Allergies and Hormones
Hormones and the body´s immune system are inseparably associated, connected like an interwoven web. It’s no wonder, then, at times when the female body goes through hormonal transitions, such as during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, allergies, and other bodily ailments can kick into overdrive.
As women approach menopause, many begin to experience a heightened sensitivity to allergies that previously had only subtle effects, or new allergies might spring up seemingly out of nowhere. The best way to attain allergy relief is to understand allergies as related to menopause, their causes, and finally, the treatment options available.
Causes of Allergies
The body’s hormones and the immune system use many of the same chemical messengers that allergies can react from. Changes in any of the individual components can affect the rest of the overall workings of the body; So, when hormones become imbalanced as a result of menopause (or any other period of time that hormone fluctuations are likely to occur), the immune system can suffer and make a woman more prone to allergies.
Allergies are present when a person’s immune system reacts abnormally to foreign substances that are typically harmless to most people. Perhaps the most common example is an allergy to pollen. In this case, pollen would be known as an allergen.
When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly identifies the substance as harmful, and in an attempt to protect the body, produces a type of antibody, at the source of an allergic reaction, known as an IgE Antibody. These antibodies spark chemical reactions in certain cells, namely the release of a chemical called histamine into the bloodstream. Many people, especially allergy sufferers, are familiar with histamine, which is the chemical that inflames tissue and is responsible for runny noses, sneezing, rashes, or whatever an individual’s allergic reaction might be
For those with allergies, histamine becomes part of an allergic response that can range from relatively minor symptoms to life-threatening, full-body reactions.
Symptoms of Allergies
Because there is such a wide array of allergies that different people have, the symptoms are vast as well. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some allergies can cause multiple symptoms in an individual. An extremely severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Although anaphylaxis is rare, if not treated, it can cause very serious health concerns and even death. Below are allergy symptoms, separated into mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild symptoms: • Rash • Itchy, watery eyes • Congestion • Sneezing
Moderate symptoms: • Itchiness • Difficulty breathing
Severe symptoms: • Varying degrees of swelling that can make breathing and swallowing difficult. • Abdominal pain • Cramps • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Mental confusion or dizziness.
Types of Allergies
Many people have allergies to animal fur and dander, pollen, and certain types of food. But really, almost anything can be a cause of allergy in a person. The Food and Drug Administration recognized eight foods as being common allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, and sulphites (a chemical often found in flavors and colors in foods). The world is filled with potential allergens, which create various types of allergies.
Those common types are the following:
• Hay Fever is the most common of the allergic diseases and refers to seasonal nasal symptoms that are due to pollens
. • Asthma is a breathing problem that results from the inflammation and spasm of the lung’s air passages.
• Allergic Eyes is inflammation of the tissue layers that cover the surface of the eyeball and the undersurface of the eyelid.
• Allergic Eczema is an allergic rash that is usually not caused by skin contact with an allergen. It´s usually associated with hay fever of asthma.
• Hives are skin reactions that appear as itchy swellings and can occur on any part of the body.
• Allergic Shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can affect a number of organs at the same time. This response typically occurs when the allergen is eaten (for example, foods) or injected (for example, a bee sting).
(article origin- 34 menopause symptoms)
If you would like more information, please book a consult with Dr. Kaleigh Anstett, our Vancouver Naturopath
Have a great day,
The Vitality Team