While most relish the warm weather and blooming flowers of spring, it’s a miserable time for allergy sufferers. With pollen from flowers, trees, grasses and weeds rising into the air and allergen-bearing insects such as dust mites and cockroaches becoming more active, allergic reactions can become quite frequent. Many who reach for over-the-counter remedies and prescription drugs to relieve their symptoms may be disappointed by their lack of efficacy and cost. However, there is a drug-free answer to reduce the sneezing, coughing and swelling related to allergic reactions: Chiropractic care. In order to understand how chiropractic care works on allergies, it is necessary to first understand how allergens affect the body.

Why Do People Suffer from Allergies?
Allergic reactions, such as coughing, sneezing and a runny nose are the body’s way of expelling irritants and removing harmful substances. For those who suffer from allergies, these responses are greatly magnified. It doesn’t matter if the allergen was ingested, inhaled or came in contact with the skin. The immune system goes into overdrive, activating mast cells, which are central to the body’s response. These mast cells produce histamine, which the body uses to combat allergens. However, an overabundance of histamines in the body, which is part of the body’s allergic response, can lead to a dilation of blood vessels, drop in blood pressure and swelling as fluids fill the space between cells. As a result, a plethora of symptoms begin to overwhelm the individual, either localized at the point of contact or in severe reactions, the entire body. Itching, sneezing, coughing, hives, vomiting and even death can occur in a major reaction.

At this point, allergy sufferers usually reach for antihistamines and other chemical compositions to alleviate their symptoms. Most over-the-counter medications are not able to relieve the patient’s sufferings and prescription drugs often have dangerous side effects such as sleepiness, contraindications to drive, and can often exacerbate the problems by over-drying the body, leading to bloody noses, dehydration and persistent coughing. 

Chiropractic Care and Allergy Relief
While no scientific research concludes that chiropractic therapies lessen the symptoms or causes of allergies, many patients report that regular chiropractic sessions lead to a reduction in allergic response. There are several reasons why this makes sense.

Chiropractic care takes a holistic approach to the body. The focus of chiropractic procedures isn’t simply to alleviate pain in one part of the body. Adjustments performed on the entire body help improve blood flow, open and improve respiratory performance, quiet nervous system response, regulate the immune system, and yes, eliminate pain where needed. Together, these results allow the body to lessen unnecessary histamine production, open nasal passages and reduce overall swelling. Additionally, stress on the body, while not a result of allergic reactions, can weaken the immune system. Chiropractic care is known to decrease stress, which allows the immune system to function regularly, resulting in a lessening of aggravated allergic response. Discuss how your chiropractor can help treat your allergies holistically this spring and summer, before they make you miserable.