Can a strict low-carb diet improve your allergic symptoms?
Guess if he was surprised when this happened:
I wonder if you have information or professional experience of a ketogenic diet and seasonal allergies?
I have been suffering seasonal allergies in summers for over 30 years now and used wide range of medication from old pseudoephedrine, nasal sprays and eye drops to modern 3rd generation fexofenadine antihistamine pills. Problem seems to be (for me at least) that even 2nd generation antihistamines seem to be turning sedative after several years use, and they sometimes need additional meds for eyes in bad seasons. And still some symptoms left.
Anyway, I have been in low carb for about 6 years and for some reason I decided to try ketogenic diet in May this year. Same time my first allergy session was starting (birch) and I just started medication for that. Then something happened, as soon as the Ketostick started to turn red, all my eye itching and sneezing stopped totally. So I drop the meds and still ok.
Well, my first thought was that the pollen season was easy and it was over. But I did some googlework and I found some discussions where people has the same kind of experiences. So decided to do try again. I stopped the keto in end of May and waited for the next session, grass pollen, which is usually much worse for me.
At the beginning of July my eyes started to itch again and I started the keto. And behold the miracle, no need for medication. Only a small itch in the eyes occasionally to remind the the allergy was on, but no other symptoms, no need for medication, and no drowsiness.After over 30 years of allergy medication, the first summer practically without! To be sure I asked my friend if she needed meds as usually, and she did, so the amount of pollen was as usually.After over 30 years of allergy medication, the first summer practically without!
I found one rat study of the issue here.
In that study the finding was that beta-hydroxybutyrate attenuated hypersensitivity by inhibition of mast cell degranulation. In other words the secretion of histamine was inhibited. IgE was high but histamine release was attenuated, so the allergic reaction started but no symptoms. Also I noticed a mention in one of Jeff Volek’s slide about inhibition of mast cell degranulation during keto diet.
So I was wondering if you have more info about the keto and allergies, and if so, maybe share it with the readers. There are many of us who are suffering from seasonal allergies every summer and may benefit of ketogenic diet. If keto helps, the summers will be more enjoyable without allergy symptoms and side effects of antihistamine drugs.
Congratulations Jouko to finding a way to improve your allergies significantly and get off of your medications.
Many people have noticed significantly less seasonal allergies on strict low-carb diets, including myself. But without more real science – beyond rat studies – it’s hard to know for sure if there are also people getting more problems, meaning it’s all just random fluctuations.
Just for fun, here’s a survey to answer. Also feel free to leave a comment below.
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