Allergies affect millions of people every year with the arrival of warm weather. About half of the US population is believed to suffer from allergies. The most common solution to the debilitating discomfort that many people experience as a result of their allergic reactions is to use prescription drugs. Drugs for treating allergy symptoms include pills, topical sprays, and creams. These drugs do work for some but are not always effective. For the people who do get some benefit from them, there are major side effects like drowsiness. Chiropractic can be an effective remedy for some allergy symptoms that is entirely natural and does not involve the use of pharmaceuticals. The theory behind chiropractic is that it uses the body’s own healing mechanism as a tool to manage excessive allergic reactions. Chiropractic may be used to give patients long-term relief even from severe allergies. To understand the relationship between chiropractic and your body’s allergic response, let’s take a look at allergies and their effect on your body.
A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Allergens may cause their effects after they have been breathed in, eaten, or touched. People usually encounter allergies as children though you can develop allergic reactions to substances as an adult that previously did not cause a reaction. Millions of children in the US presently suffer from respiratory and food allergies. Allergies are one of the leading health problems faced by school-aged children and are a common cause of lost school days. While they are considered minor health issues by some, allergic reactions can range in severity from nuisances that cause discomfort to being potentially fatal.
When your immune system detects an allergen, it will produce antibodies, which are proteins that the immune system uses to identify and get rid of foreign bodies that have the potential to cause harm. The antibodies produce powerful chemicals called histamines to fight and neutralize foreign bodies. The symptoms of your allergic reaction are caused by these histamines as your antibodies try to fight off an attack from what they detect as a pathogen. When you find yourself having an allergic reaction, your body is trying to do what it does when it gets attacked by bacteria or viruses — it is trying to protect itself with its immune system. While the allergens are mostly harmless, your immune system is fighting as though they are deadly toxins. The medications that are often prescribed or purchased over the counter to treat allergies mainly work by controlling histamine production and calming the body’s overreaction.
Some allergens that are causing your immune system to overreact may show up seasonally while others might exist in your environment permanently. Common allergens that could exist in your home include animal dander, nuts, and pollen. Mold spores are among the most common allergens in North America. These days, pollution and various other environmental factors might play a role in your allergies and how severe they become.
Allergic reactions begin with a fall in blood pressure which is then followed by other issues that can include inflamed airways and other respiratory symptoms. Allergy sufferers often experience bouts of sneezing, watery eyes, and increased nasal mucus production also known as rhinitis. When respiratory allergy symptoms are particularly severe, they can cause asthma and produce problems normally associated with asthma-like shortness of breath and wheezing. Other allergic reactions may result in irritated skin conditions like raised bumps, flaking skin, and swelling. Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that involves the whole body and that can kill you. Even if your allergic reaction never rises to the point where your life might be in danger, it can still greatly diminish your quality of life.
The only way to guarantee that you won’t experience an allergic reaction is always to avoid coming into contact with all allergens. While allergen avoidance is effective if you are successful, it is not always possible or practical. Chiropractic may help people dealing with allergies by providing long-lasting relief from some allergy symptoms.
Chiropractic’s Benefits For Allergies
Chiropractic care is focused on spinal health. The spine is connected to all of the body’s other systems including the immune system, which is how chiropractic can be used to treat allergies. Chiropractic does not cure your allergy directly but it does positively impact your body’s reaction to allergens. Chiropractic can reduce the severity of allergic attacks as well as their frequency.
Chiropractic care’s benefits for allergies stem from the fact that it improves your spinal and nervous system health, and those improvements extend to your body’s allergic reactions.
Benefits include correcting the immune system problems that a misaligned spine may cause. The spinal cord is so intimately connected to the rest of the nervous system that what affects it will affect the nervous. Benefits to the spine from chiropractic translate to benefits to the nervous and immune systems as well. A chiropractor can design and implement a treatment plan specifically for their patient’s spinal health needs.
Here are some of the ways that chiropractic can be beneficial for treating allergies:
Research has shown that stress has a direct effect on your immune system’s allergic reaction. Stress affects all the different parts of your body. While stress does not cause your body to develop allergies, it can make the symptoms worse by affecting your immune system’s production of histamine. One of the things that stress can do is start a cycle of poor sleep. The less sleep you get, the more stress you experience and the worse your allergy symptoms become. The allergy symptoms keep you from sleeping and the cycle perpetuates itself through the allergy season. Chiropractic care can help your body to better handle stress including your adrenal glands. Relief from stress should improve your immune function and keep your body from overreacting to allergens. Your immune system will still do its job and protect you from infection but it will be less likely to mistake allergens for deadly pathogens. Chiropractic care can result in your body’s allergic reactions being milder or nonexistent and allergy symptoms growing less intense.
Improved Brain-Body Communication
Chiropractic can improve the brain’s ability to communicate with the body via the spinal cord. In the effort to find any communication problems that may be present, a chiropractor will carefully evaluate your spine to see if there are subluxations. Spinal subluxations can cause the wrong signals to be sent from the brain and those signals may affect your immune system’s histamine production. Chiropractic uses gentle manipulations of your spine to help restore a proper line of communication between your brain and your body. With chiropractic care, your brain’s ability to manage your immune system can be improved. The improved control allows it to moderate your immune system’s reaction to allergens so that it reduces antibody production and lowers the amount of histamine in your system. The improved communication can help your nervous system to do a better job of managing your respiratory system as well. The stronger your respiratory system is, the better it will be at handling allergies. Poor communication between your brain and body affects how well your immune and respiratory systems will be at managing your allergies.
Once your body’s spinal and immune system problem has been solved, semi-regular maintenance treatments can help to ensure that you remain symptom-free.
A chiropractor can educate you on healthy habits. An unhealthy lifestyle may worsen your allergy symptoms.
Protect Yourself From Seasonal Allergies
There is no need for your summer and fall to be ruined by allergies. Make an appointment with a chiropractor to help improve your body’s ability to overcome allergies and function properly. Your chiropractor can help you to find relief from allergy symptoms with spinal manipulation and other chiropractic care options that do not involve the use of pharmaceuticals. Contact a chiropractic care provider today to find natural relief from your allergy symptoms.