I must begin with the fact that I am not a physician nor a soon to-be one, I ask this question in a naïve and not-so-professional way because I don't want to mislead anyone - the examples and analogies I write here may be false and deceiving - it is because I want to be extra clear and using these examples I will be able to convey the main question/idea.

The big "straight-forward" question is the same as the title:

Why do we need histamines - even if the allergen is not harmless to us?

I will give myself as an explanation to this question. I was diagnosed with Allergic Rhinitis a couple of months ago (even though the allergy was still my "friend" for a long time before that). I am allergic to dust, seasonal allergy and dog/cat fur.

When I do get an allergic attack - My body starts one hell of a ride that consists of: sneezing, fatigue/sleepiness and a runny nose, for at least 10 minutes.

My main question is why shouldn't I take a pill or a medicine that suppresses the "manufacturing" of histamine, if those are the reason I get these kinds of allergic attack. Does sneezing / having a runny nose / being tired actually help the body to treat the allergy? If no, then why do we need histamines to trigger those kind of mechanisms in our body? Would you harm yourself if you would take a medicine that suppresses the manufacturing of histamines?

Comparing myself to other people who are not allergic to (let's say) dog fur, they can pet a dog all day long and not sneeze once, or even wash their hands (let's leave the hygiene behind for a moment). This tells me that the histamines don't trigger an allergic reaction because they don't recognize dog fur as an "enemy" - because it is not (I am not talking about the extreme cases that can lead to death - because this is not the case here - I've pet a lot of dogs and did not die, which means I am not one of these rare cases)!

I hope I was clear, and I also hope I am in the right exchange site.

  • I am not asking for any diagnostics, it is a theoretical question.

Thank you very much for your time! :-)

  • 1
    "medicine that suppresses the "manufacturing" of histamine" -- Those are known as anti-histamines and there are dozens of brands of them available virtually everywhere in the world. Many/most countries don't require a prescription for them. – Carey Gregory Oct 22 '20 at 20:06
  • 1
    @CareyGregory As a nitpick, antihistamines are antagonists of histamine receptors and do not suppress manufacture of histamine, but the point stands :) – Bryan Krause Oct 22 '20 at 20:17

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