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Stress can make allergy flare-ups more likely, doctors warn

Want seasonal allergy relief? Don’t stress!

3 April, 2014

Natural Health News – Stress doesn’t cause allergies, but easing your mind might mean less allergy flare-ups this spring.

According to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergy sufferers with persistent stress are more prone to allergy flares.

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

Researchers from The Ohio State University analysed 179 patients for 12 weeks. Among these 39% had more than one allergy flare. This group also had higher stress than the group without allergy symptoms. In the stressed-out group 64% experienced more than four flares over two, 14 day periods.

While there were no significant links 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,” said Dr. Patterson. “While alleviating stress won’t cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms.”

Patterson recommends that 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

But other alternatives may also work. See our feature De-stress, naturally for more options. See also Natural remedies to relieve hay fever misery.