Disabling Fatigue Caused by Allergies

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sandy10seven, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. sandy10seven

    sandy10seven New Member

    I'm new to this board and have been wondering if there are other people out there that feel their allergies have caused severe fatigue snd muscle aches. I don't have food allergies, but am allergic to pollen, mold and dust mites.
    I tried all the allergy meds (RX & OTC), they didn't help at all. I also have these horrible sinus headaches a lot.

    Until 3 yrs ago, I was physically well and active, always on the go. Now it's all I can do to leave the house once a week for a few hours, if that. I'm always worse in the mornings and somewhat better at night. Thank goodness for 24-hour grocery stores. :)

    At first the fatigue and muscle aches would come and go and I had a lot of good days when it was not so bad. I did the allergy testing and was told by the Doc that mold allegies can cause these symptoms (I also know now that pollen causes them also, at least for me.)

    I discovered this on several trips to the beach (east and west coasts). I would have fatigue and muscle aches until I set foot on the beach then in minutes I would feel fine, absolutely normal. As soon as I left the beach, the symptoms were back. I did this a lot of times, as well as going out on boats, and always had the same results. I guess because the wind off the ocean is free of the things I'm allergic too. Also, feel great when there's a lot of snow on the ground.

    I took the allergy shots for awhile, but had to quit because I was too sick to go. Would move to the beach (or North Pole?), but too sick too move. Ironic, isn't it?

    I've wondered if anyone else with CFS might be the same as me.

    This message board is wonderful and I'm so glad I found it. Most of you know what it's like to have people think you're crazy, that you're not trying and that it's "all in your head." Makes you feel so alone.

    Bless you all and maybe by sharing, we can find ways to get better.

    Sandy



  2. kgg

    kgg New Member

    Yes, allergies is a part of the chronic fatigue for some of us. When you mentioned the ocean it made me homesick for the coast. Always loved being at the beach. . .


    [This Message was Edited on 07/22/2003]
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Sandy, you are talking about my whole story of FM in a nutshell. I was dx'd with FM (starting with neurological symptoms, then pain & fatigue) 4 years ago. I was like everyone else with this miserable illness, feeling worse by the week, seeing doctor after doctor with no real progress. I have had inhalant allergies my whole life---the kind you are talking about, pollen, mold, grasses, etc.---but FM only since I was 43 (I'm 47 now). In the fall, I finally found (through my local FM support group) an allergist who did very thorough testing, and reportedly was very knowledgeable about, & had great success with, FM/CFS patients. Now, I have had allergy testing before, several times (as I've moved around the U.S. to different climates with different allergens), but I had never had food testing before; most mainstream allergists don't do it. And I had said all my life, "I have the kind of allergies that make you sneeze---but thank goodness, I don't have food allergies!!" Well, I assumed (erroneously, I have since found out) that if you had a food allergy you either: A) Ate a peanut, or some other food, and literally had to be rushed to the hospital, or B) ate a food & got stomach cramps & diarrhea. And since neither of those things had been happening to me, I just assumed I didn't HAVE food allergies. Boy, was I clueless. My allergist did complete inhalant AND food testing, both skin tests & blood tests. The inhalant allergies were no surprise, but my food panel was a shock. My allergy numbers on the dairy products & wheat/gluten were so high, it's amazing I was able to walk around eating bread & drinking milk without keeling over! And I had been doing it for years! I was also allergic to eggs, soy & several other things, but none so high as dairy & wheat.

    To make a long story only slightly shorter (I apologize for going on so long) I went on a strict diet----after the shock & denial phase wore off, which took me two months!----and started taking probiotics, digestive enzymes & other supplements (and my doctor had thoroughly tested me for all the vitamins & minerals my body either lacked, or had too much of, so we weren't just guessing on what to supplement with). It took about 6-8 weeks before I realized I was feeling better FM-wise. Now, it's been over 6 months, and while I'm not symptom-free by any means, I have a LOT more energy!! And the FM symptoms I do have just don't bother me the way they did. BTW, I have lost 25 lbs. so far on this allergy diet----a nice side effect, because I needed to lose about 30 & I'm almost there! I think it's because I'm eating almost no starchy carbs, and those were my favorite foods previously.

    I never realized the correlation between FM & my allergies before this last year. I personally believe many of us have some kind of underlying issue that makes our CFS/FM feel worse, it's just tough to discover it. There are folks here that have discovered a hidden thyroid problem, or bacterial infection, or other condition----& while it may not actually CAUSE CFS or FM, it can really aggravate it. I now believe I probably had food allergies for at least 20 years. And over time, they just trashed my immune system. It's going to be a long road back----I didn't get sick overnight----but I'm already feeling better enough that I'm job-hunting for the first time in years!!

    Sandy, you said you'd had allergy testing, but did they do foods?? If not, I'd definitely suggest it! It was a true revelation for me, I'd have SWORN I had no food allergies! If that shows nothing, whatever you can do to get true control over your inhalant allergies---you may find that you get some CFS relief there & start having more energy & less fatigue.

    What I've found out this past year has made all the difference for me in my quality of life. Hope I didn't go on too long. And I do hope you start feeling better. This board is a wonderful place to learn about ALL kinds of FM/CFS strategies!

    Hugs,
    Pam
  4. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    60% of the population has an antibody response to deisel fuel and of that 60%, a portion is very allergic. If you live anywhere where there are a lot of trucks, you probably feel like crap. Allergy medicine etc will do nothing for you. I have been there. I really think my only hope is to move to someplace far away from trucks. Our air is loaded with benzene (the burnoff from deisel). I will bet you are affected by other chemicals and may or may not even know it.
    Do you notice anything walking into a JCPenney for example?
    Our clothes now are loaded with chemicals. DO you feel bad
    if you eat something with a ton of preservatives, say bread?
    Another chemical overload on our system. Modern life is brutal to the human body. Thousands of years and humans never were exposed to this junk.....hang in there.
  5. babyzee

    babyzee New Member

    in some areas of the country (like MINE). Pollen levels are through the roof. I've been feeling terrible (FYI I don't have CFS) and feel better when I take echinacea/goldenseal tincture. You need to take goldenseal like an antibiotic - 6 or ten days in a row, about 2 or 3 times a day, then stop. Check the bottle. It helps kill off any low-grade sinus infections.
  6. babyzee

    babyzee New Member

    I didn't know that about diesel fuel. I breathe in diesel where I work (on and off) because of delivery trucks. Thank you for that insight.
  7. sssupermom

    sssupermom New Member

    and everyone this is so informative...yet another piece of the puzzle in this disease. I have terrrible allergies I am congested only at night and have no smell sense or taste sense (most of the time) anyone else?
  8. stillfighting

    stillfighting New Member

    I went to a couple of different allergists over the years who did the usual testing (skin pricks). The last one, who is well respected by his colleagues said that I don't have any allergies, but "sensitivities" LOL! My sinuses sure can't tell the difference, nor can my asthma!

    What has helped is I started taking Guaifensen (sp?) about three months ago. As I tell my doc, I don't know what it's done for the fibro, but it has finally cleared out my sinuses. You can check out Dr. St. Amand's web site--there's a link on the homepage for ImmuneSupport for more information. He claims Guai is a cure for FM, and since it is a safe drug, I'm willing to try it out, even though it is controversial.
  9. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I am allergic to grass, molds, pollen and dust mites along with just about every food!

    When my allergies flare, my fibro flares and the fatigue is debilitating. I found that when I cleaned, or my husband cut the grass, or I washed the dog, I felt HORRIBLE the next day - almost bedridden

    I used to take Allegra, but found that I got headaches from it (really bad ones)

    I now try to stay away from yeast and sugar (made a slight difference in my sinus headaches) and take a Super Yeast Defender with Echinachea and Olive Leaf Extract

    I feel that I really can't be allergic to every single food, it is just that my body is so out of whack!
  10. sandy10seven

    sandy10seven New Member

    So good to hear from all of you. I am sitting here teary-eyed because I finally hear from other people who understand that there can be a connection between allergies and severe fatigue. I have tried explaining this to other people and they just look at me like I'm from another planet. :)

    So glad you're feeling better, Pam. I have been tested for food allergies, had no reaction, and have tried elimination diets, but have not found any foods that seem to be a problem. This is certainly something most everyone should look into.

    Didn't know that about diesel fuel either. Interesting. I live in the country, shouldn't be exposed, but who knows?

    I'm going to try the guaifenesen and echinachea with goldenseal. Sounds like they might help.

    I was wondering if the Transfer Factor sold here might be good. I read somewhere that it has helped with allergies.

    Thank you all again for the info.

    Sandy
  11. isee

    isee New Member

    Sandy,

    I'm checking out salicylate sensitivity. Studies on kids with neurological illnesses, such as ADD and autism, have shown that salicylates provoke their symptoms. Salicylate, a naturally occurring organic acid, exists in most fruits and vegetables, and nuts and herbs. Some foods contain higher contents of it:for example, grapes, watermelon, all berries, apples, avocadoes, broccoli. Peeled pears and thick skinned pototoes and green cabbage have neglible amounts.

    Many "natural" supplements are packed with them. Echinachea, dandelion, dong guai, alfalfa, parsley, all are very high.

    Food sensitivities and intolerances are apparently different from actual allergies, in that you don't vomit, or
    stop breathing, or even get rashes, rather you might just feel tired or achey or confused. In other words, all the symptoms that can accompany CFS or FM.

    If you're interested in learning more about salicylates, or amines - another common provoking substance, try typing in the words in a search engine, then go to those sites.

    That's what I'm doing, and I'm learning a lot.

    Good luck,

    Anna