“And behold the miracle, no need for medication”

Can a ketogenic diet improve your allergic symptoms?

Can a strict low-carb diet improve your allergic symptoms?

Jouko had been on a low-carb diet for six years, but it didn’t improve his terrible allergic symptoms. He then decided to transfer to an even stricter version of a low-carb diet – a ketogenic diet.

Guess if he was surprised when this happened:

The E-mail

Hi Andreas,

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.

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.


Do you want to try it?

A Quick Guide to Ketogenic Diets

Low Carb for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

Take the FREE Low-Carb Challenge

More success stories


  • My low-carb story with Marc Gossange
  • My success story with Kenneth Russell
  • Can low carb make it fun to be a doctor?
  • How to help patients reverse type 2 diabetes
  • How to avoid complications of type 1 diabetes
    How to motivate your patients

Share your story

Do you have a success story you want to share? Send your information, plus before and after photos, to success@dietdoctor.com. It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc. More information:

Share your story!


  1. Nick @ LIHF Living
    Exactly same experience for me.
    4 yrs of keto = 4 summers of almost zero symptoms after a lifetime of hayfever.
    For me this is no anomaly.
  2. Bess
    I have been low carb for nearly ten years. My hayfever has nearly disappeared. I get symptoms if I am extremly exposed, e.g. sitting in a garden with lots of flowers from early evening until the small hours. Happens only every few years (the symptoms, not the garden sitting).
    Housedust-allergy has also improved a lot. I may get some sniffles in the morning after getting up, but otherwise no problem any more.
  3. Jean
    Hayfever is nearly gone. This has been for several years. It is what used to be peak hayfever season for me and all I notice is the occasional itchy eye, short lived, and an occasional sneeze, no medication needed.
  4. Peter
    No seasonal allergies since LCHF. 2 years and counting!
  5. David
    Same as Nick and Jean; lowcarb (for more than 3 years) has reduced my decades of hayfever for more than 80%. Starting to notice that strict lowcarb reduces my symptoms even more. Will do some further testing.
  6. Thomas
    I have the extremely rare Kimura's disease which is incurable and pretty serious at times probably the king of all allergic disease. Along with a few others with kimuras we have been trying a near zero and zero carb diet with considerable success. I need more time to see what happens over the long term (years) but so far it seems the only way out of this problem.
    Reply: #17
  7. Desiree
    I wish I could say the same. I have had daily allergies for 20 years now (I'm allergic to dust mites, a couple molds and every pollen). I've been keto for 11 months now and my allergies are the same or may be actually be getting worst? I do not believe this is due to food allergies and eat a very restrictive diet, but I am willing to experiment with this. Will be seeing a doctor about this soon.
    Reply: #11
  8. Kathleen
    I have never had seasonal allergies but having been hard core Keto without cheating for 8 months now, I seem to be developing histamine overload.
    After eating high histamine foods like leftovers (1 day later) or a dry cured meat or spinach or fermented foods, etc. my eyes water, I start sneezing non-stop and it takes hours or even a couple of days to clear the problem.
    I’ve tested my theory by eating certain foods and within about 20 minutes I can induce the histamine overload response.
    I don’t know what to do with this because I NEED to be Keto for my lipids and weight loss and yet tons of the histamine foods are common to Keto, like avocados!
    Ideas anyone?
    Reply: #9
  9. Pier-Alexandre
    hi kathleen, same symptoms here. I'm keto since 8 months too. Have you found some solutions to your problems? Would be interested to talk more about it. thanks
  10. Carol
    Look up Dr Georgia Eade. She has similar problems.
  11. Fabiola Mora
    This also happen to me...
  12. Robin
    I've been using asthma meds, daily, for decades! The asthma was getting worse this year and I was needing to us my nebulizer more often. Doctors have tried to get me to use meds, like Symbicort, that say they can cause DEATH, so I always refused. I've used albuterol inhaler as well as in the nebulizer, and sometimes prednisone, (if things were very bad or I got a cold). It was this way for about 30 years. I'm a 60 year old female, I don't feel anywhere near 60, but for allergies and asthma, everyday.
    Since starting KETO 14 days ago, I'm almost off the nebulizer treatments entirely! It's truly a miracle. I was up to 4 or maybe 5 times a day with the nebulizer just two weeks ago. I know that's too often, generally, but, when you can't breathe like you should, whatchagonnado?! I'm thrilled at the relief from asthma! I've been going 15 or more hours without a treatment the past few days, (which began several days ago with longer stretches inbetween treatments) and feel like I really only need an inhaler now, on occasion. I imagine that it's going to completely go away as I remain on low carb keto for a long time to come! The nasal allergies are also vastly improved...AND, I've been able to sleep with my mouth closed for the first time in YEARS! It's so wonderful to know the systemic inflammation that was ruining my life is going away. I had to share! Hope this brings HOPE to someone else who's considering KETO! Blessings~!
  13. David
    One year on keto (today!) and I've lost 50+ pounds. I've had horrible spring hay fever every year, but practically none this year. A bit of congestion, but I haven't sneezed once this season. Due to keto? I don't know, but I'm pleased.
  14. Göran
    I am soon off keto. I have been on since September 2018. I have had very severe pollen allergy problems for many years which made me unable to work and I slept at least 12 hours a day during the birch pollen season. I have tried "everything": "Hyposensibility" for four years, anti-histamines, barley grass, ... Now, however, I have not felt any respiratory problems, no tiredness, no itching eyes, no nothing. I have even been able to exercise HIT and do longer interval training sessions. Whatever the mechanism behind how keto affects my body, I am extremely pleased.
  15. Paula T
    I've been on a keto diet for about 6 months, but also in menopause for about that amount of time. Recently I've been experiencing sinusitis, runny eyes, itching but especially dizziness which is often accompanied by hot flushes and some palpitations. I just found out that my keto diet has many high histamine foods, but also that there is a connection between menopause and histamine intolerance. So I'm embarking on a low-carb low-histamine experiment to see if that improves things. No alcohol, cocoa, avocado, green tea, cured meats, bacon – but I will have two small coffee & creams each day as that's one thing I can't seem to give up. More herbal teas, quercetin/bromelain, bifidus yogurts instead of lactobacillus casei, and so on. Freshness of food seems to be a big factor here (Dr. Georgia Ede).
  16. sue68
    My husband has been keto for 8 months and this year was the first year in over 40 years that he didn't almost dissolve with hay fever (grass pollens). He barely had a sniffle. I too have been keto for 8 months and this is the first year I have been able to touch tomato leaves without my skin turning yellow and itching for hours. Also I can now eat chili without hiccuping on the first mouthful so I'm now experimenting with avocados which in the past have caused hives.
  17. Isak
    Could I have any update, Thomas?

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts