How To Tell If Your Symptoms Are Due To Allergies
If you think you have allergies, its a good idea to make an appointment with an allergist/immunologist, the type of doctor who treats these conditions. My patients commonly tell me that they didnt realize how miserable their symptoms were until they started medications that allowed them to breathe easier with less congestion or have an improved sense of smell, says Dr. Hui.
To diagnose a patient, the first thing we want to gather is the history so we have a clear understanding of how you feel and what your goals are for this visit, explains Dr. Hui. She asks questions like: What are you experiencing? How long has this been going on? What makes it better or worse? Have you tried anything to treat your symptoms?
Based on the information gathered from talking with you and performing a physical exam, we can actually provide some treatment options without further testing, says Dr. Hui. However, we often do pursue the allergy testing route, as this gives us more specifics.
Is There Anything I Can Eat To Relieve The Symptoms
Yes, you can. And monitoring your vitamin intake can make a difference.
Vitamin A is crucial to maintaining the stability of your mucous membrane . Trade white potato for sweet potato, supplement meat dishes with kidney and eat plenty of fresh vegetables such as spinach and pumpkin.
Vitamin B5 works hard to reduce allergic symptoms and a healthy 100mg a day will help. Eggs, meat and peanut butter are all good sources, though be careful when preparing food over the summer this fragile vitamin breaks down easily in heat.
Sufficient zinc intake is especially important for feeding your immune system good sources of zinc include shellfish and all bran cereal, though not necessarily at the same time! A 100mg hit of magnesium will also help handily, youll find it in any green vegetables.
Still hungry? Eating local honey is believed to relieve hay fever symptoms. Because the honey contains a small amount of local pollen, it acts as an inoculation to ward off hay fever symptoms.
Fever From Allergies: Allergy
A challenging diagnostic for your doctor
For most people, fever is not a symptom that is immediately associated with allergies, although your doctor could probably tell you that many allergy sufferers also complain from long-lasting low-grade fever. There is some evidence to support the idea that allergies can predispose a person to developing infections, which would explain the high temperature, but allergy-induced fever is very difficult to diagnose correctly. Furthermore, no studies to date have assessed the prevalence of this condition or what factors, such as age or type of allergy, are most likely to cause it.
Low-grade fever as a secondary infection
When you come into contact with the substance that triggers your allergy, immediately your start feeling symptoms coming on. It probably starts with nasal congestion and runny and itchy nose. Then comes the sneezing and your eyes start to water an itch. By this stage, your body has declared war on the intruder and an immune response is in full swing. As mucus production increases, consequence of histamine release, your air ways become blocked and inflamed, which is the stimulus to start coughing.
No wonder, after all this, that you feel exhausted and with a headache. This is a common symptom caused by the swollen sinuses, placing excessive pressure on the head .
How to treat the allergy and the infection?
Contact dermatitis can also cause fever
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What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Symptoms Of Cedar Fever
While this creates for some fascinating imagery, it can also lead to some serious misery. For people new to the Central Texas region or unfamiliar with cedar fever as a whole, it can also lead to confusion since the pollination period of mountain cedar trees is smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season or a pandemic.
Its not uncommon for people experiencing cedar fever to mistake their symptoms as a cold or the seasonal flu, especially given the variety of symptoms triggered by cedar fever. These include fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, partial loss of smell and believe it or not some people actually do run a slight fever. However, if your fever is higher than 101.5°F, then pollen likely isnt the cause.
There are a few symptoms of cedar fever that are not linked to coronavirus or the flu though, like itchy, watery eyes, blocked nasal passages and sneezing. But there is one symptom that, according to Flocke, is a clearer indicator.
Typically, mucous from allergies is clear and runny, while other infections lead to thicker colored mucous, Flocke said.
How To Treat Allergy Symptoms
Theres an important step when trying to manage the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Decreasing exposure to the allergens youre allergic to is an important action that people often dont think about, says Dr. Hui. For example, keeping the windows of your home and car closed when the pollen counts are high or showering after outdoor activities.
When it comes to medications, there are many that can treat your symptoms. Intranasal steroid spraysfor example, Flonase or Nasacortare available over-the-counter or by prescription, and studies have shown great benefit when used consistently the spray reduces inflammation and thus decreases symptoms like sneezing and congestion, says Dr. Hui.
Oral antihistaminesfor example, Zyrtec or Allegraare also particularly helpful when someone has hives. Finally, allergen immunotherapy, or allergy shots, often provide long term benefit and are tailored towards the allergens youre specifically allergic to.
Histamine Can Cause Stomach Upset
When histamine is released in the gastrointestinal tract, it can cause symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
Underlying conditions and imbalances can also cause too much histamine to be released.
What is referred to as histamine intolerance or histamine sensitivity is usually a combination of a few underlying factors .
In a case of histamine intolerance, an individual can become sensitized to histamine-containing foods, histamine-releasing foods, as well as classic environmental allergens.
A common treatment for histamine intolerance is to be on a special diet and take supplemental medication – but those with histamine intolerance will only have moderate success without personalized treatment to address the underlying cause.
Read more about Histamine Intolerance
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Hay Fever Management And Treatment
Avoid triggers by making changes to your home and to your behavior.
- Keep windows closed during high pollen periods use air conditioning in your home and car.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to keep pollen out of your eyes.
- Use mite-proof bedding covers to limit exposure to dust mites and a dehumidifier to control mold. .
- Wash your hands after petting any animal, and have a nonallergic person help with pet grooming, preferably in a well-ventilated area or outside.
What people dont realize is most of the over-the-counter medicines are designed for milder allergies. For the people who have more moderate to severe allergy problems, its very rare that over the counter medicines are enough.
Allergist James Sublett, MD
Your Peak Flow Can Show Early Signs Of Trouble
Your peak expiratory flow meter can alert you to problems early during flu season. Dr. Thiruchelvam says that a reduction in peak flow of greater than 20 percent from normal, or from your personal best value, indicates the presence of an asthma exacerbation. Peak flow levels often drop when you come down with the flu and even when you dont feel sick. If your peak flow level is low, talk to your healthcare provider. Together, you can discuss management before the flu slams you with symptoms.
The flu comes on suddenly, Dr. Thiruchelvam explains. You might feel fine in the morning, and by afternoon, you feel terrible. Even if you dont think youre sick, check your peak flow every day. If its low, talk to your doctor. Dont wait until you notice a problem.
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What Effect Does Treating Hay Fever Have On Asthma
Treating hay fever might improve asthma symptoms.5 People who take antihistamines for hay fever have less chest tightness, wheezing, breathlessness, cough, and nocturnal symptoms.2 Small studies have shown that antihistamines improve lung function and make the airways less sensitive .2
Several small studies have shown that when nasal sprays also reduce wheezing, breathlessness, and airways sensitivity. People treated for hay fever are less likely to go to the emergency department or be hospitalized for asthma.2
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What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.
If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:
- Anxiety or panic.
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What Can Cause Allergy Symptoms And Fever
Viral infections can cause a person to develop allergy-like symptoms alongside a fever.
One notable indication that a person has allergies is that allergy symptoms last only as long as people are experiencing an exposure to the allergen. Other causes, such as the flu or common cold, can last much longer.
Additionally, allergies cause a person to experience itchy and watery eyes. This does not typically occur alongside a cold or flu.
Niacin And Other Headache Triggers
You may have a food intolerance if you have the same negative physical reactions to the same food consistently, in a manner that is not caused by an allergy. Food intolerances generally involve less severe symptoms, and people can often have small amounts of the food in question without trouble. Sometimes, a food intolerance means that certain foods cause headaches.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that 20 percent of people who see doctors for recurring headaches have certain foods that cause these symptoms. Most of the findings in this area are based on self-reporting, which can be flawed. However, patients consistently report that the following foods can trigger headaches:
- Monosodium glutamate
- Unexplained weight loss
Untreated celiac disease makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. As such, people with the disorder may experience other symptoms related to malnutrition, including joint pain, osteoporosis, infertility and canker sores. The only treatment for celiac disease is a completely gluten-free diet. However, going gluten-free seems to only help people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Going gluten-free involves more than just buying special bread and pasta, however. You can find gluten in spice mixes, sauces and additives in all kinds of foods.
Read More:9 Foods You Didn’t Know Contain Gluten
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Are You Experiencing Allergies Or A Cold
Sometimes adults can develop respiratory allergies, even if they have never had them before. Allergies develop if the immune system becomes sensitized to certain triggers, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites or mold spores, and mounts a defense to those triggers. The symptoms you experience are signs of that defensive action.
A runny nose and fatigue can be signs of seasonal allergies, but those symptoms could also be caused by a cold virus, says Kimberly Cai, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group. But there are some important differences between cold and allergy symptoms. Check the list below to see if your symptoms point to an allergy or a cold:
- Runny nose with thin, watery discharge
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Itchy nose, throat or roof of mouth
- Sinus congestion
- Duration: for as long as you are exposed to the allergen
- Runny nose with thick, white or yellow discharge
- Sinus congestion
- Duration: three to seven days
If you suspect allergies, there are ways to fight the symptoms.
Adds Dr. Lee, If these steps dont offer enough relief, we might be able to offer other treatments, such as corticosteroids, allergy shots or other medications.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Hay Fever
Although hay fever doesnt cause any serious health problems, you should see your provider to rule out other conditions, such as asthma. Seek care if hay fever symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life or making it hard for you to sleep. Your provider can help you identify the allergens that are causing a reaction and recommend treatments to help you feel better.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hay fever symptoms can affect your quality of life and keep you from doing the activities you love, but effective treatments are available. Millions of adults and children manage hay fever with medications and lifestyle changes. Talk to your provider about steps you can take to relieve symptoms, breathe easier and feel better.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/30/2020.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Rhinitis . Accessed 9/1/2021.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Rhinitis Overview. Accessed 9/1/2021.
- InformedHealth.org . Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care 2006-. Hay fever: Allergen-specific immunotherapy in the treatment of allergies. Accessed 9/1/2021.
- Wheatley LM, Togias A. Allergic Rhinitis. N Engl J Med. 2015 Jan 29 372:456-463. Accessed 9/1/2021.
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Food Allergies Intolerance And Reactions
If a specific food makes you feel ill, the reaction could be an allergy, an intolerance or some other kind of reaction. Many people label all negative reactions to food as allergies. After all, the end result is the same whether you have an allergy or an intolerance to a certain food: you must avoid the food that triggers your reaction.
However, the reactions inside the body are different, and lead to varying symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports that the most common food allergy symptoms are:
- Itching and tingling in the mouth
- Dizziness and fainting
- Itchy skin, associates with hives or eczema
- Abdominal discomfort, including diarrhea and vomiting
- Swelling in the mouth, throat or other parts of the body
- Difficulty breathing, including wheezing and nasal congestion
- Anaphylaxis, which is life threatening
As such, you are not likely to experience a food allergy with fever, headache and fatigue. Instead, such symptoms may be signs of intolerances, other underlying disorders, or contaminated food.
What Is An Asthma Action Plan
Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.
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Headache Fever Cold Hands And A Dairy Allergy
If you have a dairy allergy, you could experience headache, fever and cold hands after eating milk protein. You could also have additional symptoms including burning, swollen, itchy areas as part of an allergy-related condition called angioedema. Angioedema is not always severe, but if you experience trouble breathing and your throat is swelling, it is a health emergency, and you should immediately contact your doctor.
Video of the Day
Spring Is Here 5 Things Allergy Sufferers Need To Know
Due to global climate changes, allergists warn that spring allergy season continues to worsen each year. Dr. Jigisha Morosky, an allergist/immunologist with Starling Physicians, addresses the most common questions about seasonal allergies.
How do you know if it is a cold, allergy or COVID?
Sometimes it is difficult for people to determine if sniffles, sneezes, sore throat and coughs are caused by allergies, a cold or even sinusitis. Dr. Morosky explains that nasal allergy symptoms and common cold symptoms are essentially identical. Variables we examine are exposure to an allergen, like pollen or a pet, the duration of symptoms months versus 1 to 2 weeks, and if there is improvement while taking allergy medications.
Spring allergies can cause itchy water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing and even hives. The symptoms of a cold are often characterized by runny nose, sore throat and cough. Patients with severe seasonal allergies can feel very fatigued and have low grade fever making the distinction even harder.
Acute sinusitis is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose accompanied by pain in the forehead and/or over the cheeks. Often both the common cold and allergies can cause swelling of the nasal passages, which prevent the sinuses from draining, then this can lead to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, however it often recurs if due to uncontrolled allergies.
What are best over the counter methods to treat allergies?
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