Can Stress Worsen Allergies?

Stress can worsen your allergies and make them last longer. When you are stressed out, your body releases histamine along with hormones and other chemicals. Histamine does not cause an allergic reaction, but can worsen and lengthen the allergic reaction. The experiment conducted by Ohio State University also revealed that increased stress will worsen your allergic condition.

Experiment by Ohio State University:

Researchers from The Ohio State University recruited 28 men and women who had history seasonal allergies and hay fever. Standard skin prick tests were given to them to test their reaction to various allergens. A positive reaction to the allergen would produce wheals on the skin.

The volunteers were put through low stress and high stress conditions. Their psychological condition or stress level was determined by giving them psychological questionnaires.

The volunteers who were mildly anxious showed a 75% increase in the size of wheals after the experiment. The size of wheals doubled in the case of highly anxious volunteers. The group who were highly anxious were four times more likely to have a stronger reaction to the skin test the next day.

This experiment shows that allergic reactions can worsen under stress and people with allergies should be take steps to minimize the stress.

How to minimize stress?

Here are few ways in which you can minimize stress:

  • Realize:

    Realize the importance of lowering your stress, which means you can cope with your allergies more effectively

  • Recognize:

    Recognize the source of your stress and deal with it. Sources of stress can be heavy work, relationship problem etc.

  • Sleep:

    Get enough sleep daily to minimize the stress

  • Relax:

    Allocate enough time for relaxation daily, as daily relaxation decreases your stress

  • Meditate:

    Daily meditation or prayer can help you decrease your stress

  • Exercise:

    Exercising reduces the stress hormones and will make you feel better

Apart from taking allergy medications, people should minimize the stress in their lives. People should take necessary steps in recognizing the stress factors in their lives and eliminating them. In this way, you will be well prepared to cope with your allergies.

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