realiza una revisión orientada a dar respuesta a diferentes inquietudes comunes que resultan de la consulta de la práctica diaria.

Keywords: Allergy; Asthma; Atopy; Immunoglobulin; Pets; Rhinitis; Sensitization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / classification
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Primary Health Care / methods*