Manage Allergies And Weight Gain Symptoms
It is critical to visit your primary care provider if you suspect you may have a food allergy. Your doctor can recommend treatment and testing to determine the source of your symptoms.
Read more: When Are Allergies a Medical Concern?
If your symptoms are not severe, your doctor may recommend keeping a log of all the foods you eat, noting any that cause symptoms.
If the cause of your allergic response is easily identified, you might try an elimination diet. In an elimination diet, you will completely cut out the trigger food from your diet. This can jumpstart successful weight loss for many people, but can be difficult if the food causing your symptoms is one you love or is something you eat frequently.
Focusing on the healthy, nutritious foods you can have rather than the few foods you cant have due to allergies also helps you commit to healthier eating overall.
When your symptoms persist despite these initial treatment methods, your doctor will refer you to a specialist for further testing. You may see an allergist, who can pinpoint specific allergies through blood tests or allergy skin testing.
If you feel that you have a food sensitivity or allergy, PartnerMD can help. PartnerMD takes the time to look at your health history, pinpointing trends that may show what is triggering your allergic reactions.
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Which Antihistamines Have Been Linked To Weight Gain
Antihistamine weight gain is a topic that requires more research. However, studies have suggested that some antihistamine medications might cause weight gain more than others.
Benadryl has also been linked to weight gain in some patients.
However, newer antihistamines such as Claritin are associated with lesser weight gain as compared to the antihistamines mentioned above.
Do Allergy Shots Work
African American children have a higher rate of food allergies than children of other races. About 5.6 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have food allergies, according to FARE .
On top of that, many people suffer from outdoor allergies that can be mild in some months and severe in others depending on the weather.
Having an allergic reaction means your immune system is reacting to a foreign substance. In turn, your immune system will respond by manufacturing antibodies that react to a substance called an allergen. Even though the immune system is mistaken, it will react by attacking the allergen and identifying it as harmful. This may cause your body to have a negative reaction that inflames your skin, airways or digestive system.
You may also have allergy-like reactions to hot or cold temperatures, sunlight, or other environmental triggers. You are more likely to develop allergies if your parents, especially your mother, has them. Allergies can also make medical conditions such as sinus problems, eczema, and asthma worse.
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There are several methods of treatment that can lessen or eliminate your allergies, but the best solution is to always avoid what is triggering your allergies whenever possible. Methods of treatment include: nasal sprays, skin creams, eye drops, allergy immunotherapy and oral medication.
How do they work?
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Is it Fall Allergies or COVID-19?
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/9why Do Allergies And Covid Have Similar Symptoms
It can be really tricky to tell apart allergy symptoms from that of COVID-19, especially if both happen to be prevalent at the same time.
The crucial distinction can also help kids. While children are more prone to allergies, it is being reported that kids are turning out to be symptomatic and getting infected during the second wave than before.
For one, both an allergy infection and COVID bout could present symptoms that primarily impact your upper respiratory tract such as that of a cough, loss of smell, cold, runny eyes, rashes, headache.
Shortness of breath, congestion and breathing difficulties can sometimes occur too but are considered a rarity.
That being said, doctors say there are a few minute differences between allergy and COVID symptoms which may be worth checking for.
Evidence Of Antihistamine Weight Gain
Older antihistamines, such as Benadryl , have well-known side effects such as drowsiness. While others, like Allegra , tend to have less of these side effects.
A study published in the journal Obesity found an association between the use of antihistamines and obesity. Of the almost 900 people studied, those taking antihistaminessuch as Zyrtec and Allegrawere more likely to be overweight or obese than those not taking antihistamines.
The reasons for this weren’t clear, and it’s important to note that this association doesn’t mean that antihistamines directly cause weight gain.
The researchers theorized that antihistamines have a similar chemical structure to certain psychiatric drugs that are known to be associated with weight gain. Antihistamines may also increase appetite, which can cause weight gain.
Anecdotally, people using Xyzal an antihistamine similar to Zyrtec they have noticed they have put on extra pounds, which is what a very small percentage of patients who used the drug during trials experienced.
Older antihistamines, such as Periactin , have actually been used for the purpose of increasing appetite and weight gain in underweight children and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
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What Is It Like Getting A Steroid Shot For Allergies
The steroid shot is administered by an allergist and injected into a muscle, usually in the arm. The steroid shot takes six hours to go into effect, and theres no going back once it starts working. That means, if you have a bad reaction to the shot, you’ll need to deal with it until the shot wears off in a few weeks or months, says Dr. Parikh.
Thankfully, there’s a much less intense route: steroid-free immunotherapy shots. “That’s the best long-term solution,” says Dr. Parikh, who adds that these shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen to your body, in an effort to help you slowly acclimate to it. “Over time, your body stops reacting,” she says.
Generally, a patient will start with low concentrations and build up to a monthly maintenance shot, Dr. Lee explains. “These shots help the patient so that next time the body is exposed to the allergen, it is less reactive.”
So basically, steroid shots work on the symptoms of your allergies, while immunotherapy shots work to lessen your body’s defenses. The downside: Immunotherapy shots can take a year or longer before they provide relief.
If you’re a bit wary of needles, though, there’s another option still: nasal corticosteroids. While, yes, these contain steroids, “the steroid nasal sprays are very safe because very little of that steroid goes in your body,” says Dr. Parikh. Like the steroid shots, steroid nasal sprays also work to reduce inflammation.
/9here’s How You Can Tell The Difference
It’s important to note that a person CAN get infected by COVID if they do not get complete shots of the vaccine, and become complacent. Only 14 days after your second shot will you be considered fully immunized, post which chances of symptomatic infection go down considerably. So, a person remains very much at risk for catching COVID after getting jabbed and hence, any unusual signs and symptoms must not be ruled out.
Coming to the post-vaccination side-effects, the ones being most commonly reported right now include fever, backache, body pain, fatigue, malaise, lethargy, pain at the injection site, rashes or swelling.
A COVID-19 infection may cause a lot of these symptoms, but rashes and swelling are not widely seen or may strike everyone. Pain at the injection site and swelling are also classic vaccine-side effects.
Again, do remember that a vaccine, in all probability, wouldn’t set off symptoms like a cough, sore throat, distorted/impaired sense of smell or taste/ breathing difficulty, chest pain or gastrointestinal symptoms. If you do happen to experience symptoms like this after vaccination and/or suspect exposure, get help.
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What Should I Expect Afterward
Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.
Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.
A Shot Isn’t Your Only Option
For people who hate shots or can’t keep up with their intensive schedule, sub-lingual therapy may be another option. This type of immunotherapy is delivered in daily tablets that dissolve under the tongue, and only the first few doses need to be taken with a doctor present.
Sub-lingual therapies are currently on the market for grass pollen and for ragweed pollen . Some allergy practices will also administer liquid drops under-the-tongue to treat other types of allergies, although these treatments are not FDA-approved.
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These Brands Have The Greatest Impact On Your Weight
The Yale study specifically looked at two types of antihistamines which, at the time of the study, were only available by prescription: Zyrtec and Allegra. Today, these brands are available as OTC allergy treatments alongside Benadryland the Obesity Medicine Association reports that because they “have the same strength as the prescription versions,” they most likely trigger the same side effects. And for more on essential medical news, If You Take This Medication, U.S. Officials Have a New Warning for You.
Understanding How Allergy Shots Work
Q1. My doctor gave me a Kenalog shot for allergies. Is this a common remedy? Is there something better?
Kenalog, an injectable corticosteroid, is a medication that reduces inflammation in the body, including inflammation related to allergies. Whenever possible, it is better to use corticosteroid medications that only go where they are needed. Specifically, corticosteroids can be sprayed into the nose for nasal symptoms, or inhaled into the lungs for allergy-related asthma, rather than injected or taken in pill form. This is preferable, because much of your body is not affected by allergies, and there is usually no reason to give a whole-body medicine. In addition, the doses involved with injected or oral corticosteroids are much higher than the doses in sprays, and therefore the side effects are greater. See my earlier answer about the side effects of corticosteroid medications for more information on this subject.
Doctors will give someone a corticosteroid shot or pills to take by mouth for allergies when that person comes in with disabling symptoms that have been going on for weeks. In this setting, injections or pills are sometimes the only treatment strong enough to work.
Q2. I am taking allergy shots every week, one for cats and dogs and one for mold and weeds. I have gained 26 pounds since I started the shots six months ago. Could the shots cause me to gain weight?
Diana, New Jersey
Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Kenalog
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect Kenalog-40, especially:
an antibiotic or antifungal medication
How Long Does A Steroid Shot For Allergies Last
Long-lasting steroid shots for allergies can last between three weeks and three months. During this time, the steroid is slowly released into your body.
A long-lasting shot may mean that you only require one shot per allergy season. However, long-lasting shots come with risks. In particular, theres no way to remove the steroid from your body if you experience side effects.
There are few studies examining the effectiveness of steroid shots over time, as the risk of serious side effects increases with repeated use.
Also Check: Allergies Causing Nausea
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not be treated with Kenalog-40 if you are allergic to it.
You may not be able to receive Kenalog-40 if you have a fungal infection, or a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura .
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an active or chronic infection, including tuberculosis
idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
a colostomy or ileostomy, or stomach surgery
low bone mineral density or
a problem with your thyroid or adrenal gland.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Happens If I Overdose
Since Kenalog-40 is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
Using too much Kenalog-40 is not likely to cause serious problems. However, long term use of high doses can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat , increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.
Read Also: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec
Increased Doses Needed For Physical Stress
Steroid use for over two weeks can decrease the ability of your body to respond to physical stress. A higher dose of steroid may be needed at times of major stress, such as surgery or very extensive dental work or serious infection. This could be needed for as long as a year after you have stopped steroids.
- Discuss this possibility with the surgeon or dentist, etc. who is taking care of you at the time. Your physician or surgeon may not feel you need to take the extra steroid at the time of surgery, but if they know you have been on corticosteroids they can watch you more carefully after surgery.
Peanut Allergies Are The Most Serious
Although peanut allergies are common affecting an estimated 6.1 million people in the U.S. and can certainly be dangerous, there is no way to rank allergy severity. Some individuals might have only a mild reaction to peanuts but, for others, it could spark anaphylaxis.
Although certain foods, such as tree nuts, shellfish, and eggs, account for most allergies, virtually any food can trigger a reaction. The severity of the reaction depends on an individuals immune system.
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What Are Allergy Shots
In order to better understand how allergy shots work, you need to know why allergies happen in the first place. Generally, allergies occur when you’re exposed to a typically harmless foreign substance and your immune system mistakenly identifies it as a threat. In response, your body will release certain chemicals, called histamines, that can cause sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and/or red, watery, or itchy eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may also develop a cough, hives, rashes, a scratchy throat, and, in severe cases, breathing trouble and asthma attacks, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The problem: There isn’t a cure for allergies, and the allergy and asthma medications available today control but not prevent the symptoms, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an adult and pediatric allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. Allergy shots, however, are currently the most effective method of alleviating your symptoms for good. “They’re the closest thing we have to achieving a cure,” says Dr. Parikh. “It’s the best underlying treatment.”
What Does Antidepressants And Allergies Mean
Q1. Since I began using Paxil for depression three years ago, I have gained 75 pounds. Other people have told me of similar weight gain on Paxil. Do you know why or how this occurs? Thank you for your help!
Q2. Do seasonal allergies cause you to feel tired all the time? What can I do about constant fatigue during allergy season?
When most people think of allergies, they think of the typical symptoms of sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. But fatigue, sinus pain and asthma also result from allergy. Symptoms may interfere with your sleep, which can cause fatigue, but an allergic reaction itself can release chemicals in your body that cause fatigue.
The best remedy for the fatigue is to get control of the allergies. Have yourself tested by an allergist to find out what you are allergic to, what to avoid and how to control your environment. An antihistamine and/or a leukotriene modifier may also help. If that’s insufficient, there are always allergy shots.
Another point to keep in mind is that many antihistamines cause drowsiness, which could be the cause of your fatigue if you take them for your seasonal allergies.
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Is Your Allergy Medication Making You Gain Weight
Allergy season is here. We are experiencing record pollen counts this year and you may be experiencing symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Many people treat seasonal allergies with over-the-counter antihistamines, but did you know that these medications could be making you gain weight?
Studies have shown that people with obesity are more prone to allergies, and this may have to do with the medications used to treat seasonal allergies. Scientists from Yale University published a study in 2010 in the journal Obesity showing that people who took antihistamines gained weight.
Histamine is known to affect body weight. The appetite control center of the brain known as the hypothalamus contains receptors for histamine. When histamine receptors are blocked by an antihistamine medication, the brain doesnt receive the Im full signal like it normally would. The body also cant burn calories effectively when the histamine receptor is blocked, lowering metabolism. These biological changes result in increased appetite, overeating, slower fat breakdown and weight gain. Antihistamines can also make you feel tired and unmotivated to exercise.
Antihistamines that can cause weight gain include: