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11 Unexpected Allergy Triggers

Posted April 29th, 2014 @ 5:01am by Chilli Amar


I've been sneezing and coughing for over a week. I'm not a fan of seasonal allergies. I never used to get allergy attacks...but now, I dread pollen. However, pollen isn't the only thing we need to worry about.



1. Fruits: The farmer’s market can strengthen your immune system, but it could also send that system into a frenzy. Why? When tree, grass, and weed pollen counts are high, your immune system is primed to attack anything that resembles your allergens even slightly, says Anju Peters, MD, associate professor of medicine in allergy and immunology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Case in point: fruit pollen. In those who suffer from pollen-food allergy syndrome, filling your mouth and stomach with fruit pollen can worsen allergies.

Fight it: “Symptoms of pollen-food allergy syndrome typically occur when you eat fruit—including its peel—in its raw form, Dr. Peters says. “So by peeling or cooking fruit, you can lessen or completely avoid any reaction.”

2. Alcohol: People with hay fever, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and COPD are far more likely to experience sneezing, a runny nose, and lower-airway symptoms after imbibing, per Swedish research. Alcohol dilates the nose’s blood vessels and may also spur an immune response. Wine might be a bigger culprit than other booze, Dr. Peters says.

Fight it: Drink responsibly. That means limiting your consumption of alcohol, especially wine, and never mixing alcohol and allergy meds, she says.

3. Stress: Stress won’t cause allergies, but it can worsen your symptoms. Research from The Ohio State University Medical Center shows that just a small amount of stress increases the body’s levels of allergy-triggering proteins as well as its allergic symptoms. Plus, regularly high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can compromise your immune system, wear you down, and make it difficult for your body to recuperate from the season’s onslaught of allergens, Dr. Peters says.

Fight it: Use your allergies as another excuse to enjoy some “me” time. Take care of yourself and do whatever you’ve got to do to de-stress: meditate, practice yoga, soak in the tub.




photo credit: brookenovak via photopin cc


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