Dr. Chelsea Bachelor
Happy Fall ya’ll! The weather is changing and its now time for the cozy sweaters and warm drinks. But as the temperatures start to drop you may notice an uprising of sneezing and stuffy noses, commonly caused by the abundance of ragweed pollen in the air.
Sensitivity to ragweed is very common, in fact approximately 1/10 people are affected by some kind of seasonal allergy.
Now “allergy” is a fairly recognizable word, but how do they work? Why do some people have them and some don’t? Why does something like ragweed affect one person and not another?
An allergy occurs when an individual develops an abnormal hypersensitivity to a certain substance that is generally accepted as harmless. These substances can include things like ragweed, pet dander, dust, etc., and often include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes but sometimes can be more severe.
The way the body reacts to foreign things is regulated by our immune systems.
For those with a ragweed sensitivity - when it is inhaled the immune cells absorb and mount an improper reaction to it by releasing histamine. This chemical mounts an inflammatory response in order to flush the supposed problem back out (i.e. runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, etc.)
Recent studies have found more and more evidence supporting the overlap between allergies and psychological stress. Both incite a similar inflammatory response in the body, and stress can worsen or stir up an allergy by exaggerating the immune system’s response to an allergen. Chronic stress wears out the adrenal glands and decreases the availability of some essential anti-inflammatory hormones. Without the help of these hormones, the body is vulnerable to having inflated responses to harmless substances.
Can Chiropractic help?
Chiropractic adjustments help to maintain open communication between the body and the brain.
The collaboration between the immune system and the nerve system is very well documented, and they are constantly communicating and influencing each other. There are many reasons why allergies develop, and an issue with either system can create problems.
The nerve system is essentially an information gathering station in the body, and it notifies the immune system when there is an issue. If there's a problem within the nerve system, it may misidentify a harmless substance as a dangerous one and tell the immune cells to get rid of it. Having a spine free of interference opens communication and stimulates proper healing throughout the body. On the other hand, an allergy may arise from a malfunction specifically within problematic immune cells. We cultivate and develop new immune cells everyday, and one way to ensure the new generation of cells functions appropriately is to keep the nerve system open and clear.
Due to the many reasons why allergies develop, adjustments do not cause improvement in all cases. However, many studies have shown that regular adjustments increase the efficiency of immune system responses.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider the benefits of chiropractic care!
Dr. MJ Wegmann,