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Peanuts, shellfish or dairy can kill you: know the allergies, triggers, treatments and preventive measures

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Dust allergy, mite allergy, meals allergy, drug allergy…the listing is infinite, however don’t take allergic reactions calmly, as a result of some can kill you.

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Severe allergy circumstances are on the rise these days, mentioned Dr Saied Al Habash, Consultant Otolaryngology, Medcare Hospital, Sharjah. Patients with Samter’s Triad, a continual situation outlined by bronchial asthma, sinus irritation with recurring nasal polyps, can have extreme reactions in the event that they take ache killers, resulting in even loss of life, defined Dr Saied.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about 9 per cent of adults with bronchial asthma and 30 per cent of adults with each bronchial asthma and nasal polyps even have Samter’s Triad.

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A short have a look at some individuals in UAE who overcame allergic reactions:

Grade XI pupil with hives in UAE

A Grade XI pupil got here to Dubai-based ENT specialist Dr Arijit Audhya with extreme itching and hives throughout his physique.

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The pupil was struggling for practically six months and went via episodes of vomiting and free stools too, making it nearly not possible for him to attend courses or consider research.

The affected person underwent detailed examinations, together with blood exams to rule out infections and hormonal dysfunctions, urine and stool exams.

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The boy additionally underwent a meals allergy take a look at. Finally, it was discovered that the boy was allergic to peanuts, which he consumed in copious quantities, together with candies that comprise peanuts.

Dr Arijit from Aster Clinic, Al Khail Mall, Al Quoz, Dubai, handled the root reason behind the sickness, which resulted in the affected person’s full restoration.

Sneezing safety guard in UAE

A younger safety guard at a mall in the UAE approached Dr Arijit complaining of extreme sneezing, runny nostril, nasal blockage, itching of the nostril and eyes.

He has been affected by these points for 11 years. The high quality of his life deteriorated, and affected his means to do his job.

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Dr Arijit initially managed the acute signs of the affected person with drugs and suggested upkeep medication. The safety guard is now symptom-free however does fixed follow-up checks.

Breathing issue and evening cough for woman, 9

A 9-year-old schoolgirl approached Dr Arjit with extreme respiration issue and coughing at evening. Aggravating the woman’s troubles had been extreme episodes of tightness in the chest and wheezing.

Dubai-based ENT specialist Dr Arijit Audhya

The woman was unable to play and have high quality time together with her buddies and household due to her situation. Her mother and father had been additionally apprehensive about her lack of ability to attend research repeatedly resulting from the sickness.

After an in depth investigation, Dr Arjit began treating the affected person. The mother and father had been suggested to take away pets and carpets from the home and to scrub air conditioner ducts repeatedly.

After two years of therapy, the youngster is in command of her life and doing effectively.

The frequent thread in all three sufferers

The frequent issue in all the three circumstances had been a household historical past of allergy, and they had been younger, mentioned the Dubai-based ENT specialist. “Allergy is a disorder of the young and symptoms tend to become less intense when people grow older. Allergic rhinitis if treated properly can decrease the chances of developing asthma.”

Allergy signs

Dr Saied Al Habash

“Your allergy symptoms depend on how you’re exposed, through the air: your skin, food, or through an insect sting. If you’ve got a nasal allergy (one that’s triggered by something you inhale), common symptoms include: Itchy, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, feeling tired or ill,” mentioned Dr Saied Al Habash.

Different methods of detecting allergic reactions

There are totally different strategies of detecting allergic reactions. Once the allergic case is established, then the causative allergen can be detected by varied investigations.

The therapy focuses on two elements.

First, avoidance of the doable trigger

  1. Foods which can be particularly allergenic for the affected person
  2. Pets, largely cats (one in all the most allergenic animals), and birds
  3. Carpets and outdated unused fabric
  4. Regular vacuuming of beds and pillows and washing garments in heat water earlier than use
  5. Pest management, particularly for cockroaches (one in all the extremely allergenic bugs)
  6. Keep home and washrooms damp-free to cut back probabilities of mould development

Second is treatment

Medications largely comprise of long-term use of anti-allergics, mast-cell stabilisers and inhalation corticosteroids. Most individuals concern side-effects from the long-term use of those drugs, however on the opposite, these medicines are extraordinarily protected for long-term use and seldom trigger any severe side-effects, mentioned the Dubai-based ENT specialist Dr Arjit.

New technology of medicines

Several new technology drugs, often known as immunotherapy or allergy vaccine or allergy photographs, are very efficient towards some particular allergens. These treatments are long-term and want knowledgeable supervision, Dr Arjit mentioned.

Allergy is a continual dysfunction that impacts the well being and high quality of lifetime of the affected person. Proper investigations and therapy can management it. Understanding the sickness and correct steering from an knowledgeable can change the lifetime of the sufferer, Dr Arjit mentioned.

What are allergic reactions?

Allergies are pretty frequent: it’s thought to have an effect on greater than 1 in 4 individuals in some unspecified time in the future of their lives.

In easy phrases, an allergy is the physique’s response to the setting, particularly a selected meals or substance. More to it, allergic reactions are the immune system’s response to “allergens” — a overseas substance that is not usually dangerous to your physique.

In different phrases, allergic reactions are brought on by an immune response to one thing round you. Often, this contains mud or pollen. Such allergens trigger the physique to launch histamine, simply as it will with a chilly, which causes nasal congestion, sneezing and coughing.

Here’s the excellent news about allergic reactions: most allergic reactions are gentle — which implies they can be largely saved underneath management. The unhealthy information: extreme reactions could sometimes happen, and can be lethal, although such incidents are typically unusual.

While allergic reactions are notably frequent in kids — some allergic reactions go away as a baby will get older — adults can additionally develop allergic reactions to issues they weren’t beforehand allergic to.

Many allergic reactions may keep for all times.

Common allergy triggers embrace airborne allergens, comparable to pollen, animal dander, mud mites and mould. Certain meals, notably peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk. Insect stings, comparable to from a bee or wasp.

My struggles with skin and food allergies
Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal, Assistant Product Manager

Are allergic reactions genetic?

Allergies are typically inherited, however aren’t contagious. They can’t be handed from one particular person to a different. However, the tendency to develop allergic reactions is normally hereditary, say specialists. This means: kids can inherit the allergic tendencies of their mother and father.

In the 2015 examine “Genetics of Allergic Diseases” in Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America journal, for instance, researchers pointed to “significant associations” for practically 100 bronchial asthma genes/loci.

Researchers have additionally established that some households could also be extra prone to be affected by allergic situations than others. Therefore, kids born into these households typically have the next threat of creating an allergic situation.

This tendency to develop allergic situations is assumed to have a genetic {link} often known as “atopic”.

However, it doesn’t imply that simply since you, your partner or one in all your kids could have allergic reactions doesn’t suggest that your entire children will certainly get them.

Allergy tests
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Difference between meals allergy and meals intolerance

A bodily response to sure meals causes the similar indicators and signs as a meals allergy, however they don’t seem to be the similar.

A meals allergy causes an immune system response that hits many organs in the physique and can trigger a variety of signs. An allergic meals response can be extreme or life-threatening. In distinction, meals intolerance signs are typically much less severe and typically restricted to digestive issues.

People with meals intolerance can nonetheless eat small quantities of the offending meals with out a lot hassle. For instance, you probably have lactose intolerance, you could possibly drink lactose-free milk or take lactase enzyme tablets (Lactaid) to assist digestion.

Causes of meals intolerance:

It is the absence of an enzyme wanted to totally digest a meals. Lactose intolerance is a standard instance.

Irritable bowel syndrome. This continual situation can trigger cramping, constipation and diarrhoea.

Sensitivity to meals components. For instance, sulfites used to protect dried fruit, canned items and wine can set off bronchial asthma assaults in delicate individuals.

Recurring stress or psychological components. Sometimes the mere considered meals could make you sick. The cause just isn’t absolutely understood.

Coeliac illness: Coeliac illness has some options of a real meals allergy as a result of it entails the immune system. Symptoms typically embrace gastrointestinal points in addition to these unrelated to the digestive system, comparable to joint ache and complications. However, individuals with coeliac illness aren’t liable to anaphylaxis. This continual digestive situation is triggered by consuming gluten, a protein present in wheat and different grains.

Food allergy

In the case of a meals allergy, there’s a threat of a life-threatening allergic response (anaphylaxis). It’s necessary to recognise a extreme allergic response and know what to do if one happens.

Seek medical assist

If you react to consuming a selected meals, see your physician to search out out whether or not you could have a meals intolerance or a meals allergy.

Common signs of a pores and skin allergy

Rashes and hives (a rash with raised purple patches). Your pores and skin could also be purple, itchy, or swollen.

How allergic reactions are handled

The most suitable choice is to establish the substances you might be allergic to and steer clear of these. And should you come into contact with them, there are treatments out there to alleviate the signs. Also out there is allergen immunotherapy through which you might be given allergy photographs to lower the sensitivity to allergens, which in lots of circumstances presents reduction to allergy signs.

An allergy is the results of an exaggerated immune response in the direction of perceived threats from brokers which can be normally innocent. When your physique comes into contact with these allergens, it makes histamine. Histamine is a chemical launched in the physique when the immune system sees a menace and is defending towards a possible ‘enemy’. This natural nitrogenous compound — C5H9N3 — is secreted by the white blood cells into the bloodstream as a part of the native immune response. Its function, in easy phrases, is to assist the physique eliminate the allergen. In most individuals and circumstances the reactions are gentle however when it goes uncontrolled you get allergy signs that should be handled.

The allergic reactions brought on by histamine embrace itchy pores and skin, watery eyes, runny nostril and respiration issue. Most of the minor signs are handled with antihistamines and steroids. As the identify suggests, antihistamines assist deal with signs brought on by histamines in the affected space. Antihistamines can be found as tablets, capsules, liquid options, nasal sprays, eye drops, lotions and lotions, that are used relying on the affected space.

It is finest to hunt medical care even in the case of gentle allergic reactions and don’t attempt to self-medicate.

However, in case of great allergy assaults involving anaphylaxis one could not get sufficient time to get correct medical care and the signs are too extreme and sudden and it can progress into anaphylaxis very quickly. If anaphylactic shock is not handled instantly, it can be deadly.

The first-line therapy for anaphylaxis is Epinephrine and it ought to be administered instantly. It is on the market in auto-injectors, in pre-measured doses and it’s suggested individuals with extreme allergy reactions carry with it themselves at all times. In adults, it’s administered intra-muscularly in the mid-outer thigh.

Using the auto-injector instantly can hold anaphylaxis from worsening and may save your life.

What can set off allergic reactions?

Harmless substances often known as allergens can provoke an overreaction from the human immune system, leading to allergic reactions. These allergens can be something: pollen, meals, medicines, latex (rubber), perfumes, gold, effectively, nearly something. It can be various things for various individuals. So the finest approach to forestall allergic reactions is to keep away from allergens.

Here are a few of the allergens:

Food: One in each 20 individuals is liable to creating a meals allergy. Peanuts and shellfish (shrimp, lobster, scallops, squid, crayfish) can wreak havoc, and they can be deadly for some individuals. Most individuals with peanut allergic reactions are typically allergic to different nuts (tree nuts) as effectively. Other frequent meals allergens could embrace eggs, milk and milk merchandise, fish, wheat and soy. Some much less recognized meals allergic reactions can be reactions to mustard seeds, aniseed, linseed, sesame seed, peach, kiwi fruit, ardour fruit, banana, avocado, celery, garlic, and chamomile. Even meals colouring can be the reason behind allergic reactions.

Medicines: Any drug can trigger an allergic response. Some medicines that can set off allergic reactions embrace antibiotics (penicillin amongst others), pain-relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines (aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium), chemotherapy medication (for treating most cancers), drugs for autoimmune illnesses(rheumatoid, arthritis, and many others.).

Pollen: When flowers bloom in spring and summer season, pollen from grass, weeds, shrubs and timber float round in the air. And this might spark an allergic response in some individuals. Among timber, oak, ash, elm, birch, maple, alder, hazel, hickory, pecan, mountain cedar, evergreen juniper, cedar, cypress, and sequoia can trigger allergic reactions. Kentucky bluegrass, Johnson, Bermuda, redtop, orchard grass, candy vernal, perennial rye, and salt grass are a few of the grass varieties that would set off allergy signs. People with pollen allergic reactions ought to hold out of areas with weeds like ragweed, sagebrush, lamb’s quarters, goosefoot, Russian thistle, and English plantain.

Moulds: Moulds are tiny fungi with spores that float round the air. They are primarily present in damp areas comparable to basements and loos in buildings, and piles of leaves or grass and mulch present good development situations outside.

Gold and nickel: Allergic to gold? Yes, pores and skin contact with gold produces an allergic response in some individuals. The Healthline quoted a examine that discovered that 9.5 per cent constructive for gold allergy in a pattern of 4,101 individuals. And it needn’t be gold in itself that’s triggering the response; it may effectively from different metals like nickel which is added to gold for making jewelry.

Dust mites: Dust mites are frequent allergens that reside in pillows, mattresses, upholstered furnishings and carpets. They feed on useless pores and skin shed by individuals and thrive in heat, humid situations. Many individuals with mud mite allergy additionally expertise indicators of bronchial asthma, comparable to wheezing and issue respiration, a Mayo Clinic report mentioned.

Dander and cockroaches: Dander is microscopic flecks of pores and skin shed by cats, canine and even birds, and they can set off allergic reactions. The response stems from the proteins from oil glands in an animal’s pores and skin or saliva. Cockroaches too are a supply of allergens. Their saliva, faeces and physique elements can spark each bronchial asthma and allergic reactions.

Insect sting: Insects that trigger allergic reactions embrace varied bees, hearth ants, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps. For most individuals, there might be redness and swelling at the website of an insect chunk, however for others, insect venom can set off a extra extreme response. Sometimes, it might be life-threatening.

Latex: Latex allergy is a response to some proteins in latex rubber used to make gloves, condoms and different issues. It’s a light response that manifests as itchy purple pores and skin, rash or hives. Some could develop a runny nostril, itchy eyes, sore throat or sneezing. It’s not typically life-threatening.

Perfumes and magnificence merchandise: More than 5,000 fragrances are utilized in perfumes, soaps, shampoos, lipstick and cosmetics; eight of them have been proved to trigger allergic pores and skin reactions, in line with On But they don’t result in anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening situation. Balsam of Peru, present in deodorants, child powder, sunscreen, suntan lotion, shampoo and perfumes, can be allergic to some individuals.

Allergies that can lead to death
Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal, Assistant Product Manager

Medicines, reactions and allergic reactions

The dangers of shopping for over-the-counter medicines, natural or in any other case, are that they’re able to triggering a drug allergy.

Most of the time, drug allergic reactions are with sure particular drugs.

The most typical indicators and signs of drug allergy are hives, rash or fever. A drug allergy could trigger severe reactions, together with a life-threatening situation that impacts a number of physique techniques (anaphylaxis).

Medicine allergic reactions occur when the physique’s immune system mistakenly identifies a drug as a dangerous substance. In response, the physique will develop an antibody particular to that drug. It can occur at the first occasion of taking medication or at occasions after repeated consumption of the similar medication.

A drug allergy just isn’t the similar as a drug side-effect, a recognized doable response listed on a drug label. A drug allergy can also be totally different from drug toxicity brought on by an overdose of treatment.

Drug allergy indicators and signs could embrace:

  1. Skin rash
  2. Hives
  3. Itching
  4. Fever
  5. Swelling
  6. Shortness of breath
  7. Wheezing
  8. Runny nostril
  9. Itchy, watery eyes

Signs and signs of anaphylaxis embrace:

  • Tightening of the airways and throat, inflicting hassle respiration
  • Nausea or belly cramps
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weak, speedy pulse
  • Drop in blood strain
  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness

Other situations ensuing from drug allergy

Serum illness, which can trigger fever, joint ache, rash, swelling and nausea

Drug-induced anaemia, a discount in purple blood cells, which can trigger fatigue, irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath and different signs

Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic signs (DRESS), which ends up in rash, excessive white blood cell rely, normal swelling, swollen lymph nodes and recurrence of dormant hepatitis an infection

Inflammation in the kidneys (nephritis), which can trigger fever, blood in the urine, normal swelling, confusion and different signs

Allergy in kids, and how they outgrow it

Allergies and bronchial asthma typically begin in childhood and proceed all through life. Some kids outgrow their allergic reactions in the teenagers or after they change into younger adults. Some allergic reactions can’t be cured and can be managed with excellent care and a wholesome life-style.

Children can be allergic to pollen, pet dander, mud, and meals. Some of those reactions manifest as pores and skin rashes, nasal allergic reactions and bronchial asthma. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 8 per cent of kids have a meals allergy.

An itchy pores and skin rash known as atopic dermatitis is seen in 10 to twenty per cent of kids, notably throughout infancy. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is present in about 50 per cent of kids with atopic dermatitis. These kids are allergic to pets, mud, and mould and are prone to develop pollen allergic reactions later.

Asthma, which primarily stems from allergic reactions, is the most typical continual illness in kids. It happens when airways in the lungs are infected or swollen, making respiration tough. One in 4 kids with allergic rhinitis will develop bronchial asthma, in line with medical specialists.

An egg allergy is frequent in kids, however round 68 per cent of kids will outgrow it by the time they’re 16, in line with Healthline.

Cow’s milk is prone to produce an allergic response in infants and younger kids, particularly if they’ve been uncovered to it earlier than they’re six months outdated, Healthline says. But round 90 per cent of them will stop to be allergic to exploit when they get older. A report by Allergy Partners says that cow’s milk allergy solves in 42 per cent of kids by age 8, 64 per cent by age 12, and 79 per cent by age 16. So egg and milk allergic reactions are a lot much less frequent in adults.

Peanut allergic reactions are generally present in round 4–8 per cent of kids and 1–2 per cent of adults. This is an allergy that’s tough to shake off since solely round 15–22 per cent of kids ceases to be allergic to peanuts after they change into youngsters.

A wheat allergy is an allergic response to one in all the proteins present in wheat. It tends to have an effect on kids the most. Although, kids with a wheat allergy typically outgrow it after they attain 10 years of age.

Soy allergic reactions, triggered by a protein in soybeans, have an effect on round 0.4 per cent of kids, largely underneath three years of age. Around 70 per cent of kids who’re allergic to soy outgrow the allergy.

Fish and shellfish allergic reactions are inclined to persist as kids flip into adults. Nancy Ott, a paediatric allergy and immunisation specialist at Mayo Clinic in the US, says solely a small variety of kids, simply 4 to five per cent, will outgrow a fish or shellfish allergy.

A sesame allergy tends to indicate up early in life, and if the kids haven’t outgrown it by the age of six, it’s prone to stay all through maturity. The allergy persists in 80 per cent of the circumstances, a report by Anaphylaxis Campaign, a British charity, mentioned.

Living with allergic reactions

How do you handle allergic reactions? A life with any allergy just isn’t straightforward, and a meals allergy can be deadly in case of an anaphylactic shock (a extreme response that features the blockage of air passages in the lungs). So a prudent strategy would assist since the world is made for individuals with out allergic reactions.

Pet gander can be averted by eradicating pets from the home, and mud mites can be eradicated by ceaselessly laundering pillow covers and bedsheets, in addition to air the mattress and pillows. Allergen-free covers for mattresses and pillows are additionally out there.

By staying indoors, you can steer clear of pollen and mud. Keep the home windows closed and use the air-conditioning at house or in the automobile. And don’t use followers since they can fire up mud particles.

The use of air purifiers with HEPA filters is a large assist. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can “theoretically remove at least 99.97 per cent of dust, pollen, mould, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns”.

Avoid utilizing rugs, carpets, window blinds, drapes and different supplies that collect mud. Use a face masks or a cap as safety from pollen, when stepping out.

An epinephrine equipment (EpiPen) might be a life-saver. So have some at house and carry a few them wherever you go. Learn to make use of them accurately.

While most allergic reactions can be averted by retaining out the allergens, meals allergic reactions are a minefield. Traces of peanut can lurk in cereals and breakfast meals, and soy can stay hidden in flavourings or thickeners present in processed or frozen meals. So the most suitable choice is to learn the labels. These days, it’s necessary to listing the contents of meals on the label. That’s an enormous assist. But beware, not all allergens could also be listed. So at all times carry home-cooked meals.

How mother and father can assist kids with meals allergic reactions

Parents play a big function in serving to kids deal with meals allergic reactions. The lure of consuming out could be very robust in kids, in order that they should be informed about the penalties and how deadly it can be.

It must be communicated to kids’s buddies in order that they don’t share meals. Even the college employees have to be told about the allergy.

Parents ought to pack meals for youngsters wherever they go. At college and even at events. One college pupil with a meals allergy says that her mom even packs her snacks and a home made cake when she goes for birthday events. “My friends know of my allergy and are very accomodating, so they don’t insist on sharing food with me,” Fay [name changed] mentioned.

And when cooking meals at house, it’s higher to make it from scratch slightly than utilizing packaged or frozen components. Because you by no means know whether or not it accommodates allergen traces.

If the kids are sufficiently old, train them to make use of epinephrine kits and hold a few kits of their bag. In the case of youthful kids, go away a few kits at college and be sure that the college employees know to make use of them correctly.


Do you could have diarrhoea while you eat bread, desserts, cereals or pasta? Is it adopted by belly ache, nausea, bloating of the abdomen, flatulence, fatigue, or weight reduction? All these signs may level to coeliac illness, an auto-immune response that damages the small gut. They might be different signs as effectively, together with anaemia.
People with coeliac illness can’t devour wheat, barley, or rye merchandise due to gluten, a protein. But don’t confuse the coeliac illness with a gluten allergy or a wheat allergy, that are very totally different. Coeliac illness just isn’t an allergy; it’s an immune response linked to the antibody IgA. An allergy is totally different and entails a separate department of the immune system and could contain the antibody IgE. Since the coeliac illness can simply be confused with different problems, go away the prognosis to medical specialists.
One in 100 individuals worldwide suffers from coeliac illness, which has no remedy. It’s a hereditary illness, however individuals can develop it at any age. It can be managed with a strict gluten-free weight loss program, which can assist heal the gut. Left untreated or unmanaged, the illness can result in severe well being points and early loss of life. One examine mentioned it’s deadly for 10-30 per cent of individuals, and most cancers is the most probably trigger.
If the weight loss program just isn’t managed, coeliac illness can lead to malnutrition, weakening of the bones (osteoporosis), infertility and miscarriage, trigger a number of varieties of most cancers, lactose intolerance and nervous system points (peripheral neuropathy). It additionally will increase the threat of diabetes, coronary heart failure, weight problems, epilepsy and thyroid illness.


Loci: In genetics, a locus (plural “loci”) is a particular, fastened place on a DNA chromosome (thread-like construction made up of DNA) the place a selected gene or genetic marker is positioned. This is established via gene mapping, the technique of mentioning the particular locus (or loci) chargeable for producing a selected phenotype or organic trait.

Histamine: Histamine is a chemical created in the physique which is launched by white blood cells into the bloodstream when the immune system is defending towards a possible allergen. This launch can lead to an allergic response from allergy triggers comparable to pollen and sure meals.

Histamine additionally regulates the physiological operate in the intestine and acts as a neurotransmitter for the mind, spinal wire, and uterus.

Once launched from its granules, histamine produces many assorted results inside the physique, together with the contraction of easy muscle tissues of the lungs, uterus, and abdomen; the dilation of blood vessels, which will increase permeability and lowers blood strain; the stimulation of gastric acid secretion in the abdomen.

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