Spring is upon us in Northern California. Warm winds are blowing, flowers are appearing, and garden departments are bustling. New blooms and changing weather patterns signal an impending runny nose and sneezing fits for many allergy sufferers. So what happens in the body that causes this seasonal annoyance?
Here is a quick physiology lesson: Seasonal allergies are considered ‘atopic allergies’ meaning that they are caused by an abnormal immune system response, which is passed down genetically. Large amounts of sensitizing antibodies called IgE are found in the blood of allergy sufferers. When an allergen, such as pollen, enters the body it reacts with the IgE antibodies, which have already attached to basophils or mast cells. The basophils or mast cells then rupture, causing a histamine release. When this process occurs in the nose, as is the case with seasonal allergies, the histamine release causes vascular dilation, increased capillary pressure and permeability in the nasal passages. What does all of this mean?? Swelling and fluid leakage into the nasal passages = runny nose and sneezing! A similar process occurs in the tissues of the eye, causing itching and redness.
Is there anything that will help the allergy reaction or symptoms? Natural remedies praised for their effectiveness include: Quercetin, Butterbur, Goldenseal, and freeze-dried Nettles. Simple saline solution has also been touted as a helpful in decreasing inflammation of the nasal passages. Ask your natural healthcare provider to help you fight back with some of these helpful solutions. Chiropractic care is a proven immunity booster, so remember to get adjusted regularly!