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Can pregnancy affect allergies / asthma etc.

(28 Posts)
3rdtimelucky73 Thu 25-Oct-12 03:15:25

Hi, a query for the early birds.....

I have suffered from moderate asthma, eczema and allergies most of my life.

The only regular medicine I've been advised to stop since being pregnant is a daily asthma top up pill, I can still take both my preventative and reliever inhalers.

The problem is my base level allergies are through the roof! Every bit of skin itches (even the backs of my ears), I already have patches of eczema all over my legs and back. I want to scratch my eyes out , they're permanently swollen/bloodshot and they are regularly covered in so much gunk I find it hard to see. My nose is streaming, I'm constantly sneezing and my inhalers are no longer controlling my asthma (though I'm not yet wheezy enough for a second dose of steroids).

Has anyone else experienced or heard of this?

Sorry for the moan, I appreciate it's not life threatening, but I look and feel awful and it's making me more miserable than 24/7 MS!!

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions, do I need to see my GP?

Thanks in advance.

Bessie123 Thu 25-Oct-12 03:18:17

How horrible, poor you. I'm so sorry I have nothing to help. I have found my allergies are a bit worse when I am pregnant. I also find that for me cutting out wheat helps a lot - could a change in diet reduce your symptoms a bit? You've probably tried that, sorry.

ZombieTribble Thu 25-Oct-12 04:27:40

Oh dear, you poor thing.

I think pregnancy can, your skin can get drier. Mine certainly did, in fact I developed eczema in mine. It was all over my legs, it's been brought under control. But it itched like mad and I was utterly miserable.

chaosandcupcakes Thu 25-Oct-12 05:15:57

Poor you that sounds horrid. I have battled with excema all my life, but mine is def triggered by food intolerances and allergies. I was extra careful about what I was eating when pregnant and my skin was never better..I actually think alcohol might be a bit of a trigger for me and I didn't discover this till pregnant as it was the longest I'd been without booze in a very long time!! Stress is also a major factor are you worrying about pregnancy a lot?

Sorry if that hasn't helped much. But I would def see your gp about it. Itchy skin can be a sign of something especially when pregnant.

Pregnancy does make your body do wierd things and can make you feel miserable but it is all worth it in the end xxx

Marmiteisyummy Thu 25-Oct-12 07:53:02

Hi OP. definitely see your gp.
My asthma was MUCH worse with my pg with DS, from very early in the first trimester. Though oddly it's actually much better than usual with my current pregnancy.
It didn't settle until about a year after DS was born I'm afraid.
My fab gp switched me to symbicort inhaler to use as preventer and reliever (up to 12 times per day). Revolutionised my asthma. I still have it to use now though haven't needed it at all for over 6 months. It's newer so less known about use in pg but I was fine and DS is perfect, and its much better than having uncontrolled asthma.
Can't help with the other allergies but a referral to an immunologist may be sensible.
Hope you get some help soon.

LoveBeingAMrs Thu 25-Oct-12 09:49:21

I also have asthma exzema and allergies, i am currently ttc and have been to see my allergy specialist. I am currently taking fexofenadine and ceterizine but have been advised of some allergy meds that i can take once ive got a bfp! I am also taking my inhaler and i have a nasal spray both wont be harmful in pregnancy. So my advixe would be to see you gp and maybe ask for an urgent refferal to an allergy specialist who can reccomend the best things to help your allergies whilst being safe durig pregnancy! Hope this helps!!! Good luck!! :-) x

3rdtimelucky73 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:24:02

Bessie, hmm I have been wracking my brains to think of any changes that could be causing it. Then I realised my diet contains bread daily as it's one of the few things I can stomach. Oh dear.

Zombie, yes my skin is drier all over, including my arms which I've never regularly moisturised.

Chaos, not drunk since May, but am somewhat stressed (baby worries mainly).

Marmite, I'll look into that inhaler, 6 months with no meds is impressive. Singulair was the pill I was recommended to stop taking the moment I got a BFP.

Love, I have ceterizine for hayfever and occasional allergy flare-ups but this was one of the meds I was advised not to take when we started TTC, same goes for my beconase nose spray. Can I ask what nose spray you've been told is safe?

I am worried about seeing a GP for a couple of reasons; not being taken seriously but also not really wanting to take meds.... The GP I saw a month ago with terrible asthma had to remind me that being dead would be more harmful to my unborn baby than five days of steroids. Even then I rested for 3 days before giving in (I couldn't walk to the bathroom without being so breathless I couldn't talk for an hour).

Thanks all for your advice, I'm about to call the surgery, I hope they can see me this side of Christmas x

Bessie123 Thu 25-Oct-12 14:20:32

Shit shit shit. I had just convinced myself it was prob ok to take my daily cetirizine when pg. I stopped with previous pregnancies but it's such a struggle to do without it. Any recommendations for a substitute?

SlightlyBabyCrazed Thu 25-Oct-12 14:38:13

Acupuncture or reflexology can help with allergies and skin conditions and both can be safe in pregnancy just look up one with ante natal experience.

stepawayfromtheminstrels Thu 25-Oct-12 15:19:59

hi 3rdtimelucky i sympathise with u. my excema has been really bad last few weeks (im 31weeks now). im so itchy and uncomfortable! didn't want to cut out food because im trying to eat more healthily for the baby but might need to think about it. bessie do you have any suggestions for alternatives to wheat?im eating musli, wholesale pasta... thanks!

anonymooos Thu 25-Oct-12 16:26:32

I'd definitely see your GP, really important for both you and baby to get your asthma under control especially with the winter virus season coming up. Pregnancy can really affect your skin too but there are loads of safe creams you can get from your doc or the chemist. Good luck!

joby21 Thu 25-Oct-12 18:03:27

I suffer from hayfever pretty badly , however since i've been pregnant i've barely sniffed, let alone sneezed! I spoke to my GP as i usually use fexofenadine and nasonex nose spray. He advised me not to take the fexofenadine as it hadn't been tested in pregnancy so there was lomited safety data. The nasonex spray was safe to use so i just used that sporadically this summer. There were a couple of days where i was a bit sniffly and took piriton. However that made me barely able to keep my eyes open and stay awake!

Definitely see your gp! They maybe able to give you stronger moisturiser or something to help.

Bessie123 Thu 25-Oct-12 20:15:30

minstrels you can get gluten free pasta in most supermarkets. Wait rose does a wholewheat-looking one that is made from chick peas. You can get muesli with buckwheat, which is gluten free. I will have a look tomorrow and let you know the brand. I can't even walk anywhere without daily cetirizine, think I might risk it from 14 weeks

Caddie08 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:19:42

Bessie - my GP happily prescribed ceterizine for my allergies, it's fine apparently x

Bessie123 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:53:51

Thanks very much, caddie. It would def be a relief if I could keep taking it, life is v difficult without it.

stepawayfromtheminstrels Fri 26-Oct-12 19:57:02

thanks bessie im going shopping tomorrow and will have a look. i had a look at the channel 4food hospital website - said that around half of women with excema found it worsened when pregnant. seems like an awful lot but at least we're not alone!
all the women with asthma need to take special care- its really cold now and asthma attack would be so frightening- look after yourself folks!

Bessie123 Fri 26-Oct-12 23:54:55

The gluten free muesli is called Eat Natural. X

Littlelot Sat 27-Oct-12 11:17:14

My doctor also prescribed ceterizine quite happily during the summer for my worst hayfever in years and years. She just said that although it hadn't been officially tested on pregnant women she couldn't say it was 100% safe but that on the grounds that it had been taken for years by thousands of pregnant women without any recorded effects on the babies that she was happy to prescribe it. I think they just cover themselves because companies can't do any trials on pregnant women. I'm now 31 weeks and baby has been perfect at all scans and is wriggling happily in my tummy as I type.

Have to add though - all the books etc. seem to imply that because your immune system is lowered that you are less likely to suffer allergies etc so I was looking forward to a nice summer free from sneezing, watering eyes etc. guess I missed out on that symptom of pregnancy.

5madthings Sat 27-Oct-12 11:22:40

basically my consultant told me that for 1/3 of people allergies etc stay the same, for 1/3 they get better and for 1/3 of people they get worse, mine got worse! significantly worse esp my eczema it was like i was allergic to being pregnant! i continued to take piriton or cetrizine as i couldnt survive otherwise,toook it for all 5 pregnancies as i was told it was fine and the consultant was happy with this smile

5madthings Sat 27-Oct-12 11:23:53

i have asthma, eczema and hayfever btw and took inhalers and anti-histemines, my children are all fine and touch wood have no allergies smile

Quodlibet Sat 27-Oct-12 11:48:21

Hey OP hope you are feeling better.
Do you mind me asking how early in pregnancy your allergy symptoms flared up?

LoveBeingAMrs Sat 27-Oct-12 12:25:59

Sorry its taken me a while to reply.. I couldnt find this post to see reply! (still finding my feet here)
The nasal spray ive got is "fluticasone furoate" the make is Avamys
Ive been given "loratidine" to take daily asmy normal allergy tab and "chlorphenamine maleate" to take on top of that when it gets bad... The specialist told me these tablets & spray is safe in pregnancy

Hes told me if the allergies get really bad again i can take my cetrizine and fexofenadine again but the research in pregnancy and taking these tables is minimal although he has people with bad allergies who have to take them from severe allergies and they have as far as he is aware had successful healthy pregnancies and babies with no side effects..

Hope this helps! (im now watching this link so hopefully wont get lost again!) :-)

3rdtimelucky73 Wed 07-Nov-12 00:43:45

Thank you for all the replies, sorry not to have responded sooner, I had a terrible cold which floored me (I'm guessing that is a pregnancy thing too!

Bessie, it seems doctors differ widely in their opinions. I only mentioned ceterizine as it states "Not suitable for use in pregnacy" on the box - I would suggest checking with your own doctor. All my other meds just state 'consult your doctor' on the inner leaflet.

I spoke to my GP and discussed how I was feeling. I now have a nasal spray, eye drops, cream and a new inhaler and I feel so much better. I will see how I feel and it maybe that I can drop off some of the extra meds as I go on.

5madthings that is helpful to know that people's allergies react very different to being pregnant - typical for me that I'd draw the short straw. Your description that it feels like you're allergic to being pregnant was spot on for me!

Quodlibet thank you for asking. I am now feeling much, much better. My skin isn't better, but has stop getting worse, my eyes have cleared up so well that I only have to take the drops occasionally, same with my nose, but I am continuing with the extra inhaler as I figured my lungs were the most important part.
In terms of symptoms flaring up, I stopped taking all hayfever meds (on advice) the day we starting TTCing. It was May and it was hell but not like it was when I posted this thread!!
I would say this issue kicked in about a month ago, which is about 8/9 weeks.

LoveBeingAMrs thanks for the info. My GP was happier prescribing topical meds but said we could talk again about tablets should I need them.

Thanks again all, sorry for such a long post.

cupcake78 Wed 07-Nov-12 07:39:16

I have eczema and it goes when I'm pregnant, can use bubble bath etc. So yes it must have an effect. Sorry yours hasn't been a good change sad it's miserable when it flares up.

princesslina Wed 07-Nov-12 07:50:44

Hi
I was in a similar situation to you, I saw an allergy specialist after being in a&e with the asthma who said that in some people during preg the symptoms just fade and in other cases they get significantly worse. During the 1st trim it is diff to take anything other than the inhalers but after first three months she prescribed me a short course of loratadine and a nasal spray which I cannot remember what it was called and eye drops and then inhalers (qvaar was the preventer she prescribed as it is less strong than others, and then ventolin) I then dropped the loratadine and slowly dropped the nasal etc once the hayfever period over. I then had a really bad astham falre up a few weeks ago at 7mths preg and was told that acide reflux and being out of my own environment (I was away when it started) had triggered it (perfumes etc) and this time I had to take a steroid spray to help sort the breathing and then treatment for the acid reflux (I was only on the spray for 2 weeks) now the AR is undercontrol so is the breathing. In france we use the following website to check safety of meds during preg and breastfeeding lecrat.org and I also checked the meds she prescribed on safefoetus.com. Loratadine was in the same catagory as paracetamol I seem to remember.
Glad you are feeling better now, i really empathise with you. Before I was on meds I went outside barefoot to hang the washing and came in with red itchy and swollen feet, never in my life have I reacted so badly so rapidly but as you said in an earlier post you put up with most things to avoid taking the drugs but the breathing is really something you have to deal with ... the specialist said to me lack of oxygen is really serious and outweighs any miniscule risk the drug may have.

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