Seasonal Allergies and Fatigue: What’s the connection

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Seasonal allergies and Fatigue: Inflammation strikes again

With us entering into the fall and winter months, many individuals start experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies such as runny or congested nose, itchy watery eyes, sore throat and fatigue, such fatigue.  Ever wonder why the runny nose and watery eyes of seasonal allergies seem to make you feel so tired?  Me too and this is the science.

It is not your imagination seasonal allergies have been shown in many studies to contribute to fatigue and depression.  One possible theory suggested by studies is that allergies create an increase in inflammatory substances called cytokines which then go on to act on the brain creating symptoms of low moods and fatigue.

Interestingly, inflammatory cytokines were also shown to affect the natural variation of our stress hormone cortisol, causing it to be lower in the day and higher in the night.  Since the cortisol in our bodies helps us to manage stressors such as exposure to environmental irritants like pollen, this lowering of our cortisol level may contribute to us being more susceptible to allergies and thus fatigue. Studies also show that people who suffer from seasonal allergies also experience poor sleep quality or insomnia, another major contributor to fatigue.

So don’t ignore your allergy symptoms as it may be affecting you more than you think. Make an appointment with your physician or an integrative medical practitioner to establish a routine to get you through this season.

Some of my simple tips

  • Leave your shoes at the door to avoid bringing allergens into the house
  • Invest in a nettie pot to rinse the nasal allergens away
  • Eye drops of saline for the eyes can help accomplish similar effect for the eyes
  • Consider a trial of quercetin, nature’s antihistamine
  • Increase foods high in vitamin C or consider adding vitamin C to your routine.  Check with your physician to make sure no contraindications

Here’s to a immune balancing fall


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