Can stress cause allergies?

Food allergies and sensitivities is on the rise. A 2013 study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that food allergies have increased by 50% among children between 1997 and 2011. Food allergies and chronic disorders that affect that digestive system can cause significant burdens and be of considerable pain to individuals globally. Understanding how food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and food sensitivities are triggered is poorly understood. An NCBI article, “How Stress Induces Intestinal Hypersensitivity,” sheds some light on how stress may contribute to chronic diseases of the digestive system. Its states that diseases of the digestive system are similar in that they all have an “exaggerated inflammatory response” to something harmless, or to something external to which a tolerance is normally developed. This blog article will review the NCBI article’s finding on how stress may contribute to the development of allergies or magnify their symptoms.
Previous studies have found that stress may spark an allergic reaction. Depression or anxiety have also been shown to increase symptoms of inflammatory disorders in the digestive tract. The process of events that causes stress to increase the prevalence of disease in the digestive system is minimally understood. The digestive tract has a mighty task. It must at once fight harmful microbes, while also being accepting to food antigens and helpful bacteria. A relatively stable relationship between these diverse elements within our intestines is required for the digestive system to cope. It has been found that in a “genetically susceptible host, stress contributes to the development of food allergies by increasing” the permeability of the intestinal lining. In short, it appears that if one has certain genes, it is easier for external microbes and bacteria to get inside the intestines during chronic stress. Consequently it can become impossible for the digestive tract to be fully operational. An increased amount of pathogens (such as a virus, bacteria, or microorganism that cause disease) in the small intestine, may be associated with food allergies.
In the simplest of terms, it looks like this:
small-intestine graphic .jpg

There is a great need for more research on how stress leads to the intestines inadequate response to bacteria and the consequential development of food allergies and other diseases.
It is important to note the role of stress in our lives and how it can cause disease in our digestive tract, especially as allergies and other digestive disease are increasing. Kay’s Naturals is certified gluten-free and was created to support individuals with diet restrictions to gluten and/or sugar, while being the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein and fiber. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten, you will likely find Kay’s to be delicious, healthy, and extremely convenient. Who knows, maybe we'll even help lower your stress levels? Learn more about Kay’s Naturals here.


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