September 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Health Blog

As a health practitioner and researcher, I have been aware of the association between analgesic (pain killer) use and hayfever for many years and I have found that it can be due to the damaging and inflammatory effect that analgesics (and other medications or an incorrect diet) have on the intestinal lining. A large amount of research now provides evidence that around 80% of our immune system is located within the gut, so it stands to reason that damage to this region of the body is going to affect the immune system (Poor gut health = Immune system disorders). This can result in many health conditions, such as hayfever, asthma, sinusitis, thyroid conditions, auto-immune diseases, anxiety disorders, and many more health problems.

This is why hayfever sufferers need to repair their gut lining and replace healthy gut microbes (and possibly follow an appropriate diet to avoid their individual food sensitivities which negatively affect their immune system) – and not just rely on symptomatic relief to stop the symptoms of hayfever as this won’t improve the underlying causes.

If you have noticed that your hayfever is getting worse each year; you have had hayfever for years or you have adult-onset hayfever, you can be fairly sure it’s due to your poor gut health. In this case, I would recommend you consult a qualified naturopathic physician for personal health advice so that you can fix the problem rather than suppress the hayfever.

The research below provides further evidence of the link between paracetamol use and hayfever:


Paracetamol has been flagged as one of the main factors associated with rhinoconjunctivitis in a New Zealand study that found children who took it in the first year of life were ten times more likely to experience severe hayfever.

Researchers at the University of Auckland surveyed over 24,000 children and found those aged six to seven who had taken paracetamol before age one were 9.6 times more likely to have severe hayfever symptoms, and 2.4 times more likely than non-users to have milder symptoms.

The risk of rhinoconjunctivitis was also doubled for children in the same age group who took paracetamol at least once a year, and quadrupled for those who took paracetamol once a month or more, the study in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health shows. Children in the 13-14 age group who took paracetamol at least once a month were twice as likely to have hayfever, research shows.

A “clear association between symptom prevalence and length of time in New Zealand” also flagged the importance of environmental factors, as children born in the country were five times more likely to have severe symptoms of hayfever, and twice as likely to experience hayfever at all.

Researchers say a possible causative biological mechanism has been proposed for the association between hayfever and paracetamol, although further research is needed. “Paracetamol ingestion may be a causative factor but will require clinical trials to elucidate the association further,” they write. They noted weaker associations with antibiotics, exercise and eating pasta, which they say may be linked to wheat allergy.

Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


Earth Medicine TM


Email: [email protected]



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Sar Rooney is a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner specialising in Anxiety and Depression |Women’s Health| Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Genetic Polymorphisms (MTHFR/Pyroluria) | Nutritional Medicine | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention 

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Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.






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