What To Do If Youre Experiencing Stress
- Avoid high-caffeine stimulants, especially coffee. That cup of java fuels nerves and bowels worsening both stress and stomach issues.
- Try gentle yoga movements, like legs-up-the-wall pose or restorative child’s pose.
- See your medical doctor, so you can rule out any underlying physical conditions, like food allergies or side effects from medications.
- Try out therapy types like cognitive behavioral therapy or relaxation therapy. Both of these may help you manage your reactions to perceived stressors.
Allergy Vs Cold Vs Flu Symptoms
Do allergies cause flu-like symptoms? Can a cold turn into the flu? When you dont know what youre dealing with, you may visit your grandkids when you should really be seeing a doctor. Or, you may miss out on an afternoon outing with friends because you mistake seasonal allergies for something more serious.
To make smarter decisions about your health, start by understanding the similarities and differences between allergies, colds and the flu.
Can I Exercise With Seasonal Allergies
It seems as if you were stuck under the crush of winter forever, and finally the sun has come out and its great weather for exercising outside.
But with the fall of cold and flu season comes the rise of something just as annoying: Seasonal allergy season.
All that sniffling, sneezing, and peering through watery eyes may have you wondering if its safe to exercise when youre in the grips of an attack of your seasonal allergies.
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Feeling Tired All The Time
Its not just all the congestion that makes you feel out of it. Seasonal allergies themselves can drag your energy down, says Eugene Hurwitz, M.D., medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. When your body encounters an allergen, it releases histamine, and histamine in your body can make you feel fatigued, he says. In addition, the inflammation that happens in your sinuses when you are allergic to something can cause sinus infections, which will also leave you feeling slow.
What To Do If Stress Is Making You Mentally Fatigued:
- Try to pare down the number of decisions you make per day. Research shows that the more choices we make, the less energy and self-control we have afterwards. Simple ways to cut down on your daily decision load could mean streamlining your meal and outfit choices .
- Try moving decision-heavy work meetings to the morning, or whenever youre at your freshest. The ideal time will change based on whether youre a morning person or a night owl.
- Stop multitasking. Spreading your attention and energy across too many verticals can, ironically, make you less productive. Stay with one assignment at a time and if you can help it, avoid letting small tasks interrupt any big projects you’re working on.
- Avoiding checking phone and email notifications for the first hour or so of your day. This will help you set your own mood and intentions for the day without being sidelined by work responsibilities, friend FOMO, or other stressful jolts.
- Give yourself dedicated time to zone out. Just like athletes need a rest day before they have a big competition, our brains also need downtime to replenish and get ready for additional work. Let your mind wander every day, whether that means taking an extra long shower, doodling in a notebook, or going for a walk with your phone set to airplane mode.
- Try one of these 10 subtle ways to handle stress at work.
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Reason #: Botched Diagnosis
Getting a correct diagnosis also plays a big role in keeping allergy symptoms at bay.
Patients often try to self-diagnose when it comes to things like allergies and sinus headaches, but they don’t always get it right. Maybe you’re sure it’s an allergy, and it’s not. Or maybe you think you’ve got a sinus infection, but you really have an allergy.
If your diagnosis is wrong, your treatment may be all wrong. For instance, if you actually have a tension headache, using an antihistamine won’t improve the situation, says Corinna Bowser, MD, an allergist in Narberth, Pa.
The fix: If you have allergic symptoms or suspect you have an allergy, consult a doctor to find out if it really is an allergy.
How To Get Tested
If you think you might have a food allergy that could lead to nausea and vomiting, you should be tested by an allergist. Getting tested by a board-certified allergist is the first step to helping you deal with your allergy and avoid your triggers. An allergist will take a detailed medical history and review your symptoms to determine whether your symptoms are triggered by an allergy to food, medications, insect stings or something else.
Allergy tests are both convenient and accurate. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions. Testing also helps your allergist determine whether you have a food intolerance or a food allergy, which both can cause stomach upset.
Many people may think they have a food allergy when what they really are experiencing is food intolerance. Food intolerance can often mimic a food allergy, causing nausea and vomiting, but is not life-threatening. The best way to determine whether you are experiencing a food allergy is to see an allergist for testing. An allergist will help you develop an action plan to deal with whatever allergies or intolerances you may have.
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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.
Congestion Can Cause Brain Fog
A stuffy, swollen nose can make it difficult to think clearly, often causing a hazy or tried feeling. Many have termed this feeling brain fog, and it results from the congestion and pressure in your nasal and sinus air passages. Without treating allergy symptoms, and sometimes contributing sinus issues, the inflammation, irritation, and runny nose at the root of this issue will keep making you feel foggy.
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Allergies Affect People Day And Night
Chances are high that individuals with allergies know they have them. Theyll spend their days sneezing, coughing, and feeling congested. Typically, people realize how allergies affect themselves during the day. Not all sufferers recognize that allergies can worsen the quality of their sleep. The immune system targets allergens, and this frequent immune response disrupts the body in various ways.
Find Out What Youre Allergic To
In order to treat your allergies, you have to know what youre up against.
An allergy test can help identify substances that trigger allergic reactions in your body. These substances, known as allergens, can be things you breathe in, things you touch, or things you eat.
A skin prick allergy test involves exposing the skin on your arm or back to small amounts of allergens to then see what you react to. These tests are typically done in a single sitting, and youll get results right away.
A blood allergy test can also check for allergens and is useful if you take a medication that can interfere with results or if your doctor suspects you may have a severe allergic reaction to even a tiny amount of an allergen.
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Is It Allergies Or A Cold
When youre allergies flare up, you may be quick to assume its a cold, which is a logical assumption, since they present similar symptoms.
A lot of the symptoms are almost identical: very bad nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, watery noes and eyes, says Parikh. But generally colds shouldnt last you more than a week 3-5 days on average whereas allergy symptoms can last weeks to months at a time.
Youre Having Digestive Issues But Your Diet Hasnt Changed
Theres a reason why stressful situations are called gut-wrenching. The brain and the gastrointestinal system are intimately connected meaning the more stressed out your brain is, the unhappier your stomach will get.
Signs that your stomach isnt handling extra stress well include:
- Stomach bloating
- Nausea or queasiness
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What Causes Allergic Rhinitis
You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. If you have allergies, your body releases chemicals when you are exposed to an allergen. One such chemical is called histamine. Histamine is your bodys defense against the allergen. The release of histamine causes your symptoms.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen comes from flowering trees, grass, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, you will notice your symptoms are worse on hot, dry days when wind carries the pollen. On rainy days, pollen often is washed to the ground, which means you are less likely to breathe it.
- Allergies that occur in the spring are often due to tree pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the summer are often due to grass and weed pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the fall are often due to ragweed.
Allergens that can cause perennial allergic rhinitis include:
You May Have Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcersmost commonly caused by an infection from an H.plyori bacteriaoccur when acid penetrates deep into the mucosal lining of your stomach, causing an open sore. This can lead to burning stomach pain, bloating, heartburn, and nausea, says Dr. Lee.
Nix the nausea: To heal your ulcers, your doc will typically describe antibiotics or drugs to slow the production of stomach acid to aid in the healing process. You might also need to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids since they can increase your risk of peptic ulcers, says Dr. Lee. Alcohol, smoking, and spicy foods can also make your symptoms worse.
To prevent peptic ulcers from coming back, remember to keep things clean. Good hand washing hygiene is important to avoid contracting an H. pylori infection, which is contracted through fecal or oral transmission, says Dr. Lee. This means you should lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds .
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Help For Seasonal Allergies In Mississippi
At the Mississippi Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we believe that no one should be kept from their favorite activities by seasonal allergies. Our team of experienced allergists and asthma doctors work with you to diagnose and treat your seasonal allergies so you can get back to your life more quickly. Come visit one of our 5 convenient locations across Mississippi – Schedule an appointment today!
It’s Probably Allergies If:
Your mucus is clear or watery. And it will stay clear, instead of becoming thick or discolored like it can with a cold, says Michael Benninger, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your eyes are itchy or watery. It’s rare to have itchy eyes when you have a cold.
Your symptoms stay the same. “Allergies may feel extra intense for the first day or 2, but you’ll have the same symptoms day after day,” Benninger says.
You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week. A cold usually clears up in 7 to 10 days, but allergies can last several weeks or longer.
Your symptoms show up only in certain situations. Find yourself sneezing every spring or fall? Those are common times for allergies. Another allergy tip-off: Being in a specific place makes you feel miserable — for example, in a house with a cat.
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Besides the length of time youre suffering from symptoms, there are a few other key differences to look out for. Its likely allergies if youre noticing a pattern to it if youre sick all spring or fall , says Parikh. Allergies are also more associated with itching itchy nose, itchy eyes and also with colds, viruses and flus people get much higher fevers than you would with an allergy, so any temperature over 100 or 101 is more likely a virus or infection of some sort.
Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
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Youre Having Trouble Thinking Clearly
If youve been having a tough time concentrating on one task at a time, remembering things accurately, or just generally operating on a higher level, stress could be to blame. Stress makes it difficult for you to think clearly, as it clouds your thinking and makes it difficult to focus.
This mental fatigue sometimes happens when small stressors pile in at a volume with which we cant keep up. Things like making multiple tough decisions at work, handling ongoing interruptions, and juggling social commitments all of these can accumulate and start to weigh on you . If you don’t have a chance to hit the pause button and reset, brain fog could set in. Focus is a finite resource and when stretched thin, it falters.
The unfortunate reality of this mental fatigue is that it can affect your physical energy levels, too. If youve spent the whole day feeling exhausted just doing the tasks you that you normally knock out in one afternoon, your body will feel tired. For some, this perpetuates the stress cycle no energy for stress-busting outlets like meditation, creative endeavors, or exercise means nowhere to release that stress, and it remains a looming burden.
Your Skin Has Been Extra Sensitive Lately
When stress takes the wheel, its not uncommon for our bodies to go into overdrive. All this hype throws the nervous system, including nerve endings on your skin, off-balance.
Signs that stress has gotten under your skin include:
- Acne: Since acne is an inflammatory disease, stress doesnt directly cause it but the hormones that stress releases do increase inflammation, thereby exacerbating it.
- Rashes: An overwhelm of stress can spur a rash, often in the form of raised, red-colored spots known as hives.
- Eczema and psoriasis: If you already have a chronic skin condition, stress can be an emotional trigger that makes it worse.
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Allergy Dos And Don’ts: Stay Inside
If grasses, trees, flowers, or weeds get your allergy symptoms going, should you avoid going outside? Peters says you shouldn’t have to if you’re being treated. If over-the-counter allergy treatment isn’t handling your allergy symptoms, ask your doctor about prescription eye drops or nasal sprays, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative family physician practicing in Poulsbo, Wash. Taking some simple precautions can help, too. While outside, wear glasses and a hat, says Peters. When you come inside, change your clothes.
Do You Have A Cold Or Allergies
It’s easy to get them confused. Just ask Paul Ehrlich, MD, a professor of pediatrics at New York University. He’d been an allergist for years when he came down with what he thought was a cold. “I’d had a watery, runny nose for several days when one of my patients took a look at me and said, ‘Oh, you have allergies, too!'” Ehrlich says.
He’d never had allergies before, but a checkup with another doctor confirmed that the patient was right. “Turns out I was allergic to birch trees, which were in bloom at the time,” he says.
A cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen or pet dander. Because the two conditions cause similar symptoms, like sniffles and stuffiness, many people get them mixed up. Knowing which is which can help you get the right treatment, and that will help you feel better faster.
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