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Monday, March 20, 2006

Scientifically Proven...

Oklahoma weather has started 'happening' again. Now it seems that we are getting back to the weather patterns that we are all familiar with.

Today, within the state of Oklahoma, we had snow, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, and rain. I don't think I forgot anything did I?

Anyway... it seems that we might be getting back to a more normal weather pattern.

Or maybe nature is just going through one of its cycles, and is regaining its equilibrium.

At least it is something that we are more accustomed to.

Either way, it's proof that we definitely aren't in charge of things around here.

And that God designed this world to work with...

or without us.

I have a few theories about things like this that roam around in my head. Just like I have little sayings and rules that I live by; I also have different approaches to the mysteries of life and situations in general.

One of my theories is that kids should be allowed to get dirty.

Every child picks up dirt and tries to eat it.

Kids like to play outside and get horribly dirty while doing it.

Dogs lick kids in the face.

And running around barefoot is a whole lot of fun.

I have seen a lot of mothers get horribly upset when their children do things that are deemed dirty.

Things like picking up food from the floor and eating it.

While I don't condone eating off the floors, I certainly have never had any 'hissy fits' over it either.

I also have been quite liberal in allowing my children to run barefoot, play in the mud, and just plain get dirty in general.

My theory is that God designed our bodies to protect us, and that our immune systems have to be challenged in order for it to know how and what to protect us from.

Well, this evening I ran across an article that finally proves my theory.

Here's the new wisdom: Early exposure to pets, peanuts and intestinal worms might actually be good for you, because they program the developing immune system to know the difference between real threats, such as germs, and Aunt Millie's cat.

Why is this considered "new wisdom"?

I have always considered this idea as common sense.

It all makes sense.

Within my lifetime I have noticed a sharp increase of other people's kids being sick more often and with higher incidences of asthma and other similar ailments.

Asthma alone accounts for 500,000 hospitalizations a year, including 2 million admissions to the emergency room, says a study in the May 2005 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Since 1980, adult asthma cases have risen by 75% and childhood asthma by 160%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

What is making these children and adults so much more susceptible?

Could it be that everyone in the United States has become 'germphobic'?

Have you guys noticed that an entire grocery aisle is dedicated to hundreds of household cleaners and toilet bowl disenfectants?

"What we've learned is that it may, in fact, be important to be exposed early on to a sufficient quantity of allergy-causing substances to train the immune system that they are not a threat," says Andy Saxon of the University of California-Los Angeles.

I have also been a big supporter of breast feeding too.

..."When you're born, Day Zero, your immune system is like a new computer. It's not programmed. You have to add software," says Joel Weinstock of Tufts New England Medical Center. "Between the ages of zero and 12, you're learning to read, you're learning to write, and your immune system is learning to react to things. Part of that is learning to limit reactivity."

And I have also claimed that living on a ranch or a farm is the best and healthiest way to live life.

The new approach to allergy prevention and treatment arises from a paradox. Known as the hygiene hypothesis, it suggests that growing up in cities and suburbs, away from fields and farm animals, leaves people more susceptible to a host of immune disorders, including allergies and asthma.

...Weinstock says the divide between developed and undeveloped countries is still evident today. "Hay fever is the most common allergy in the developed world," he says. "Yet, there are some countries in the world where doctors don't know what hay fever is."

What is the most intriguing about this research though is the effect of worms on the human immune system.

This is where things get a little gross and makes you feel a little squeamish...

even for me.

But hey... when was the last time you have heard of a child having pinworms or any other type of intestinal worm?

...some doctors say worms might do something that allergy-causing substances won't do — broadly reset the immune system so that it no longer reacts to allergy-causing substances or attacks the body's tissues, as it does in Crohn's disease and Type I diabetes.

Weinstock, Elliott and other researchers believe that a low-grade infection with intestinal worms — pig whipworms because they can't reproduce in people — can restore the immune system's natural balance. A small-scale study in which 29 people with Crohn's disease drank whipworm eggs in Gatorade found that 23 responded to treatment and 21 of the 23 experienced complete remission.

Although worms haven't been directly tested in allergic patients, researchers point to a study by Maria Yazdanbakhsh of Leiden University in the Netherlands, which found that treating schoolchildren in Gabon for worms, so that the worms were expelled from their bodies, doubled their risk of becoming allergic to house dust mites, a common allergen.

While there are good things about hygiene that prevent the spread of disease and also helps to keep large communities healthier, we must not forget about the common sense things of nature.

Being overly 'hygienic' could actually be detrimental to our health.

So... I propose that instead of enforcing the 'two second' rule on a wayward M&M that's found its way onto the floor...

Maybe we should just go ahead and extend it to three or four seconds.


Short-Circuiting a Cat Allergy


Blogger Moof said...

TJ ... this is a great post, and if you don't mind, I'm going to copy and paste it into an email for someone I'm very fond of.

Thank you, dear heart ... for continuing to share your wisdom with us!

March 21, 2006 4:52 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Good Morning!
I like you, totally agree with allowing kids to get dirty. My children run around barefoot, play in the mud, and occasionally eat food off the floor. I am a very relaxed parent about such things.

I will admit, the intestinal parasite thing grosses me out...

But, you gotta let kids be kids...I am not the parent carrying around the antibacterial wipes at the playground...I am a little obsessive about using antibacterial products in my bathroom and kitchen, however. I shudder at the thought of spreading food borne illnesses or e-coli to any member of my family.

I know the overuse of these products is discouraged because one needs to be exposed to germs, but I somehow can't buy into that.

March 21, 2006 6:11 AM  
Blogger Dreaming again said...

I don't think he means exposing each other intentionally to cold/flu germs, but to the germs that are in and around us daily.

My kids were born with a genetic immune deficiency (my cousin was in a bubble till he was 3 months old) they had IgG subclass 2 deficiency. While I DID jump on fevers, infections etc ... I did not isolate them, or treat them as 'sick' kids. It always alarmed me when one of their doctor's refered to them as 'sickly'.
I was told, that their immune system was there, and it would build itself, in time. It just wasn't as strong as it should be, and when they got sick, they got TOO sick.

They played in the dirt (which, never made them sick) they usually found the M&M on the floor, which never made them sick either ... it was usually the kid in the church nursery, who was sick, too sick to be there, and the parents hadn't kept him/her home from church that day!

My youngest has asthma, exercise induced. Never been in the hospital, never even been to the ER. Docs office, yes. Steroids, yes. I tell him, use your inhaler ..get out there and ride your skateboard, or play basketball!(like that's hard to tell a kid with ADHD!:) ...)

March 21, 2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Thanks for the compliment Moof, but I really don't have a handle on the 'wisdom' thing quite yet. ;+)

Domesticator, I agree that we need to practice hygiene in our kitchens and bathrooms as well as practice safe food handling techniques.

Genetic problems... well that certainly is a horse of a different color. Once again, we need to rely on plain 'ol common sense.

It seems that you have hit a good balance, Dreaming. It really could be easy for you to over react and rationalize running around with sani-wipes in your purse, pockets, and car.

And it does make me mad when people bring kids places while they are running fevers.

Not so much because I am worried about my kids getting deathly ill, but I think that it is just plain rude.


March 21, 2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Pundit Princess said...

Very interesting post T.J. The worms grossed me out a little, but all the rest was cool. I am quite thankful my mom was not one of those freak out types who had to keep me or my little brother clean. I'm also glad I got to do things like catch bugs, and fish. And I'm quite certain I ate my share of dirt growing up. : ) BTW: Christian DeJohn from Temple told me to thank you for all of your support. He was very happy to see your blog entry about him.

March 21, 2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Moof said...

TJ ... I did cut and paste your post into an email, and I mailed it to my little daughter-in-law ... and blogged on it.

Here's a manual trackback for you:



March 21, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Princess! I can only hope that 'my little blog' made a difference!

I do know that I get several hits from people Googling his name. And I hope that my support for his cause is helpful to him.

Tell him 'hey' for me and I hope that things are turning around and going his way?

Could you let me know?

Thanks Moof!

Now what do I do with that backtrack?


March 21, 2006 3:46 PM  

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