Coping with Chronic Health Conditions: Tips

Coping with Chronic Health Conditions: Tips

Allergies When You're Expecting: What You May Not Know

by Freddie Cox

Pregnancy is a time of intense change. You're already missing your sushi and red wine, and you may wish you were missing your swollen feet and aching joints. However, there's another change that happens during pregnancy-- how your immune system responds to allergens. If you have allergies to things like pet hair, pollen, dust, or even food, pregnancy will change some of your symptoms. Read more to find out how. 

Your allergies, especially seasonal allergies, could get a lot worse.

Nobody like watering eyes and running noses, but as a pregnant woman, you are more susceptible to this kind of suffering. Changes in hormone levels increase mucus production in some women, as well as the amount of blood present in nasal passages. Smaller nasal passages with increased blood flow are more likely to be irritated by passing allergens like dust and pollen. Therefore, women who have never had a problem with allergies in past may suddenly have a rude awakening. And, women who have only suffered from minor symptoms may go into to full-blown reactions that last for weeks.

Fortunately, most standard allergy medications are safe for pregnancy. However, for some women, more interventions are needed.

Asthma can get more severe during pregnancy.

Asthma is classified by allergists as a type of allergy, as it an immune response to an external stimulus. Many pregnant women who only have mild cases of asthma may find that they suffer from severe attacks during pregnancy. In fact, one study showed that 8% of women with low risk asthma and 47% of women with moderate risk has dramatic increases in attacks while pregnant. Therefore, if your allergies include asthma, you should talk to your doctor right away about how pregnancy can affect your symptoms. Your doctor will recommend:

  • staying inside or wearing a mask if pollen and dust are triggers for you.
  • avoided secondhand smoke at all costs.
  • reducing your activity level to low-risk activities, such as walking.
  • using natural methods to help calm your air passages, such a cleaning with saline solution and eating a healthy diet. 

Managing your asthma during pregnancy is very important, because both you and your fetus need a plentiful supply of oxygen in order to maintain healthy development. 

Food allergies should require special attention.

If you show serious allergic responses to a certain food, like shellfish or peanuts, you should still avoid these during pregnancy. However, some food allergies produce milder symptoms, like rashes, tingling in the throat, or hives. If you have a less serious food allergy, you should strive to be more vigilant about avoiding these foods during pregnancy, as your immune system may react differently to these foods and cause a more serious response. 

Also, because the immune system is under stress from different pregnancy hormones, some women become allergic to food only when pregnant. Some common foods that women enjoy before pregnancy that they are suddenly unable to eat during include:

  • tree fruits like apples and pears
  • milk and milk products
  • chocolate
  • eggs
  • nut and seeds

If you experience discomfort during your pregnancy because of a sudden food allergy, you should not worry about avoiding it. Your doctor can recommend supplements if needed, and it is better that you maintain your health.

Finally, if you are not allergic to nuts, recent studies have shown that eating nuts when pregnant can help your child to avoid developing a nut allergy after birth, especially if you have history of nut allergies in your family. 

Being pregnant is a journey full of unexpected twists and turns, but a severe allergic reaction doesn't have to be one of the them. Talk to your allergy doctor about changes in your allergies and sensitivities to make sure that all is well with both you and your unborn baby. 


About Me

Coping with Chronic Health Conditions: Tips

Ever since I was a young girl, I have had bad asthma and allergies. I had to stay in the hospital several times when I was in elementary school just to help get my asthma under control and it seemed like I was trying medication after medication with little success. I don't remember all of my childhood health details, since I was so young, but my mother has "filled in the blanks" for me. Thanks to modern medicine and a natural remedy, my health conditions are currently under control and have been for a few years now. I am very grateful for my good health, and I want to "pay it back" to others by creating a blog where I will post my health tips. I hope I can help you learn how to achieve good health!