Are Body Aches a Symptom of Allergies? What You Need to Know


Can allergies cause chills and body aches?

Allergies may cause body aches but not chills. Body aches occur when the body's tissues become inflamed, a common byproduct of allergic reactions. On the other hand, chills develop when the body is trying to regulate its internal temperature - usually in response to a virus or pathogen.

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While body aches are a well-known symptom of viral infections like the flu, they can also occur as an indirect part of the body's response to allergen exposure. In this article, we'll discuss the relationship between body aches and allergies, how the symptom develops, and what you can do to treat it.

Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Body Aches?

While not one of the more common allergy symptoms, allergies can indirectly cause body aches. Allergens in the air cause a reaction in the body, which leads to inflammation. This inflammation can potentially manifest as stiffness, soreness, and even muscle pain.

How Do Allergies Cause Body Aches?

Allergies occur when the body mistakes an otherwise harmless substance for a threatening invader. It initiates the same immune system response used to fight off colds and viruses, even though the allergen isn't actually causing any harm. The immune system produces antibodies that increase inflammation throughout the body.

This can lead to body aches as muscles, and other tissues become swollen in response.

If the allergen is inhaled, as is the case with seasonal allergies, the body ache may be focused in the chest and throat areas. Other allergens, like food allergies, may cause the ache to manifest in different regions.

What Do Body Aches From Allergies Feel Like?

For those who experience them as a result of allergies, body aches can develop alongside other manifestations of an allergic response, such as sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, or difficulty breathing. Some may also feel body aches as a secondary effect of persistent allergy symptoms like coughing and wheezing.

In these cases, the chest isn't made sore from the inflammation involved in the initial reaction but from the repeated stress placed upon it as someone tries to clear their allergy-induced congestion.

What Else Causes Body Aches and Chills?

While chills and aches are potential indirect symptoms of allergies, a number of other factors can create the same effects on the body. Below are some of the most well-known causes of body aches and chills that are more likely to be causing your discomfort.

The Flu and Common Cold

Similarly to an allergic reaction, the flu and common cold activate the part of the immune system responsible for fighting off threats. The process causes inflammation throughout the body, often with ensuing aches and pains. Viruses can also contribute through the persistence of accessory symptoms like repeated coughing.


Although it's tied to psychological well-being, stress plays a significant role in how the body feels. When stressed out or anxious, your immune system weakens, losing its ability to respond to inflammation and fight off infections. This makes it easier for both those problems to take hold and create adverse symptoms like chills, aches, and pains.


Arthritis is a blanket term for joint inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder. It typically only affects certain parts of the body, including the hands and feet, but can also cause full-body aches as it progresses. It's a prevalent symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.


Anemia is a condition in which the body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells. It affects the entire system, shortchanging tissues of the oxygen they need to function properly. Over time, this deprivation can cause feelings of fatigue and pain similar to body aches.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes the entire body - from its muscles to bones - to feel exhausted. The chronic disorder causes aches in addition to a host of other symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and mood issues.

Vitamin D Deficiency

The body relies on vitamin D for a slew of essential functions, so when you don't get enough, it's easy for things to fall off kilter. This is especially true regarding blood calcium, which Vitamin D supports. When the body's levels are low, it can lead to joint, bone, and muscle pain, aches, and chills.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

As its name suggests, CFS is a problem that causes those with it to feel tired and weak consistently. It does not alleviate with rest and can actually make it harder to sleep and get the replenishment you need. In many cases, this contributes to the development of ongoing joint and muscle aches.

Body Ache Symptoms

In essence, body aches feel exactly how their name sounds - consistent aching pain throughout various parts of the body. But things can go a bit deeper than that. The following are some of the most common symptoms associated with body aches:

Dull, Aching Pain

Body aches often present as dull, consistent pain throughout one or multiple body parts. This discomfort can vary in intensity but is usually felt the most when pressure is applied. Some people may experience pain in certain areas of the body, while others feel it throughout their entire body.

Fatigue and Weakness

When experiencing body aches, fatigue and weakness are often the first signs. This occurs as the immune system tries to recover from whatever it's fighting off or protecting against. This fatigue can lead to other symptoms like headaches and difficulty focusing.

Stiffness and Tenderness

Sometimes, body aches caused by allergies or other factors can lead to more defined problems like stiffness and tenderness. This can be especially true for the joints, as they may become increasingly difficult to move when tissues inflame. This is why body aches can sometimes masquerade as arthritis.


Sweating is the body's natural way of trying to cool itself down. When it encounters a threat, like an infection or extreme stress, the hypothalamus will trigger sweat to balance its temperature. This is likewise true when it comes to body aches, which can be a sign that the body is fighting something off.

Chills and Fever

Chills and fever are often interlinked when it comes to body aches. When the immune system is triggered, it can lead to a fever and accompanying chills as it fends off whatever threat it's encountering. However, this isn't always the case; some people may feel chills without a fever, and vice versa.

It's also worth noting that chills and fever accompanying body aches are usually signs of infection or virus, not an allergic reaction.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a symptom that is felt more prominently when an allergic reaction causes body aches. This occurs because the immune system begins to overreact, leading to an influx of histamine constricting the airways. This can make breathing increasingly difficult and even cause more localized pains in the chest or abdomen.

How Long Do Body Aches Last?

In terms of immediate duration, body aches can either come in sudden, intense bursts or low-level, consistent aches. The length of time your body aches last as a whole, however, will depend entirely on the underlying factor causing them.

For some people, body aches are simply a transient symptom that goes away after a few days of battling a virus. In other situations, there may be a chronic issue enabling them, in which case aches may persist until that problem is diagnosed and treated.

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing body aches, there's usually no need to worry. Most of the time, it's simply a sign that your body is fighting off a virus or infection. However, it's always a good idea to see a doctor if the aches persist for more than a few days or are accompanied by other symptoms like fever, rash, or difficulty breathing.

In these situations, the underlying cause of the pain is likely either serious or chronic, and you'll need to get a proper diagnosis so as to begin the appropriate treatment for whatever's causing your discomfort.

How Are Body Aches From Allergies Diagnosed?

If you suspect your body aches are allergy-induced, confirming it will require a proper diagnosis. Allergies are typically diagnosed with skin prick testing, where the skin is exposed to tiny amounts of potential allergens and monitored for a response.

This requires a visit to the doctor's office and, unfortunately, many needle incisions in the skin.

As an alternative to conventional methods, many people have begun using at-home allergy tests to understand their sensitivities and the potential symptoms they may be causing. Wyndly's at-home allergy test is comprehensive and can identify several potential allergens from a single finger prick. This is a much less invasive option, and best of all can be done alone, from the comfort of your own home.


Effectively treating body aches comes down to understanding the issue behind them. If your aches are from a virus or infection, treatment may simply involve waiting it out and taking over-the-counter (OTC) medication for the pain.

On the other hand, if allergies are the underlying cause, treatment may involve avoiding the allergens in question and possibly taking antihistamines or corticosteroids to reduce the body's reaction.

In general, though, there are several things anyone can do to lessen their pain, regardless of the source. These include:


Rest is one of the human body's most powerful abilities. It gives your body time to heal, reduces stress and inflammation, and can dramatically reduce the severity of body aches.

Heat/Cold Therapy

Applying either heat or cold to affected areas can help alleviate pain. Heat therapy is great for increasing blood flow, while cold therapy can reduce inflammation and the intensity of body aches.


A gentle exercise routine can help your muscles release tension and relax, reducing the overall severity of aches. Of course, this might be contraindicated if your discomfort is due to an injury, in which case you'll want to stay away from strenuous movements.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help bring down inflammation and reduce the severity of body aches. Just make sure to take these according to their instructions.

Dietary Changes

An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce body aches as well. This involves increasing your consumption of foods like fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains while reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates, processed meats, and sugary drinks.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

If your body aches are caused by allergies, then sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) may be the best option. SLIT is a form of allergy immunotherapy, where the body is slowly exposed to small doses of the allergen you’re allergic to. This desensitizes your immune system to your allergies, resulting in long-term relief from your symptoms.

Take Our Allergy Assessment

With Wyndly, allergic reactions don't have to be an inevitable part of life. We offer at-home allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy to help people identify and treat their allergies. If allergies may cause your body aches, take our allergy assessment today to get started on the path toward relief!

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