Allergies are the immune response in the body to environmental irritants that are normally not harmful in nature. The basic explanation of allergies relates that allergies are the immune system’s overreaction to an allergen producing chemicals to fight against the specific allergen. Depending on where the allergen comes in contact with the body, symptoms will vary. If an allergen comes in contact with a person through breathing, the symptoms can include coughing and wheezing, runny nose and itchy nose and throat. If the eyes are contacted then they can become red and swollen and may water and itch. Food allergies can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping. This type of allergy can be very serious and even life-threatening. Skin allergens can cause itching from a rash or hives and can blister the skin or cause peeling. If a person has an allergic reaction to a medication, the symptoms can show up all over the body in a variety of presentations. Because food and drug allergies have the potential to be quite serious, it is important to avoid the allergens completely if possible. For seasonal allergies that can affect the skin, eyes and enter the body through breathing, there are several allergy medications to help control the reactions that may occur. These medications are grouped into antihistamines, corticosteroids and decongestants.
Can the role of a chiropractic physician help a patient who suffers from allergies? There is no cure for allergies, they can simply begin and end and the duration of the symptoms can be brief or can continue for years. Chiropractic manipulation can help to strengthen the immune system and therefore can possibly help to decrease the symptoms of allergies. It is difficult to measure the effects of chiropractic treatment for allergy symptoms because the symptoms themselves go through periods of improvement based on environmental factors or decreases in stress. Because there is no indication that chiropractic care will worsen current allergy symptoms, there is no reason not to try this conservative treatment option. With increased immune response and possibly decreasing any nervous system dysfunction, chiropractic care has the potential to help reduce the severity of many of the symptoms of allergies. If there is no other health issue present that would be a contraindication of receiving chiropractic manipulation, speak with your chiropractor about beginning treatment that would serve as a complimentary health option that would be combined with any allergy medication that you are currently taking.
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