Spring is in the air. Grass is growing. Flowers are budding. The days are getting longer. That’s all great, right?
Unfortunately for many of us, along with spring comes itchy eyes, runny noses and sinus headaches, courtesy of the billions of tiny grains of pollen in the air.
Forget smelling the roses, where are the tissues?
With the changing season, people across the country will be running to their local drugstore to stock up on antihistamines and other remedies to relieve their allergy symptoms.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies occur when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that don’t bother most people. These substances are known as allergens, and can include grass, pets, dust, pollen, and foods. The allergic reaction is caused not by the substance itself, but because the body interprets it as potentially harmful.
The body responds by releasing histamines, which trigger an inflammatory response to fight off the perceived threat. This inflammation is what leads to the miserable symptoms familiar to allergy sufferers – coughing, sneezing, puffy eyes, etc.
No one knows for sure why people become allergic to relatively harmless substances. As many as 40 percent of the world’s people suffer from allergies, and that number is on the rise.
Most people who have allergies take antihistamines and other drugs, and those treatment costs are nothing to sneeze at. Between medications, doctor visits and sick days from work, allergies cost Americans more than $3 billion each year. Worldwide, people spend over $8 billion a year on allergy drugs.
But medication only treats the symptoms, it’s not a cure. For allergy sufferers who don’t want to rely completely on medications for relief or who wish to try a drug-free approach, chiropractic care might be a fantastic alternative. This is the most holistic approach to allergy treatment because it allows the body to heal itself without drugs and chemicals.
Before throwing away your antihistamines, let’s look at how chiropractic care relieves allergy symptoms, and if it could work for you.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
- Strengthen the Immune System – Misalignments in the spine often disrupt the brain’s communication with the rest of the body. Chiropractic adjustments correct these misalignments, which releases pressure on the nervous system and allow the immune system to work more efficiently. Through the improvement of communication between the brain and the spinal cord, the body’s reaction to allergens can be regulated and symptoms can be reduced.
- Regulate Stress Hormones – Chronic stress wears out the adrenal glands, which produce the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol. A properly aligned spine can help regulate the amount of cortisol the body produces during high allergy season.
- Support the Respiratory System – Like the immune system, the respiratory system depends on an unimpeded flow of information to and from the brain. Through manipulation of joints and soft tissue, pathways between the brain and spine can be reopened and the body’s alignment restored. This helps the respiratory system to better withstand allergic attacks.
Recommend Dietary and Lifestyle Changes – Certain foods and environmental factors may play a part in aggravating allergy symptoms. A doctor of chiropractic can recommend changes that boost the patient’s health and comfort.
If you or someone you love suffer from allergies, chiropractic care is an option worth considering. Even though chiropractic care is not a specific allergy treatment, it is a natural method of healing that helps your body function at its optimal level.
By improving communication between the immune, nervous and respiratory systems, chiropractic care can help patients weather allergy season—without relying on medications.