The Connection Between Springtime Allergies And Cardiovascular Disease
Seasonal allergies often lead to coughing, sneezing, and bodily discomfort. For most, they are simply a nuisance in the spring months. However, new research may have found a link between common allergies and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Allergies and Cardiovascular Disease
The link between heart disease and allergies was first discovered by Dr. Jongoh Kim, a researcher at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Kim and his team used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 1988 and 1994 to pull data and better understand how allergies and heart disease are connected. The team found that those who suffer from allergies during certain times of the year also suffer from heart disease at an increased rate compared to people without allergies.
Across the collected data, six percent of adults suffered from heart disease. However, of those surveyed who recorded wheezing, a common allergy symptom, 13 percent had some form of heart disease. Additionally, the risk for heart disease more than doubled when other risk factors, such as asthma, were calculated in.
More Research is Needed
Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Heart Health
When you think about seasonal allergies , you probably think of the usual suspects: itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post-nasal drip. What Ill bet you dont think about is how all that sneezing, itching, and wheezing can raise your risk for heart disease.
There have been several studies over the years linking both allergic rhinitis and asthma, another condition that can be aggravated by high pollen counts, with the development of heart disease.
The connection? Inflammation.
Allergies are basically an immune response gone awry. When youre allergic to something, your body sees that thingpollen, mold, dust, animal dander, whatever it may bethe same way it sees bacteria and viruses: as threat it needs to get rid of.
So, when you breathe in these things, your body launches an attack. It produces immunoglobulin E antibodies that tell the body to release histamine and initiate an inflammatory response in the respiratory tissue. Thats why seasonal allergies come with a lot of congestion and wheezing, and why having an allergy can be doubly bad if you also have asthma .
Some inflammation is normal. But when allergies are chronic and/or severe, a sustained inflammatory response can have a more systemic impact, and one that directly affects the heart and arteries.
Signs You My Be Having An Allergic Reaction
Whether you already know what allergens seem to affect you, or suspect that you could be reacting to a substance that, previously unbeknownst to you, you are allergic to, knowing signs of an allergic reaction can be really helpful. In some cases, recognizing the signs of an allergic reaction early on can be lifesaving.
There are a plethora of allergens known to cause the human body to overreact once exposed and generate annoying, painful, and or life threatening symptoms. Many allergies, from sweet red strawberries to spiffy red tattoo ink, effectuate some of the same signs. Several of the symptoms of an allergic reaction are also easy mistaken for other medical conditions.
1. Nasal Congestion. If your nose is constantly runny or stuffy, this could be a sign that you suffer from allergic rhinitis, also known as seasonal allergies. However, nasal congestion could also be a symptom of the common cold or a sinus infection.
2. Watery Eyes. Another sign that you might have allergic rhinitis, and have come into contact with an allergen is watery eyes. Often times eyes are not only watery, but red and itchy as well.
3. Itching. An itchy rash is one of the more common signs of an allergic reaction. It can be triggered by an allergy to sunscreen, metal, perfume, and a long list of other substances. While itchiness is one of the most common signs of a skin allergy, an itchy mouth and/or throat can also be a sign of a food allergy.
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Youre Taking Some Kind Of Medication That Affects Your Heart
If youve ever read a list of possible medication side effects, you probably know tons of them out there cause an elevated heart rate. Whether its related to osteoporosis, allergies, ADHD, or another condition, a lot of medications will increase circulating adrenaline and cause someone to feel like their heart is racing, Dr. Doshi says. This happens so often that doctors will often first ask which medications youre taking when you tell them your heart is beating too quickly. Depending on your medication and medical history, a racing heart can be expected or a sign that you might need to try a different option. Only a doctor can tell you for sure.
Stringent Symptoms Indicative Of A Convincing Food Allergy
Skin and Oral Symptoms: Hives/rash, Rash, Swelling, Difficulty Swallowing, Throat tingling
Respiratory: Chest tightening, Trouble breathing, Wheezing
Cardiovascular: Chest pain, Rapid heart rate, Light-headed or dizzy, Low blood pressure
The researchers found that credible food allergies occur nearly twice as often in woman as in men .¹ And, individuals int their 30s have the highest prevalence of new onset food allergies, which the authors suggest offers a greater possibility that adults can outgrow a food allergy over timewith the exception of shellfish as people are least likely to overcome this food allergy.
Other groups that appear more vulnerable to developing food allergies as adults include non-white adults and adults who have asthma and/or eczema.
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You Have A Heart Arrhythmia
A heart arrhythmia happens when theres some sort of electrical malfunction in your heart, which can cause it to beat irregularly. There are many forms, and they have different causes, but they can often make it feel like your heart is beating quickly or strangely out of nowhere. Although an arrhythmia sounds like a dire diagnosis from Greys Anatomy, they actually arent always serious. Many arrhythmias are not life-threatening, Dr. Mills-Frazier says. Obviously with higher-risk patients, they can be, but theyre often treatable. Arrhythmias often present with side effects like dizziness, nausea, fainting, chest pain, and shortness of breath, according to the American Heart Association.
Can Herbal Remedies Help Prevent Heart Palpitations
In terms of herbal remedies, I am not aware of an herbal remedy specifically effective for heart palpitation. I should say that low levels of potassium or magnesium in the body may be associated with palpitations and occasionally even more severe heart rhythm disorders, and in those cases supplements or foods high in potassium and magnesium are quite helpful.
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Dangers Of Allergy Meds For Your Heart
Have high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, or another heart condition? Heres what you need to know about allergy drugs.
Allergy medications might seem harmless enough they’re sold over the counter , so that makes them safe, right?
Though allergy drugs can stop the misery of seasonal bouts with pollen, hay fever, and grasses, some can aggravate a heart condition, or be downright dangerous when mixed with blood pressure drugs and certain heart medicines.
“If a patient has allergies or a cold and is considering OTC medications, it is always recommended to talk with the pharmacist on site, or to ask your physician for recommendations in the context of the other medications that are prescribed,” says L. Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, a cardiology professor at Duke Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.
“Some OTC medications for example, those containing pseudoephedrine or similar components may cause increases in heart rate or blood pressure that could exacerbate some cardiac conditions,” explains Dr. Newby.
How To Deal With Fast Heartbeat After Eating
In most cases, an elevated pulse rate is your body’s natural response following a meal. Still, it can make you feel concerned. Here are some suggestions.
1. Identify the Cause of Fast Heartbeat
You do not need to worry too much about the racing heart after eating, but it is still a good idea to talk to your doctor to pinpoint the real cause of fast heartbeat. You may require medical treatment in case your condition is the outcome of digestive or endocrine problems. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask you about any other symptoms you may be experiencing. They may also order several diagnostic tests, including urine tests, blood tests, a stress test, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and a Holter monitor test to help make a diagnosis properly.
2. Tips for Treating Fast Heartbeat After Eating
Here are some tips you can try to resolve the issue and normalize your heartbeat again:
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Apart from a headache, the sinus infection can even sometimes create congestion that can exist for around a week. It can result in a thick, discoloured mucus along with tooth or facial pain.
Tip: Did you know infections such as sinusitis can cause body muscle aches? Follow the tips in the article to get rid of such muscle aches.
Pregnancy And Breastfeeding While Taking Benadryl
Its usually safe to take Benadryl during pregnancy. Benadryl doesnt seem to increase the risk of fetal harm.
And taking small doses of Benadryl for a short time may be safe while breastfeeding.
But Benadryl does pass into breast milk, and it can also decrease milk supply.
If youre breastfeeding and you take high doses of Benadryl, it may increase your childs risk of side effects. This is also the case if you take the drug long term.
High doses or long-term use of Benadryl may also reduce your supply of breast milk.
If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the safety of Benadryl for you and your baby. Also talk with your doctor about this if youre breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.
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Can Benadryl Be Used In Babies Or Toddlers If So What Are The Possible Side Effects
Over-the-counter forms of Benadryl shouldnt be used in babies or toddlers. This is because children younger than 6 years old have an increased risk of side effects from Benadryl.
Children can have the same side effects of Benadryl as adults, such as dizziness or drowsiness. But Benadryl can also cause more serious side effects in children, such as a fast heartbeat or seizures. The drug may also cause children to become more excitable or hyperactive.
You should never use Benadryl to help your child fall asleep. This can be very dangerous.
Due to these risks, you shouldnt give Benadryl to your baby or toddler without the direction of their doctor. If your child has symptoms of an allergy or cold, talk with their doctor about the best way to treat those symptoms.
Managing A Credible Food Allergy Wisely
If you are allergic to a particular food, the best course simply is to avoid it and you should carry an ephedrine prescription. When the problem is a food intolerance, patients often tell me they dont have symptoms every time, it is more dose dependent. says Dr. Sindher, and every person will have a difference tolerance level to the amount of a problem food their body can handle before the symptoms become intolerable.
Can a person with a food intolerance can still have small amounts of that food? Dr. Lieberman weighs in on this, going back to gluten, as an example: If you accidentally eat breaded cutlets, for example, you might slightly nauseous, a bit lightheaded, and experience some abdominal discomfort but these symptoms will pass.
Food intolerances as well as food insensitivities are much more a matter of quality of life, and very individualized, and may change over time.
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Cardiovascular Effects Of Histamine
Early studies from Endou and Levi showed that large quantities of histamine were released from the heart during anaphylaxis and that this mediator exerted major cardiovascular effects in the guinea pig. Vigorito et al. first showed that intracoronary injection of low doses of histamine in humans induced a rapid decrease in the mean aortic pressure and an increase in coronary blood flow. These effects are due mainly to the activation of H1 receptors expressed on vascular smooth muscle. Furthermore, in healthy individuals, histamine may induce arrhythmias and atrioventricular conduction blocks. In a subset of patients with coronary artery disease, intravenous injection of histamine caused a decrease in coronary blood flow and, in some cases, severe spasm of large coronary arteries . It has been shown recently that histamine induces tissue factor expression and function in human endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells . Tissue factor activates factor X, which leads in turn to thrombin formation. These data indicate that histamine is mainly responsible for hypotension and tachycardia secondary to the release of catecholamines associated with anaphylaxis. However, these observations suggest that histamine may be involved in arrhythmias and ischaemic changes that can also be a cause of death in anaphylaxis.
You Have A Cold Or Fever
If your pounding heart is accompanied by typical signs of a cold or fever, like an elevated temperature, coughing, and sneezing, this is likely the culprit. Battling an infection requires your body to work harder than usual, and that includes making your heart beat faster in order to fight for homeostasis and kick the infection to the curb, Dr. Mills-Frazier says.
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The Heart As A Source Of Mediators Of Anaphylaxis
Studies performed with human hearts obtained from recipients of transplants have shown clearly that cardiac tissue from patients with ischaemic or dilated cardiomyopathies contains a significantly larger number of mast cells compared to hearts from normal individuals who have died accidentally . Consequently, the cardiac tissue from patients with heart diseases contains and releases larger quantities of mast cell-derived mediators upon immunological and non-immunological activation . These observations may contribute to explaining why cardiac manifestations of anaphylaxis are more severe in patients with ischaemic or degenerative heart diseases.
What Do People Mean By Sudden Death
Sudden death is used to describe a situation in which a patient loses cardiac function and essentially will die within minutes if assistance is not provided. By assistance, I mean cardiopulmonary resuscitation and frequently, electrical cardioversion to restore the heart rhythm to normal. Obviously, patients where these efforts are successful will require extensive evaluation to determine the cause of cardiac arrest and to prevent it from occurring in the future.
The internal defibrillator devices that have become commonplace in the care of these types of patients have proven to be very effective in preventing death from heart arrhythmias in patients who have already had one or more episode of attempted sudden death.
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Treatment Of Fast Heart Rate
Treat the Underlying Cause: Most important is to ensure there is no underlying systemic problem that is causing the fast heart rate. If there is anemia, for example, that will need to be treated. Infection and dehydration would need to be treated. Hormonal imbalances would require treating. Medications will be reviewed and any potential offending agents will need to be stopped if possible.
Medications: It is important not just to treat a number the reason underlying must be sought out. If the fast heart rate is thought to be from a cardiac cause then the appropriate treatment should be given. If there is significant muscle dysfunction then treatment aimed at strengthening the heart is given. If there are problems with the electrical system of the heart then medicines to slow the rate may be given such a beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. In some cases stronger medicines that prevent the occurrence of the arrhythmia in the first place may be prescribed, known as anti-arrhythmic medications. Specialists known as electrophysiologists typically prescribe anti-arrhythmic medications.
How To Get Tested
A food allergy will usually cause some sort of reaction every time the trigger food is eaten. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and you may not always experience the same symptoms during every reaction. Allergic reactions to food can affect the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system. It is impossible to predict how severe the next reaction might be, and all patients with food allergies should be carefully counseled about the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that is treated with epinephrine .
While food allergies may develop at any age, most appear in early childhood. If you suspect a food allergy, see an allergist, who will take your family and medical history, decide which tests to perform and use this information to determine if a food allergy exists.
To make a diagnosis, allergists ask detailed questions about your medical history and your symptoms. Be prepared to answer questions about:
- What and how much you ate
- How long it took for symptoms to develop
- What symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted.
After taking your history, your allergist may order skin tests and/or blood tests, which indicate whether food-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies are present in your body:
Your allergist will use the results of these tests in making a diagnosis. A positive result does not necessarily indicate that there is an allergy, though a negative result is useful in ruling one out.
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Can Claritin Cause Heart Palpitations
Hypersensitive patients may experience mild CNS stimulation when they take pseudoephedrine. It is possible to experience nervous, excitability, restlessness, dizziness, weakness, or insomnia. There have been reports of headaches, drowsiness, tachycardia, palpitation, pressor activity, and cardiac arrhythmias.