Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms. While they’re most often associated with symptoms such as a stuffy nose and difficulty breathing, allergies – including seasonal allergies as well as allergic reactions to food and other products – can also cause tiredness.
If you have an allergy and have been exposed to your allergen, it is possible that you will feel more tired than normal for up to a week afterward. In addition, some medications prescribed to prevent allergic reactions can also increase feelings of tiredness. This is particularly true of antihistamines, taken to balance the excess of histamines caused by allergies.
Why do allergies cause tiredness? First, because the immune system is working against the allergens. Just like getting a cold can make you feel tired and lethargic, so can your body’s response to an allergen. There is also research that suggests that the tiredness may be caused by the body’s release of cytokines, proteins produced by the immune system that protect an allergic person from allergens that have entered the body. It is thought that these cytokines cause the release of a brain chemical that induces symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, and inability to concentrate. Allergies, particularly of the seasonal variety, may also impact a person’s ability to sleep, leading to tiredness.
In order to reduce tiredness caused by allergies, treat your allergies properly. Avoid anything you are allergic to and discuss medication possibilities with your doctor. Some people have also found exercise to be beneficial in reducing fatigue caused by allergens.