Help! My Allergies Aren’t Going Away

Wednesday, 01 June 2022 15:31
Help! My Allergies Aren’t Going Away

Summer has well and truly arrived in western North Carolina. That means sunshine, warm weather, outdoor adventures, flourishing plants, and, unfortunately for many of us, allergies. Over 50 million people in the United States suffer from some form of allergy, so you aren’t alone. 

One of the most common allergy conditions is allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever.  It is caused by sensitivity to pollen from weeds, trees, grasses, and airborne mold spores, so we generally only feel the effects after being outside. If you develop symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy nose, scratchy throat, or itchy eyes, you might be suffering from hay fever.


Help! My Allergies Aren’t Going Away

Many individuals can manage light allergy symptoms with periodic over-the-counter medicines and antihistamines. But there are some for whom medications don’t appropriately control their symptoms, have existing medical conditions or prescriptions that mean they can’t safely take allergy medication, or just don’t want to rely on medication for relief. 

The good news is: there is potentially another way to help combat allergy symptoms, without needing medication or limiting your time outdoors. Chiropractic care can help you alleviate some of the symptoms that come from allergic rhinitis and other immune responses.

Allergies, Neurons, and Your Immune System

The first step in understanding how chiropractic care can help with allergies is understanding how allergic reactions work. Allergens are foreign substances that your body might recognize as dangerous. I say it might be because everyone reacts differently to these substances, as we all have probably experienced in our lives. What might cause a severe reaction to one might be a nuisance or not detected by another.

If your immune system decides that an allergen is a threat, it produces a type of antibody called IgE, histamine, to protect you from the perceived danger. The amount of histamine that is made and builds up in your system determines the strength of the allergic reaction.

These reactions can range from the typical allergy symptoms all the way to hives, rashes, and in severe cases, seizures and anaphylactic shock.

But what does our nervous system have to do with allergies other than letting us feel very acutely when we have an allergy response? 

It is because having an allergic reaction to something physically changes our neurons. Histamines, cytokines, and neurotrophins released by the immune system directly trigger neuron activation. A one-time minor response won’t have much impact but repeated, and more acute activation of nerves from allergens can cause long-lasting phenotypic changes to the nervous system.

Allergies can be characterized as an immune-neuronal disorder. While allergy medications target the immune response, that isn’t the only target for treatment, especially for chronic allergies. Treatment strategies that aim to help maintain a healthy nervous system have the potential to lessen the impact of our immune system's response to allergens.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

When your spine is misaligned, it can impinge on the nervous system in your body. Studies have shown that the nervous system has an effect on the functionality of your immune system by signaling when glands should increase production and blood vessels dilate, among others. 

When your nervous system is under stress and not functioning properly, your immune system cannot work at an optimal level. 

Tensions in the musculoskeletal system, especially around the shoulders, neck, and back, can be a vital component of a chronic stress response. When the body is subject to this chronic stress and tension, it not only over-stimulates specific nerve pathways, but puts the body in a constant state of alertness, which causes improper nerve signals to glands involved in the immune response.

Chiropractors work with the nervous system by aligning the spine to relieve any physical stress on nerves. This realignment allows the immune system to work at a higher level, making it easier to fight off infections while recognizing allergens. 

Chiropractic treatments do not work as an antihistamine for direct, short-term relief from allergies. Adjustments allow your body to be better equipped to fight against allergies over the long term. When your immune system recognizes allergens, it will not overreact to them, or at least not react as severely to them.

What to Expect from Your Appointment

Chiropractic treatment isn’t a magic pill solution that will solve allergies by itself. To truly benefit from care, look at the habits or situations causing your misalignments in the first place. 

Prepare yourself for the adjustments and to maintain them with a healthier lifestyle. By keeping a healthier body, your immune system will respond better to external stressors and allergens.

Come prepared for any chiropractic visit well hydrated, and if you have the time after a light walk, to help make adjustments easier. Be ready to discuss why you are there, as well as your medical history. 

Chiropractic is a holistic approach to health. The more information you provide, the better your diagnosis and treatment will be. 

Chiropractic adjustments can cause the release of toxic build-ups in your joints and muscles. As your body flushes them out of your system, you might feel a little under the weather. 

These symptoms only affect about 20% of patients, but don’t be alarmed. Most symptoms pass within a day and can be helped with a bit of extra hydration and rest.

Chiropractic Care in Asheville

Over the last few decades, chiropractic care has become an accepted and vital component in maintaining healthy lifestyles and treating injuries or chronic conditions. If you suffer from allergies, chiropractic may help you find relief by targeting stressors on the nervous system and increasing your musculoskeletal health, instead of treating the after-effects of histamine response.

With over 40 years of experience providing quality and professional care to patients of all ages, Monitto Chiropractic is the trusted source for chiropractic therapy in Asheville, NC. We offer a range of therapy options, with treatment plans and appointments available every day of the week. Contact us via phone or email to set up your appointment today and get back to enjoying your time outdoors.