Allergic reactions are a common occurrence and in most cases, their severity and effects differ from one person to the other. All this has to do with immunity and other underlying factors. Allergic triggers are all around, from the food we eat to the air we breathe and the environment around us. The manifestation of allergic reactions will also differ from one person to the other. Some allergic reactions or their symptoms include rashes, itching, sneezing, swelling, fatigue, tearing eyes’ sinusitis, and stuffy nose, just to name a few. Before going too far, an allergic reaction is basically as a result of the body’s immune system responding to a foreign substance that is introduced into the body. Some of the general symptoms of allergies may include headaches, fatigue, wheezing, cough, and sneezing, running nose, shortness of breath, rashes, vomiting, headaches, nausea, and fever according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Some people will also have stomach discomforts as an allergic reaction to certain types of foods. However, most people have no idea on what triggers their allergies. As a matter of fact, some don’t even know they have allergies at all. Most of those with particular knowledge of their allergies probably have prescriptions from their physicians to counter and suppress the symptoms of the reaction when the triggers pay a visit.
There are those who have mild or seasonal allergies while others have allergies that are more serious, perhaps life-threatening. It’s important to use antihistamines and other medication as prescribed by your doctor and stay away from self-prescribed over-the-counter medication, especially pain medication. However, most allergic reactions only last for a short period of time once the allergen is out of your system. In this piece, we’ll look at the effect allergies have on the muscles before delving into the highly debated subject regarding whether or not allergies can lead to muscle pains. Without further ado, here are a few pointers attempting to answer your question; can allergies cause muscle aches?
- Flu-Like Allergies
It is quite difficult sometimes to distinguish between the common cold, flu, and an allergy reaction affecting your sinuses and respiratory system. This is because more often than not, most of the symptoms are similar. However, their causes and some of their symptoms are clearly different. Some of the most common allergies include hay fever, and seasonal allergic rhinitis, as well as allergies to pollen, dust mites, dust, and other air contaminants. All these allergies may cause symptoms such as running nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy eyes.
Unlike in colds and flues, however, fever and fatigue are quite uncommon symptoms in seasonal allergies according to Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D., writing for medical news today . The same case applies to others such as nausea, and vomiting, are rarely to never present in respiratory allergies unless it is accompanied by a viral or bacterial infection. But this isn’t to say that a respiratory allergy won’t cause muscle ache. If it’s too intense, you may end up sneezing too much, perhaps even coughing. Too much of it may cause strain the muscles of your neck, head, chest, and shoulders, perhaps even your back. This can eventually lead to muscle aches, making it important to deal with flu-like allergies as soon as you notice the symptoms from afar. This may cause your muscles to ache and at times, your muscles may also feel week and fatigued. To counter this, allergy meds can help suppress these pains.
- Allergies That Cause Joint Pains
As we all know, the nervous system is a mesh of fine elements that interconnect the brain and the muscles, tissues, and cells, of the body. At the joints, the muscles are connected to tendons. This is basically why the muscles around joint inflammation, infection, and injury, end up swelling or aching. What’s more interesting, there are some allergies known to influence joint pain and inflammation as the body’s immune system tries to rid the allergen out of the system. In simpler terms, some allergies may cause effects such as fatigue, which may be accompanied by joint pains. This pain can be transferred to the muscles. Lack of proper diagnosis may have serious repercussions.
- Environment-Linked Allergies
Having lived in a certain area or location for a long time makes your body adapt and get acclimatized to the weather and the environmental conditions of that specific location. Changing the environment may cause some reactions that are allergic in nature. Change of environment is as well a change in climate. Your body may react differently to these sudden changes. Some people may have muscle aches, joint pains, and fever. This is the reason why most doctors recommend taking some tests before traveling abroad or to place with a different climatic condition.
- Food Allergies
Most people with a history or an experience with food allergies will tell you that they’ve experienced muscle pains during their allergic attacks. In other words, some people experience muscle aches, as a result of allergic reactions to certain types of foods. This can be accompanied by some other forms of allergies such as stomach discomforts, eczema, and hay fever. To know if the muscle aches are as a result of an allergic reaction, the pains will subside once the allergies are suppressed. Some foods that have been found to cause such reactions include milk, maize/corn, and certain artificial flavorings. Such reactions may affect muscles such as the upper back, neck, arms, and leg muscles.
- Dust, Pollen, and Chemicals
My guess is that you most likely know about air pollution by now; or at least something about it. it is one of the leading causes of respiratory infections and lung diseases such as bronchitis, COPD, asthma, and more, some of which are allergies. Some of the most common air pollutants in both indoor and outdoor environments include dust, pollen, and chemicals, as well as smokes from industrial factories and manufacturing plants (forgive the repetition if any). Most people tend to have muscle aches especially during specific seasons like fall and spring. This is when pollen is so much in the air. These are the ones known as seasonal allergies.
How to Deal With Allergies
When it comes to dealing with, especially unknown allergies, it is recommended to avoid self-medicating at all costs. It’s important to get tested in order to know what triggers the allergies. Some home remedies may contain the allergens that cause your allergies and it would only worsen the whole situation.
Importance of Testing
Even though not all of them are curable, most allergies are treatable and controllable. It’s important to get tested or talk to your physician about getting tested to determine your specific allergy triggers. The medical practitioner may direct you to see other specialists such as a dietician, otolaryngologist for further assistance. Some tests that can be done will include checking your blood pressure, examining the respiratory system, and you may be questions of any past allergic attacks and experiences. Once these tests are done, you may be needed to eliminate certain allergens from your environment. More often than not, this involves avoiding certain foods, improving your hygiene standards, wearing certain clothing, certain chemicals, and flowers or even avoiding pets in case you suffer from dander allergies.
These will help turn down the reactions to the particular allergens. These shots only expose your immunity to an antigen that helps you to react differently to the allergen. The shots help increase the production of specific immunoglobulin E from your antibody defense systems, which helps in fighting the allergen’s effect on your body.
Allergy medications include antihistamines, ranging from oral to topically applied pastes, creams, and ointments. Some of the most common antihistamines include nasal antihistamines, Diphenhydramine, and anti-inflammatory steroids to take care of rashes and skin irritations. The anti-inflammatories are usually in the form of creams that are applied to the affected areas. There are also allergy eye drops that help with itchy, swollen, and watery eyes.
Once you start with medical therapy, it’s important that you only quit when your doctor approves you to. Most importantly, it’s advised not to associate some pains and aches with allergy. Some pains will be as a result of other underlying problems and ailments. Seek medical help when certain aches are persistent and won’t go away even after administering the right remedies and medications. As mentioned earlier, some allergic reactions are serious and can even be fatal. For such life-threatening reactions, seek medical assistance as fast as possible.
* Even though not always directly, some allergies play a big role in the development and worsening of muscle aches, joint aches, and headaches.