Everything makes me think about allergies, even my puppy’s furtive roll in dog poop today. My 13 year old son was walking her, and when she found a fresh pile of poop hidden under some fallen leaves, she dove into it before he could stop her. I came home to a very stinky dog, and before I had her cleaned up, I was thinking about allergies.
As I was cleaning my dog, I began to wonder why she urgently rolls in feces whenever she has the chance. Animals are smart, and she might know something that’s obvious to her but not to humans. I’ve posted articles on my Facebook page such as “Dirt helps broken skin to heal and reduces allergic response” (sorry, the link is no longer live).
Among the many guesses about what’s causing the spike in food allergies is something called the “hygiene hypothesis”. The theory is that developed societies are so hygienic, the members’ immune systems don’t have normal stimulation from organisms like bacteria, viruses, and especially worms that enter the body along with dirt and spur the development of a healthy immune system. Without this stimulation, an unhealthy immune system responds to food protein as an intruder. We’ve all heard the expression “you should eat a peck of dirt before you die”. The food allergy spike might be showing us all why this became wisdom passed down through the generations. To read about how intestinal parasite infection appears to protect against allergic sensitization, click here to visit the Allergy Notes website.
I read everything I can about proposed cures for food allergy, and one that makes a lot of sense to me is this study based upon the hygiene/dirt theory. The researchers propose that Whipworms & their eggs could cure any food allergy by helping to maintain a healthy immune system and counteract the theory that excess hygiene causes food allergy.
Researchers were looking for study subjects, especially with severe peanut allergy. A cure could be as simple as that. I would actually take part. Would you?
* If you’re reading this as an e-mail message, to visit my blog to read more articles or to write a comment, click http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2010/10/food-allergies-and-the-dirty-side-of-the-hygiene-hypothesis/