Did you know that seasonal allergies affect how you'll feel on your period? 🌼 And that your period can affect how bad your seasonal allergies are? And ... they each tend to make the other one worse. 🤯
Seasonal allergies occur when your body overreacts to nature and treats something innocent (like pollen) as a potentially harmful invader. When you breathe certain types of pollen into your lungs, your body can mistake it for a threat like a virus or bacteria. And because your immune system tries to crush and kill things that don't belong, the pollen can activate your immune defenses. One way your body triggers defenses is by releasing a molecule called histamine. Histamine helps all the different immune cells know that they need to be on high alert and where to go to attack the invader. Of course, because this is all being caused by some innocent pollen, this is an inflammatory process where your body is overreacting.
And when you start your period that is also a big inflammation producing event. Your immune system has been suppressed after ovulation, and then it comes bouncing back and cues up a bunch of inflammatory markers to kick off your period. And people with higher inflammation going into their period have been clinically shown to have worse PMS and more uncomfortable periods.
Allergies + Your Period =
So, if you put the two of these things together, allergies and your period, they add on top of each other. You're more inflamed because you are about to start your period, so your allergies are probably worse. And if your body is already aggravated from allergies, then inflammation from your period adds to it making your bloating worse and cramps more unpleasant.
What Can I Do?
If you're like us and suffer from allergies this time of year, just know that your period might be a little extra this cycle, and be aware of that. A small price to pay for plants, trees and flowers growing again (and just think of all the happy bees!). That said, for those of us in the US particularly on the East Coast and in the MidWest, as climate change continues, we're due for more intense allergies.
So now is the time to address the problem before it gets worse.
- Take our PMS & Period Support, especially during allergy season. One of our star ingredients is quercetin, which is a plant (ironically ;D) that helps our bodies handle our histamine response.
- Start taking seasonal allergy meds a little earlier than you usual do. Climate change generally makes our winters shorter and spring a little less predictable, and being proactive can help effectiveness.
- Check the pollen count in your area the week of your period (just the few months out of the year in spring). If the count is high, maybe reschedule that picnic or outdoor hike OR wait until after it rains when pollen count is much lower.
- Keep your inflammation in check. This will make body's response to allergens and the natural inflammation from your period much better (aka YOU will feel better).
Allergies and periods might seem like pain to us (quite literally), but it's a good time to remember it's your body telling you something: "this pollen is stressing me out (let's move away from this allergen)" and "we're bleeding and letting you know your body will be a bit more tired and need a little more TLC." Our bodies are constantly sending us cues to listen and slow down. So give your body some love and to learn what you need. That is freakin empowering (even while you are sneezing and bleeding).