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Pulling Focus: Fatigue, Attention Deficit, and Allergies

Posted on September 25, 2017

You are getting sleepy. Your eyelids are growing very heavy, your mind is becoming a blur, and your body is falling limp. The world is fading into the background.

Are you being hypnotized? Or are you suffering from allergies? Studies show that many people with allergies experience symptoms such as lethargy, extreme fatigue, and attention deficit.

When your body detects a threat, such as an allergen, your immune system releases a chemical called histamine. If your immune system was a rock concert, it has a security guard named Histamine kicking out the rabble-rousers. Histamine will go to any length to get rid of the perceived threat, even if it means inconveniencing other parts of the body for a while.

There is evidence to suggest that histamine’s arsenal includes the ability to slow down brain functions, resulting in fatigue. Many doctors also suggest that allergies involving nasal congestion cause breathing problems when trying to sleep, which will also leave you feeling tired. Between the histamine and the sleeping problems, concentration difficulties are also common. Who can concentrate when they are tired?

Did you know that your allergies may be causing these issues? Are you on any medications, maybe even for allergy relief? Are you considering starting or restarting medication for ADHD? Before you do, explore the possibility of addressing an allergy first.

A study was done in 2013 showing that many patients diagnosed with ADHD also had increased signs of asthma, skin infection, and need for antihistamines than those not diagnosed. Many doctors conclude that this shows a link between allergies and ADHD. Despite this, simply taking medications could potentially increase the problem, thanks to many stimulating or sedating properties found in decongestants and inhalers.

Do I still have your attention? Haven’t dozed off yet, then? Good job fighting those symptoms! Keep reading for tips on how to continue combating these symptoms.

  • Monitor yourself and your family. Don your imaginary Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat and take a closer look at any potential clues. If both parents have an allergy, the child has a 75% chance of also having allergies. 80% of children with asthma have an allergy. If you or someone in your family is diagnosed with ADHD, look at the family health history for allergies or asthma. Along with the ADHD, are you seeing any symptoms commonly associated with allergies, such as itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, post-nasal drip, ear-plugging, or eczema?
  • If you do start taking OTC (Over the Counter) medications for an allergy, check out the medication for side effects such as fatigue or loss of concentration.
  • Fatigue is often related to poor sleep quality, which many allergy sufferers experience because of their allergies. Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep and, if not, pinpoint any causes.
  • Check out any medications taken in the late afternoon or evening for stimulants. If it is a prescription, discuss your doctor whether or not it is possibility causing you to lose sleep.
  • If you suspect your symptoms are related to allergies, see an allergy specialist to test for causes and treatments.

Life is meant to be lived with us involved with every moment. Don’t spend another minute distracted or sleepwalking through your day. Talk to one of the Grand Rapids Allergy experts today about refocusing your life!


All information, content, and material in this email is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.


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