If you have read any of my blog posts before, you may know that I deal with pretty bad PMS/PMDD symptoms. This has led me down the path of trying to “crack the code” on myself. By that I mean I have been searching for ways to fix these hormonal problems of mine.
A couple of months ago, I read about using anti-histamines (like Claritin) to possibly treat PMS and/or PMDD. I was skeptical about it but I decided to try it recently to see if it would do anything for me at all.
This post will be explaining about why anti-histamines may be of use for hormonal issues and my experience using one of them.
Histamine and PMS/PMDD
What usually comes to mind when one thinks of allergies is a reaction to things like pollen, mold, dust, weed, grass, flowers, food etc. They typically do not think that a person can be allergic to their hormones.
Believe it or not, the cause of women’s bouts with bad PMS or PMDD could actually be from an allergic response to our hormones. Interesting, huh?!
The cause of allergic responses comes down to something called, histamine.
A histamine is a compound that plays roles in many different responses and functions that happen inside of us. One of the responses is that of producing an allergic reaction in our bodies. When our immune system does not like something, too much histamine is released which then causes the allergy symptoms.
Histamine is also involved in the digestion process and neurotransmission. Because of all this, symptoms of too much histamine can look like the following:
- Accelerated heart rate.
- Skin flushing.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose stools
- Sneezing, stuffy nose, post nasal drip
- Excess burping and/or flatulence.
- Abdominal pain and bloating.
- Hives and/or rashes.
- Fatigue and/or insomnia.
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Low blood pressure.
- Brain fog
- Depression and anxiety.
- OCD behaviors.
Do any of these symptoms look/sound familiar? They are all things that happen to many women when they are in certain phases of their menstrual cycles. Hence, the idea that some of us have allergic responses to our hormone levels that make it so our symptoms are worse than the average woman might report.
Using anti-histamines to treat severe PMS and PMDD
Because of the idea that histamine has a role to play in PMS and PMDD symptoms, anti-histamines may be of use.
There are some on the market that most people have heard of. They are as follows:
- Benadryl- This is a “first generation” anti-histamine. It is also used for sleeping and nausea. Tends to have more side effects than the other ones.
- Claritin- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
- Zyrtec -This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
- Allegra- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than all of the others.
If one wants to try out taking an anti-histamine for their hormonal symptoms, it is important to do some research to see which one would be the best for them to try (if they have no experience with these medications). Also, one must make sure to stick to the correct dosage and not go over it.
My experience so far
I had first read about histamine and hormones in the Period Repair Manual book by Lara Briden. To be honest, I did not really think much about the theory until I was on the PMDD subreddit a few weeks back. On there, some women were saying that they felt almost cured from their hormonal symptoms after taking an anti-histamine.
That really intrigued me of course.
I had some Claritin Kid’s syrup in the cupboard for my son so I decided that I was going to start taking it everyday and see what happened. Since I am always worried about side effects, I was nervous about how it might affect me but I knew that it would probably not be as bad as Benadryl.
The dosage for people aged 6 and up for Claritin is 10 mg. I decided to start taking 5 mg in the morning and then 5 mg at night.
The only thing I remember from the first day of taking it was that my nose was significantly less itchy ( I think I may have environmental allergies, too). Nothing much beyond that though.
Fast forward to now (about two weeks later), I have noticed so many positive things that taking Claritin has done for me! I have had virtually none of my hormonal symptoms I am used to having on certain days of my cycles.
This is so exciting to me!
I have not experienced any brain fog, itchiness, severe gastric distress, hysterical crying, headaches, cramps, rumination, anger, post-nasal drip, aches or lightheadedness. Amazing!
I still had a little bit of nausea before my period started on the day of typing this post but it was not to the level I usually deal with. It was actually barely of bother to me.
I plan on continuing to take Claritin but possibly cycle on and off so that my body does not get too used it.
Worth a try!
I am really glad that I stumbled across this theory as it seems to have provided a good solution to my hormonal issues.
If you deal with severe PMS or PMDD and you are at your wits end, consider trying an antihistamine. It is important to not expect miracles though as the histamine intolerance may not be what is driving your symptoms.
Thanks for reading!
If you have bad physical PMS/PMDD symptoms, head on over to my subreddit to talk about it! You can find it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/SeverePhysicalPMS/
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#allergytesting #hormonalimbalance #estrogen #progesterone #claritind #claritingeneric #larabriden #menstrualcycle #ovulation #pms #pmdd