Last week, Rob Stein from the Washington Post wrote an interesting article entitled “Immune Systems Increasingly on Attack” about the rise in asthma and allergies as well as other immune-related diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Mr. Stein discusses the “hygiene hypothesis,” which blames our increasingly sterile lifestyle for weakening our immune systems and making us more susceptible to allergies and allergic diseases. He also points out that while many researchers are convinced this is the “why” behind the rapidly growing number of people with allergies, he also mentions that many are far from sold on this idea. And many readers posted comments on the Washington Post Web site with a variety of opinions on the issue – from pollution to vaccines to vitamin deficiencies to artificial flavorings.
Since my work as a dietitian is focused on managing these conditions and improving the lives of kids who suffer from them, I’ll leave the debate as to “why” up to the experts – and the online opiners, of course.
But I am glad that the research of the scientists quoted in this article (and so many more) is underway so that hopefully, one day, we will find a way to identify the cause and ways to prevent our kids from suffering from these types of conditions.
In the meantime, we’ll be here blogging away about how to deal when you have a child with a food allergy or related GI condition.
As always, feel free to send your thoughts & opinions our way.