This article is part 1 of a 2 part series. For Part 2, click here.
Chiropractic has been utilized to treat many ailments, including allergies. Though large-scale, randomized controlled trials are lacking in regards to chiropractic treatments and allergies, case reports and other research show promise. The concept of managing allergies may include diet management and/or a multi-disciplinary approach to obtain optimum outcomes.
When a patient presents for chiropractic care, we evaluate the entire person. The work-up includes a review of the past medical history such as hospitalizations, illnesses, current/past conditions, medication history, allergy history, vaccination history, injury history, a review of psychosocial factors and habits such as smoking history, caffeine and alcohol intake, exercise utilization, sleep quality, and a review of your systems: musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory, genitor-urinary, endocrine, and more. When reviewing this information, we will frequently find various aspects that may require further investigation and potentially co-management strategies with other healthcare providers.
Although spinal and cranial sinus manipulation can be highly satisfying, it has got to be clear that manual therapy alone may NOT bring about satisfying relief of the signs and symptoms of allergies. The use of a multi-modal approach, often including lifestyle changes, is generally needed to bring about SIGNIFICANT improvement in allergy sufferers. A general overview of self-help strategies was aired on “THE WEATHER CHANNEL” in 2014 (see the video: 4-10-14, www.weatherchannel.com/allergies). Here, Dr. Taz Bhatia, an integrative medicine specialist, shows the audience a simple approach based around three goals: 1) to stimulate the immune system; 2) eat foods that fight the allergic response; and 3) improve your environment to avoid a histamine reaction. Specific recommendations include: 1) Lower intake/exposure to sugar and dairy, consider adding black seed iil, honey, and taking a probiotic; 2) Eat foods like pineapple (contains bromelain), apples (contains pectin and quercetin), garlic, and onions. Vitamin/nutriceuticals and/or a homeopathic remedy that contain these ingredients are also discussed; 3) Environmental controls included washing pollen off of pets, clothing, hair, our sinuses (nasal rinse approaches: Netti Pott, Nasaline, and others are options), and using HEPA filters in vacuum cleaners.
Here are some nutritional options that are often recommended to facilitate in the battle against allergies: 1) Butterbur: Sometimes referred to as, “…the Singulair of the herbal world,” reportedly works as a “leukotriene inhibitor” (blocks some chemicals that trigger nasal passage swelling. 2) Quercetin: This is found in fruits, vegetables, and wine and may work as a “mast cell stabilizer” blocking histamine release that causes the nasty allergy symptoms. 3) Stinging Nettle is a common allergy aid that contains carotene, vitamin K, and quercetin. 4) Bromelain: Studies show benefits by reducing nasal swelling and mucous thinning and hence, helps breathing. 5) Phleum pretense: A few studies reported a sublingual tablet reduces some pollen allergy symptoms including eye irritation, in people with asthma, and hayfever symptoms, and allowed people to reduce their allergy medicine(s) dose. Before concluding PART 1 of this topic, it MUST be mentioned that these are GENERAL recommendations and each person should discuss their personal situation with their chiropractor, primary care doctor, pharmacist, and READ the label on the bottle for specific risks and interactions. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and / or under 18 years old, additional considerations are appropriate.