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Asthma and Allergies: A Natural Approach

If you are like many, the fall and spring can bring on a host of asthma and allergy symptoms. People tend to have more trouble with asthma when the air is cold and dry. Asthma occurs when the nervous system restricts the airways, causing wheezing and mucus production. Exercise, allergens, and other inhaled chemicals can cause asthma.

Our bodies naturally have cells that produce a chemical called histamine, which is meant to be a protective mechanism, but in a hypersenitivity reaction like that with allergies, it is produced when we come into contact with common substances like ragweed, pollen, and pet dander. We shouldn't normally react to them, but people with hypersensitivities , who are allergic, can begin to experience the effects of histamine production such as, itching in the ears and eyes, watery red eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and in severe cases airway restriction called anaphylaxis.

Did you know certain foods can cause more asthma and allergy symtoms and certain foods can reduce it? Foods like dairy, gluten-containing, corn, processed "junk" foods, omega-6 containing foods and fatty meats cause more mucus production and inflammation, making symtoms worse. Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, walnuts, flax, fatty fish, and other omega-3 containing foods reduce inflammation and mucus production. Reducing Omega-6 and increasing Omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, cancer risk, and even risk of autoimmune disease

Chiropractic care may also improve and reduce asthma and allergy symtoms. Because our nervous system controls our airways, having the parasympathetic part of our nervous system activated, can narrow the airways via bronchoconstriction. Chiropractic adjustments can help to activate the sympathetic parts of the nervous system allowing the airways to open, causing bronchodialation. With allergies, adjustments to the nervous system can allow the mucus to drain and help open the sinuses.

One of the best ways to prevent allergy and asthma symptoms are breastfeeding. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can significantly delay the risk of atopic diseases, such as asthma and allergies Also children in homes two ore more cats or dogs have less allergies New recommendations have recently come out from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding food introduction with babies. It was once thought that delaying common food allergens helped prevent food sensitivities and allergies, but studies have shown that the opposite is true with regard to peanuts. New recommendations are to introduce allergen-type foods-specifically peanuts in the first year of life. Of course precautions should be made if your child has a reaction. Researchers are unsure whether this is true yet of all allergen-type foods or just peanuts.

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