With allergy season in full swing, many people are stocking up on antihistamines and other medications to help them endure the onslaught of symptoms: sneezing, itching, watery eyes and stuffy noses.
For allergy sufferers who don’t want to rely on medications for relief, however, chiropractic care offers a drug-free approach to treating allergy symptoms. Below is a look at why and how chiropractic can help with allergies.
When the irritant is inhaled, eaten or touched, the body produces specific antibodies called immunoglobulin, which trigger the release of histamines. Once released, histamines begin ravaging the body. Blood pressure drops, nearby blood vessels dilate, and the spaces between surrounding cells fill with fluid.
This inflammatory response launches a cascade of miserable symptoms, from itching and sneezing to nausea and vomiting. When the reaction occurs across the entire body, it can even be life threatening.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
The close relationship between the nervous system and immune system is good news for chiropractic patients. By improving the communication between the brain and spinal cord, chiropractic care can help regulate and coordinate the body’s reaction to allergens.
A Doctor of Chiropractic Can:
Strengthen the immune system. Misalignments in the spine—particularly the neck—can disrupt the brain’s lines of communication with the rest of the body. Irritation in the upper cervical joint, for example, may compromise immunity and amplify allergic symptoms. By manipulating the joints and soft tissue, a chiropractor can restore the body’s alignment and re-open essential pathways between the brain and spine.
Regulate stress hormones. Many allergy sufferers also have weakened adrenal glands, which means their bodies have a harder time moderating allergic reactions. Since the adrenal glands are fed directly by spinal nerves, a properly aligned spine can help regulate the amount of cortisol the body produces. This can help mitigate the severity of allergy symptoms.
Support the respiratory system. Like the immune system, the respiratory system depends on an unimpeded flow of information to and from the brain. Chiropractic care keeps the pathways open, fortifying the respiratory system to better withstand allergic attacks.
Recommend dietary and lifestyle changes. Certain foods and other factors in the environment can either ease or exacerbate allergy symptoms. A doctor of chiropractic can recommend changes that boost the patient’s health and comfort.
By improving communication between the immune, nervous and respiratory systems, chiropractic care can help patients weather allergy season—without relying on medications.
Spring is in the air. Flowers are budding. Leaves are growing. And the days are getting longer. That’s terrific, right?
Unfortunately for many of us, when we hear “Spring is in the air,” our minds focus on months of runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. We’re more likely to grab a handful of tissues than stop and smell the flowers.
Hay fever erupts this time of year. Millions of us suffer from this condition, which causes the body to become hypersensitive to pollen and other environmental substances. This condition causes a number of irritating symptoms that can make life miserable.
Your immune system recognizes and removes harmful substances from your body. Inflammation, sneezing, coughing and vomiting are methods the immune system uses to expel any dangerous substance ingested by you.
However, an allergic response is when your immune system activates against a substance that is usually considered harmless. Essentially, the allergic reaction is caused not by the substance itself but by your body’s interpretation the substance is potentially harmful.
When an allergic reaction starts, the body activates special immune cells called mast cells. On the surface of their membranes, these mast cells possess receptors that recognize substances considered either harmful or helpful to the body. When harmful substances are detected, the cells release histamines. These chemicals sensitize the body to react, which then attempts to remove harmful substances by sneezing, coughing, etc.
Since the beneficial effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system are well documented, it’s not surprising many chiropractic patients report a reduction of allergy symptoms when treated regularly for vertebral subluxations. Misalignment or dysfunctional movements of vertebra can cause a focal irritation in the spine, which then creates an abnormal signal received by the central nervous system. When this aberrant signal occurs along the same pathway required for the input of normal environmental messages, the body may not interrupt the information correctly. When this occurs, an allergic reaction can result.
If you are having any of these symptoms, make sure to schedule an appointment with us to get checked – we would love to help!