Did you know your allergies can be affected by your hormones?
- Posted on: Aug 30 2019
We are slowly moving into the fall season, and with the change of seasons comes allergies. But did you know that as adults, women tend to be more vulnerable to allergies than men, and in many cases, hormones may be to blame. Many women don’t start to experience seasonal allergies until later in life, especially after having children. The reason for this is that there are allergic genes that can be activated by hormonal changes and can cause women to start feeling an increased sensitivity to existing allergies or to develop new allergies all together!
What are allergies?
To understand how hormones can affect allergies, you first need a basic understanding of what allergies are. Allergies occur when a person’s immune system overreacts to a harmless substance and considers it to be a threat to the body. The immune system produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which signals the body to release the chemical histamine. That histamine then produces most of the effects that we associate with allergies, such as itching, sneezing, runny nose and rashes.
So how exactly do hormones affect allergies?
Ever heard of Estrogen Dominance? Estrogen Dominance is when the body has too much estrogen and not enough progesterone to counteract it. Estrogen causes an increase in histamine production while progesterone promotes something called myelination, which is one of the ways the body breaks down histamine. Therefore, in cases of unopposed estrogen, the body will actually produce more histamine than normal and cause more severe allergic reactions.
There have been several studies showing the effects of estrogen on histamine production. One study observed an increase in the reaction of skin prick tests during times of elevated plasma estrogen levels. Another study observed that when anaphylaxis was induced in rats, that the female rats experienced more severe reactions. They found that the estrogen levels in the female rats were the cause of this increased allergic response.
What are some solutions to hormone-induced allergies?
Many people use antihistamines to tame their allergy symptoms. However, this is only masking the symptoms and not addressing the root problem. By obtaining an optimal balance between the estrogen and progesterone hormones, you can greatly reduce the amount of histamine in the body. Once the histamine levels are reduced, most of our patients begin to have greatly reduced reactions to allergies. At Dr. Shel Wellness & Aesthetic Center, we use hormones that are biologically identical to what your body produces to safely and effectively optimize your hormones.
What about treating allergies that are NOT hormone related?
At the Dr. Shel Wellness & Aesthetic Center, we treat allergies with under-the-tongue drops. Yep, no shots. This type of allergy treatment is called Sublingual Immunotherapy. Through testing, we can figure out exactly what you are allergic to and customize drops that you can place under your tongue in the comfort of your own home.