Can You Tell The Difference Between A Food Allergy And A Food Sensitivity
With a food allergy, even one molecule of the offending foods protein can trigger a response. Your body will react as soon as the food is eaten. Thats why people with food allergies need to completely avoid foods they are allergic to.
Food intolerances can depend on how much is eaten and how often. People with food intolerances may not have symptoms when they eat a small portion of the food, or dont eat the food frequently. For example, if you have a sensitivity to dairy, having one small bowl of ice cream may not cause you any problems. However, theres a good chance you would wake up with diarrhea and brain fog after spending a night binging on Ben & Jerrys.
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.
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:
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression
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.
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You Develop Gas Bloating Episodes Of Belching Loose Stools And/or Diarrhea After Eating
Although there are many causes for these symptoms, this could be due to gluten sensitivity/celiac disease, food allergies/sensitivities, lactose and/or fructose intolerance, and/or SIBO .
Solution: Keep a food diary, do an elimination diet, and see your health care provider and/or a gastroenterologist to get tested for these disorders. Occasionally a CDSA through a laboratory specializing in nutritional medicine can help identify the cause of GI problems.
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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.
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Find Relief From Fatigue Caused By Allergies
Fatigue can be caused by allergies and this can be frustrating. But it doesnt have to be forever. Diagnosing and treating your underlying allergies is the best way to find relief from your symptoms, get better sleep, and wake up feeling rested. Being tired can negatively impact your quality of life in many ways, but an ENT expert can help you address your issues and get back to a life free from fatigue from allergies. Schedule an appointment to discuss your allergy symptoms with a specialist today.
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.
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How To Treat Allergies
Youve done your due diligence and reduced the allergens in your home. Sadly, you might still be dealing with allergy symptoms. Prescription allergy medicine or an allergy shot may helpbut when your allergies are really bringing you down, its time to bring in the big guns.
Yeah, that means avoiding whatever is causing the allergies in the first place. If youre allergic to pollen, limit your time outdoors during the peak season. If youre allergic to your BFFs cat, it might be time to hang out exclusively at your pad. And if your bedding is full of dust mites? Invest in a hypoallergenic, antimicrobial eucalyptus comforter, which naturally minimizes dust mites and mold so you can sleep easy.
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.
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:
- Maintaining strict blood glucose control
- Taking diabetes medications
- Eating a low glycemic index carbohydrate diet, or, though controversial, a low-carbohydrate diet
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Why Cant I Just Catch Up On Sleep At Night
Its not that you cant sleep, its that allergies can cause both insomnia and very fragmented sleep, explains Dr. Kansagra, who serves as the director of Dukes Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program.
The inability to fall asleep, or period waking, is due mainly to irritation and discomfort.
Allergies may cause mucous buildup, and swelling and inflammation in the airway that can lead to sleep apnea, which is intermittent blockages in your airway while you sleep, said Dr. Kansagra. This leads to low quality of sleep.
Remember, when allergies are triggered, your body is waging war against the allergens.
A meta-analysis in the Public Library of Science looked at;the association between allergic rhinitis and sleep.
Researchers found that those with allergies reported higher incidents of nocturnal dysfunctions, including insomnia, restless sleep, sleep-disordered breathing, and snoring.
The same research also found the nighttime issues led to daytime dysfunction, including difficulty waking up, daytime sleepiness, morning headache, and the use of sleep medications.
Even if you cant remember waking up from your allergy symptoms during the night, you probably did, says Dr. Haden.
Even getting the recommended eight hours of sleep doesnt mean that those were eight quality hours of deep sleep, he adds.
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.
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How To Get Tested For Allergies Causing Fatigue
As we have discussed above, both seasonal and year-round allergies can cause fatigue. Getting tested is the first step to feeling better if your allergies are triggered by pollens, animal dander, mold, dust mites, cockroaches, weather changes or possibly something else.â
âToday, testing for allergies can be both convenient and accurate. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can very often identify the specific trigger of your symptoms.âSays Ivor Emanuel, M.D, board certified allergy & otolaryngology specialist.
If your fatigue is caused by allergies, the best treatment is to get your allergies under control. Once you have been tested and have identified your allergies, you can work on avoiding triggers and controlling your environment. There are also other non-pharmaceutical and non drowsy medications available today.
Common allergy tests include:
- IgE Blood tests – If you have allergies, your blood will contain certain IgE antibodies that show youâre sensitivity to many possible allergen triggers.
- Skin tests – This involves pricking your skin with a needle to expose you to a small amount of an allergen. If youâre allergic, youâll develop a raised bump on the area of the allergen prick you are reacting to.
- Physical exam – There are many physical signs of allergies, from skin irritation to nasal and breathing problems. These may help your doctor diagnose your allergies.
What Causes Allergy Fatigue
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , although you might not think about fatigue or sleepiness as allergy symptoms, untreated allergies often lead to these symptoms. One reason is that an allergic reaction can release chemicals in your body that directly cause fatigue.
A more obvious cause is lack of sleep. When you cant breathe well through your nose or you are coughing and sneezing all night, its hard to get a good nights sleep. Finally, if you are not careful choosing the right over-the-counter allergy medications , they may cause drowsiness or disrupt your sleep.
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What Happens During An Allergic Reaction
When your immune cells encounter an allergen, they produce a type of antibody called gE antibodies. These antibodies activate the mast cells a type of white blood cell to release histamines. Histamines are the mediators of an allergic reaction that cause inflammation.
This exaggerated immune response in allergies brings about many cellular and chemical changes in the body that result in various symptoms.
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.
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Can Allergies Make You Tired 7 Things Allergists Need You To Know
A runny nose, watery eyes, and a persistent cough are what you expect when allergies flare. But constant fatigue and sleepiness? Allergy experts say it’s more common than you think.
“Feeling congested, itchy, and uncomfortable can certainly be a nuisance when it comes to falling asleep and getting deep sleep,” says Sujay Kansagra, MD, an associate professor at Duke University Medical Center who specializes in sleep disorders. Other factors related to allergies can also come into play, he says, creating chemical and physical reactions that lead to chronic fatigue.
Left untreated, problems from a lack of sleep can be more disruptive than the allergy itself. Here’s what experts want you to know about the connection between allergies and sleep.
Can Allergies Make You Tired
There are a number of symptoms associated with allergies. The most common ones are watery eyes and nasal congestion. Besides these common and relatively obvious symptoms, people often wonder if allergies can make someone feel tired. The answer is YES! It can.
This may vary from person to person in terms of how tired can allergies make an individual and in some cases, one might not experience this symptom at all but most people suffering from allergies may on a certain degree experience fatigue and tiredness.
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Is It Low Blood Sugar
People with diabetes need to check the amount of sugar in their blood often. You can get dizzy if it drops too low. That also can cause hunger, shakiness, sweating, and confusion. Some people without diabetes also have trouble with low blood sugar, but thats rare.
A quick fix is to eat or drink something with sugar, like juice or a hard candy.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
In some cases, your allergic reactions or the ensuing sleepiness will prompt you to seek medical attention. Allergic reactions can be dangerous, so it’s important to understand what you’re dealing with. A stuffy nose usually isn’t serious, but other symptoms might be an indication of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
It’s also important to note whether or not you’re able to relieve your symptoms with allergy treatment. Fatigue could be a symptom of a serious medical condition if you take non-drowsy allergy medication that relieves all of your symptoms except for sleepiness.
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Does Yale Medicine Offer Specialized Allergy Care
Yale Medicines Allergy & Clinical Immunology physicians have;;expertise in diagnosing and treating allergies and immunologic diseases. The department schedules weekly conferences to guide care of complex allergy cases, so patients benefit from multiple expert opinions.
In addition, we conduct research to determine the molecular basis of allergic disorders in order to develop new ways to treat people with allergies. Our;goal is to help you;better;enjoy the seasons as they turn by keeping the achoos in check.
Are Your Allergies Making You Tired
Nearly 30 percent of the population experiences seasonal allergy attacks which cause symptoms like nasal congestion, headaches, sneezing or coughing. During an allergy flare-up, you may also feel drowsy and have a;harder time focusing on activities throughout the day, which is often referred to as brain fog. Allergist, Dr. Andrey Leonov, explains the effect your allergies have on your sleep and energy level, and what you can do to minimize symptoms, including brain;fog.
For many of us, environmental allergens like pollen, mold or dander trigger an allergic response, especially during peak seasons when their counts are at their highest. During an allergic reaction, inflammation often develops especially in your eyes, lungs, sinuses and throat. Inflammation can trigger other allergy symptoms including coughing, sneezing or headaches, and can prevent you from getting a;good nights rest. The combination of a;lack of sleep and congestion often leads to allergy-induced fatigue. If inflammation develops in your ears, they may not be able to drain properly, leading to fluid build-up. Fluid in your middle ear can make you feel dizzy, similar to having your head underwater. The longer you experience allergy symptoms, the more tired you will become, making school, work and other daily activities increasingly difficult.
If you experience allergy-induced brain fog or other allergy symptoms, you can;try:
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How Do I Prevent Allergy Fatigue
There are several ways to reduce the fatigue associated with allergies. One of the best ways is to reduce your body’s response to allergens and avoid taking medications that cause fatigue. Reducing exposure also keeps you from feeling tired due to your body’s natural response.
Start by identifying what type of allergy you have and the specific allergens your body reacts to. For example, seasonal allergies, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis and hay fever, are caused by outdoor molds.;
You can identify the triggers by carefully tracking your symptoms or by undergoing a skin or blood test. Once you know what causes you to have an allergic reaction, you can limit your exposure to the allergen as much as possible. Common allergens include:;;;;;
- Animal dander
- Keep pets off beds and other furniture
- Open windows as often as possible except during high-pollen periods
- Cool your home with air conditioning during high-pollen periods
- Brush and bathe pets regularly
- Keep track of outdoor pollen counts
- Wear gloves and a mask when gardening
- Stop smoking and/or avoid exposing yourself to secondhand smoke
At-home allergy tests will help you identify your allergies. One of the most effective at-home allergy testing options is the EverlyWell Test. It provides accurate information you can discuss with your healthcare provider and is a great option for people struggling to figure out what is causing their symptoms.