If you come in contact with a substance and suddenly start sneezing, your eyes well up with tears, or you begin wheezing and develop a skin rash, you likely are experiencing an allergy. The most common allergens are nuts, pollen, and dust mites. Allergies are quite common. If you are allergic to one thing, you are more likely to be allergic to other substances too.

What are Allergies?

Allergies are responses by the immune system to a substance such as pollen, fur, dust particles, medicines, and food that the body is hypersensitive to. Normally these things are harmless, but in the case of an allergic reaction, the immune system behaves as if the allergen is harmful, and tries to destroy it. There are many types of allergies, and the severity of the allergic reaction varies from mild to severe.

The Causes of Allergies

Allergies are caused by an unusually large and extreme immune response to an allergen. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Common examples of allergens include bites and stings by insects, bees, and wasps, food allergies, venom, and medication. Technically, it is possible to be allergic to almost anything. Allergies are caused by the reaction of the body’s immune system to the allergen. The immune system identifies the allergen as a threat to the body, and creates antibodies for the next exposure to the allergen. With the next exposure, the immune system activates cells known as mast cells, which release histamine. Histamine causes swelling, runny nose, and even asthma symptoms from swelling of the airways. If allergies run in your family, you are more likely to develop allergies yourself.

The Symptoms of Allergies

A runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, hives, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and asthma symptoms all indicate the presence of allergies. Any part of the body, but particularly the lips, eyes, face, and tongue might swell due to allergies. Some symptoms, like difficulty breathing, hives, and a severe skin rash may signal a medical emergency.

The Treatment of Allergies

Chiropractic treatment of allergies often focuses on bringing the body into alignment and balance. Adjusting a misaligned spine can reduce or correct allergy symptoms. Your chiropractor will also work to improve the way your immune system functions. Depending upon the type of allergy, lifestyle adjustments may be recommended to avoid allergy triggers. An anti-inflammatory diet may also improve allergies. Chiropractic adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine helps brain and body communication. All of these methods can be used together as needed to improve and reduce allergies.

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