Monday, 2 December 2013

Why Do People With Allergies Feel Tired All The Time?


Do you suffer from allergic rhinitis and feel tired all the time? This is very common and is sometimes known as "allergy fatigue syndrome". There are a few contributing factors to this:

1) Drug Induced Sleepiness
Some medicine that you are taking for your hay fever or allergic rhinitis could cause drowsiness. Best to take these medicine at night before sleep, or check with your doctor for other non-drowsy alternatives. Check out what works for me here.

2) Fighting the Allergens
If your body is constantly in a mode of fighting allergens within your system, it is natural to feel drained out isn't it? As Dr Jacqueline Gerhart, a family physician practicing at UW Health's DeForest-Windsor Clinic, explained:

"When you have a cold or a sinus infection, there is actually a virus or a bacteria that your body is trying to fight. With allergies however, there usually isn’t a living virus or organism in your body that you have to “kill.” Even so, your immune system still gets revved up because it sees the allergen as “foreign material.” Just as your body sends certain immune cells to fight a sinus infection, it sends other immune cells to fight allergies. For example, for bacterial infections, your body may make more immune cells called neutrophils or lymphocytes. Whereas for allergies, your body may make more immune cells called mast cells or eosinophils."

3) Lack of Sleep & Poor Quality Sleep
When your allergic condition flares up, your sleep is most often affected as a congested nose, sneezing and post nasal drip makes sleeping uncomfortable. You get fragmented sleep as you wake up every now and then to blow your nose or clear your throat. Your blocked nasal passages could also lead to snoring, resulting in sleep apnea like symptoms, again leading to fatigue.

4) Lowered Immunity
As a result of lack of sleep and or poor quality sleep, overtime, your immunity is impaired and you will notice your allergies worsening and possibly more frequent flare up as your body is less able to fight the allergens. This is a vicious cycle which needs to be broken.


What Can You Do?
Avoidance is definitely the best step, but its not possible all the time. Here are some tips for the protecting yourself during the spring and autumn season. If you have hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, take medicine early before the season starts. Doing acupuncture before the season starts will also bring you much relief.

If you suffer from dust mite allergy like me, please do yourself a favour by getting a good quality anti dust mite bedding cover. Your sleep at night will never be the same again! I shared my experience here.

Adjusting your diet, exercise and taking some natural antihistamine supplements like Quercetin  (which I've tried here) are also useful to allergy relief in the long run.

Finally, do see an allergist if your allergic condition is very severe and you also suffer from allergy induced asthma.