Allergies to Alzheimer’s Close Cousins
Aug 10, 2012 08:05AM
By Dr. George Springer
• A recent nationwide survey found that one in every two U.S. citizens tests positive to one or more allergies.
• Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease (fatigue, chronic sinus congestion, migraines, stomach problems, arthritis, skin problems, etc.) in the United States, costing $18 billion annually.
• In addition to foods, one can also experience allergic reactions to fabrics, nutritional supplements, plant and animal substances, chemicals, metals and medications.
What is an Allergy?
The word allergy comes from a Greek word meaning altered energy. When we experience an unusual reaction to substances in our environment, we can either have a specific immune reaction called an allergy or other systemic reactions which we call sensitivities.
Many people with allergies reach for over-the-counter medication to suppress their symptoms. After all, who wants to be sneezing all day if the pollen is high, when a daily dose of an antihistamine will make the problem "go away". What those people do not realize is that all they are doing is managing their symptoms, while beneath the surface a fire is burning which could set them up for serious long-term health problems.
From Allergy to Inflammation
When an allergic reaction occurs in someone’s body, their immune system tries to fight it, and this battle causes an inflammatory response which may not be evident to the person. If the source of the allergy is not handled and is merely suppressed, it won’t go away, so the immune system continues fighting. This sets the body up for long-term inflammation which can lead down the pathway to serious health conditions.
From Inflammation to Chronic Illness
Inflammation comes from the Latin word inflammo, meaning I ignite, set alight, and can be classified as either acute or chronic.
Acute inflammation is the short-term immune response our bodies mount in cases of trauma, infection or exposure to a foreign microorganism. Our immune systems react by identifying the infectious or dangerous substance, determining which cells are non-threatening and which are threatening, assessing the level of the threat, mounting a response, and repairing any resulting damage.
Chronic inflammation arises when this response is not completely turned off or extinguished. It acts like a slow burning fire, continuing to stimulate pro-inflammatory immune cells when they may not be needed. Like an unattended fire, chronic inflammation can slowly spread and lead to serious metabolic breakdown, with vast implications for long-term health.
When an allergy exists, either hidden or visible, and the root cause of it is not handled, the body will be constantly on the defensive. When that situation exists, the body’s overall health can be compromised. Firstly, inflammation takes a lot of a body’s energy and resources. Second, having a constant, low-grade flow of powerful inflammatory markers in the blood stream can cause damage with time. To make matters worse, the immune system’s hyperactivity can self-perpetuate and quickly spiral into disease.
You may have heard that disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema stem from inflammation. But chronic inflammation has now been connected to a host of modern diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, asthma, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
From Chronic Illness to Good Health
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we work with patients to find the root cause of their health issues; we don’t just cover them up. Sometimes, patients are aware that they have an allergic reaction to something, and we work with them to handle it. Often, however, we see patients with chronic symptoms whose allergies are present, but hidden, so they have no knowledge of them. By carefully evaluating the patient, we can determine if the allergy-inflammation double-act is the root cause of their health condition, and if it is, we will work with them to eliminate it.
For many people, the elimination of allergies and sensitivities is an essential component in becoming healthy, and at LifeWorks we can help patients do just that.
Call Tamora at 727-466-6789 today for an appointment or more information or visit LifeWorksWellnessCenter.com. See ad page 2.
Dr. Springer will be hosting a free talk entitled "Allergies to Alzheimer’s: Close Cousins", discussing in more detail the topics covered in this article, Thursday, August 9, 6:30pm, at Nature’s Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
Dr. George Springer has practiced alternative medicine, nutrition, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation for 29 years. At LifeWorks, he treats all forms of chronic disease, provides functional laboratory evaluation with specific individual nutrition recommendations, treats patients with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and neuromusculoskeletal problems, and provides support to other programs.