Allergies are one of the most common ailments being faced by people today. Whether it is environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, food allergies, or any other type, the effects can be debilitating. What are some of the symptoms of allergies? How can an imbalance in the central nervous system contribute to allergic reactions? Is there any way to find natural relief from allergies? Read on to learn about how upper cervical chiropractic care may be able to provide the help you are looking for.
What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?
This is a little bit of a loaded question. The answer often has to do with the type of allergy a person has and the degree of the allergy. For example, if a person suffers from anaphylaxis (common with peanut allergies as well as shellfish allergies and bee sting allergies), the symptoms would include difficulty breathing, going into shock, swelling, rash, and possibly even death.
Here are some symptoms for common types of allergic reactions:
•Allergic reactions to medication can range from stomach problems to difficulty breathing.
•Food allergies also range from causing digestive issues to breathing problems.
•Skin allergies result in a rash at the location where the allergen contacted the skin.
•A latex allergy is likely to cause skin irritation, but in severe cases, it can lead to shock.
•Allergic asthma is a phenomenon in which an allergen causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other asthma symptoms.
•Seasonal allergies are likely to cause a runny nose as well as itchy, watery, and red eyes.
•Animal allergies most commonly cause breathing problems, a runny nose, and sneezing when a person is near the animal or the animal’s hair or dander.
•Mold allergies cause everything from a cough to hives. It can also trigger allergic asthma.
Why Do Allergies Happen?
Allergies are a case of mistaken identity on the part of the immune system. Something touches or enters the body that is not dangerous, but the immune system mistakenly goes into overdrive trying to attack the allergen. Some of the tactics that the immune system uses when fighting an intruder include the creating of antibodies and the use of inflammation. This causes the many and varied allergic reactions that people face.
So the question that researchers have been unable to answer is: Why does the immune system respond this way?
The Connection Between the Immune System and the Central Nervous System
While the direct link between the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system is not completely understood, the connection is obvious. Research has been performed on the clear connection between stress and reduced ability to fight infections. Clearly, the CNS helps to point the immune system in the right direction, but it struggles to coordinate the fight when mental stress is using up CNS resources.
Researchers have even found that spinal cord injury patients get more infections. This is another clear indicator that communication within the body that is controlled by the CNS plays a vital role in the proper function of the immune system. If problems in CNS function can cause the immune system to struggle to fight invaders, can it not also cause the body to go after “invaders” that are not a real threat?
The CNS controls hormone releases from glands like the pituitary and the adrenal glands. Since the endocrine system controls the immune system and the CNS controls the endocrine system, there is a clear chain of command that provides a reason for checking CNS functionality any time there is an immune system issue.
Boosting CNS Function to Fight Allergies
Having made the connection between allergies and the immune system as well as the immune system and the CNS, we can now consider ways to boost the CNS as a means of benefiting allergy sufferers. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care as a means of getting the CNS into good working order. Here are three ways that upper cervical misalignments can affect CNS function:
1. Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Drainage
A misalignment can affect how CSF drains. If this leads to pooling, it can cause intracranial pressure. This pressure may lead to issues with proper brain function.
2. Cerebral Blood Flow
The brain relies on oxygen-rich blood that is transported via the vertebral arteries. Since the cervical spine facilitates this proper blood flow, it makes sense that a misaligned cervical spine can inhibit the proper flow of blood and the normal function of the CNS.
3. Brainstem Function
The C1 (atlas), in particular, encompasses the lower part of the brainstem. A misalignment, even a slight one, can place pressure on the brainstem. Since this is the part of the CNS that controls many of the involuntary functions in the body (i.e., breathing), anything that affects the proper function could lead to issues.
It thus makes sense to check a patient for an upper cervical misalignment when trying to help the CNS function optimally. That is exactly what an upper cervical practitioner will do for a patient with allergies. Upper cervical practitioners utilize diagnostic imaging to precisely detect atlas misalignments. Then, they perform a gentle correction either by hand or with an adjusting instrument. The result can be providing more blood flow to the brain. Also, taking pressure off the brainstem, or relieving intracranial pressure by helping the CSF to drain properly.
If you suffer from allergies, it is worth determining if something is affecting proper CNS function. Contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area to schedule an examination. If this reveals a misalignment, a gentle adjustment may set you on the path to better health and well-being.