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.