How Is Stress Related to Allergy Symptoms?
Stress and allergies go hand in hand.
Stress wreaks havoc on energy. Stress is your body's response to situations, inside and out, which interfere with the normal balance in your life. Virtually all of the body's systems - digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and nervous system - make adjustments in response to stress.
Our Gut - the flora in our digestive system is easily prone to upset and disruption by external sources, like our hormones. This is where stress, self-criticism, and anxiety come into play as they change the pH level (the acid/alkaline balance) in your intestines. The intestinal tract is one of the first areas of the body to react to fear or personal stress (think of the nausea and/or loose-bowel feeling that can accompany stage fright, etc.). In a balanced system, once the stress is reduced, the pH straightens out and symptoms may disappear. In a weakened system, such as occurs under unrelenting stress, the intestines stay irritated and contribute to chronic discomfort.
When we are all stressed out, our body releases hormones and other chemicals, including histamine, the powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms. While stress doesn't actually cause allergies, it can make an allergic reaction worse by increasing the histamine in your bloodstream.
Chronic stress that persists for weeks, or even months produces cortisol, the body's main stress-induced hormone, which may lead to varying levels of fatigue, including adrenal fatigue. When cortisol becomes elevated and remains so for a while, it affects the cells that comprise your immune system. The immune system can't keep infections or diseases at bay as it would do normally. Viruses or bacteria proliferate to the point where they can infect many cells, leading to symptoms and increased chance of illness.
If you suffer with allergy symptoms, you know all about the stress of having a chronic condition. Not only is it difficult to live with all the various -often debilitating symptoms - but poor sleep patterns, that can lead to fatigue, exhaustion and problems concentrating - often leaving your body's natural resistance completely exhausted, too. Allergy medicines can cause appetite changes, low energy, and even irritability. All you want is relief: from the symptoms, the stress, all of it.
Adrenal Fatigue (Burnout)
Prolonged stress can lead to Adrenal fatigue; a deficiency in adrenal gland functioning that can result in debilitating symptoms. It is a condition - often unrecognised - that likely affects millions of people. Do you feel exhausted and need lots of stimulating foods to keep going? Do you have symptoms such as tiredness, fearfulness, frequent influenza, anxiety, depression, reduced memory, difficulties in concentrating, insomnia, feel worn-out, and are unable to lose weight after extensive effort? You may well be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.
Further Signs and Symptoms include: Allergies, asthma, bronchitis or chronic cough, behaviour problems, cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese, decreased ability to handle stress and increased effort to perform daily tasks, dizziness /lightheaded (postural hypotension), dry and thin skin, excessive thirst and urination, food intolerances, headaches, hemorrhoids, hyperpigmentation, hypoglycemia, indigestion - alternating constipation and diarrhoea, inflammation, lack of energy, Low body temperature, memory problems, mild depression, muscle weakness and back pain, nervousness, palpitations - heart pounding, recurring infections, sleep disturbances/Insomnia, swelling, varicose veins, weight problems-tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it.
James L. Wilson has written a very empowering work “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” drawing on 24 years of clinical experience and research. Packed with vital information about a condition, he helps readers determine if they have adrenal fatigue and learn how to treat it. Beginning with a diagnostic questionnaire, he moves through the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the condition through lifestyle and dietary modification. A very informative and reader-friendly book - about a common debilitating medical condition - that goes largely undiagnosed and untreated.
More information and help can be found on www.adrenalfatigue.org, including a health-checker: Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire: www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-the-adrenal-fatigue-quiz