When you think of allergy symptoms, you probably think of itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose and sneezing. But did you know that you can also experience body aches during an allergic reaction? We review the connection between allergies and body aches below.
What Causes Allergies?
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But if you have allergies, your immune system mistakes harmless substances as dangerous intruders. An allergic reaction occurs when your body is exposed to one of these harmless substances, known as an allergen, and your immune system overreacts.
In order to fight off the intruder, your immune system releases antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which tells your cells to release histamine. Histamine increases mucus production triggers inflammation; this is what causes your allergy symptoms.
How Does this Cause Body Aches?
According to a study published in the journal Molecular Pain in 2017, “Some of the same chemicals that help fight off allergens also activate nerves in the body that causes pain in joints throughout your body.”
What this essentially means is that the inflammatory response caused by an allergic reaction can also cause pain.
In addition, repeatedly coughing and sneezing can strain the muscles between your ribs as well as the cartilage that attaches your ribs to your breast bone. Pain in your diaphragm can also lead to pain in the shoulders and neck.
Treating Body Aches Caused by Allergies
Taking allergy medications such as antihistamines is the first line of defense against an allergic reaction. If you’re still experiencing pain, you can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
Taking a warm bath or using a heating pad from Hub City Pharmacy can also provide relief. However, some people prefer an ice pack over heat.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you’re experiencing chest pain, don’t ignore it – this could be the sign of a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Other symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or numbness in the neck, jaw or limbs
- Feeling hot or cold
- Feeling clammy or sweaty
For more information about body aches and other allergy symptoms, or to schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.