You can tell when springtime finally arrives by how many people are sneezing and wheezing all around you. Some of us have a pre-disposition to allergies, and some of us don’t. For those of you who do, this article can give you some helpful hints on what you can do about it. For those who don’t, read on because you’re liable to end up with some sort of sensitivity reaction sooner or later.
Allergies, by definition, can be considered as an unwarranted and adverse reaction to a non-harmful substance. In other words, your body flares up when it shouldn’t. Typically, an allergic reaction shows minor symptoms such as conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes), rhinorrhea (runny nose), pharyngitis (scratchy throat), sneezing, coughing and photophobia (sensitivity to light). It can also include irritable bowel syndrome, asthma and skin rashes. Allergies can also show a more severe reaction by eliciting painful headaches, tachycardia (increased heart rate) and even anaphylactic shock, which can cause excessive throat constriction, blocking air flow. A severe reaction to a bee sting is one such example.
Many cases of allergy symptoms can be relieved by treatment geared toward diminishing the body’s ability to create the symptom. Nasal spray as a decongestant, over-the-counter antihistamine capsules, and steroidal medications can give symptomatic relief. Many people even choose to spend a lot of time indoors. These types of remedies can help you through the allergy season, and then you’re OK until the following spring or fall when it typically happens all over again.
Let’s talk then of attempting to find the basic, underlying cause that makes the body overact to normal substances. As mentioned earlier, symptomatic relief can be achieved through various medications, all of which are often quite helpful in the short term. Some people, however, can actually have a rebound effect to prolonged use of medications. It’s as if the body rebels against having a portion of its metabolic ability altered or suppressed, and it rebounds back even harder to overcome that suppression. If continued, the body finally fatigues, and can cause an unwanted depletion of certain internal organ capacities. For example, the liver can be adversely influenced by prolonged antihistamine uses, and the adrenal glands by steroidal usage. For long-term, chronic, recurring allergies, natural health care is an important alternative choice toward alleviation of such symptoms, in conjunction with self-help corrections of potential causes. (Allergies – Part II next week.)
(Dr. Richard Hanson, chiropractor in Jamestown, New York, can be reached at (716)664-0445. Most major insurances are now being accepted.)