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Stress Can Trigger Allergies

Stress Can Trigger Allergies Just in time for the beginning of spring, new research finds that while stress does not actually cause allergies, it appears to fuel allergy outbreaks.

According to the new study, allergy sufferers with persistent stress experience more allergy flares.

“Stress can cause several negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers,” said allergist Amber Patterson, M.D., lead study author.

“Our study also found those with more frequent allergy flares also have a greater negative mood, which may be leading to these flares.”

The study has been published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Researchers from Ohio State University analyzed 179 patients for 12 weeks. Thirty-nine percent had more than one allergy flare.

This group had higher stress than the group without allergy symptoms. Of this group, 64 percent had more than four flares over two, 14 day periods.

While there were no significant findings between allergy flares and stress on the same day, a number of sufferers reported allergy flares within days of increased daily stress.

“Symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes can cause added stress for allergy sufferers, and may even be the root of stress for some,” saidĀ Patterson.

“While alleviating stress won’t cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms.”

Allergy sufferers can help alleviate stress by:

  • Meditating and breathing deeply;
  • Reducing things that may be responsible for stress and learning how to cope better (i.e. not turning to smoking or caffeine which can do more damage than good);
  • Asking for help whether from a social worker, family member, or colleague;
  • Making time for fun and relaxation;
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle by eating right, getting enough sleep, and taking care of health conditions.

“Allergy sufferers can also alleviate stress and allergy symptoms by seeing their board-certified allergist,” said allergist James Sublett, M.D.

“An allergist will help you develop an action plan with ways to avoid allergy triggers and what treatment will be best for your individual needs.”

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

 
Young man with allergies photo by shutterstock.

Stress Can Trigger Allergies

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Stress Can Trigger Allergies. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/04/02/stress-can-trigger-allergies/67973.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.