The claim: The key to experiencing less frequent or less intense seasonal sniffles could be as simple as mellowing out. Preliminary research published in Annals of Allergy,Asthma, & Immunology finds allergy sufferers with persistent stress experience more allergy flare-ups.
The research: Researchers from Ohio State University analyzed...
What it means: "We know there's a connection between our neurology and our immunology," says study author and allergist Amber Patterson, which also explains why stress is known to exacerbate eczema, among other diseases. "What we ultimately found is that some people with allergies have a more sensitive neuro-immunologic trigger." And for those people, higher stress levels over time might trigger an immune response. Patterson says a few subjects showed a day-to-day correlation between stress and allergy flare-ups, but the most significant results zeroed in on the additive effect of stress over time--each day you walk around on the brink of a breakdown builds up to result in allergy flare-ups.
Bottom line: More work needs to be done to see if stress reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can actually help slow down allergy flare-ups. But in the meantime, there's no shortage of reasons to work on dealing with your stress sooner than later.
By Nina Elias