allergies

Allergy

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Spring is in the air.

Sadly for many of us, this means runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. We’re morel likely to reach for a box of tissues than stop and smell the roses. Did you know that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies? Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, and the most common with children.

Americans spend $18 billion annually on allergy related costs.

If our body is so smart, why do we even have these annoying allergies? The answer might surprise you. Historically, our immune system worked to keep us alive, and keep us out of danger. So itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing were a sign of a dangerous area, possibly of toxins in the air. Humans would avoid places that made them sick for obvious reasons. Now that seems a bit dated, but our bodies still work to expel those foreign bodies. Most of the time our immune system is reacting to foreign DNA. Have you even been in a musty basement that had mold? You probably noticed those annoying symptoms, this is a prime example of your body attempting to warn you of a dangerous situation.

True/False – Our body treats bacteria/viruses the same as allergies.  True, the key difference between allergies and infection is fever. Fever isn’t typically presented with allergies. One prevalent theory on why our bodies do this is based on the size of the foreign DNA. Pollen is actually quite large compared to our white blood cells, therefore we don’t try to kill it but rather eject it from our bodies with watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Viruses and bacteria are smaller, and our body attempts to kill it – this is when you notice a fever.

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So, do you think chiropractic care increases or decreases the immune response? This is actually a trick question, because depending on the person it can either increase or decrease the immune system. Chiropractic care moves your body closer to having a normal immune response. As an example, people with asthma have an over active immune system, so the purpose would be to help normalize nerve function between the lungs and the brain.

If you had to guess one household appliance which is present in households where studies have found an increased number of children with allergies, what would it be? Would you be surprised if I told you it was a dishwasher? I know, this is an appliance that most of us have, or grew up with! The theory is that our dishwashers are actually getting our dishes too clean. Kids aren’t building up the immunity to common household bacteria, so their immune system over-reacts to them all. Solution: Kids hand wash the dishes, sounds fair enough to me ;)

There are many other common activities that we do that might be affecting us.

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Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs – This is because breathing in the vapors inflames the airway. Contact lenses can trap smoke and pollen in the eye, so you may want to consider wearing glasses. Anything else from our everyday lives?

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Perfume, cologne and indoor air fresheners can also have an aggravate our allergies, too. They can irritate nasal passages and cause swelling, which makes breathing difficult.  Another activity which most of us could be guilty of are morning walks or jogs, the pollen count is higher before noon, so if you can put your run off until evening you may be doing your sinuses a favor.  On the flip side, not exercising can affect us too. This is because exercise temporarily dilates your nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

True/False – Patients with asthma who use Chiropractic Care had higher quality of life and use less medication. TRUE Chiropractic care can be very helpful in specific instances, but not every asthma patient will benefit from care as asthma can have multiple causes. An evaluation is important.

 

 


Allergies –How to run past the sniffles

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sick-child-sneezingCoughing, sneezing, watery eyes and difficulty breathing can be quite a hurdle when you want to enjoy time outside.   In the US alone there are over 35-40 million people suffering from allergies.   Seasonal Allergies include – a reaction to pollen, dust mites, feathers, and animal dander.  These reactions can occur throughout the year but generally are seen in the spring and fall seasons.

The immune system, the body’s natural defense, recognizes threats and eliminates intruders to the body.   Sometimes the body treats something safe as a foreign invader, thus triggering an allergic response.  The immune response is helpful when the invader is a bacteria or a virus but not very useful when the substance is harmless.

The nervous system is in charge of everything in the body including the immune system.   When the nervous system is under stress, one of the effects is an over active immune system.  Simply put – mild to moderate allergies may get significantly worse.   A doctor of Chiropractic knows how to gently adjust the nervous system thereby removing stress and enhancing proper function.   Chiropractic is not a treatment for allergies but Chiropractic is a safe and effective means of improving health and improving immune system response.

As a compliment to Chiropractic care there are natural foods and supplements that can help with allergies.  For more natural health tips visit www.mercola.com

Raw honey: Raw honey contains pollen in small amounts and if used regularly the body may develop immunity to the spores, reducing allergic reactions.  Note this is not for infants and small children as their immune systems are not developed enough.

Omega 3 fish oil: Omega 3 fish oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.  Children who ate fish on the regular basis before 1 year of age, fish contain omega 3 oil, had fewer allergies by age 4.

Butterbur: Butterbur is a natural antihistamine.  In comparison studies, Butterbur was shown to be as effective as zyrtec.

Vitamin D:  Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system.  Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to allergies and asthma.

Probiotics:  Probiotics or “good “bacteria are fantastic for improving allergy responses.   Infants who are given probiotics have been shown to have fewer allergic reactions.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534

616.419.4996

DrDan@Hungerfordwellness.com