What to do about allergies when pregnant

What to do about allergies when pregnant

The immune system can be thought of as an army. When an infectious agent such as a virus or bacterium invades our body, it can result in illness or fever. Our immune system recognises these harm signals and mounts an attack of its own. This attack, known as the immune response, is carried out by immune molecules and cells that work to neutralise and eliminate threats.


Read more: Explainer: how does the immune system work?


In most situations, the immune response protects the body from illness. But it can also be negative in some cases, such as in autoimmune diseases love diabetes (type one), rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

In diabetes, a misdirected immune response causes immune molecules to attack the pancreas and reduce insulin-producing cells.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

It’s well established the womb environment is significant for the baby’s healthy development. This environment is generally stable and well balanced, monitored by the numerous systems that support well-being, including the nervous and immune systems. When maternal immune activation occurs, this balance is believed to be disrupted.

Armies of activated immune molecules, such as cytokines, chemokines and specific antibodies, can increase and alter the internal womb environment.

The elevated levels of cytokines and chemokines might interfere with the normal development of the baby, particularly the baby’s brain, and the nervous and immune systems.


Animal to human studies

Many animal studies, both in rodents and non-human primates, own shown that experimentally induced maternal immune activation causes developmental, behavioural and social deficits in offspring. For example, when pregnant mice are injected with a substance that triggers an immune response, the resulting pups show social impairment, repetitive behaviours and communication difficulties.

These animal behaviours own been argued to be similar to those in human developmental disorders such as autism.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

Studying maternal immune activation in humans is much more complicated. There is no ethical way to induce MIA in mothers to observe how it affects fetal development. Every studies are retrospective and show a correlation between two things, which means showing MIA directly causes kid development problems is difficult.


Read more: Clearing up confusion between correlation and causation


Population studies (in which mothers and their children are followed over time) show that autoimmune conditions and infections may result in a little increase in the rates of mental health and developmental disorders in children later in life.

Our own study found children of mothers who had experienced allergic or asthmatic reactions during pregnancy had a greater severity of autistic symptoms.

Understanding how and why the immune system does this remains elusive.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

It’s still unclear, for instance, why the immune system attacks the pancreas in those with diabetes. A combination of genetic and environmental factors is likely responsible.

Similarly, in developmental disorders such as autism, we know there are numerous causes and probably numerous types of autism. We do not own any biological markers, other than sequencing DNA, to assist us identify the diverse types of autism or markers that assist to guide diverse treatments.


Read more: What causes autism?

What we know, don’t know and suspect


But some families report a endless history of immune or autoimmune problems. There are also numerous children whose symptoms are heavily influenced by immune insults, such as fevers and influenza. If we can identify the biological markers involved in the effects of maternal immune activation, we would be capable to target therapies for this specific group of children.

We may also be capable to unravel the intricacies of complicated disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, by figuring out why certain treatments work in some patients but not others.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

This would open the possibilities of using targeted tests and therapies to detect or prevent neurodevelopmental disorders in the womb.

If sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes began plaguing you for the extremely first time during pregnancy, you may be wondering whether having a baby bump triggered seasonal allergies. If you are a known allergy sufferer, you’re probably wondering if and how your pregnancy might affect your symptoms.

For one, pregnancy-related nasal congestion, not allergies, could be behind every the sneezes and stuffiness.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

But how can you tell the difference? Here’s what you need to know about allergies during pregnancy, including what medications are safe to take while you’re expecting.


Are allergies worse when you’re pregnant?

Though about a third of fortunate expectant allergy sufferers discover a temporary respite from their symptoms during pregnancy, another third discover their symptoms get worse, while a final third discover their symptoms stay about the same.


Symptoms of allergies during pregnancy

If you own an allergy love hay fever (rhinitis), you’ll likely experience the following symptoms:

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  1. Congestion
  2. Headache
  3. Runny nose
  4. Sneezing
  5. Itchy eyes, skin and/or mouth

Hay fever often flares up at the start of spring and later in the summer or early drop.

But it doesn’t always follow a predictable schedule, since it depends on the specific environmental allergens causing your sensitivity.

Other triggers love mold, dust and pet dander can cause allergic reactions at various (or all) times of the year.


Can I get allergies while I’m pregnant?

Yes, you can get allergies while you’re pregnant, sometimes for the first time and certainly if you own a history of them. Allergies are extremely common in pregnancy, and not every women who experience them are long-term allergy sufferers.

What to do about allergies when pregnant

Numerous women with no known prior allergies only complain of their symptoms during pregnancy.


How will my allergies affect my pregnancy and baby?

If you own allergies, you can definitely own a safe, healthy pregnancy. In fact, your baby likely won’t notice a thing in there, even if you’re feeling beautiful lousy. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, and always check before using any medication — even those you were regularly taking before conceiving (some are considered safe during pregnancy, while others won’t get the green light).

Also attempt as best as you can to steer clear of known allergy triggers when possible (tricky, yes, especially when the culprit is pollen or grass at the height of allergy season).


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