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Are Your Allergies Making You Fat?

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Are Your Allergies Making You Fat?

By Emily Main, 

Allergy season is upon us, and the record pollen levels we’re experiencing this year may have you heading to the allergy relief aisle at your local drugstore. But what you take to alleviate your symptoms could have unpleasant side effects on your waistline. Researchers have suggested that allergies and weight gain go hand in hand, and that could have to do with the drugs you take or more subtle underlying problems.

The details:

In August 2010, researchers from Yale University published a study in the journal Obesity finding that people who took antihistamines regularly were heavier than people who didn’t take them at all. The study’s authors used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 to compare the body weight of 867 adults and their prescription antihistamine use. The two drugs most common in the study were cetirizine, now sold over-the-counter as Zyrtec, and fexofenadine, also now sold over-the-counter as Allegra, and the effect was more pronounced in men. The researchers warned that this was an observational study, and couldn’t demonstrate whether antihistamines actually caused the weight gain or if obesity predisposes people to allergies.

The latter was suggested in a separate study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Allergy and Immunology. Using data from the same CDC survey, researchers found that obese children were more likely to suffer from allergies, specifically food allergies, than normal-weight children. “It wasn’t clear to us if that really meant that the obesity was the cause of that allergic propensity or not,” says Cynthia Visness, PhD, the study’s lead author and a research scientist at Rho Inc., the research firm that conducted the study.

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Read more: Allergies, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, , , , , , , , , , ,

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6:04AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:01AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

I'm allergic to so many things that I take Zyrtec most of the time.

10:01AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012


12:20AM PDT on Sep 19, 2011


8:05AM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

I'm allergic to just about everything, but gave my body a vacation off antihistimines, and wella! I'm losing weight, though my nose is running!!! Will have to start them again soon as fall is my worst time.....

12:59PM PDT on Jul 21, 2011


11:21AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

critisism is easy but what about a pallative for allergies?????
there are thousans of "allergies", but what do we do??
we need to stop having antialergis(hope it´s well spelled), where can we find the answer?

3:01PM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

My sister was dubbed as an "encyclopedia of allergies" by her doctor, she takes a multitude of medications to survive and looks great in a bikini at 54 years of age. She took me to her doctor as she was worried I may be have allergies like her, the doctor took one look at me and said "obviously you have no problem with food", ok I am (more) round and chubby and no I do not take all the allergy medicines she does, although must admit I take the occasional Zyrtic when my sneezing gets bad :(

2:44AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Interesting, I'll have to look into it more. Thanks.

3:09AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

thanks for the great article

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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