For some people, the beginning of spring may not be a reason to celebrate the fact that flowers and other plants are blooming and budding. If the pollen count (the amount of flower or plant pollen in the air) is particularly high, it can be agony for those people who have a lowered immune system that may make them more susceptible to allergens such as pollen. Other allergens that can cause havoc include pets, dust, or other airborne irritants such as smoke, chemical fumes, or ash.
What Causes a Lowered Immune System?
In cases of lowered immune response, the body will produce excessive amounts of the chemical histamine in response to exposure to an allergen trigger. This overproduction of histamine will then lead to a variety of symptoms, which may include rashes, nausea, headaches, sinus infections, asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory symptoms. In many cases, these symptoms will linger for a number of weeks, or keep recurring so long as the person is in close proximity to the allergen. In very severe cases, they may even be life-threatening.
What Are Treatments for Lowered Immune Systems from Allergies?
The most common treatments are antihistamine medications, most of which will be available over the counter. In severe cases, antibiotics or steroids may be prescribed, although these may have adverse side effects such as digestive issues and possible fatty liver disease with prolonged exposure. However, the most effective treatment is to remove the allergen trigger as much as possible.
How Can Spinal Adjustments Improve the Immune System?
The immune system is the body’s natural defense system against bacterial and viral infections. Similar to other body systems, the immune system is very closely tied to the nervous system. It is also linked to the spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes, which themselves are all linked to the brain. Given that spinal misalignment can restrict signals to the nervous system, it follows to reason that putting the spine back into proper alignment will allow the nerves to send proper signals to the immune system, thereby strengthening the immune system.
What Does the Research Say?
An article in the June 2005 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies reported findings from a questionnaire asking patients about improvements in non-musculoskeletal conditions following spinal adjustment. Such conditions included allergy, asthma, breathing, circulation, digestion, hearing, heart function, ringing in the ears, and sinus problems.
Up to 10 percent of all patients reported positive responses to spinal manipulation. As much as 27 percent of patients reported improvement in specific conditions following spinal manipulation. The most commonly reported improvement was in breathing (27 percent), followed by digestion (26 percent), and circulation (21 percent).
Although the most effective treatment for a lowered immune response to allergens is to remove the allergen as much as possible, this may not always be possible. However, regular spinal adjustments can help boost the immune system in order to fight off the onslaught of pollen and other irritants that can make us sick.
To schedule a chiropractic appointment, contact Horst Chriopractic.