Back to Health: Sniffling, Sneezing and Wheezing: Avoiding Those Springtime Allergies
Springtime is here and many of us are probably noticing that we are starting to sniffle and sneeze a little more often. We have pollen to thank for that. Tree pollination is in full swing during the springtime months. When pollen gets into the noses of certain people, it triggers the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.
Air pollution can make allergy symptoms worse. One of the most common pollutants is ozone, which is created in the atmosphere by a combination of sunlight, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons from burning fuel. Clouds of ozone are created around some cities as the sunlight becomes stronger.
Inside, molds love damp areas, including the basement and bathrooms. Their spores get into the air and can cause problems for allergy sufferers.
Dust mites, tiny insects, thrive in warm, humid temperatures and nest in beds, fabric, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air, triggering sneezes, wheezes, itchy skin and runny noses.
In a healthy person, when the immune system is stressed by being exposed to these environmental triggers, chemicals are released that produce inflammation. These chemicals are made by immune cells that migrate to the site where the body is compromised. By the end of the inflammatory process another group of immune cells begins to produce chemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory chemicals help in calming the area of inflammation. As a result, the symptoms of inflammation begin to resolve. The body, in the ideal situation, is genetically programmed to heal itself.
These symptoms become a chronic occurrence when your immune system is not functioning at 100%. Here are some tips to keep you healthy throughout the springtime months.
Since chiropractic deals directly with allowing the nervous system to function at its highest ability, chiropractic care for an individual with allergies can be extremely beneficial. It is a safe, effective, and natural form of care.
It’s most important to understand that chiropractic is not a treatment for allergies. Its purpose is to reduce stress on the body. Stress interferes with the proper functioning of the nervous system, can weaken the immune system, lower resistance and reduce the body’s ability to heal effectively.
The chiropractic adjustment frees the nervous system from spinal stress allowing the immune system to function properly. This allows you to respond to internal and external environmental stresses more efficiently.
The adjustment is very gently and customized to each patient’s needs. At Sandstone Chiropractic, we offer of variety of adjustment techniques to best fit the patient.
Clean up the diet by removing simple sugars. Sugar, like salt, is dehydrating to the body. Dehydration increases histamine levels. Histamine is another pro-inflammatory chemical that can worsen symptoms. Water helps reduce histamine levels. Approximately, seventy percent of our body is made up of water. Make sure you drink water as your main beverage and stay well hydrated.
Remove unhealthy fats. These include partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, vegetable shortening and cooking oils such as corn, vegetable, safflower and sunflower oils. Use olive oil, organic butter, grape seed oil, coconut oil and cold pressed oils for cooking. You can also supplement your diet with good quality fish oil.
Eliminate the dyes, preservatives, food colorings, artificial sweeteners and additives found in most foods. Even pay attention to the color of your toothpaste and deodorant.
Of course, we all have those urges to eat ice cream, chips, candy, etc. That’s why I recommend the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time stick with a diet that is filled with whole foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, meat, chicken, fish, fruit) and the other 20% of the time satisfy your craving!
If you find that you keep having the same allergic response or the response intensifies even after eliminating all inflammatory factors, further allergy testing may be necessary to identify the source.