Ann Arbor Chiropratic Group
Call us at 810-225-228

Your Brighton, Michigan Chiropractor

Duncan Chiropractic Group Newsletter

Allergies… Nothing to Sneeze at

Dr. David Koivuranta - February Issue

Allergies are an all too common phenomenon. From cats and dogs to mold and mildew, many of us have been faced with objects or environments we know irritate our senses. What exactly is causing this wonderful challenge to our quality of life?

As much as researchers and scientists know about what happens in an allergy response or an allergy attack, the reason why some people suffer and others do not has many possible theories. Basically, allergies are an over-reactive immune system or a hyperactive sensitivity to certain objects. For some reason, certain individuals are not able to interact with certain substances thanks to the body being able to recognize them as irritations. The interesting question is why some people suffer while others do not and why some allergies seem to come and go.

Take for example peanut allergies. The number of "documented" allergies to peanuts and peanut containing products has been on the rise in the past decade. This is especially the case in elementary school aged children. However, once they mature, the allergy tends to become less noticeable if not absent all together. Not all children develop this sensitivity, but in some it can be life threatening. Although not as severe a response most of the time, other allergies to pollens, soaps and the like are just as disabling to one's comfort.

A common theory as to what alters one's responsiveness to this wide variety of irritants is known as the Load Phenomenon.

The Load Phenomenon is explained as being similar to a bucket of water. Our bodies, like the bucket of water, can only carry so much stress and irritation without causing any symptoms (in the case of allergies, things like sneezing, runny eyes, itching, etc.) just like a bucket can only carry so much water before spilling over the brim. Once a bucket does start to overflow, any added water to the situation only makes things worse. Well, in terms of our health, sometimes our buckets have reached maximum capacity and it only takes certain substances or environments to push us over the brim.

The largest factor involved in pushing our bodies over the critical point is stress. Stress comes in 3 forms; physical, chemical, and emotional. With allergies, the chemical stresses are what irritate our senses. Hence, if we can avoid the irritant we don't suffer all of the symptoms. This is a simple case of cause and effect. However, sometimes if we can lower the other types of stress our bodies encounter, the reaction to our "allergies" can be lessened if not avoided all together. If our critical load can be avoided, our buckets can carry more water.

Here are some tips for allergy sufferers to remember:

  • Avoid the irritating substance if at all possible.
  • Keep a clean, well-ventilated home with as few chemical irritants as possible.
  • Exercise often to keep the body fit and prepare it for battle with its allergy enemies.
  • Avoid stressful situations and find time to relax so your health is not compromised in other ways.
  • For food allergies that may be related to fluctuations in your health, try an elimination diet where certain highly likely irritating foods are removed from the diet (i.e., milk, cheese, processed foods, white flour, etc.).
  • Read many books on natural approaches to dealing with allergy symptoms such as congestion and runny eyes.

Many medications will help, but also cause "rebound" side effects that should be avoided.
Cleaning up our bodies and our environment can often help to clean up our allergies. Changing our diets and including supplements if needed can prepare our bodies to better face all types of stresses each and every day. And because our bodies interact with their internal and external environments through the nervous system, it is important to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. Not only can a Doctor of Chiropractic ensure that your nervous system is irritation free, they can also provide helpful suggestions is lessening the burden faced by dealing with allergies. After all, the one thing we're all allergic to is ill health. And that's nothing to sneeze at.