Spring is such a beautiful time of year. Temperatures begin to rise, leaves and flowers bloom, grass becomes greener, and hibernating creatures emerge with their offspring. What could ruin something so beautiful? ACHOO! Sneezing lately? Experiencing a stuffy nose? Sounds like allergies. In this week’s blog, we will discuss what allergies are, and identify what we can do to help.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are an immune response that occurs when foreign substances such as pollen, insect bites/stings, pet dander, etc., enter the body. There are many different allergens, but the most common are hay fever (seasonal, molds, dust, pet dander), food, drug, latex, and insect allergies.

Allergic reactions can have mild symptoms that include sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and/or ears, runny, stuffy nose, and watery, red swollen eyes. More severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention include swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, widespread rash, or anaphylaxis. 

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs within seconds or minutes of allergen exposure. In severe cases like anaphylaxis, it’s always a great idea to carry an epinephrine pen especially if you have a known serve allergen reaction. For mild cases, there are non-prescription over the counter allergy medicine such as Claritin and Zyrtec . Prescription medicines are also available for more extreme cases.  

Why Do Only Some People Struggle With Allergies?

An allergy starts when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that allergen. When exposure to the allergen occurs again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.

Most people will experience a minimal allergy symptom at some point in their life. Allergies are more common in children and usually resolve into adulthood; however, they can remain a chronic problem or may return later in life.

Typically, inherited genes influence who develops allergies. Studies show that individuals with allergies pass the gene to their offspring; however, there are offspring with allergies whose parents don’t carry the gene. When we are born, we have genetic make up that is passed down from each parent and DNA that is specific to oneself. When an allergy gene is passed down to the offspring, it can be from one parent, both parents, or neither. Children with both parents who carry the allergy gene tend to have more severe symptoms; but again, genetics isn’t the only answer.

What Can Chiropractors Do to Help?

If you are experiencing severe, life-threating symptoms to an allergic reaction, please go to the emergency room. Epinephrine is needed in those situations. Chiropractors however, can help manage mild allergy symptoms.

When a foreign substance that triggers an allergy enters the body, the immune system releases antibodies to help fight the infection and releases inflammatory cytokines such as histamine and cortisol (stress hormone) to repair the body.

Sounds a lot like when your home sick in bed, right? That’s because it’s the same process. Cytokines are released to start the healing process and antibodies rush to the area to fight the infection.  

Allergy medicine is okay when there are occasional mild symptoms, but how about when it is a chronic, everyday occurrence? Just like any medicine, it freezes the immune system and prolongs healing time. It’s also not good to constantly take medication because just like every drug, it filters through the liver and kidneys, which can damage both organs over time.

An optimal nervous system allows the immune system to function properly. When the immune system releases chemicals and antibodies to fight invaders, it’s because the nervous system releases hormones to do so. The downfall is that the nervous system takes a hit and nerve interference becomes present. Unfortunately, prolonged nerve interference decreases the immune system’s ability to fight infections efficiently.

This is why getting adjusted regularly is crucial. Chiropractic significantly improves allergy symptoms because the nervous system is optimized, allowing the immune system to do its job efficiently.

At our office, most patients with allergies need a cervical adjustment, but some may require a full-body adjustment. Regardless, our facility treats allergies successfully with routine chiropractic care.    

For more information or questions about allergies, please call us at (724) 547-3377 and check out our website at for more content.

Yours In Health,

Larry E. Wilkins, DC

Brian M. Steinert, DC