If allergies are really caused by an outside stimulus then why is it that not all humans fall prey to allergies? Have we come to believe there is such a thing as an absolute allergen? We all know allergies occur when your body unleashes its immune system against what it views as invaders. These invaders provoke a response and white blood cells are called out to battle. But, why is it that this response isn’t provoked in every human? This begs the question, rather a few questions, is there any such thing as a universal allergen, is everyone at risk of allergies, and if not, what makes some of us suffer terribly with allergies while others roam free of all those annoying symptoms.
What’s NOT Really Causing Allergies?
Pollen, pets, dander, ragweed, shellfish, dairy… we could go on. You get the idea. We don’t believe the stimulus is the cause of the reaction at all. That’s right! We don’t believe the problem lies in the pollen, dander, or pet itself. If it did, then every human would have a reaction to those well regarded allergens.
There is a always a biological cause and effect occurring, however, the underlying cause of this effect, or reaction, isn’t the irritant itself. The effect, or the symptom, is the signal that something within the body is not properly functioning. So, what isn’t properly functioning that is creating this response to nature, pets, and foods?
What IS The Underlying Cause of Allergies?
Looking to the allergen as the cause of allergies isn’t looking deeply enough into the problem. Using medication, surgery, or any other form of medication that isn’t addressing the body from the inside out isn’t addressing the root cause of the problem at all. The foundation of health is the ability of the immune system to function properly.
Like any illness, when the immune system is malfunctioning the body is not able to confront the illness properly. This can be an overreaction of the immune system, or an under-reaction of the immune system. We tend to think of the immune system in terms of strengths and weaknesses, but that’s a limiting way of viewing one of the most complex functions in the human body.
The immune system in controlled by the nervous system. In order for the immune system to deploy fighter cells the central command center, the brain, must be able to send and receive communication with the cells out into the field via the nervous system. Not only do these cells need to be able to send and receive the communication, but that communication needs to be delivered without interference, and those messages must be received in full and acted upon correctly.
Let’s look at an example, if you purchased a set of table and chairs that had to be assembled before use, but the instructions only came with every other step printed in the instruction manual, and only half of the pieces labeled properly. How successful would you be in assembling that furniture? Furthermore, if you did accomplish the assembly, but had a pile of hardware leftover at the end, how strong would the furniture be? How long would that furniture last? Could it withstand long term wear and tear? Will a chair collapse at your first dinner party?
What’s Not Really Helping Allergies?
When we notice our allergies acting up, those pesky disobedient allergies, we reach for our antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, and nasal sprays in hopes of gaining relief. Where a battle between two parties exists, we introduce a third invader, a chemical stimulus in hopes of undoing the reaction. But this stimulus only works to intercept and change the communication being sent from the command center to the field, and back again. The medication is an ambush, it captures invader cells and takes over the infantry, confusing the body, and simply covering up the symptom.
Let’s look back at that table and chairs. When the chair collapses at your dinner party, you pick up the chair, tape it up, and invite your guest to sit back down to eat. Did that tape really fix the underlying cause of the chair collapsing, or did the tape momentarily mask the problem.
What’s ironic about the treatment of allergies is that the treatment can have identical side effects to the allergic reaction itself. RxList.com lists the following as common side effects to allergy medication: runny nose, irritated nasal cavity, itchy eyes, watery eyes, dry mouth, congestion, drowsiness, cough, headache, even fungal infections, and the list goes on.
Are Allergies Normal, or Common?
Lastly, are allergies common, or are allergies normal? We would argue that allergies are, in fact, widespread and common, but allergies are NOT normal. Allergies have BECOME COMMON as a result of people accepting allergies as NORMAL.
A chiropractic colleague puts it best:
We often use the words “normal” and “common” interchangeably. Common tends to refer to those things that are widespread or frequent. While similar aches and pains may be common, it doesn’t necessarily have to be normal. Normal implies natural or adhering to a standard.
Back pain, for example, can be a “normal” (standard) sign of strain or injury if :
- You’re sleeping on a non supportive or 10+ year old mattress
- You’ve experienced a recent or significant trauma
- You have poor posture (among other things)
But just because back pain is very common, it is rarely normal. It is usually related to some underlying cause. This is also true for many conditions that have plagued our society such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and obesity. While they have become more and more common, these conditions are not normal.
Normal doesn’t have to be whatever is common. The key is recognizing that if your normal isn’t allowing you to enjoy a healthy, prosperous and fulfilled life, you have the ability to create a new normal. You don’t have to be common.
Allergies are a beatable healthcare issue when addressed from a holistic approach from the inside out. In fact, of our patients who report having suffered from allergies, 84% report improving by an average of 63%. That’s an incredible improvement! Most allergy sufferers who aren’t treating allergies with Upper Cervical Care resolve to staying indoors during allergy season, or medication in order to feel like they can even function, all the while never seeing improvement.