Do Allergies  Really Cause Anxiety

Do Allergies Really Cause Anxiety?

Studies indicate that there is a link between allergies and anxiety, however, it is quite controversial. A movement called clinical ecology states that anxiety disorders can stem from hypersensitivity that can also cause allergic reactions to a variety of foods and elements in the environment. However, there are few studies that back this up.

 There is more evidence to indicate that anxiety can worsen allergies. However, studies show that when a person is under significant stress, their allergic symptoms can greatly increase. Some scientists speculate that anxiety disorders change a person’s biology and make them more prone to allergy problems.

In fact, a recent study indicates that chronic stress, while unproven to develop allergies in a person who was previously unafflicted, can exacerbate symptoms that already exist. However, more thorough and in-depth studies are needed to delve into the exact link between the two conditions.

In the mean time, it’s important to treat both the allergies and the anxiety disorder. Fortunately, there are many effective natural solutions to various allergies out there.  Allergic reactions are commonly thought of when it comes to environmental allergens such as pollen and dust. Bee stings, medication, food and various chemical can also cause allergic reactions. Unfortunately, asthma can develop out of some of these allergies. Butterbur is often touted as helping to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, as well as stinging nettle. Choline can also be useful to asthma sufferers.

For anxiety disorders, time-honored solutions include meditation, deep breathing and yoga. A simple deep breathing technique is to relax, breathe in deeply for five seconds, making sure that you can feel your breath is coming from your diaphragm. Hold the breath for five seconds and release. Yoga classes are also offered at most gyms, and several studies show that the ancient practice can increase levels of GABA in the brain, which serve to calm anxiety.  A daily practice of meditation has been shown to enhance creativity and calm anxiety, among a multitude of other health benefits. There are also many natural herbs and supplements that can help reduce anxiety, such as St. John’s Wort, passionflower and Valerian. Even chamomile, most popular in its tea form, can be very soothing to your trodden-down nervous system.

Finally, cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective form of treatment. By working one-on-one with a trained therapist, you can learn to overcome the distorted thinking patterns that so often lead to anxiety. Although we don’t often realize it, we often acquire these anxious thinking patterns at a young age, and therapy can literally rewire our brains to think in a more conducive and realistic manner. Your life does not have to be defined by allergies and anxiety. Fortunately, by addressing the underlying feelings of anxiety, you can ease those annoying allergy symptoms that you hold you back from feeling the way you want to feel, both physically and mentally. By following the above advice, you’ll be well on your way to creating a calmer you.

References:

Friedman,Morris. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2006.

“Changes in Severity of Allergy and Anxiety Symptoms Are Positively Correlated in Patients with Recurrent Mood Disorders Who Are Exposed to Seasonal Peaks of Aeroallergens.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology . Volume 123, Issue 2, .Page S234, February 2009 University of Maryland.

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