Rarely do people associate joint pain with allergies. The truth however is that when allergies cause inflammation, joint pains are inevitable. Well, let’s first try to understand what allergies are,
The Meaning of Allergies
These are foreign substances that may cause a reaction with the immune system to some people. Some of the common substances that cause allergies to people include pollen, dust, nuts and bee venom among others. The substances are called allergens and the body’s immune system usually produces antibodies that recognize the allergens as harmful.
In that case, when one comes in contact with the allergens the whole system experiences inflammation involving the sinuses, skin, joints and the respiratory airways.
According to Dr. Mark T. O’Hollaren from Oregon Science University allergenic rhinitis is one chronic condition affecting between 10-30% adults and up to 40% of children in the US and diagnosis indicate that the condition manifests as chronic pain in the joints in his response to a Medscape interview.
How Allergies and Joint Pain Link?
Many people actually wonder how the two are related or connected. D. O’Hollaren also confirms that allergens are responsible for joint pain due to its stimulation of the immune system. Though commonly ignored as a minor condition, allergies can be quite detrimental to one’s health and quality of life. Let’s have an overview of how joint pain relates with seasonal and food allergies
Joint Pain and Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies come about at specific periods of the year. Such allergies usually affect different parts of the body including the eyes, throat and noses. These allergies are usually accompanied by joint pains. Having said this, the question on how such allergies are related to joint pain still lingers people’s minds.
Seasonal allergies usually manifest in similar ways as the common colds that are characterized by running noses, itchy eyes and sore throat among others. The difference may be hard to recognize since seasoned allergies do manifest in joint pain too as is the case with the common cold.
Experiencing joint pain may therefore be directly linked with colds or seasonal allergies until other symptoms are put into consideration.
Joint pain accompanied by fever is a clear sign of cold while when the pain manifests together with itching of the throat and eyes, running nose or sneezing, then that is an indication of allergies.
Joint pain in seasonal allergies is attributed to increased inflammation as the antibodies try to fight the foreign allergens causing the allergy. The eyes, throat and nose experience inflammation as the immune system fights hard to protect the body against the allergens. Due to the pressure exerted on the immune system, the body gets exhausted and this may cause aching of the joints.
Joint pain may also manifest as a result of climate changes from one season to another for instance dump and cold climates. In this case, seasonal allergies may be said to indirectly cause joint pains.
Joint Pain and Food Allergies
Besides the seasonal allergies, food allergies are quite common in many people especially the children. Though in some cases allergic reactions to certain types of food are inherited, it is quite difficult to predict the condition amongst families. In that case, an individual may develop allergic reactions towards a certain food at some point in their lives. Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, wheat and shellfish are examples of common foods that cause allergenic reactions in many people. This happens due to overreaction of the immune system towards a particular food type or its components.
In such cases the immune system responds to the proteins in these foods as harmful substances getting into the body the same way it does when the body is invaded with toxins. This may lead to an overreaction causing several symptoms such as;
- Breathing problems
- Feeling like fainting
- Weakened pulses
- Difficult in swallowing food
- Hoarse throat and hives
These symptoms usually affect the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. In excess situations, food allergies may result in a condition called anaphylaxis which is life threatening when one fails to breathe properly thus causing a shock. In such cases, joint pain manifests.
The main cause of joint pain as a result of food allergies is inflammation. Researchers from different institutions have concluded that allergens that trigger the immune system do result in joint pain in various parts of the body. That explains the reason why arthritis patients experience severe joint pain after taking certain foods that they are allergic to.
How to Prevent Joint Pain Resulting From Allergies?
Getting rid of foods and substances one is allergic to is one of the most effective ways to get rid of joint pains from allergic reactions. Identifying the specific foods and substances and taking some allergy tests will be quite helpful. A food test is done by eliminating a certain food from the diet for some time then re-introducing it to ascertain the difference in reaction and response by the immune system.
In the case of seasonal allergies, it is crucial to stay clear from exposing yourself to allergens such as cold and dampness
Anti-inflammatory, decongestive, filters, humidifiers and antihistamines are other effective options provided by the doctors to help prevent joint pain resulting from various allergies. Some research experts however point out that such drugs do not provide permanent solutions but rather mask inflammation which is the cause of joint pain. They further note that most of the pain medications cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies such is the case in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that cause vitamin C and folic acid deficiency. These two components are crucial in the repair of damaged joints and ligaments thus causing the pain.
According to Dr. O’Hollaren, the approach given by professional doctors is determining the history of allergies in their family first and learning how and when they are common in the patient. This is purposely meant to determine exactly the type of allergy the patient suffers from!
Recommendations for various therapeutic strategies are made to observe the response and finally taking some physical and laboratory examinations to evaluate the patient’s condition. An allergy specialist is the right professional to seek help from when various treatments on the allergy fail to work. For a healthy living though, natural measures should be considered a lot.
Time to Call Your Doctor
While some doctors insist on drugs and exercises for joint pain relief, the remedy may simply be in eliminating the foods you are allergic to. Joint pain can be detrimental and figuring out the root cause should start with your diet. In case you can’t figure out what it is, then it is time to make that call. Sometimes also, you may be putting all your efforts in non-aggressive methods to achieve relief from the pain all in vain. When the pain can’t resolve after some time, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor to take some tests and possibly find a solution for the same.
Chronic joint pain may be the cause of arthritis, a condition that is characterized by extremely painful joints. Getting rid of allergies that cause inflammation may go a long way in preventing such conditions, Dr, O’Hollarem affirms.