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30/Sep/2019

Being sad isn’t something we commonly associate with allergies, although there are such things as having moods affected by allergies. When cytokines are released in the body in response to allergens, they can make a person feel sick or emulate flu-like symptoms which can contribute to depressed like feelings and behavior.

Kids Are More Sensitive

In a 2002 study, it was found that during times of increased ragweed pollen, patients reported significant fatigue and malaise. They also said they felt a change in their mood. Studies also show that allergies affect children with their schoolwork, and their performance suffers; this is the same for adults. Sleep interruptions and side effects of medication can contribute to work quality.

Children are more sensitive to the changes in their bodies and are more prone to tantrums and moodiness when their allergies are bothersome. Similar in adults, they too show moodiness and other symptoms to include heightened sadness during the spring. There isn’t any specific information that says individuals with allergies have depression; no more than it is the standard that depressed individuals have allergies. However, there is a correlation between heightened allergy reactions and overall mental and emotional wellbeing.

Allergy Sadness

If you are taking allergy medications, they can contribute to your overall state. Some such as Benadryl or Zyrtec can make allergy suffers sleepy, while other medicines function as a stimulant, like Sudafed. Both Sudafed and Claritin D contain a decongestant that produces symptoms of nervousness, anxiety, and sleeplessness. They are also hard on the heart and the overall nervous system.

Some people can cope with feeling down from their allergies, where others have a tough time feeling malaise and fatigue. A person may feel irritated at the fact that their bodies do not feel up to the regular daily tasks they usually accomplish. This alone can contribute to other mood changes when someone may need to work at a steady pace or perform at a certain level for their jobs.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

Aside from nose sprays and medications, sublingual therapy or allergy shots are the closest things to do to remedy allergies. In the meantime, taking precautions to avoid the allergens and combat them are all a person can do.

When you feel down, tired, or wiped out, ask for help with daily chores such as picking up the kids at school or running errands to the grocery store. If your children have frequent colds or sinus infections, it could be attributed to allergies especially if you notice more mood swings during periods of high pollen. If you or a family member notice mood shifts in relationship to fluctuations in allergy season, speak with your doctor and find out if you or your other family members would benefit from allergy testing and other allergy management protocols that work best for you. In the meantime don’t feel guilty if you need to slow down and rest if your allergies are flared as this is what your body needs.

 

 


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09/Sep/2019

Histamine intolerance is a build-up of histamine, and your body cannot expel excess histamine.   What is histamine? Histamine is a substance that is stored in some of the body’s cells.  According to The International Society of DAO Deficiency, “Histamine is a molecule derived from an essential amino acid, histidine, and it is produced by decarboxylation through enzyme L-histidine decarboxylase.”

When the body recognizes a foreign substance in the body as a threat, the immune system reacts. The cells release histamine into the bloodstream to fight the foreign substance. Other conditions, such as nutrition, medical problems, and drugs, can also contribute to histamine intolerance.

Symptoms

Your doctor or a dietician needs to test you to confirm if you have histamine intolerance.  However, there are specific symptoms to look for. Keeping a journal or record of your systems based pollen counts and your allergies may better help your doctor.

  • Headaches and even migraines.

  • Nasal congestion.

  • Digestive issues.

  • Skin rashes or eczema.

Other conditions can also contribute to histamine intolerance.  This is from an enzyme deficiency.  Your body produces an enzyme that is a natural histamine blocker called Enzyme Diamine Oxidase or (DAO).  When the body is deficient in this enzyme and elevates histamine, this creates similar symptoms as histamine intolerance. However, they may be more pronounced, accompanied by additional symptoms.

Enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO)

There are specific foods that block DAO, and certain foods cause the body to release histamine.  It is challenging to diagnose DAO deficiency because of the vagueness of the symptoms. Some symptoms we can associate with other illnesses.  However, it has been associated with children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

Symptoms of DAO Deficiency

  • Headaches & migraines.

  • Hypotension, hypertension, and arrhythmia.

  • Nasal congestion and asthma.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, stomach pain, and nausea.

  • Fibromyalgia and muscle aches.

  • Osteopathic pains.

Management

If you know what you are allergic to, then during times of elevated pollen or other environmental allergies it is best to avoid foods that elevate histamine for foods that reduce histamine and promote DAO production.

Taking a vitamin C tablet and increasing vitamin B2 will help keep your immune system in balance.  Foods low in histamine and promote DAO enzyme are fresh meat, fish eggs, vegetables (except spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and eggplant).  Fresh fruit, (except citrus and some berries) are a good choice. Adding coconut and olive oils, rice, quinoa, corn, teff, and millet will help with enzyme balance.

If you suffer from chronic allergies, speak with your doctor about histamine intolerance and your options for testing. If you have not had your allergies tested, this may be a good time to discuss testing options.


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26/Jun/2019

Everyone has cleared their throat at one time or another. The reasons differ from person to person; frequent throat clearing can be a sign of an underlying health condition related to allergies.  Apart from allergy-related conditions, frequent throat clearing can show other health-related problems or a habit.

Sometimes you may clear your throat to get another person’s attention or because you felt a tickle in your throat.  Frequent throat clearing may not only indicate a health condition, but it can also damage your vocal cords depending on how much you do it.

Other Throat Conditions

Conditions such as Zenker’s Diverticulum, a person has an unusual pouch that stops food from passing from the esophagus to the stomach.  When this happens, it may cause excess mucus in the throat.   Chronic Motor Tic Disorder starts in children and has other associated symptoms from spasms such as facial grimacing, rapid eye blinking, groans, and grunts.  Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that also creates habits where grunting or throat clearing is a part of a habit or behavioral issue.

If you are not experiencing any conditions relating to neurological disorders, you may have acid reflux.  This can cause a person to clear their throat from a buildup of stomach acid coming up from the esophagus.

Medications can cause you to feel a tickle in your throat or as though something is stuck. Coughing or trying to clear your throat will not help.  Allergy medications such as Sudafed, for example, will dry your mouth out and will cause your throat to feel dry and scratchy.

  • Smoking or being around second-hand smoke can irritate your throat.
  • Environmental allergies like pollen and dust.
  • Food allergies can trigger your throat to tighten or tickle.
  • The side effect of medications can cause a dry mouth and throat.

 

Allergies

Most often, if allergies are something that you deal with, the frequent throat clearing causes excess drainage, at night while you have been laying down and mucus drains when you are sleeping.  If you suspect that your frequent throat clearing is because of any neurological related symptoms, please contact your doctor so you can receive proper testing.  However, if food or environmental allergies are your concern, it may be time to call your allergy or ear nose and throat doctor.

While you are waiting to get into your doctor for an appointment, there are things you can do to ease some symptoms.  Drink plenty of water if you are taking a medication that dries out your mouth.  Avoid smoking or being around anyone who is smoking.  Keep a journal of times when you eat when your throat restricts or you feel a tickle in your throat during or after you eat.  You can use this if you suspect food allergies for notes to provide to your doctor.  Avoid areas where your allergies flare or wear a mask when cleaning or mowing.

Frequent Throat Clearing


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21/May/2019

 

The spring is something many people look forward to while it sends others running away because of allergic reactions to the pollen in the air during allergy season.  When an allergy sufferer braves the pollen-filled landscape, they may sneeze, have a runny nose, itchy eyes and feel exhausted if they are not prepared.  Some may struggle more in the fall and some all year long.  What are some simple things to remedy allergies?

Aside from following your doctor’s recommendations which may already include this list, try these remedies out and experiment.

  1. Use neti pots for sinuses
  2. Keep your windows closed on windy days.
  3. Use a prescription nose spray or saline rinse.
  4. Wash your face after you come in from being outside.
  5. Eat foods high in vitamin C.
  6. Change your air filter frequently.
  7. Use a pillow casing for allergies.
  8. Wash your clothes in hot water that have been exposed to potential allergens (hats, coats, jackets, etc.)
  9. Try to avoid going outside in the morning when pollen is higher.
  10. Vacuum regularly and use a HEPA filter.

As simple as these steps seem, it is amazing how simple lifestyle changes can alter your state of living.  You can order or shop for neti pots and saline.  In addition, there are other retailers to purchase pillowcase covers and air filters.

Allergy Maintenance Is Ongoing

  • Eating a healthy diet that includes a lot of Vitamin C is important in combating the body’s reactions to allergens in your body.
  • How many times have felt tired on days where your allergies are flared?  Your body is responding to those allergens and your adrenal glands need all the help they can get.  On those days where your allergies are getting you down, remember to take your multivitamin that includes vitamin C.
  • When you lay down at night to go to sleep, do you give your pillow any consideration it may harbor tons of allergens? Dust mites, pollen from the outside you carried in with your hair.  Dust itself?  If your pillow is damp from sweat or anything else.  There could be mold.  Even washing your pillow may not be enough.  Having a case that zips closed around your pillow will help keep those pesky allergens at bay.

Breeze Through Allergy Season

There are ways your doctor can help you. If you have tried several methods and have not talked to your doctor, there are things they can do to help.

  • Prescription nose sprays
  • Decongestants
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Allergy testing

If you are suffering from allergies and you feel you could use additional help, talk to your doctor.  Each person is unique and there may be other ways your doctor can help you feel better.  Don’t suffer, breeze through allergy season!


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Cape Fear Otolaryngology is a state of the art practice specializing in ear, nose, and throat treatments for children, teens, and adults. Our practice was designed with patients in mind and our team of highly skilled physicians and staff look forward to serving you and your family.

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