Well, this is a question that tickles the mind of many people, especially those who frequently counteract fever. Is the coughing and sneezing occurring from cold or is it because of an allergy, this remains a question that puzzles a lot of people. Here in this article we will be discussing whether allergies can produce symptoms like fever and flu.
Are the Symptoms of Allergy and Flu Same or Do They Have Some Differences?
Headache, muscle aches, loss of energy, abdominal cramps and upset stomach are all symptoms of fever and flu; however, sometimes, they also indicate an allergy known as Allergic Rhinitis. Most of the people experience flu not more than twice or thrice a year, but if you are encountering these symptoms frequently, then chances are high that you might be suffering from allergy. Let us now look into different ailments and what their symptoms generally indicate; an allergy or just flu?
Fever: Fever is a common symptom of influenza and usually is sudden in onset. The temperature generally ranges between 102-106 degrees Fahrenheit. Often adults run low temperature than children. Body aches is another symptom that accompanies flu.
However, the major difference here is that the fever which is associated with allergy doesn't have that sudden onset and the body`s temperature seldom rises in allergy fever unlike seen in flu.
Nausea & Vomiting: These are the common symptoms of food allergies which often leads to some gastrointestinal symptoms. Food allergies to certain food items like dairy products, eggs, wheat etc. leads to symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea is another symptom that only crops up with allergy and not flu.
If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly when exposed to certain food items, then it's probably allergy to some type of food.
Headache: Headache is commonly present with flu or influenza. It is a result of body's self-defense mechanism to fight off the external virus. Dehydration along with swelling up of nasal tissues is also a symptom of body's fight against the virus.
However, headache associated with allergy or allergic rhinitis comes with increased production of mucus in nose, ears and sinus. Though few kinds of food allergies can also cause headaches, but these aches are accompanied with other symptoms like gastrointestinal pain and the swelling up of face and the throat.
Fatigue & Dizziness: These are universal symptoms for people who suffer from different types of allergies. They can also be present in flu but the severity is less. Moreover, lightheadedness is a very serious symptom, especially if it occurs suddenly. If someone experiences these symptoms along with swelling up of throat and difficulty in breathing, then they should immediately seek medical attention since this is a varying signal of anaphylactic shock.
What is the Difference Between Flu and an Allergy?
There are people who get fever but they are often in a dilemma trying to understand that is it really because of cold/flu that the fever has occurred or is it due to some allergy? Firstly, you get cold when a pathogen called virus enters into your body and then multiplies itself. There are several kinds of viruses that can make you sick with fever. Once you get the flu, your body`s immune system prepares itself to fight against the external entrant and combats the virus by launching certain reactions such as sneezing, blocked nose and coughing; these are the body's counter attack mechanisms to fight off the flu virus. Since the viruses that cause flu are contagious, they can easily spread from one person to another. However, after a couple of days or a week, the body successfully cleans off the virus from the system and the symptoms then subside.
Now, when it comes to an allergy, it is altogether a different story. Allergy is the overactive reaction of the immune system of the body. In this, the body mistakes external harmless things such as dust, certain food items etc. as a threat, and launches a counter attack against them. Now in its self-defense, the body releases a chemical called as Histamine as a part of its defense mechanism. This causes the swelling up of the passage of nose, and you will sneeze and cough as a result. The second major point of difference between a flu and allergy is that unlike flu, allergy is not contagious in nature and does not spread from one person to another.
Conclusion: Can Allergies Cause Fever and Flu Like Symptoms?
So, as we can see, allergies can cause some symptoms which resemble flu; however, it depends on the type of allergy and there is also difference in the intensity of the symptoms of allergy and flu.