“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.

BR,
Jouko

Comments

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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10 comments

  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.
  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.
  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.

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