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Med an abnormal reaction of an individual to specific foods, drugs, or other agents



a painful reaction that appears in certain persons to irritants that do not produce similar phenomena in the majority of others. The basis of idiosyncrasy is either a congenital increased sensitivity of the autonomic nervous system to particular irritants or a reaction that arises in the body as a result of the repeated weak action of certain substances that are incapable of stimulating antibody production in the body.

Idiosyncrasy differs from allergy in that it may develop even after the first contact with an intolerable irritant—for instance, simple chemical compounds that do not have the properties of allergens; such food products as fish, roe, crab, milk, eggs, and strawberries; such medications as amidopyrine, antibiotics, and sulfanilamide preparations; the pollens of certain flowers and plants; the odor of various animals; insect poisons; and such physical factors as sunstroke, chill, or trauma.

Soon after contact with the irritant, headache appears in the individual, and his temperature rises, sometimes accompanied by mental agitation, disruption of the function of the organs of digestion (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) and respiration (dyspnea, coryza), edema of the skin and mucosa, and urticaria. These phenomena, which are caused by disruptions of blood circulation, increased permeability of the vessels, and spasms of the smooth musculature, usually pass quickly, but sometimes may continue for several days. The reaction does not produce insen-sitivity to the repeated action of the agent. Treatment requires avoidance of further contact with the intolerable irritant and lowering the body’s heightened reactivity.



A peculiarity of constitution that makes an individual react differently from most persons to drugs, diet, treatment, or other situations.
Any special or peculiar characteristic or temperament by which a person differs from other persons.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Peep Show double act bring their idiosyncracies and bizarre humour to the sketch show format.
Overall, I find the rendered appearance of the org chart quite pleasing, though there are some idiosyncracies to using it.
I learned, for instance, how Anzac-on-Sea in Sussex later became Peacehaven; that Alford in Lincs was famous for a five-sail windmill and for rush-seated ladder-back chairs; that Hunstanton in Norfolk has more idiosyncracies than Huddersfield.
George Balanchine used to accommodate dancers' idiosyncracies into his works, even sometimes adapting steps, but many choreographers are sticklers.
The story of how Johnson managed to create his Dictionary, attempting to define each and every word, which in itself reveals many idiosyncracies of the doctor's attitudes, is the subject of a new book by Henry Hitchings.
Lamphere is just one of dozens of local Guard members who have been invited to stop by the local clinic to get an initial physical and familiarize themselves with the bureaucratic idiosyncracies of the VHA.
Like many Benedictine abbeys, Quart is a romantic and remote place embracing the ideals and idiosyncracies of monastic living.
per le altre opere" (121), it adds (from his published notes on the texts and from more recent archival research) lists of grammatical idiosyncracies and unusual words.
The investigator comes up with memorable monickers to help officers focus on the criminal's methods or idiosyncracies.
He understands the judge's idiosyncracies and explains why the defendants and their lawyers were, without knowing it, lucky that Hoffman was randomly assigned the case.