How are stress and allergies related? Can stress affect allergies? And is it true that skin suffers under stress?
How can stress and a poor emotional state affect the occurrence of an allergy, its frequency and duration?
All systems of the human body are interconnected with each other. If a person lives in a state of chronic stress, disorders of the nervous system, then problems with the immune system are quite possible.
Changes occur at the level of cells – lymphocytes, which are of several types. Some are responsible for the body’s ability to withstand bacteria and viruses. Others are for allergies.
Under the influence of stress, the number of lymphocytes responsible for the immune system decreases, but the number of “provocateurs” of allergies increases. As a result, the human body cannot protect itself from SARS and influenza. At the same time, it reacts to substances and products that are completely harmless to most: pollen, house dust or library dust, and animal hair particles.
Is allergy affected only by chronic stress, or can short-term experiences also lead to illness?
Short-term experiences also negatively affect the body, but only prolonged stages of stress lead to allergies. After all, stress is a protective reaction of the body to a strong overstrain. As the voltage increases, the nature of the reaction of the organism changes. First, the body mobilizes strength. Then adapts to a difficult situation.
If a person does not notice his condition and does not take measures, the depletion of the body occurs. As a result, chronic ones worsen and new diseases appear. It is at the stage of mobilizing resources for protection against stress that problems with immunity are manifested. As a result, allergic reactions occur.
How to understand whether stress was the cause or one of the causes of an allergic reaction?
Stress is never the only cause of allergic reactions. They are based on the birth problems in the functioning of the immune system, impaired production of certain cells and proteins. Often they are inherited. If both parents are allergic, then in 60% of cases the baby will be allergic. Sometimes problems arise as a result of adverse effects on the body of the expectant mother.
But predisposition is far from a disease. In a person prone to allergic reactions, allergy symptoms may not appear for many years. And he may not suspect his illness. Stress, as well as infections, taking certain medications, chronic diseases, dietary disorders, hormonal changes and any other factors become triggers of allergies. An allergist can determine the causes of an undesirable reaction after examining the patient.
Is it true that under stress the skin suffers – acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo and urticaria occur? Is it somehow related to allergies? Or is the reason only in stress?
Not certainly in that way. Skin problems are diverse. Eczema, urticaria – this is, first of all, allergic diseases. Under the influence of stress, they develop, their manifestations become more pronounced, and treatment becomes longer and more complex.
But acne, rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo do not belong to the manifestations of allergies. And stressful situations play by no means the last role in their course.
Studies show that an allergic reaction causes a rash in only 5–10% of cases. In other cases, the root cause is precisely stress. Is this really so?
There is some truth in this. The mechanism of an allergic reaction is triggered by a special substance, histamine. In a normal situation, together with other biologically active substances, it is contained in the cells and does not cause any harm to the body. But as soon as the cell is destroyed, histamine enters the bloodstream and causes allergy symptoms.
In only 5–10% of cases, cell destruction occurs as a result of the reaction of the allergen and proteins of our body directly. In all other cases, the destruction of cells is facilitated by the use of strong drugs, poor nutrition, hormones of your own, and, of course, stress.
What is the role of stress in the occurrence of neurodermatitis and urticaria?
Very big. Although chronic urticaria, neurodermatitis are allergic diseases, their course largely depends on the state of the nervous system.
Stress, the depression that it causes provoke the disease, exacerbate its symptoms. At the same time, the presence of such skin diseases can in itself cause stress and depression.
It turns out a vicious circle. That is why psychotherapy and drug treatment of depression are also used to treat allergic diseases.
Can stress cause allergic reactions such as lacrimation, nasal congestion – subtle manifestations of allergies?
Stress can trigger allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis. These diseases are manifested by lacrimation, stuffiness and watery discharge from the nose.
It is known that people with seasonal allergies or hay fever suffer an aggravation of the disease much worse if the flowering of allergen plants falls during a period of depression or stress. Particularly dangerous asthma attacks that occur in stressful situations.
What is the most effective way to deal with stress?
There are many very simple ways to help your body deal with stress. Go in for sports: regular physical activity relieves the body of tension, burns excess stress hormones and increases the level of joy hormones – endorphins. Remember that classes in a team increase mood and are more effective than home training.
Do not stay too long in the office. Use evenings and weekends for walks in the fresh air, trips to theaters, exhibitions, socializing with your family. You will immediately feel better. Many “home” leisure activities also help a lot: taking care of yourself, hot baths and aromatherapy sessions.
But if stress has taken a protracted form, it is better not to self-medicate, but to consult a specialist.
If you cope with stress, then will the allergy disappear? What other methods are used to control the disease?
Stress is not the cause, but only the trigger of the disease. Getting rid of it usually reduces the manifestations of allergies. In this case, the disease is much easier to treat and can even disappear for many years. However, the predisposition to allergies will continue. And a new stressful situation, other provoking factors can again lead to an exacerbation of the disease.
Drug therapy for each type and stage of allergy is different. For example, with allergic rhinitis, vasoconstrictor drugs can be prescribed, with bronchial asthma – fast-acting bronchodilators. Second-generation antihistamines are often used: they do not cause drowsiness and allow a person to remain fully functional. In some cases, specific treatment with allergens is prescribed.
Can an allergy go away on its own?
It really happens that an allergy disappears by itself. The impetus for this can be hormonal changes. For example, pregnancy or the onset of menopause.
But to cure allergies completely, unfortunately, is impossible. However, it is quite possible to take her under control and protect herself from future exacerbations.
So, an acute allergic reaction will completely pass if a person excludes any contact with the allergens causing it – food or medicine. In the case of chronic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, maintenance therapy is prescribed. It allows you to delay the problem for a long time.