Can Allergies Cause Autoimmune Diseases?

Many people think the only commonality between allergies and autoimmune diseases is that they happen inside the body. Yet, both responses are the result of miscommunications in the immune system. With allergies, the immune system identifies normal substances as threats and goes on the offensive to attack them. Cells in the immune system still identify a threat for autoimmune diseases but start to attack the body instead of the substance.

Read on to learn more about the connection between allergies and autoimmune diseases.

What Is an Autoimmune Disease?

Your immune system protects you from viruses and bacteria that make you sick. When the immune system mistakes healthy cells for threats and starts to attack them, the body develops an autoimmune disease. It is challenging to diagnose an autoimmune disease, but over 80 known autoimmune disorders can affect any part of the body. Experts are still unsure why autoimmune disease happens, but there is some evidence that these issues may run in the family.

Comparing Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases

Similarities

There are a few similarities between allergies and autoimmune diseases, and they show up in the symptoms of both responses. 

Some common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue 
  • Sickness 
  • Itching 
  • Redness
  • Swelling 

Autoimmune diseases can also present a larger set of more severe symptoms.

Differences

The difference between allergies and autoimmune diseases comes down to how they present themselves and what is being attacked. 

These are the differences.

Allergies

  • The immune system reacts abnormally to an ordinary substance. 
  • Allergies are typically caused by external factors like food, medicine, animals, plants, and more. 

Autoimmune Diseases 

  • The immune system turns on the body and starts attacking healthy cells and tissue. 
  • Internal factors within the body cause autoimmune diseases. 

Can An Allergy Cause Autoimmune Disease?

For both allergies and autoimmune diseases, it is unclear what triggers the immune response in the body. However, researchers from the University of Washington have discovered that there may be a connection in allergies causing autoimmune disease. The study shows that “allergic and inflammatory diseases may actually trigger autoimmune diseases by relaxing the controls that normally eliminate newly produced, self-reactive B cells.”

This means an allergic reaction could lower the body’s immune response and mix up the internal signals, which results in the immune system attacking healthy cells instead of “threatening” substances.

Testing to Support Immune Function

At Immuno Labs, we know that allergies and autoimmune diseases can affect many aspects of our everyday lives. That’s why we offer accurate and reliable sensitivity testing to identify the underlying causes of sensitivities, allergies, and — potentially — autoimmune diseases. 

We offer tests for:

  • Food sensitivities 
  • Allergy tests
  • Candida albicans
  • Milk subfraction 
  • And more

Get Started With Immuno Labs

If you are ready to take control of your health and discover underlying health issues due to allergies or sensitivities, we are here to help. Discover how we work with you and your physician to do the testing you need to get the answers you want.