Kids these days have allergies to everything. Everyone is talking about it, how being allergic was unheard of just a generation ago. I had a small primary school class of only about 15, but there was only one kid in my class with allergies and the poor guy was somewhat ostracised because of it. We all thought it was weird! He had to have a special gluten free cake on his birthday which didn’t even have icing, the horror! Fast forward 25 years and the kid WITHOUT allergies is the odd one out.
I’ve been thinking about this topic a bit recently after watching a segment on The Project (FKA The 7pm Project) and chatting to a friend. So this is my take.
Allergies are essentially an immune response. So logically, we are getting more of them because we’re interfering with our natural immune responses to things, like illness or exposure to bacteria or toxins. I haven’t done any research on this, and I’d like to do a lot more reading and thinking, but to me allergies are related to the following:
1. Vaccination. When we vaccinate, we create an artificial immune response in the body. We trick it into building antibodies to a non-existent disease. So it stands to reason that creating that response will in turn muck up our immune system. I’m also bothered by the fact that we’re bombarding our bodies with the ‘fake’ versions of all these diseases. There’s no way everyone would be affected by so many diseases all at once in the natural course of things. So again, the immune system is taxed and the response is extreme.
2. Processed food. I believe that the reason so many people are intolerant to dairy, apart from the fact that cow’s milk is for baby cows, is that we are no longer consuming raw dairy. So the dairy we consume lacks the natural bacteria and enzymes required to digest the proteins and sugars contained therein. We’re eating ‘fake’ dairy.
3. Over-abundance of certain foods. We become intolerant to anything we have too much of. That’s why I’m allergic to honey, I had too much as a child. And this manifests through generations, so we’re more likely to be sensitive to something our mothers ate too much of through their lives.
4. Taking in food before we’re ready. For some bizarre reason, we pick a somewhat arbitrary date in the life of a baby (5 months, according to the doctor I went to recently) and we begin mushing up food and spooning it into the baby’s mouth with desperation and urgency, as if suddenly baby cannot survive on breastmilk, despite the fact that it is a perfect food and provides baby with adequate calories and nutrition. Why is this? Why does a baby suddenly become ready for ‘solids’ at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months? Of course, he doesn’t. Same reason a baby isn’t always ready to be born at 40 weeks, or 39 or 42 or 37… Personally I believe that when a baby can pick up a piece of food, put it in his mouth, chew and then swallow, his digestive system is ready to handle it. Why are we in such a rush to do all that grabbing, putting in the mouth and chewing for the baby? Why do we want to accelerate it? Digestion not being ready for food means that baby is being exposed to things he is not ready for, and his immature immune system has to jump into top gear to produce antibodies to deal with the bacteria and toxins in that food that’s been introduced too early.
5. Destruction of bacteria. What’s the with the ‘clean’ obsession these days? Why are we sterilising everything, wiping surfaces with antibacterial chemicals, not letting kids play in the dirt? It drives me insane when that ridiculous Dettol commercial comes on, with their stupid ‘health’ program or whatever they’re calling it. Seriously? People actually believe that killing naturally occurring bacteria using harsh chemicals is healthy! Stupid is what it is. The only reason to get rid of germs is if they’re there because of other external, artificial influences. So if we all lived in close quarters with no fresh air or toilets or running water, okay, we need to work hard to keep the bugs at bay. But most of us don’t. Yet everyone’s still dousing every surface in disinfectant and obsessing about sterilising their baby’s sippy cup. We need bacteria, it’s part of maintaining the delicate balance in our immune systems! We all know what happens when you take antibiotics: you end up with thrush and problems digesting because you’ve killed all the good bacteria in your body.
I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this in future, but at the moment I really believe that if we didn’t vaccinate and we ate real, raw food of the earth when we need it, we’d be much healthier and allergies would become a thing of the past. I’m not saying they’d be eradicated all together, that’s like saying all disease can be eradicated, it’s just part of the human condition. But I think our systems would regulate themselves and the balance would be re-established.