Most people have allergies or have an understanding of what allergies are. Let’s face it, they suck! An allergy is just that, an allergic reaction to something you are exposed to. Your immune system goes on high alert. There are a few different forms of allergies to be aware of.
There are seasonal allergies (grass, weeds, pollen, mold, etc.), dander allergies (cat, dog, etc.), and food allergies (peanut, milk, etc.). Some people are born with allergies and grow out of them, others have them for life, or you may have an allergy to something that you have never reacted to before.
Allergies is a very prevalent and confusing subject at this time. It baffles our patients, as well as researchers, and doctors. The confusion is mostly based on the how and why. Why do we see more children with food allergies? Why am I allergic now after I have been eating or drinking this food for a lifetime? How is that possible? Why do I have symptoms that are not “allergic”? What are the mechanisms? Why now? I think that may sum up the most common questions I have been asked by people, patients, doctors, and asking myself.
The most prevalent time for allergies is the spring. The most common culprit being pollen. I, like most people, see the connection, however I have an innate preposition to question the “obvious”. If you combine this innate preposition with my vocation it leads one to question most things. My job is to help people with their health concerns. To do my job well I have to find the things that will help the patient. In the above example of a seasonal allergy, I would not try to stop pollen or try to figure out ways to isolate a patient from nature- it would be to see if we (the patient and me) can help the body process the more recent influx of pollen into the environment. In essence, we would try to help the body adapt to the new “stressor” to the environment.
Antihistamines work well for most of the symptoms and are even over the counter. This is a no brainer! If that works for you and you are cool with the benefits over the side effects (if any side effects), you are dialed in! This drug does its job well if your symptoms are coming from a higher histamine activation of the body as the drug attempts to regulate your body’s reaction to pollen. This drug works by playing musical chairs (AKA competitive inhibition) with the pollen as they compete to take a seat on the cell receptors that tell the cell to swell.
When the chemical from the drug occupies the receptor chair the histamine cannot connect to the cell and thereby blocking the cells to release the chemicals that cause symptoms. That is pretty awesome that someone figured that out! When anything lands on a cell receptor you will get effects. If it is a chemical known as a drug this is called side effects.
So, antihistamines work very well at this and only if the majority of the symptoms of seasonal allergy is caused by histamine only. There are those that will get some of the side effects from the antihistamines such as tiredness, dryness, brain fog, moodiness, confusion, blurred vision or difficulty urinating.
What I want to do with this article is direct your thoughts on a few key ideas that can benefit your ability to make informed decisions.
Here are the questions one can ask themselves. Are your symptoms that you define as an allergy caused from the influx of pollen solely? Is it possible that the human body can suffer from an excess because it cannot dispose of the irritant fast enough? Is there a way I can set my body to perform better under this stress next time? Are these questions important to me?
If these questions are important to you then I would read on.
Many patients that I have treated with seasonal allergies frequently battle a silent partner to the pollen which are certain foods. Many times when the patient is aware of this and eliminates the foods the symptoms become better or are gone completely. The most common foods are wheat, dairy, soy, sugar and corn; in that order. You can also take a food allergy test kit home and send it into a lab and find the foods that your body is seeing as an allergen. Frequently the symptoms of a food allergy are unknown until you have eliminated them for 2 weeks to 2 months and then re-introduce and see how the body responds. Seasonal allergies are usually a combination of pollen exposure with an ongoing daily irritant that tips the scales into the allergy symptoms.
What we can do with you:
You can help your body detoxify more with the food elimination or/and do a detoxification before the season arrives. In our office we use the Standard Process 21 or 10 day detox.
Chiropractic has been known for over 100 years to have an ability to help patients with allergies. Misalignments of the bony structures puts stress on the body making the job of dealing with day to day stress compromised. This specifically resonates with the human spine. Misalignments of the spine, arms and legs affects the nervous system, inflammation, lung, heart and all organs and can affect the traditional chinese meridian system which is another layer of balance to maintain health.
Applied Kinesiology is a system of diagnosis that incorporates chiropractic, nutrition, osteopathy, dentistry, chinese medicine and psychology that uses the patient’s own body to discern specific stress points in the body and target the best clinical approach. Allergies are multifactorial and Applied Kinesiology is a great way to find the many facets to the causes and responses of an allergy. NAET is a form of muscle testing and uses electrical resistance to help the body become less reactive to many foods and other irritants.
Acupuncture is also known to help patients with allergies and is another option to see how your unique body seeks balance. We personally do not provide acupuncture at this clinic but it is worth a try and we can give a recommendation.
Learn how your body operates a little each year. It is designed and refined over eons of time to deal with this beautiful planet. The greatest technology and operating system on the planet is the human body. Find out more about what you were born with.