Stress Worsens Your Allergies
Stress Can Make Seasonal Allergies Worse
Your state of mind can turn a mild allergic reaction into a miserable one.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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You can't be allergic to stress, but stress can make you more allergic to everything else.
When you are under stress, your body produces chemicals that make you stronger and faster so you can fight an enemy or run away. That may be useful when you're being chased by a predator on the savannah, but not so much when you're stuck in traffic and late for work.
Those 'fight or flight' chemicals affect all aspects of our health and well-being. Researchers at Ohio University wanted to study their effect on seasonal allergies.
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The study involved 28 volunteers who had spring allergies or hay fever. Each volunteer was exposed to an allergen through a skin prick. The volunteers were than asked to deliver a speech or to solve math problems in their heads.
Researchers measured the size of the red patch raised by the allergen on the skin, both with and without the added stress.
The added mental stress made those red patches 75 percent larger, on average.
There are lots of good health reasons to reduce the stress in your life.
Video: Study: Stress & Anxiety Make Your Allergies Worse
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