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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 largest were rural congregations of devotees of charismatic preachers of Javanese or part-Javanese descent, who idiosyncratically synthesized features of Javanese culture and Christianity.
In America, he is considered 'the turf master'; in Britain, the man who, idiosyncratically, trains jumpers on one side of the Atlantic but briefly returned home to almost win the 1987 Champion Hurdle with Flatterer.
But could this idiosyncratically spelt war film be director Quentin Tarantino's finest hou r?
Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) is a browser's paradise, revealing many words whose meaning has changed since Noah's time and others that he idiosyncratically defined.
There are showers, idiosyncratically housed in an agricultural hopper, and all the tents have their own flush toilets, so there are no midnight dashes across the campsite.
When you make films as idiosyncratically as the Coens do, you have to get them just right; and this is a little misjudged.
For D'Addario, The Readie and Easie Way nostalgically and idiosyncratically represents reasoned rhetoric, "while the text exhorts and cajoles a wayward nation" (101).
She selects comparison nations rather idiosyncratically.
Specifically, a comprehensive account of traditional and popular music, and other idiosyncratically Irish genres such as showband or country and Irish, and the reciprocal relationships with broadcasting awaits as fastidious a researcher as Richard Pine.
The Victorian Novel is idiosyncratically but intriguingly sectionalized, so that after a light-footed introduction we find sections on the different historical eras and a consideration of changing perspectives, involving brief mini-chapters on, for instance, 'History', 'Biography', 'Detectives' , and so forth.
1 [September 1999]: 155-57) that Harrison, as an individualist, should be examined idiosyncratically.
To these allusions to the lives of Noah and Jonah a third major biblical figure is added, Solomon, whom Bacon often invokes in his natural philosophy, idiosyncratically interpreting a biblical passage (1 Kings 4:33) as showing that he compiled a natural history.