Hormones and the immune system are inextricably linked, so hormonal changes during menopause can lead to an increase in allergies among menopausal women. Many women experience increased sensitivity to allergies, while others may suddenly become allergic to something that never bothered them before. This is particularly the case with hay fever, asthma, and dermatitis.
Allergies can be a frustrating menopause symptom, as they can impair daily life. Most women only experience “mild” symptoms such as rashes, sneezing, and itchy eyes, but in the case of extreme allergy symptoms such as swelling, dizziness, and cramping, it is important to seek urgent medical treatment. Mild symptoms could be avoided by making simple lifestyle changes, as well as by treating the underlying hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms of allergies
Because there is such a wide array of allergies that different people have, the symptoms are vast as well. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some allergies can cause multiple symptoms in an individual. An extremely severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Although anaphylaxis is rare, if not treated, it can cause very serious health concerns and even death. Below are allergy symptoms, separated into mild, moderate, and severe.
• Itchy, watery eyes
• Difficulty breathing
• Varying degrees of swelling that can make breathing and swallowing difficult
• Abdominal pain
• Mental confusion or dizziness
Types of allergies
Many people have allergies to animal fur and dander, pollen, and certain types of food. But really, almost anything can be a cause of allergy in a person. Eight foods are common allergens, including: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, and sulphites (a chemical often found in flavors and colors in foods). The world is filled with potential allergens, which create various types of allergies. Those common types are the following:
- Hay fever. Is the most common of the allergic diseases and refers to seasonal nasal symptoms that are due to pollens.
- Asthma. Is a breathing problem that results from the inflammation and spasm of the lung’s air passages.
- Allergic eyes. Is inflammation of the tissue layers that cover the surface of the eyeball and the undersurface of the eyelid.
- Allergic eczema. Is an allergic rash that is usually not caused by skin contact with an allergen. It’s usually associated with hay fever of asthma.
- Hives. Are skin reactions that appear as itchy swellings and can occur on any part of the body.
- Allergic shock. Is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can affect a number of organs at the same time. This response typically occurs when the allergen is eaten (for example, foods) or injected (for example, a bee sting).
Causes of Allergies
The body’s hormones and the immune system use many of the same chemical messengers that allergies can react from. Changes in any of the individual components can affect the rest of the overall workings of the body; So, when hormones become imbalanced as a result of menopause (or any other period of time that hormone fluctuations are likely to occur), the immune system can suffer and make a woman more prone to allergies.
As menopause approaches, a woman’s body prepares to cease menstruation for the remainder of her life. A necessary step is for her hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, to drastically decrease.
Hormone level fluctuations can have a significant impact on both the incidence of allergies and the severity of allergy symptoms. Although the mechanisms are not always well understood, changes in hormone levels are frequently associated with the development of allergies or changes in allergy symptoms, particularly for hay fever, asthma, and dermatitis.
Triggers of allergies
Along with hormonal causes of allergies, other factors can trigger increased susceptibility to allergies or intensified symptoms. Some of those factors include: diet, some types of medications, and stress.
Treatment for Allergies
There are just about as many treatments for allergies as there are allergens that cause allergies. But when treating allergies, it’s important to begin with treatment methods that are the least obtrusive, with the least likelihood of side effects and progress from there.
This means that lifestyle changes are the best place to begin to search for alleviation from allergies. For instance, instead of immediately rushing to the drugstore for hay fever medications, try shutting the windows of the house to prevent pollen from entering, or get an air filter that can drastically reduce allergic particles in the air. These are just a couple examples of altering habits around the house to stymie allergies.
Typically, combining lifestyle changes and alternative medicine will produce the best outcome. Alternative medicine can be different herbs and supplements, or even techniques like acupuncture. When seeking out alternative medicine, keep in mind that because allergies are associated with hormones, look for a treatment that bring a natural balance to the hormonal levels, for this will go a long way to subdue reactions from allergies.
The Manna Menopause Support supplement was formulated with the best phyto-estrogens (plant based estrogens) to help increase estrogens in a natural way without any side effects. Increasing estrogens can help to alleviate allergies associated with menopause.