Volume 34 Number 1

By Frank Hubbell, DO

OK here we go, everything that you ever wanted to know about allergies, but were afraid to ask.

What is an allergy?

An allergy, or allergic reaction, is a hypersensitivity reaction, or over-reaction, of our immune system in response to an antigen.

What is our immune system?

Simply put, the immune system is a series of biomolecules, chemical reactions. and cells that protect us from invading foreign organisms through a variety of mechanisms. The purpose of our immune system is to recognize self from non-self, and if it is non-self, the immune system will destroy the invader and make a memory of the invader to recognize it in the future. This memory is maintained and mediated by antibodies produced by B cells also called plasma cells.

What is an antigen (Ag)?

An antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response and the production of antibodies. Antigens are usually proteins or are attached to proteins.

What is an antibody (Ab)?

Read more

But wait, there is yet another reason why you do not want to get bitten by a tick.

ISSN-1059-6518TOT header

Volume 28 Number 4

 By Frank Hubbell, DO

A tick bite can spread various diseases, but, as it turns Read more




By Frank Hubbell, D.O.


It is impossible to accurately count the number of venomous snakebites worldwide, simply because most occur in rural and remote areas where access to medical care is limited, statistics are not kept, and snakebites are not reported.


There are reportedly 421,000 envenomations per year with 20,000 deaths.

But, snakebites and deaths from snakebites are grossly underreported.

It is estimated that the real numbers could be as high as 1,841,000 envenomations with 94,000 deaths per year.

 United States:

Approximately 8000 venomous snakebites are reported each year with 5 – 10 deaths per year.




       carnivorous reptiles

       lack eyelids

       lack external ears

       ectothermic (cold-blooded)

       most are amniote vertebrates (lay eggs that contain amniotic fluid, suitable for the terrestrial environment), some snakes do have live births

       covered in overlapping scales

       most kill by swallowing their prey whole or death by constriction

       of the 3,400 species, 300 are venomous and use their venom to kill, subdue, and digest their prey


Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Reptilia

Order – Squamata

Suborder – Serpentes

Family – 20 different families

4 families are venomous

Genera – 500 different Genera

Species – 3,400 different species

3,100 are nonvenomous

300 are venomous


Interestingly enough, venomous snakes can be divided into different families based on their dentition and types of fangs, not as you might suspect, by the type of venom they possess. The rest of snakes are fangless, aglyphous.

Read more

Allergic Rhinitis

March/April 2009 ISSN-1059-6518 Volume 22 Number 2

By Frank Hubbell, DO




What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis Read more