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Allergies and Depression – Beyond Sneezes and Runny Noses

Posted by John on August 23rd, 2008

If you suffer from allergies, then you know that allergy symptoms go beyond the sneezes and sniffles. Allergies zap your energy and make you feel bad. They can even lead to clinical depression.

HEPA vacuumIn the past, I’ve had to move because of my cat allergies. I had an air purifier, allergy bedding, and HEPA vacuum – all the essentials of environmental control. But my roommate refused to keep her long-haired cats confined to one area of the apartment, so cat dander was everywhere – on the furniture, on my clothing, etc. I finally had to move, not necessarily because of the standard allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes, but because I simply felt so run-down all the time. My allergies were affecting my energy and my mood. After I moved, I felt much better in a matter of days.

People who don’t have allergies often don’t seem to understand their devastating effects on day-to-day life. In the past couple of years, however, researchers have found evidence that allergies do indeed affect brain chemistry.

As USA Today reported earlier this year, allergic inflammation causes the release of chemicals called cytokines, which can affect mood.

Dr. Paul Marshall, clinical neuropsychologist, explained, “It’s thought that those cytokines directly affect the central nervous system, causing the release of a chemical in the brain called IL-1 beta that induces sickness behavior, such as weakness, lethargy, low mood and the inability to concentrate.”

Indeed, people who have allergies are twice as likely to become clinically depressed.

Another factor may be at work here. Those who have allergies often have trouble sleeping, and poor sleep certainly affects mood.

Note that some allergy medications like antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids can actually exacerbate depression for some people.

allergy beddingTo relieve your allergy symptoms and improve your mood, invest in the essential environmental control products listed above and do whatever it takes to avoid the allergens in your environment. If you avoid inhaling allergy triggers, then your symptoms will fade, and you’ll feel better. Allergy bedding is especially helpful if you’re having trouble sleeping.

air purifiers for allergiesAlso see Air Purifiers for Allergy Relief.

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