Supplements Vitamin Allergies

Although many people think that taking vitamins keeps them in good health, at times, the vitamins and other supplements you take may be causing you to suffer from some health problems. Along with overdosing on vitamins, allergies to vitamins can cause you to develop negative physical reactions, defeating the central purpose of taking vitamins.

In fact, roughly 80 percent of those taking vitamins or other supplements are actually stressing their bodies out, rather than providing themselves with nourishment, due to allergic reactions.

Symptoms of Vitamin Allergies

If you are allergic to a vitamin, the precise symptoms you experience will depend on:

  • the manner in which you come into contact with the allergy-causing vitamin (i.e. whether you ingest it or topically apply it to your skin)
  • the severity of your allergy
  • the type of vitamin that causes your allergy

However, complications of vitamin allergies can include any one or combination of the following symptoms:

  • asthma
  • general fatigue
  • headaches
  • itchiness
  • runny nose
  • skin rashes
  • sneezing
  • sniffling
  • wheezing.

While these symptoms characterize mild to moderate vitamin allergies, more severe allergies to vitamins can cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock, a violent reaction of an allergy that causes people to suffer from breathing difficulties, quickly lose blood pressure and possibly go into cardiac arrest.

Diagnosing Vitamin Allergies

Unfortunately, a large number of those with vitamin allergies go undiagnosed for extended periods of time because vitamins tend to be the last thing that people think might be causing them discomfort. For example, while some may fail to recognize their discomfort for allergy symptoms, others who do realize that they have allergies may attribute their symptoms to another factor, such as pet dander or dust.

As a result, if you start to experience any of the above symptoms (or any physical problems that are disrupting your health), see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Your doctor will perform a series of tests on you to determine whether or not you suffer from allergies, and then, if you have allergies, to evaluate the source of them. The two diagnostic tests for allergies include:

  • blood tests: Your doctor will take blood samples, likely when you are experiencing an “outbreak” of allergy symptoms. If your blood contains higher concentrations of histamines (proteins the body produces in response to allergens), then you do have allergies. The next series of tests your doctor will perform will help determine the source of your allergies.
  • skin patch tests: Once your doctor has determined that you do, in fact, suffer from allergies, he will perform a series of skin patch tests to identify the source of your allergies. During this diagnostic test, a sample of various common or suspected allergens will be applied to a small portion of your skin. Your doctor will then see if you have a negative physical reaction to any of these substances. Skin patch tests will continue until the precise allergen is identified.

Vitamin C to Treat Allergies

While some people have allergies to vitamins, others with allergies actually experience relief when they take vitamins. Specifically, Vitamin C has been proven to significantly reduce allergy symptoms for some.

Because Vitamin C boosts the immune system, it effectively prevents the production of histamines while also promoting the quick elimination of foreign, allergy-causing substances. However, before taking Vitamin C to soothe your allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether or not this treatment option is best for you.

Treatment for Vitamin Allergies

In general, doctors agree that the best treatment for an allergy is to avoid the substance that causes you allergies. The same is true for vitamin allergies. Once you have identified which vitamin is causing you to suffer from allergies, stop taking supplements that include that vitamin (or series of vitamins if you are allergic to multiple vitamins).

To maintain your overall health, talk to your doctor about ways that you can stay healthy without taking the allergy-causing vitamin. For example, if you are allergic to Vitamin D, your doctor may suggest that you increase your calcium intake to be sure that you are still able to support your body’s normal functioning.

Because your exact course of treatment will revolve around your allergies and overall health, make sure to work with your doctor closely.

Resources

Organic Nutrition (n.d.). Allergy Relief and Treatment. Retrieved November 9, 2007, from the Organic Nutrition Web site: http://www.organicnutrition.co.uk/articles/allergies.htm.