By Dr. Jennifer L. Franz

This time of year is much anticipated, however, dreaded by those who suffer from allergies.  People who have allergies to pollen, often are sensitive to other things as well, such as certain foods or household products.  Thus, the entire body becomes hypersensitive and irritated. An allergy can present itself as a digestive disturbance or can affect the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.  Depending upon the severity, it can sometimes be debilitating.  Unfortunately, most people believe that all they can do is cover up their symptoms rather than correct the problem.  What is causing these life altering allergies?

In the body, when allergies occur, the body is in a hypersensitive state, as we mentioned earlier, irritated and inflamed.  The body recognizes normal conditions, such as Spring pollination, digestion of certain foods, etc. as an allergen or something foreign.  When your body is under long periods of stress, it weakens the immune system and normal processes of the body.  Some of these processes are digestion, mucous secretion, hydration of the eyes, and many more.  Stress affects allergies directly, by keeping the body in this hypersensitive, irritated state.  Cortisol, the main stress hormone weakens your adrenal glands that are involved with other hormones that are anti and pro inflammatory.  When the body has an allergic reaction it is having an increased inflammatory response, such as excess mucous secretion.  The medulla oblongata, housed within your spine, sends messages from your nose for example, to determine how much mucous to secrete in response to the hormones.  By chemically dealing with the mucous, such as continuously using a decongestant, we are only further stressing the body and in turn causing more mucous.

So what can we do naturally to help these unpleasant allergies and their symptoms?  Firstly, to often correct the problem and directly affect our nervous system, we can see our Chiropractor.  When the body is under stress, either physical, emotional, or chemical, a normal healthy spine that is meant to have motion, misaligns or subluxates. Your Chiropractor will through a thorough examination and x-rays, detect and correct these subluxations.  By removing the interference to the nervous system, the information can be properly sent to your mucous membranes for example.  Many people who are under Chiropractic care have either eliminated or lessened their allergy reactions.  In addition to Chiropractic, you can also exercise regularly to not only combat stress, and in turn allergies, but to also get motion into the body, and make a more healthy spine and nervous system. I highly recommend exercises that anyone can do, such as walking, swimming, and yoga.  As mentioned earlier, diet often plays a part in the hypersensitive individual.  Completely eliminating refined and processed foods such as white flour and sugar help those suffering from allergies.  The most common food allergies are usually to wheat, dairy, corn, and peanuts, try eliminating all or one at a time and monitor your responses.  Increasing your immune supporting foods such as green leafy vegetables and good fats, ones that are not hydrogenated, will help combat stress and eliminate or reduce allergies.  Supplementing with A, C, E, Zinc, Selenium, and taking adrenal support often help as well.  Sleep also is important; many Americans are often sleep deprived for long periods of time that causes many health issues such as allergies.  Sleep allows us to repair from the stresses we incur on a daily basis.

As you can see, there are many things you can do naturally to help the body eliminate or reduce hypersensitivity and allergies.  My truth is that Chiropractic is an essential part of a healthy individual, as are the other components I mentioned.