For many of us, the bloom of spring or the rustle of autumn leaves heralds more than just a change in the scenery. It signals the onset of sneezes, itchy eyes, and, sometimes, even fatigue. But did you know there’s a connection between these seasonal allergies and stress? Let’s explore this intriguing link, and more importantly, discover some natural remedies to ease both your stress and allergy symptoms!
Stress And Allergies: More Connected Than You Think
Our bodies are incredibly adaptive. Stress is essentially our body’s way of responding to any situation that disrupts the balance of our daily lives. Whether it’s a tough day at work, an argument with a loved one, or just being stuck in traffic, our body responds in a specific way.
While stress is a normal part of life, the body can generally restore balance after it encounters a stressor. However, chronic stress can dysregulate the nervous system and make it difficult for the body to return to homeostasis. Chronic stress can disrupt our body’s pH balance, especially in our intestines, leading to abdominal discomfort. Think of that gut-wrenching feeling before a big moment and you might recall feeling this physical sensation of stress.
When stress piles up, our body sends out an SOS in the form of hormones, one of which is histamine. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because histamine is the very culprit behind those pesky allergy symptoms! While stress isn’t the allergy creator, it sure can amplify the reactions. So, the next time your allergies feel more aggravated, it might be worth checking if you’re more aggravated and where your stress meter stands.
Why Chronic Stress Matters
Long bouts of stress produce cortisol, our body’s primary stress-response hormone. And while cortisol has its role in our system, when it decides to overstay its welcome, things get dicey. Elevated cortisol can play with our immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses (1). And for those already grappling with the stress of living with allergies, this is double trouble. Poor sleep, fatigue, and even side effects from allergy medicines can compound this stress, creating a vicious cycle.
Adrenal Fatigue: An Overlooked Culprit?
Now, here’s where things get even more interesting. Chronic stress can lead our adrenal glands into overdrive. These glands produce adrenaline, our ‘fight or flight’ hormone as well as cortisol, our “stress hormone”. But when they’re always on high alert due to sustained stress, it can lead to what some refer to as adrenal fatigue.
Picture this: constantly calling for adrenaline, say by regular caffeine shots, can wear the body down, until it slows down. This is believed to lead to symptoms like exhaustion, anxiety, or even insomnia. Some believe this to be Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, while others opine it’s just the body’s way of saying it’s overstressed. Regardless, if you’ve been feeling more tired than usual or having difficulty concentrating, it might be worth considering adrenal support.
So, how does adrenal fatigue fit into the picture? Well, when histamine is released, it calls for a release of cortisol. Therefore, when histamine is released in large amounts, cortisol levels also go up and increase feeling of stress. This suggests that the relationship between stress and allergic reactions may be cyclical in that they both exacerbate the other.
Natural Avenues For Relief From “Stress Allergies”
Now that we’ve examined the problems, let’s look at some solutions. True wellness doesn’t only come from what we consume but also how we live our lives daily. Here are a few things to try including in your diet or lifestyle to combat stress and hopefully, reduce your allergies.
- Vitamin B-Complex: Think of this as your stress shield. From supporting the nervous system to aiding digestion, this vitamin is crucial. If you’re feeling drained or worn out, ensure your Vitamin B levels are in check.
- Magnesium: Often overlooked, magnesium ensures our nervous system remains calm under stress. Feeling jittery or always on edge? Magnesium might be the calming influence you need.
- Adaptogens: These special herbs, such as Ashwagandha, have been traditionally used to help the body adapt and resist various stressors. Ashwagandha is known to reduce anxiety levels and benefit sleep.
- Deep Breathing Exercises: The simple act of taking deep, controlled breaths can work wonders. Not only does it provide more oxygen to our brain, but it also gives us a momentary pause from the chaos, helping calm the mind.
- Regular Exercise: Physical activity isn’t just great for the body; it’s fantastic for the mind! Whether it’s a brisk walk in the park, a yoga session, or hitting the gym, find what moves you. Exercise releases endorphins, nature’s very own mood elevators.
- Balanced Diet: Food is fuel. Consuming a diet rich in whole foods, packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, can stabilize blood sugar levels and mood swings.
- Prioritize Sleep: Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Our body repairs and rejuvenates when we sleep. Ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for optimal health and stress management.
- Supplements for Support: Supplements can offer your body potent nutrients to help restore balance and greatly improve your quality of life. Approved Science® offers a wide range of supplements for targeting your specific needs. For example, Adrenasyl™ is designed for those in search of adrenal balance, Stressyl™ for maximal stress relief, and of course, Allergysyl™ for those pesky allergies.
The connection between seasonal allergies and stress is fascinating. By understanding this link and addressing both aspects, we can hope for more sneeze-free days and restful nights. If your allergies are stressing you out or your stress is causing you “stress allergies”, it might be time to consider supplements for your stress and allergy relief. However, it’s important to take a holistic approach to coping with allergies by combining supplement use with lifestyle changes.
Wishing you clearer skies and clearer noses this allergy season!