Principles of Health: Allergies & Immune Disorders covers allergies, defined as hypersensitivity to the immune system, and immune disorders, which are dysfunctions of the immune system classified as different from allergies based on immune system disorders. Entries explore allergies to common allergens, like pollen and certain foods, as well as a variety of immune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Coverage includes causes, prevalence, and treatments.
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This work begins with a comprehensive Editor’s Introduction to the topic of allergies and immune disorders. Following the Introduction, Principles of Health: Allergies & Immune Disorders includes 119 entries arranged in six broad categories:
- Immune System describes major components and functionality of the immune system, which defends the body against infection. A complex network of cells and proteins, the immune system is designed to recognize foreign invaders and keep a record of every germ it defeats, allowing the body to destroy repeat infections quickly. Entries in this section include antibodies, endocrinology, immunology, and vaccine types.
- Immune System and Genetics tells the story of B lymphocyte genetics to provide a better understanding of what happens in the immune system when problems occur. White blood cells, called lymphocytes, have the ability to actually alter their DNA in response to an immune system threat, making molecules that bind to the molecules of foreign substances. Among the topics discussed in this section are allergies and genetics, antibodies and genetics, genetic diseases, and immunogenetics.
- Allergies are cause by an immune system’s overreaction to normally harmless substances, and can range from mild symptoms like coughing and runny nose to life-threatening reactions. Millions of American experience allergies each year, and allergies are also a leading cause of chronic illness. Topics discussed in this section include bites and stings, dermatitis, food allergies and testing, hay fever, and hives.
- Immune System Diseases looks at immunodeficiency and autoimmune response. Not all individuals with immunodeficiency develop autoimmunity, and not all individuals with autoimmunity and immunodeficient. However, certain immune system defects can lead to a high risk for developing autoimmunity. Immune deficiencies discussed in this section include AIDS/HIV, Kaposi’s sarcoma, leukemia, and metabolic disorders. Autoimmune diseases that are covered in clued Addison’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
- Diseases discuss the complex relationship between the immune system and common medical disorders and bacterial and viral infections. Certain disorders compromise the body’s ability to fight off infection, and both bacteria and viruses can have a devastating effect on an individual with a compromised immune system. Articles in this section cover anemia, blood and blood disorders, COVID-19, influenza, insect-borne diseases, and osteoarthritis.
- Medications offer information on prescription medications such as antihistamines, antiviral drugs, biological therapies, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy, as well as natural products and herbal supplements.
Some the entries discussed in this volume include:
Each essay includes valuable top matter—Category, Definition, and Key Terms—and ends with a helpful Further Information section. Photos and illustrations enhance many of the entries. In addition, Principles of Health: Allergies & Immune Disorders includes helpful back matter, such as a comprehensive General Bibliography, a Glossary, a list of Organizations, and a Subject Index.
Essays are comprehensive and accessible to high school and undergraduate students and general readers interested nursing—a must-have resource for students and researchers building a foundation in the study of this topic.
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