Battling Allergies… and Potential Weight Gain?
What if I told you that your allergy meds might be the reason you've been experiencing sudden weight gain?
Yup! Those innocent-looking little pebbles we mindlessly pop daily can be responsible for those pesky extra pounds that are seemingly coming out of nowhere.
Let’s talk health, and more importantly, antihistamine medication.
According to Endocrinologist and Weight Loss Specialist, Dr. Scott Isaacs’s blog post titled, “Is Your Allergy Medication Making You Gain Weight?”, studies highlight that certain antihistamines are linked to weight gain.
How is that?
“Histamine is known to affect body weight. The appetite control center of the brain… contains receptors for histamine,” Isaacs verifies. “When histamine receptors are blocked by an antihistamine medication, the brain doesn’t receive the ‘I’m full’ signal like it normally would.”
Personally, yes. I can verify that I was a ravenous snacking machine when I was taking allergy meds last summer. Toward the tail end of the two months, I was 10 pounds heavier.
“The body also can’t burn calories effectively when the histamine receptor is blocked, lowering metabolism,” Isaacs adds. “These biological changes result in increased appetite, overeating, slower fat breakdown and weight gain.”
Additionally, allergy meds can make us feel tired and unmotivated to exercise.
Isaacs mentions the antihistamine medications linked to weight gain include:
· Diphenhydramine (Benadryl and others)
· Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
· Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
· Fexofenadine (Allegra)
· Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)
· Chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor-Trimeton)
Now, before we vow to boycott all allergy meds, there is hope.
According to Isaacs, the best alternative to avoid possible weight gain when aiding allergies is by switching to loratadine, the antihistamine usually found in Claritin and Claritin-D allergy medications.
“This is because loratadine does not cross into the brain and therefore cannot stimulate the appetite center of the brain and does not cause fatigue.”
Ultimately, whichever allergy medication or alternative way works most effectively can vary from person to person.
Going for a more natural approach? Opt for an air purifier. Isaacs also recommends reducing allergy symptoms through salt-water nasal washes and frequent showers.
A personal favorite of mine is incorporating essential oils (i.e. eucalyptus, lavender, orange peel) into a humidifier to keep things fresh and easy throughout the day.
Phew. That was a journey.
Thank you for sticking with me.
Good luck and happy healing!