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Does Allergy Medicine Lower Your Immune System

Are There Any Other Tests

Allergies and the Immune System || Health Diary

Other tests may be needed for the condition for which you are having treatment. In some cancers, for example, bone marrow biopsy might be needed to monitor what is happening. In HIV and AIDS, specific blood tests on immune function may be used to monitor what is happening.

Your specialist may also monitor you for any changes in your skin, as immune suppression can make you more susceptible to skin cancers.

Other tests and monitoring requirements will depend on the specific medication. For example, if you take oral steroids, your weight and blood pressure may be monitored, as weight gain and high blood pressure can be side-effects of this type of medication. On steroids, your bone density will also be monitored, as they can cause ‘thinning’ of the bones , and your eyes will be monitored for cataracts.

Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System To Fight Allergies

You may be able to minimize the impact of seasonal allergies by building your body’s defenses against them. Find out more about your immune system and allergies.

If you have seasonal allergies, chances are you’ve spent plenty of time cruising drugstore aisles looking for relief from allergy symptoms. You know just how wide a variety of medications there are both over-the-counter and prescription for seasonal allergies. What’s less well known is that you may also be able to get allergy relief by building up your defenses against them. Check out these tips to enhance your immune system and send allergies packing.

Supplements To Boost Your Immune System

“Nutrition is a critical determinant of immune responses and malnutrition, the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. In studies involving more than 1,327 hospitalised adult patients, 40% to 55% were found to be either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, and up to 12% were severely malnourished. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a pro-hormone . Dr. Cedric F. Garland, a cancer prevention specialist and his colleagues estimate that 250,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 350,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented worldwide by increasing intake of vitamin D3, particularly in countries north of the equator. Vitamin D3 is available through diet, supplements and exposure of the skin to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential in mucosal integrity and gut permeability . Vitamin D deficiency can make you more susceptible to osteoporosis, periodontal disease, infectious disease, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, and depression.

When you have low vitamin C levels, the immune system’s white blood cells cannot function well. Women with deficiencies in vitamin C and folate have a higher risk of cervical cancer. Studies show that women with low vitamin C intake have a ten times higher risk than women who eat more foods that are high in vitamin C. As a bonus, vitamin C supports the stimulation of collagen formation for anti-aging.

Also Check: What’s Better For Allergies Claritin Or Zyrtec

How Might These Drugs Reduce Vaccine Efficacy

Vaccines work by teaching your immune system to recognize a specific threat so that it can respond appropriately if it ever sees that threat again, said Wallace.

However, according to Wallace, immunosuppressive drugs work by reducing the ability of your immune system to recognize and fight off threats.

This suppression is useful in treating autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, where an undesirable immune reaction is occurring.

But immunosuppression also reduces the immune systems ability to mount a response to things you want it to respond to, like infections and vaccines, she said.

Were starting to realize that people taking immunosuppressive drugs may have a slower, weaker response to COVID vaccination.

What Is The Immune System

Rashes and Autoimmune Diseases

The purpose of the immune system is to defend itself and keep microorganisms, such as certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi, out of the body, and to destroy any infectious microorganisms that do invade the body. The immune system is made up of a complex and vital network of cells and organs that protect the body from infection.

The organs involved with the immune system are called the lymphoid organs. They affect growth, development, and the release of lymphocytes . The blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are important parts of the lymphoid organs. They carry the lymphocytes to and from different areas in the body. Each lymphoid organ plays a role in the production and activation of lymphocytes.

Lymphoid organs include:

  • Adenoids

  • Appendix

  • Blood vessels

  • Bone marrow

  • Lymph nodes

  • Lymphatic vessels

  • Peyer’s patches

  • Spleen

  • Thymus

  • Tonsils

Read Also: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec

So If Allergy Meds Are Interacting With My Immune System Doesnt That Mean It Could Change How My Body Responds

There was one rodent study that suggested antihistamines might prevent an animal from building a tolerance to allergens, but the study was based on venom, not pollen or other common allergens, and again: it was a rodent study. There have been no studies to suggest that humans experience the same issue. Sawlani agrees that OTC meds like antihistamines and nasal sprays, and certainly eye drops, should not have a significant clinical impact on your immune system.

Bassett explains that its probably not your drugs that are to blame. It just takes less grains of pollen to cause a reaction as the season progresses, When your immune system is already primed to react to certain allergens, it takes less of an initial spark to set off the whole cascade of histamines. He advises starting to take your allergy meds a few weeks before the pollen is likely to peak, and suggests seeing an allergist if you want to manage your symptoms better. In-office testing for allergens could help you understand how to decrease your exposureor just tell you which plant or animal to blame when you complain about turning into a snot monster.

Strategies For Supporting Your Body’s Defenses

Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences. Dr. Weiss is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Like all autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease result when the immune system attacks a healthy part of the bodyin these cases, the thyroid gland.

The same mechanisms your body would call on to prevent infection by a virus, bacterium, or another pathogen are at play with these autoimmune thyroid conditions, meaning your defenses against general illness, like the common cold, are compromised.

In considering the overall management of your condition, it’s important to support your immune system to stay as strong as possible.

Also Check: Allergy Nasal Spray Reviews

It May Make You More Susceptible To Viruses

While alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can actually reduce the amount of quality sleep you get each night. According to a 2018 study published in JMIR Mental Health, individuals with low alcohol consumption reduced their sleep-induced physiological recovery by 9.3%, individuals with moderate alcohol consumption reduced recovery by 24%, and those with high alcohol intakesmore than one drink a day for women or more than two drinks per day for menreduced recovery by 39.2%.

Unfortunately, over time, this can lead to serious immune health issues. A 2017 study conducted by researchers in the University of Washington Health Sciences department and UW Medicine found that, among 11 pairs of identical twins, those who slept for fewer hours had a less robust immune system than those who slept more.

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Allergy Meds Come In Two Flavors And Theyre Not Created Equal

How to Build Up Your Immune System

Lets back up for a second. There are two main categories of allergy meds : antihistamines and corticosteroids.

Most people in America take antihistamines, which covers everything from Benadryl to Claritin to Zyrtec. The original antihistamines, namely Benadryl , made people incredibly drowsy because the effects could spread across the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, histamines help promote wakefulness within your normal sleep-wake cycle by attaching to a related but distinct receptor from the one that regulates allergic responses. Diphenhydramine, with its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and its indiscriminate binding, therefore makes most people quite sleepy. Seasonal allergy sufferers got a huge win when second generation antihistamines were invented that stayed out of the brain. Second generation antihistamines have a slightly different molecular structure that allows them to more specifically bind to the relevant receptors, plus theyre lipo-phobic or fat-averse. The blood-brain barrier blocks most lipo-phobic molecules, thus keeping out that Claritin or Zyrtec.

These non-drowsy pills have become the mainstay, even though theyre probably less effective than corticosteroids . Antihistamines work by blocking histamines, as the name implies, which helps allergies because histamines are the signaling molecule that your body makes in response to the pollen .

Also Check: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec

Effects Of Rosuvastatin On The Immune System In Healthy Volunteers With Normal Cholesterol

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : September 14, 2010Last Update Posted : October 9, 2018
  • Study Details

Background:

– The drug rosuvastatin is used to lower cholesterol levels in people with elevated cholesterol levels. Recent studies have suggested that rosuvastatin may affect the immune system and reduce inflammation, but the reason for this effect is unclear. Researchers are interested in testing the effect of rosuvastatin on the immune systems of healthy volunteers with good cholesterol levels.

Objectives:

– To evaluate the effect of rosuvastatin on the immune systems of healthy volunteers.

Eligibility:

– Healthy individuals at least 18 years of age who have an acceptable blood level of LDL cholesterol .

Design:

Condition or disease
Healthy VolunteersStatinsImmune Modulation

The primary objective is to characterize the immune system before and during statin therapy.

Layout table for study information

Study Type :
Effects of Rosuvastatin on the Immune System in Healthy Volunteers With Normal Cholesterol
Study Start Date :
  • To describe the effects of statins on platelet activity and coagulation during thrombus formation.
  • Fight Allergies With Immunotherapy

    Immunotherapy is the only way to truly change the way your immune system and allergy response to allergens like pollen and ragweed, explained Michael Mardiney, Jr., MD, an allergist at MD Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. People who are treated with immunotherapy receive injections containing the substances they are allergic to, in increasing amounts once or twice a week. This desensitizes the immune system over time. Immunotherapy is usually the best treatment when your seasonal allergy symptoms occur year-round or when you don’t have enough success with allergy medication.

    Recommended Reading: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec

    What Can We Do Mitigate This Problem

    Experts say there may be strategies we can use to get around the problem presented by immunosuppression.

    Wallace suggested that some may be able to pause their medication around the time they get their vaccination or delay an IV infusion until theyve had time to mount an immune response to the injection.

    Dr. Meghan Baker, a hospital epidemiologist who works with immunocompromised patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Womens Hospital, added that if there is flexibility in the timing of immunosuppressive therapies, experts often recommend completing the COVID-19 vaccine series at least 2 weeks before starting the medications.

    If this is not possible, however, they recommend that patients speak with their personal physician about the risks versus benefits of delaying therapy.

    Wallace further explained that specific recommendations regarding the timing of immune-suppressing medications would have to be tailored to the needs of the individual.

    For example, if someone is on chemotherapy to treat an active cancer, the risk of temporarily stopping that treatment is much different than the risk of stopping a medication that someones been on for 10 years to treat their stable rheumatoid arthritis, Wallace said.

    She also pointed out that different immunosuppressive drugs may affect vaccine response differently.

    So, guidelines that make sense for certain conditions or medications, may not be appropriate for others, she explained.

    What Is The Bodys Immune System

    Humira (adalimumab): How it works, uses, how to take it ...

    The immune system is responsible for protecting your body from invading viruses, pathogens, fungi, or any other microorganism that may cause your body harm. This system is made up of a complex system of cells and organs that fight off infection. It includes plenty of parts playing different roles, from white blood cells called lymphocytes that confront microorganisms in the bloodstream to entire organs like the spleen or the appendix. Through the immune system, your body is able to protect itself from outside agents.

    Read Also: What Is In Mucinex Allergy

    It Could Lower Your Risk Of Getting Colds

    Though you may be more likely to develop certain viruses if you’re a regular wine drinker, the common cold may not number among them. According to a 2012 retrospective study published in BMJ Public Health, among a group of 899 men, frequent alcohol consumption was associated with lower rates of developing the common cold compared to those who never drank.

    Can Allergies Weaken Your Immune System

    Summer season is here, and with the heat comes the usual threat of some seasonal allergies. This is also the time when many people are wondering, can allergies weaken your immune system?. A direct answer to this question is yes allergies can indeed weaken your immune system.

    Although having allergies doesnt cause you to have a cold or flu, your allergy treatment is a factor that makes you vulnerable to other sicknesses. Sometimes, its hard to differentiate between allergies and sickness. Lets say that youre sneezing, have a runny nose, and a sore throat. You may be mistake these symptoms of allergy for a cold. The only time youll realize that its more than just an allergy is when you suffer from a fever or headache. In addition, a cold may last only for a week or so, while your allergies will stay for as long as you get exposed to the allergen.

    However, if youre suffering from allergies and they arent getting effective treatment, it could possibly weaken your immune system, making you more at risk on viruses and other bacterias. This can result in your allergies evolving into a sinus, ear, or infection in your upper respiratory.

    Recommended Reading: Phenylephrine Allergy Medicine

    How To Take Antihistamines

    Depending on your symptoms, you can take antihistamines:

    • Every day, to help keep daily symptoms under control
    • Only when you have symptoms
    • Before being exposed to things that often cause your allergy symptoms, such as a pet or certain plants

    For many people with allergies, symptoms are the worst around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Taking an antihistamine at bedtime may help you or your child feel better in the morning during allergy season.

    How Do Allergy Shots Work

    TB, Systemic Antifungal, and Antiviral Medications – Pharmacology – Immune System – @Level Up RN

    Allergy shots work by gradually exposing your immune system to the specific substances youre allergic to, therefore, training it not to react or cause symptoms. If you start immunotherapy, youll go into your allergist office for treatment over several years.

    During the appointments, you receive an injection filled with your specific allergen. Your allergist uses a very limited dose of the allergen at first, then increases it slowly over time. The goal of the treatment is to create an immunity or desensitization to the allergen.

    When immunotherapy first begins, youll see your allergist once or twice weekly. This is called the build-up phase because youre building up the amount of the allergen in your system. You will eventually reach a maintenance dose, which is the maximum dose and concentration for your allergens that is considered optimal for therapeutic response.

    Once youre on the maintenance dose, your allergist visits for injections will decrease in frequency in a sequential pattern over time until eventually you will reduce to just monthly appointments. This maintenance phase usually lasts for three to five years for the best therapeutic benefit and long-term relief of your symptoms.

    Read Also: Non Drowsy Allergy Tablets

    Eliminate Drugs That Interfere With The Immune System

    Another important consideration are the drugs that affect our immunity. After years of gluten induced damage, many of us are on multiple medications. However, some of these drugs impact the immune system, and delay healing.

    Allergy medications

    Allergy medications like Benadryl and Singulair can suppress part of your immune system, to reduce your symptoms of allergy. However, suppressing the immune system over long periods of time can increase your risk of infections and other immune related diseases.

    A nice substitute for allergy medicines that can help support a normal immune response is vitamin C mixed with quercetin. When you combine these with bromelain, you get a very synergistic formulation that helps to stabilize immune cells, the membrane around your immune cells, particularly a cell type called a mast cell. Stabilizing mast cells, or supporting the membrane around the mast cells with vitamin C, quercetin and bromelain is a very effective strategy in lieu of taking over the counter allergy medications.

    Steroids

    Antacids

    The last class of medications I recommend being cautious of are antacids. Antacids change the microbiome in the stomach and allows for an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines, which can be damaging to the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as a result of antacid medications is a very real problem. Therefore there is a strong correlation between acid reflux and liver problems.

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