The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American estimates that 20 percent Americans suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. From my clinical experience, at least 1 out of 3 practice members experience allergy like symptoms.
What Causes Allergies?
A combination chronic lifestyle induced irritation, inflammation, upper cervical subluxations and ranging food sensitivities cause allergies.
Chronic lifestyle induced inflammation due to consumption of pasteurized dairy, non-organic meats, processed sugars, gluten, the wrong oils, processed, fast and fried foods. These foods cause swelling, stuffiness, itchy skin and over activation of the immune system. The heightened immune response is the body reacting to many non-natural stressors associated with the the typical American diet and our consumption of non-natural foods filled with food colorings, preservatives, animal hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners and many other toxins. A chronic highly stressed immune system presents itself as an irritated state of swelling, soreness, itchiness, and stuffiness as the body tries to rid (detoxify) itself of many toxins but is overloaded to the point overwhelm.
If repeated irritation from food chemicals is not enough, many people we care for of are chronically exposed to molds, animal dander and dusts which further irritates the linings and mucous membranes of the body especially the nasal lining, sinuses, lungs and skin.
What are the common treatments for allergies?
Many people live with a state of chronic stuffy, swollen, sore, itchy, irritated sinus or allergies and many doctors diagnose this as allergic reactions, seasonal allergies, sinusitis or seasonal allergies. This type of symptom only diagnosing, even with good intentions, does not get to the root cause of the problem thus preventing true healing. The usage of allergy medication like Zyrtec and Allegra may reduced some of the short term symptoms but long term they cause more problems. These medications indirectly cause up to 1,000 times more chronic inflammation because of the way they divert the pro-inflammatory pathway, altering prostaglandins and leukotrienes in a way that in the long run causes more irritation and more damage.
How can chiropractic care help?
Upper cervical subluxations produce nerve interference in the upper neck area. These subluxation can be caused by anything from poor posture, birth trauma, stress, falls as a child, sports injuries, car accidents and many other physical, chemical and mental sources. Subluxations specifically cause nerve imbalance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that control the immune system, blood flow, lymphatic drainage and many more functions. As you may know, the sympathetic nerves are essential for the fight of flight response, for shunting the blood away from the organs to the muscles to prepare to fight or escape danger. In this case the sympathetic nerves are heightened throwing off the essential balance with the parasympathetic nerves causing increased stress hormone cortisol levels, reduced healing molecules like Il-2 and altered lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system is the bodies garbage system and this altered lymphatic drainage causes the lymph nodes to be over loaded and swollen with problematic fluids.
What about food sensitivities or allergies?
Food sensitivities and allergies may be a normal or helpful response of a body trying to adapt to over indulgence of seemingly healthy foods. For example, many people develop egg sensitivities that may turn in to egg allergies. Many of my patients who have seen this were eating 3-6 eggs daily for long periods of time. Gluten sensitivity is thought to have developed along this same line. We have never had as much access and as much over indulgence in gluten as we have the last 100 years. Couple that with the fact that gluten is becoming more processed, bleached, heated and more altered from its natural state and you have a gluten crisis. Another allergy that we see frequently is the almond allergies, from the frequent over consumption of almonds. Even healthy almonds and eggs can be eaten in amounts the over stress the body causing food sensitivities and then food allergies.
Rotating our food selections and eating locally/seasonally is recommended. Utilizing elimination diets or rotation diets may be a good option for food sensitive or allergic people. Avoid the irritation food or foods for 2 weeks to 2 months and then slowly adding in one at time one week at a time is highly recommended. Switching from commercial to as many as possible local/organic foods is the best option in most situations.
1. Have you spine and upper cervical are checked regularly by a corrective care chiropractor or Maximized Living Doctor.
2. Eliminate pasteurized cow’s milk and dairy! The only dairy I consume is sheep/goat milk cheeses or raw milk cheese occasionally.
3. Eliminate sugars from your diet. I highly recommend using only natural options like bananas, berries, honey or maple syrup in much smaller quantities than most recipes suggest. For example we usually reduce recipes to at least 1/4 of the normal recommendation. See the Maximized Living Nutrition Book and keep it in your kitchen for great recipes.
4. Use only extra virgin coconut oil for cooking above 120 degrees and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil for salads. Eliminate all vegetable oils, canola oils and other toxic oils.
5. Incorporate lemon, garlic, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and raw local honey into your common recipes. Drink lemon water throughout the day by squeezing and dropping the rind of 1/6th a lemon in your water. Make a salad dressing of chopped garlic, squeezed lemon, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, olive oil with a little local honey and fresh ground pepper. Tastes amazing an great to help clear you our.
6. Utilize a good quality probiotic to keep you good bacteria and immune system super charged. I take probiotics every other month so on for 30 days, off for 30 days.
7. Exercise lightly to speed lymphatic movements. Lymphatic massage or dry brushing may also help the body stir up the lymph and begin eliminating problematic fluids.
8. Optimize your Vitamin D levels. Ideally they should be in the range of 60-100ng/ml. Most Americans are chronically low. Take a good quality D3 supplement at least 5,000 to 6,000 IU per day. Make sure you get plenty of Vitamin K, Calcium and Magnesium to help absorb the D. Get out and play in the sun while eating green veggies.
9. Eat omega 3 rich foods and/or supplement. I do both commonly eating omega 3 rich eggs from our free ranging chickens, cold water fish, plenty of vegetables as well as supplement with 2 Borage/Fish/Flax Oil capsules per day.
10. Avoid any and all shots or medications. Start looking for the cause of your problem. Become empowered and take action. Take charge of your health and your life and live the life you love and help others do the same.
You are the answer! We are all in this together. Be Well ADIO
Dr. Brian Bartholomew owns and operates Ithaca Family Chiropractic in Ithaca, Ny. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in pediatric care, weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.ithacachiropractic.com. To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com. Dr. Bartholomew is available for outside speaking for businesses, churches, groups, athletic teams, rotaries, health food stores and anyone who wants to take charge of their health naturally!