You won’t believe what’s causing your food allergies to worsen. And, it has nothing to do with what you’re eating!

A group of psychologists and food scientists from the University of Otago in New Zealand have discovered that personality, specifically the ‘big five’ personality traits have an impact on living with food allergies.

The ‘big five’ personality traits are:

  • Neuroticism,
  • Extraversion,
  • Openness,
  • Agreeableness,
  • Conscientiousness.

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Before conducting the study, researchers guessed that higher levels of neuroticism would be associated with more frequent allergy issues in daily life, leading to worse stress.

Their results showed something else, however. It wasn’t people with the highest levels of neuroticism, but those with the highest levels of openness who experienced the most allergy issues and highest related stress in daily life. These people crave variety, exploration, and novel experiences which can be hazardous for anyone with a food allergy.

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