The Link Between Allergies and Exhaustion

If you’re suffering from seemingly chronic tiredness this can be highly draining. However it may be that the problem is caused by allergies that you can avoid or treat. Read on for more information.

The Problem

Constantly feeling tired and exhausted is a highly draining experience and if you can’t get to the bottom of what’s causing you to feel tired it can be highly depressing. Many of us have experienced at one time or another the feeling of being exhausted and it completely saps the joy out of life. When you’re doing something fun or exciting, feeling exhausted can mean you don’t enjoy the experience and can mean that you end up not getting anything out of it.

On the other hand though those things that would normally make you stressed or depressed will suddenly seem ten times as bad when you’re tired and exhausted as well – you just won’t have the energy to deal with problems as you normally would. You’ll find too that your tiredness levels are high when you’re at work and you will be less productive and be unable to work to as high a level. It will make you more short tempered and place strain on your relationships, it will make chronic pains flare up and it will make you more distracted and more likely to make mistakes.

Diagnosing Tiredness

In other words chronic tiredness is a severe problem and something you need to address. But with so many potential causes and with such subjective criteria it can be highly difficult to diagnose. You might think that it’s all in your head, and in fact you might at first not even realize that you have been tireder as it can come on slowly. Then there are many things that you might consider to be causing it – it could be the imminent onset of a cold, or a hangover from a previous cold or illness. It could be depression. It could be insomnia or sleep apnea. It could be anemia, diabetes or hypothyroidism. Chances are that if you go to a doctor they will give you a blood test and then tell you to get more sleep or ask if you might be suffering from depression. This can then be a highly distressing response as it leaves you no closer to combating the problem.

Here’s something they and you might not have considered – allergies – and these are responsible for many unexplained cases of tiredness and lethargy. Whether it’s an allergy to food, to pollen or to something else entirely. Once you realize this and get to the bottom of what is actually causing your allergic reaction, then you can start to address the problem and feel less tired – and if you’ve been not feeling yourself for a while then that can seem nothing short of a miracle.

How Does an Allergy Cause Tiredness?

But why does an allergy cause tiredness? Well this is quiet easy to understand. Essentially when you have an allergic reaction to something this is just the result of an overzealous reaction from your immune system. It notices a foreign material in your blood stream be it pollen or yeast, and it then responds by attacking it to try and eradicate it. It’s not known how our body comes to mistake certain materials for toxins and why this varies from person to person, but either way it will of course result in tiredness as your body is fighting to remove what it thinks is a toxin. This then directs energy to your immune system and so away from the rest of your body causing tiredness. At the same time some of the reactions themselves can directly cause tiredness such as an altered breathing pattern. Some allergies will have no symptoms apart from tiredness and that includes things like bread often and this can make it possible for you to suffer those symptoms for years and be unaware.

Identifying Your Allergy

Of course understanding this won’t in itself solve the problem – you need to know what the allergy is in order to restrict your intake of that food and address the problem. You also need to find out if it is in fact an allergy that is causing the problem.

To do this you can get a blood test that will test for various allergies. You can get this from your doctor or you can get a specific allergy test from a specialist. Alternatively to start getting an idea yourself you can try keeping a food diary and an energy diary. Every day you write into the diary what you have been eating and what your energy levels have been like and then look for correlations to identify problem foods. Likewise if it’s not a food allergy causing the tiredness then you can make a note of other behaviors – such as the amount of pollen exposure or dander exposure. Bear in mind that allergies can sometimes take a while to kick in – so don’t expect an immediate response. For instance cutting bread out of your diet won’t immediately reduce tiredness you’ll need to do so for a short while to start seeing the benefits.

Treating an Allergy

In the majority of cases knowing the cause of the allergy will be enough to make life a lot easier, you’ll just have to avoid eating those foods or eating any foods that contain the allergen, or you will have to avoid pollen and take antihistamines.

However in some cases you can take this one step further and make life even easier – by getting treated for the allergy using ‘immunotherapy’ treatment. Here you will have your system gradually introduced to tiny amounts of the allergen but these amounts will increase with each administering. This will then allow the allergen to sneak in under the system’s radar. When it doesn’t cause any harm your body will then begin to recognize that it is not harmful and the allergic reactions will cease. This won’t work in all cases however and is only appropriate for some allergies.

8 comments

  1. Beverley F. Hagaman Reply
    September 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Love the article, addresses the problem clearly and concisely. Have perennial rhinitis and am tired a lot, now I know why. I am usually exhausted after taking my immunization shot and I believe this be the norm. I also have sleep inertia which lasts a very long time when I awake and I believe this might be connected to my allergy condition although this was not addressed. My sleep inertia last many hours after awakening. I would like to see an article on this topic. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous Reply
    May 28, 2015 at 3:24 am

    The only article so far that has explained fatigue and allergies – thank you!

  3. Girasole Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    An informative article connecting allergies and fatigue and the only one I have yet to find with any sensible information. I have experienced these symptoms for years and doctors really don't even listen and/or just brush it off….. especially that I am female.

  4. Balasubramanian Reply
    March 8, 2016 at 3:05 am

    I can’t thank HG team enough by just posting this valuable information changed all my understanding of fatigue and tiredness. It’s not in my head, it’s in my bed!!

  5. Anonymous Reply
    March 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Very helpful explanation concerning fatigue and allergies.

  6. Anonymous Reply
    April 27, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Very helpful and informative!

  7. Anonymous Reply
    October 10, 2016 at 4:16 am

    I have year-round allergies and immunotherapy is not an option per my allergist. I just keep my windows closed. Going outside for <5 minutes will get my eyes watering, nose running. Even with antihistamines, etc, I suffer! Sneezing in the middle of the night (10-20 times), coughing, itchy nose and eyes. I'm just allergic to lots of stuff. Puffy, red eyes in the morning, constant feeling of something crawling on my nose, throat clearing, cough, asthma... list goes on and on. I have cats and they don't bother me. Everything else does... doesn't matter where I live.

  8. The matter Reply
    October 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I'm sharing this in case somebody else like me ends up here desperate and looking for hope. It took me 20 years and an extreme amount of testing and diligence to find out that I am allergic to a substance that is in so many medications and vitamins: microcrystalline cellulose.

    I have literally suffered from built-in chronic fatigue most of my adult life and as soon as I discovered this was my allergen and stopped it-the fatigue lifted. It has been life changing but also requires an extreme amount of due diligence to not ingest it as it is in so many packaged products.

    I hope you find the thing that you are allergic to and your life can change as well.

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