Can Antihistamines Dry You Out?
The simple answer is: Yes, OTC antihistamines often cause a dehydration of the sinus and mucus membranes. Perhaps they can even dehydrate any cell membrane in the body.
I came to this conclusion after gathering the direct experiences from long-term antihistamine users, as well as my own. For about 4 years of my life, I have taken Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra and Xyzal at separate times. During those times, I definitely experienced dehydration throughout my entire body, not just my sinuses.
It was quite obvious that there was a direct correlation between taking any antihistamine (besides natural ones) and experiencing dryness in my sinus and mucus membranes. I would take one of these drugs and about 2 hours later, I would get that uncomfortable dry sinus feeling. When it’s severe, it feels like you can’t even breathe because the movement of air through your nasal passageways is further drying and becoming painful.
I know that feeling all too well and it’s one of the reasons I quit antihistamines drugs in the first place, the main reason being their physically addictive tendencies. Now that I switched to quercetin, a natural antihistamine unlike any other, I will never go back to these dirty drugs.
Research Shows That Histamine Is Necessary for Hydration
According to this research done by NCBI, you can deduce some conclusions about how your mucus membranes are moisturized naturally by your body and how some antihistamines can affect this process. Interestingly, a particular type of histamine plays an essential role in triggering the natural process of cell moisturization.
Although histamine has many other annoying capabilities, it is still a human chemical that our own bodies produce to function properly. Animals have evolved these mechanisms for multiple reasons, mainly including those for survival in the wild.
A lot of people with allergies don’t even realize that there are many different types of histamine and, as a researcher, I cannot believe that we have just one blanket term “histamine” for all these different chemicals. There must be more research on identifying each type of histamine and how each plays a function with every system of the body.
Some types of histamine, of course, play a role in allergies by promoting inflammation at the source of infection. It works with your immune system by targeting pathogenic invaders and signaling the body to create physical inflammation at the site. That way, the invader can be physically destroyed in a last ditch effort, which also has self-destructive ramifications on your own body’s health. That’s what we identify as allergy symptoms, no matter how severe or mild they may be.
HR2 Histamine Receptors Likely Have to Do With Hydration
There are four main types of histamine and their receptors throughout the body. Some are located within the digestive tract and others are in the brain just like neurotransmitters.
It seems like the HR2 histamine receptors have much more to do with skin and mucus membranes and linings. Research has not proven this without-a-doubt yet and we actually don’t know much about the different types of histamine at all. The reason for this is that it is very hard to track one molecule of histamine within the body. Researchers took incredibly long to even figure out the half-life of histamine, which ranges from 10-60 minutes depending on the person.
Therefore, we don’t know much about the different types of histamine yet. We can always come to conclusions ourselves and form hypotheses. Mine is that hydration throughout the entire body has something to do with HR2 receptors. Perhaps this molecule signals a slightly inflammatory response for your body to bring water to the area when needed. This process could go on constantly and at all times.
All of the antihistamine drugs available over-the-counter like Zyrtec, Benadryl and Claritin affect HR2 receptors in the body. The block the ability for it to form its normal function. Of course, not 100% of the HR2 receptors are blocked, but a lot of them are when you take these drugs. Chronically, this could be the reason that they cause dehydration. Food-based natural antihistamines like quercetin seem to have no affect on HR2 receptors.
There are many different types of histamine, not just one
Different types of histamine play crucial roles in mental health as well. They serve as transporters of neurotransmitters, as well as acting as neurotransmitters themselves sometimes. They also function as neurons, which help your brain to communicate with itself and other organs of your body. Basically, it can facilitate electricity that is crucial for function within your brain, heart and other parts of your body.
Therefore, histamine is both a friend you essentially need and an enemy that gives you annoying symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and swollen face. This means that it is a bad thing to block all types of histamine from being released in your body, which some antihistamines do.
The OTC drug antihistamines are slightly different in the types of histamine that they affect, but they are close to the same. That is exactly the way they differ and the reason why one medication may work for one person, but not another.
The bad news is that these drugs block the inflammation-producing histamine as well as the good types of histamine that you need. That is why you feel dehydrated after taking antihistamines, which may have led you to wonder the question “Do antihistamine dry you out?”
Therefore, the answer is yes they do.
Natural Antihistamines Don’t Dehydrate You
I think that it’s quite noticeable that antihistamines like Zyrtec, Benadryl and Claritin can dry out your sinuses and your whole body. A strange symptom that I would get from all of these drugs is the way it makes my urine darker. To me, that’s straight up evidence that it also dehydrates the rest of your body besides your sinuses.
These drugs seem very harsh on the human body because they very commonly cause other side effects and symptoms to emerge. Sometimes, I don’t understand why people take them because you might not be experiencing a stuffy nose or congestion anymore, but then you have to deal with another set of uncomfortable side effects.
I wish that more allergy sufferers, whether it’s to food or pollen, tried out natural antihistamines like quercetin. These supplements rarely cause any side effects like dehydration and they actually provide side BENEFITS to your health.
Quercetin is a compound derived from food products like onions and other silverish-purple vegetables and fruits. It’s completely natural and does the exact same job as OTC antihistamines, without the harsh side effects.
In fact, I feel like quercetin works more effective, lasts longer, doesn’t have any side effects, and it’s much cheaper than these drugs. Ever since I started trying it, I never understood why we even bothered with these dirty antihistamines in the first place. Why didn’t we just stick to natural antihistamines like quercetin and stinging nettle because they have always worked better and they were around first?
OTC Antihistamines Dry Out Your Body and Your Bank Account
The conclusion I have come up with is that it’s all about the pharmaceutical company’s money. They need to come up with a new drug that does the same thing every few years or else they will lose money in the market. If they just said “quercetin is the best for allergies, that’s the only thing we got for you that doesn’t cause more problems,” then they wouldn’t make loads of money!
But the truth is that food-sourced antihistamines work much better for the long run and they can ease the addiction to these harsh drugs that have a wide range of long-term effects. I totally recommend that we all switch to a natural antihistamines supplement in place of drugs like Zyrtec, Xyzal and Benadryl.
Check out my post here about the best natural antihistamines I’ve found and tried for myself. I know that some quercetin supplements aren’t effective because the dose isn’t high enough and the source quality isn’t good enough. That might lead some people to believe that it doesn’t work, but they haven’t tried the effective stuff.
If you have a question or something to add about antihistamines causing dehydration, please leave me a comment below!
Talk to you soon,