If the immune system doesn’t respond correctly to a foreign substance an allergy may occur. There are many different kinds of allergies that cause a variety of symptoms. A constant immune response to allergens may cause fatigue to the point of exhaustion.
Approximately 20 percent of people with allergies have problems sleeping and experience fatigue. Allergies may come from hereditary factors or from the environment. Lifestyle, emotions and diet also can play a role in allergies. Almost anything that is eaten, touched or breathed in can be an allergen. The immune system reacts to protect the body when it interprets a substance as hostile. If a substance is recognized as an allergen, chemicals are released that trigger symptoms. It’s important to find the cause of an allergic reaction in order to eliminate an allergy.
Symptoms from allergies can range from mild to severe. Different things affect people daily and can cause symptoms such as rashes, sneezing, watery eyes and itching all over the body. Dangerous symptoms include swelling that interferes with breathing or swallowing, severe pain in the stomach, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea. There are also hidden allergies such as food preservatives and flavoring agents that can cause symptoms three days after exposure to an allergen. Hidden allergies affect everyone differently, so not all symptoms will be the same. Many allergy symptoms cause fatigue and can mimic flu.
There are four specific groups of allergies. Type 1 is called immediate or anaphylactic reaction allergies. This type includes anaphylaxis reaction and stems from bee allergies, medications and certain foods. Symptoms can be mild but they also can be severe enough to cause anaphylactic shock, which is a sudden life-threatening allergic reaction. Another Type 1 allergy group includes hay fever and certain food allergies. Type 2 refers to cytotoxic allergies and has a cell- destroying reaction. Cytotoxic is a drug allergen that links with a cell membrane and destroys body cells when it interacts with certain antibodies. Type 3 involves something foreign in the blood, such as medication. Type 4 is similar to Type 2 but has a delayed reaction. It has a cell-mediated response instead of an antibody. This is an immune response caused by T cells (white blood cells) attacking unfamiliar antigens.
Many people have negative or allergic reactions to different foods. Things in the environment can cause allergies and result in severe low energy and fatigue. Chemicals from cleansers, laundry detergent, bedding and molds can evoke an allergic reaction, as can large amounts of toxic metals like lead and mercury. Chemical sensitivities to toxic fumes, perfumes, paint, new carpeting, and air fresheners can result in allergic reactions. Mold spores, dust mites and dander from animals are other culprits, and some allergies may even derive from emotional stress.
The following are only some of the ways to treat allergies. Changing to a low-allergen diet is one way to treat food-allergy symptoms. There’s also an elimination diet; a certain food is avoided for several weeks, then eaten in large quantities to see if there is a reaction. Windows should be kept shut to avoid pollen allergies. Any area in the house where mold grows should be cleaned often with something specifically meant for getting rid of mold. Pets should be bathed regularly to combat pet-dander allergies. Another way to treat allergies is allergen immunotherapy, which is allergy shots for desensitization.