Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia
Both conditions are chronic and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue. Strategies include good sleep habits , relaxation techniques, light exercise, pacing yourself, and eating a balanced diet.
Certain Allergy Medications Can Worsen Fatigue
Even though they work to relieve some symptoms, certain allergy medicines can actually make you more tired. Antihistamines in particular have been known to cause drowsiness, however, most newer, second-generation pills are designed to be non-drowsy. Still, it is important to always read labels carefully, and consult with a doctor if unsure which allergy medications may cause increased fatigue.
How Are Food Allergies/sensitivities Diagnosed
People with food allergies know exactly what food causes their allergy. They eat peanuts or a product with peanuts in it and immediately have a reaction. Their food allergy was diagnosed using either blood tests or skin tests.
In an allergy skin test, a very small drop of a liquid food extract, one for each food, is placed on the skin. The skin is then lightly pricked where the food extract was dropped. This is safe and generally not painful. Within 15 to 20 minutes, a raised bump with redness around it, similar to a mosquito bite, may appear. This shows that you are allergic to that food.
There are two accepted methods in determining a food sensitivity:
Lab tests for food sensitivities measure IgG or IgA antibodies to particular food proteins. Ideally, a lab will test both, as you can have a reaction to one but not the other. Once a food allergy is ruled out food sensitivity tests are run. For example, if you suspect you react to peanuts, ruling out a peanut allergy should be your first priority. Should the food allergy test show that you are not allergic to peanuts, your doctor may decide to investigate a peanut or legume sensitivity.
Your fatigue is different than the fatigue of anyone else you know. Youre a unique snowflake and your nutrition should reflect this. Food might not even be the cause of your fatigue. But the only way to find out is to experiment.
When To See Your Doctor
Although many allergies can be controlled with judicial use of OTC medications, its always wise to consult with your doctor. If allergies are negatively impacting your quality of life or interfering with your daily activities, its in your best interests to explore treatment options with your doctor.
Your doctor might recommend that you see an allergist. This is a physician specializing in diagnosing and treating allergic conditions, such as asthma and eczema. An allergist might offer you a number of suggestions for treatment, including:
Find Out Your Allergens
The first step in getting rid of your brain fog is finding out whats causing your allergies. If you dont know what youre allergic to, you should visit a doctor who specializes in allergies. Theyll run tests to find out whats causing your symptoms.
Common allergy tests include:
- Skin tests. This involves pricking your skin with a needle to expose you to a small amount of an allergen. If youre allergic, youll develop a raised bump in the spot of the allergen.
- Blood tests. If you have allergies, your blood will contain certain cells that show youre sensitive to certain allergens.
- Physical exam. There are many physical signs of allergies, from skin irritation to nasal and breathing problems. These can help your doctor diagnose your allergies.
Recommended Reading: Can You Eat Twix With A Peanut Allergy
Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Shift work can wreak havoc on your body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. When you work nights or rotate shifts, your body doesn’t know when to be awake and when to sleep, which causes fatigue.
Daylight is often a cue to be awake. If you must sleep during the day, try to make your sleeping area as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. If you must work at night, keep your workplace brightly lit. Try to work night shifts all in a row and avoid frequently rotating shifts. Stay away from caffeine, and stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible on days off.
Take A Shower Before Bed
Taking a shower before bed can help wash pollen or other allergens out of your hair or off your skin, ensuring that you are not bringing allergens into bed with you. Taking a shower or bath before bed may even improve your ability to get a good nightâs sleep by lowering your body temperature, which can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. This should help you feel more rested when you wake up the next morning.
Recommended Reading: Allergic Digestive Dysfunction
Can Allergies Cause Fatigue
Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms. While they’re most often associated with symptoms such as a stuffy nose and difficulty breathing, allergies including seasonal allergies as well as allergic reactions to food and other products can also cause tiredness.
If you have an allergy and have been exposed to your allergen, it is possible that you will feel more tired than normal for up to a week afterward. In addition, some medications prescribed to prevent allergic reactions can also increase feelings of tiredness. This is particularly true of antihistamines, taken to balance the excess of histamines caused by allergies.
Why do allergies cause tiredness? First, because the immune system is working against the allergens. Just like getting a cold can make you feel tired and lethargic, so can your body’s response to an allergen. There is also research that suggests that the tiredness may be caused by the body’s release of cytokines, proteins produced by the immune system that protect an allergic person from allergens that have entered the body. It is thought that these cytokines cause the release of a brain chemical that induces symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, and inability to concentrate. Allergies, particularly of the seasonal variety, may also impact a person’s ability to sleep, leading to tiredness.
So Why Do Allergies Make You Tired
There are actually a few potential reasons why your allergies are wiping you out. And, when combined, they can lead to some serious fatigue.
Youre not breathing well.
When this happens, youre not getting oxygen as easily, and your body has to work a little harder to operate normally, which can wear you out, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network.
The immune response is tough on your body.
Allergies cause bodily inflammation, and when your immune system is inflamed, your body uses up a fair amount of energy and resources to make an immune response, says Kara Wada, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Plus, when youre having an allergic reaction and histamines are released, that can make you feel tired, notes Dr. Monteleone.
Youre having trouble sleeping.
Seasonal allergies tend to cause nasal congestion, and that disturbs your ability to get a good nights rest, says Dr. Monteleone.
Your medication is wiping you out.
Certain allergy medications, including first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine can make you feel tired, says Stanley Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., division chief of Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Don’t Miss: Does A Gluten Allergy Cause A Rash
Similar Symptoms Seasonal Allergies Vs Covid
For most people, spring and early summer are when they are likely to be bothered by allergy symptoms. During normal years, allergies are shrugged off as minor annoyances that can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications. But this year, with the threat of coronavirus still a top concern, some symptoms of allergies may be confused with COVID-19. To help you understand what is probably an allergy versus something more serious, this comparison of symptoms may help:
Things You Should Know Aboutallergy
- 09 Jul, 2020
Allergies can cause all kinds ofunpleasant, distracting symptoms, from digestive upsets and headachesto respiratory trouble and runny eyes. However, you may also haveexperienced another few hallmark symptoms of allergy problems:fatigue, drowsiness, and mental sluggishness.
If you have had noticeable troublegathering your thoughts, maintaining your alertness, or even stayingawake during the day, you need to understand how your allergies maycreate or aggravate your tiredness. Take heed of the following fourkey points about allergy-related fatigue.
1. Allergens Cause BiochemicallyBased Fatigue
An allergic reaction occurs when yourimmune system goes into battle by mistake, attacking a harmlesssubstance as if it were a virus or other germ. It does this byinstructing mast cells to produce antibodies for release into thebloodstream. These antibodies belong to a category known asimmunoglobulin E.
In addition to immunoglobulin E, theimmune system releases a substance called histamine. When both ofthese substances produce an inflammatory reaction in the body, youmay experience a sense of tiredness alongside other, more obviousallergic symptoms.
2. Allergic Sinusitis Can CauseBrain Fog
Individuals who feel dazed and unableto think well often describe their problem as brain fog. While brainfog may occur in association with many health problems, most notablyfibromyalgia, it can also occur as a side effect of a conditioncalled allergic sinusitis.
Don’t Miss: Penicillin Side Effects Itching
How Your Allergies Might Be Making You Tired
Most people who ask themselves, Why do I feel so tired all the time? wind up blaming their fatigue on being stressed, overworked, or other external causes. Others may point to a lack of sleep or getting poor sleep. While these potential culprits can contribute to lack of sleep, theres another suspect whom Houstonians should keep in mind: allergies.
Very few people suspect that their allergies can rob them of quality rest or make them feel tired, but they can, and for multiple reasons. The next time you ask yourself, Why do I feel so tired all the time or even, Can allergies cause fatigue? remember these three things:
What Causes Allergies Anyway
An allergic reaction is a chain reaction that starts in your genes and is expressed by your immune system, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology .
When you have an allergy to something, like pollen or grass, your immune system views it as an invader . It then overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E , which travel to cells that release chemicals called histamines, Dr. Monteleone explains. Cue the stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Can Allergies Make You Throw Up
Are There Ways To Reduce Your Allergy Exposure
Here are several ways to minimize your exposure to seasonal allergies:
- Pay attention to daily pollen and mold spore levels, so you can avoid outdoor activities as much as possible when counts are high. To check out the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunologys allergen tracker, .
- Begin taking medications before the start of the allergy seasonwhen pollen, grass, ragweed, or mold counts soar.
- Shut the windows and doors in your home, office, and car to seal out pollen.
- Wear a hat when outdoors or wash your hair before bed to keep pollen off your pillow and away from your face.
- Change your clothes after spending time outdoors to minimize your exposure to pollen. Studies show that half of the pollen that accumulates on clothing remains even if you try to shake or brush it off before you go indoors.
- Avoid mowing the grass or raking moldy leaves if those are your triggers, or wear a mask when doing so.
Pots: A Little Known Cause Of Extreme Fatigue
Everyone knows what being tired feels like at the end of a long day. But some people experience fatigue so severe and so seemingly random that its hard to describe. If that sounds familiar, there could be more going on than daily stress.
While there are many causes of fatigue, one of them is frequently missed and misdiagnosed: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome . Physical medicine and neuromuscular specialist Tae Chung, M.D., answers questions about POTS and extreme fatigue as one of its symptoms.
Also Check: Does Allergies Cause Shortness Of Breath
Herbal Medicines And Allergies
Asteraceae is a family of flowering plants, including many common species, and some are used in herbal medicines. Pollen from plants in this family is a common cause of hay fever, asthma and dermatitis.Plants from the Asteraceae family include:
- plants grown for their flowers chrysanthemums, dahlias, sunflowers, marigolds, safflower and daisies
- edible foliage plants lettuce, safflower, chicory and artichoke
- weeds ragweed, mugwort, sagebrush, wormwood, feverfew
- plants used in some herbal medicines echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, feverfew, milk thistle and wormwood.
Echinacea can cause severe allergic reaction , asthma attacks, severe hives and swelling in some people, and this can occur when the first dose of echinacea is taken.Pollen from plants in the Asteraceae family can also cause an allergic skin reaction on contact. The pollen can be found in herbal medicines, shampoos, cosmetics and massage oils, and includes pollen from plants such as the:
Sensitisation to pollen of plants from the Asteraceae family has also been linked with allergic reactions to other substances that are similar. This is known as cross-reactivity and has caused allergic reactions to:
- plant-derived herbal medicines echinacea, royal jelly, bee pollen extracts and chamomile
- foods celery, honey, sunflower seeds, carrot, lettuce, watermelon and nuts.
How Allergy Symptoms Can Make You Tired
Your immune system responds to airborne allergens by releasing chemicals that create inflammation in your nose. As a result, you might experience nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose. All of these symptoms narrow airways, making it difficult to breathe, especially when youre lying downwhich can make for difficult nights sleep.1
While many people suffer from seasonal allergies , millions of Americans experience year-round symptoms. The culprit: indoor allergenssuch as dust mites, pet dander, and moldall of which can be found in the bedroom.2
Also Check: Can You Take Allergy Medicine With Antibiotics
Treatments For Allergy Headaches
Its not uncommon for a doctor to diagnose someone with both environmental allergies and migraines, Dr. Cooper says.
Both allergies and migraine use the same kinds of immune cells, almost like its the same problem, just different parts of the body, says Dr. Cooper.
Because of this similarity, medications that reduce allergy symptoms may also help prevent or lessen a migraine attack.
But if you still get a throbbing migraine, Dr. Cooper says several medications effectively stop a migraine quickly with few side effects.
Triptans are common fast-acting prescription medicines available in tablets, injections, nasal sprays, and sublingual tablets. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, and Advil, or drugs like acetaminophen , may help soothe less severe migraines.
Some people find a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine in over-the-counter medications like Excedrin and other brands is more effective than NSAIDs alone.
Allergy-related sinusitis treatment involves treating allergy symptoms, too.
Most physicians will start with intranasal corticosteroid sprays and antihistamines. Other additional therapies can include decongestants and other anti-inflammatory medications, says Dr. Wu.
To treat headache symptoms, Dr. Wu says NSAIDs or nasal decongestants such as pseudoephedrine are options.
Primary Care Doctors Serving Families And Individuals In Fort Worth
Our team at Primary Care Associates of Texas knows how to get to the root of the problem and properly evaluate your symptoms. If you are experiencing what you think may be a food allergy, we can conduct blood tests, allergy screenings, and employ any other means necessary to help you find the answers you need.
Dont live with fatigue, discomfort, or pain any longer.Connect with us today by calling today, or send us an email to book your first appointment.
You May Like: Can You Develop Allergies As An Adult
Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people’s lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog — a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.