What exactly Menopausal Allergies are
An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly interprets a generally harmless substance (such as pollen or animal dander) as a threat. The immune system produces an antibody which stimulates the release of a chemical called histamine into the blood. Histamine inflames certain tissues, commonly tissues in the nose and upper respiratory system, the eyes or the skin, depending on the allergen.
Symptoms of Menopause Allergies
Some of the most common menopause allergy symptoms include:
Drop in blood pressure
Causes of Menopause Allergies
The exact mechanism by which hormone fluctuations affect the immune system is not thoroughly understood. However, it is known that the endocrine system and immune system use many of the same chemical messengers to transmit information. When hormones are drastically reduced, the immune system may react by developing new allergies (most commonly hay fever, asthma and dermatitis) or may cause symptoms of existing allergies to increase in severity.
Menopause Allergies Treatments
There are two basic approaches to treating menopause allergies. You can make lifestyle changes that may help reduce your exposure to allergy triggers, such as avoiding certain foods, vacuuming regularly to reduce pet dander, or using an air filter to reduce pollen levels. While these changes can be helpful, it is extremely difficult to avoid all allergic triggers.
The second approach is to treat the underlying cause of menopause allergies, which is the reduction of estrogen. Conventional hormone replacement therapy carries with it significant risks, especially for heart disease and cancer.
Menopause Allergies FAQ
FAQ: What should I do if I develop severe allergic reactions?
A: If this is the first instance of a severe reaction, go to an emergency room immediately for treatment. If you know you are subject to anaphylaxis, you can carry a device known as an EpiPen, which allows you to inject epinephrine, or a rescue inhaler.
People can be allergic to a wide variety of substance, and symptoms of allergies can vary widely as well. These symptoms can range from merely uncomfortable to an extremely severe reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Rashes, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and cold-like symptoms fall on the mild side of the spectrum. More severe reactions include generalized hives, chest congestion, and cardiac abnormalities. Vomiting and diarrhea, dizziness and confusion, or severe swelling are among the most severe reactions.
Risks of Menopause Allergies
The biggest risk of menopause allergies is anaphylactic shock. This occurs when the blood vessels dilate to such an extent that blood pressure drops severely, causing loss of consciousness, or when the alveoli in the lungs become so constricted that the person can’t breathe. Swelling in the nasal passages and throat can also make breathing difficult or impossible.