Achoo! Ha-ahh! Wheeze! Sniff! Isn’t that a familiar sound in so many households? Is it just a Common cold or cough or an Allergy? It is unfortunate that more than 30% of people all over the world suffer from allergies and fatigue.
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An allergy is an immune response by our body to a particular substance called an allergen. It could be pollen, fur, animal dander, dust and some food item or sometimes even a drug. We’ve heard of people allergic to peanuts, mushrooms, and even penicillin. Mostly this immune response is damaging; however the degree or severity varies from person to person.
To understand it in simple terms, our bodies produce antibodies that protect us from invasions. Now when a person has a particular allergy, his or her immune system makes antibodies that recognize that substance as harmful even though it is not. So when he or she comes in contact with that substance or allergen, the body reacts negatively.
Symptoms of allergies can be sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, skin rashes or swelling. Severe symptoms could develop into anaphylactic shock. In such cases, it should be treated as a medical emergency and immediate treatment of adrenaline should be administered. Usually, Allergic rhinitis or nasal allergies as it is commonly called is the most common complaint. It is one of the major causes of chronic fatigue. The symptoms of allergies cause interrupted sleep resulting in fatigue. Sometimes an allergic reaction itself releases certain chemicals which can also cause fatigue. It should be noted that antihistamines taken for allergic reactions can cause drowsiness. This, in turn, causes fatigue. This kind of fatigue can lead to irritability, memory problems or even depression.
Sadly, most allergies are non-treatable. Only the symptoms can be treated. To fight allergy fatigue, the only solution is to remove the allergens itself. Stay away from dust, pollen, pet hair, etc. To avoid breathing problems at night; beds and sheets should be maintained very clean. Frequent vacuuming should be done. A closed window and an air purifier is not a bad idea. A nightly bath could also help in keeping the body and skin clean of any allergens. These steps can help individuals improve their sleep and thus reduce their fatigue too.
Regrettably, there seems to be a rise in allergies. It is said that this is mainly due to pollution and industrial development. However, there is also a view that says that our over-cleanliness and sanitation is making our immune system weak. Also, our diet has become dependent on processed foods rather than fresh vegetables and fruits. This compromises our system in the long run. How many times have we heard our elders say “Oh, let the kids play in the mud. It’s good for them.” “Hey, it’s not good to stay indoors in Air conditioned rooms always. Get out. Breathe the fresh air.” Looks like they certainly knew what they were talking about.
Is it possible, we are “too” clean? Is it really harming us? Now that is a whole different area of discussion!
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