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RiceGuy

The Hygiene Hypothesis

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Here's an interesting article on something called the "Hygiene Hypothesis", which basically suggests that autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease are more prevalent because we're too "clean". That is, our modern way of life is too sterile, so without exposure to the natural presence of microbes, the immune system doesn't develop properly.

http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/1031002421.html

It caught my attention, as I've been wondering about this for years. I mean, we become immune to chicken pox only after exposure, right?


A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

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Here's an interesting article on something called the "Hygiene Hypothesis", which basically suggests that autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease are more prevalent because we're too "clean". That is, our modern way of life is too sterile, so without exposure to the natural presence of microbes, the immune system doesn't develop properly.

http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/1031002421.html

It caught my attention, as I've been wondering about this for years. I mean, we become immune to chicken pox only after exposure, right?

Hey Riceguy,

I'll have to check that out. Right now I receive allergy shots to try to build my immune system up since I am allergic to everything except dogs! :o So this article sounds very interesting. Thanks. :rolleyes:

I just read an interesting article in The Sacramento Bee about a study done about women who eat a lot of hormone injected beef during pregnancy causes 25% decrease in sperm count and another higher percewnt of infertility, and in women an increase in I beleive it was infertility and polycystitis.

Take care,

Jacqui


IBS 1994

Endometriosis

Hashimoto's auto immune disease

Diverticulosis

Celiac disease April 2006 - neuro symptoms I am assuming from celiac disease

HLA DQ 2 (celiac disease) and HLA DQ 6 (GS) either way my parents made sure I had something!

Insomnia

Hyperflexibility

Daughter 6 y/o (5 at diagnosis) celiac disease via labs (all >100) and flattened biopsy. NO symptoms!!

Daughter 8 y/o with BM ="C" since birth and breast fed, osteopenia, SEVERE eczema up to 5 y/o, now on and off (-) via labs and biopsy. HLA DQ 2 and HLA DQ 8! and possibly ADHD.

Son 3 y/o also HLADQ2 AND DQ 8! Negative panel

Husband MEXICAN and he has DQ 8! His family refuses all and anything with celiac disease, same with his PCP!

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger..." Right? I think that's the saying.

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Here's an interesting article on something called the "Hygiene Hypothesis", which basically suggests that autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease are more prevalent because we're too "clean". That is, our modern way of life is too sterile, so without exposure to the natural presence of microbes, the immune system doesn't develop properly.

http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/1031002421.html

It caught my attention, as I've been wondering about this for years. I mean, we become immune to chicken pox only after exposure, right?

its something on my mind too.

Just to set the scene I come from a obsessively sterile environment ... when I was growing up meat had to be really dead... not just "mostly dead" (as Billy Cristal might say)... by which I mean if there was any slightly pink part it was recooked...

Milk, cheese you name it, everything was sterile... blue cheese never entered our house... if a fly so much as landed on a plate it would be thrown out and this is bearing in mind we were not well off, each meal my mom made was a dent into the monthly budget.

When I moved to Africa I noticed people were ignoring flies... I continued wildly trying to brush them off and by this time I had an income where the price of food was immaterial and food was so cheap anyway... slowly but surely I gave up, its just not possible ..

One thing I noticed was latin expat people didn't seem to suffer the same illnesses as the anglo community. Perhaps genetics or perhaps they just grew up in a hotter country than me?

A while later a friend of mine was extolling parma ham... I just found the whole idea disgusting.. raw ham ... ugggh

When I arrived in France I had problems getting my steak cooked... back to my idea of really dead... and the French ate all this weird stuff, raw beef and eggs and unpasturised cheese. UGGHGH

It was desperation made me try sushi... the first few times I gagged my way through it... raw fish ?? pile on the gluten-free soy and wasabi and try and keep it down...

I was still frankly amazed that the French didn't all drop dead of nasty parasites and stuff... I figured sushi must be OK they are allowed to sell it in the UK...

At one point I looked up WHO figures for life expectancy and infant mortality...

I really expected to see some evidence of Italians, Spanish and French dropping like flies... but I found the reverse..

All of these nations where raw meat, eggs and unpasturised dairy are common place live longer than the UK and much longer than the US and infant mortality was equally lower... not at all what I expected....

At some point I managed to eat carpaccio, crunch on the fries and drown it in oil and lemon... but it was a "safe" gluten bet and I kinda forced myself..

I am starting to believe its not just isolated diseases, the bigger picture is more (for me) use it or lose it.

If your immune system is coddled just like the article says its like having a muscle you never use...

Later on I did some other research on probiotics.... what I found is that one of the common ones people here take is actually found in sheeps stomachs in large quantities and meats in lower... when we pasturise the milk we kill the probiotic... when we cook the meat we do the same...

It seems sensible in one way to think, ah but your also eating bad bacteria..and probiotics isolate the good ones but I'm starting to think its not so simple... perhaps our immune systems benefit from exersize just like our muslces and brain and ... well the rest of the body, indeed put like that it seems unlikely it doesn't?

Another place to look is nursing staff... sure they have increased chances of catching stuff but is it in proportion... they spend their time around contageous patients ... its surprising they are ever well?


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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Another thing that comes to mind:

There are no plants or animals known to produce vitamin B12. Only certain microbes have been found to do this. I have to ask myself why a cow grazing in a field or a chicken pecking at stuff on the ground can get the required B12, but we humans cannot.

Perhaps our modern use of pesticides, herbicides, etc is killing off useful and/or needed microbes. Maybe those little "bugs" and icky thingies are there for good reason? Perhaps that picture-perfect tomato isn't so perfect after all. Perhaps the gorgeous apples at the supermarket aren't as good as we think.

So if we grew our own potatoes without the use of pesticides, and ate the skin too, we'd likely get a few little microbes here and there. Just enough to do us the good, but not so much to do us actual harm.


A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

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It's not just the food. It's also the antibacterial handsoap! Two of my kids get terrible skin problems if they use antibacterial soap. Their hands get all crusty. If we just use regular soap, their hands are fine. As repulsive as it is in our ultra-sanitary culture, I have to tell them that when they're out in public they can only rinse their hands in warm water.

I think killing all the bacteria on our hands contributes to an imbalance of yeast, bacteria, etc. same as antibiotics do in the body.

There are two situations only that I can think of where antibacterial soap is needed -- medical buildings and restaurants (for the staff).

If you've ever read about the naturopath who started Garden of Life, his story is very interesting. He was sent home to die and someone sent him some dirt from I can't remember where. He ate the dirt and got better. Even our farming has become so clean that we don't get the bacteria that we need from our naturally grown food ... think of when they fertilized with compost/manure. He sells this product now, but it's not gluten-free :( . It's called Primal Defense if you want to research it some.

It's amazing all the supplements and probiotics we have to take just because of the way our food is grown/prepared and because we've become so clean.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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I am totally pro-dirt. Except for known sources of very bad things (pork, chicken, bathrooms) I have a casual approach to "cleanliness". I never use Purell, don't buy anti-bacterial soaps or wipes, don't drink bottled water, mop my floor occasionally, and leave the spiders in my house (mice, however, are another story).

I think you should live in harmony with the world, not fight it.

(And the antibacterial soap hasn't been shown to be more effective at killing bacteria on your hands than regular soap. All you're doing is exposing yourself to more chemicals.)


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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I am totally pro-dirt. Except for known sources of very bad things (pork, chicken, bathrooms) I have a casual approach to "cleanliness". I never use Purell, don't buy anti-bacterial soaps or wipes, don't drink bottled water, mop my floor occasionally, and leave the spiders in my house (mice, however, are another story).

I think you should live in harmony with the world, not fight it.

(And the antibacterial soap hasn't been shown to be more effective at killing bacteria on your hands than regular soap. All you're doing is exposing yourself to more chemicals.)

I totally agree. The germs that we have in our own houses really aren't a concern to our health. Yes, the house needs to be cleaned, but it doesn't need to be sterile. Antibacterial soaps are very hard on my skin too...I have to wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning bathrooms or my skin will crack and split. We use very basic, gentle soaps for bathing and washing hands.

We do drink bottled water, however, because I do not think that drinking treated tap water is safe...especially since our municipality treats with chloramine (combination of chlorine and ammonia)...the stuff does not easily gas off (takes at least 2 weeks with constant agitation) and will quickly kill fish...can't believe that it's that safe for humans either.

Michelle

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I drink purified water, too. Not because of possible bacteria, but because of all the garbage they put into the water -- chlorine, flouride, etc.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Well water :)


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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This is all so interesting, and I couldn't agree more!

I use regular--actually mild--soaps and things of that nature. My house is neat and clean--but not sterile by any means.

I do drink spring water because I can't do filtered and our water has so much chlorine you can smell it!

I believe "everything in moderation" :D


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Well water :)

Lucky you. We used to have that, then we moved to the city ... I couldn't even stand the smell of the water here, so we have a whole house purifier, then an RO on our kitchen sink. Our well water was from a 300 ft. well into the Indiana Limestone ... no smell, no staining of sinks/tubs. It was great!


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Add me to the list of people who agree with all of this. "A little dirt never hurt" is what we were taught when I was growing up. My house is "clean" but not overboard - I'm more afraid of chemicals than a few germs.

Carla - my 9 year old is doing his state report on Ohio. He likes Ohio State and was thrilled to find out that the Football Hall of Fame is in Canton. He wants to move there.


Liz

Started Specific Carbohydrate Diet on 8-16-09 because son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and want to give him moral support.

Diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome in 2003. Discovered that going completely gluten-free put me in remission.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13

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I can't find the source now a few months ago I read a related theory that the immune system has "excess capacity" due to better hygiene and sometimes it just tries to find things to do.

I obviously paraphrased the terms and mechanism.

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I am an admitted germ freak...not in my house...that's something like a pig's sty, lol, but I can't stand anything on my hands and if I touch something in public I have to wash my hands. I'm trying to NOT be so neurotic about it, as I agree with everything said here, but how the heck do you get over THINKING about the germ thing, lol. :lol: Some of the neuroticness comes from being sick for a constant 3 year period, but I don't know where the rest comes from. :ph34r:

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I am an admitted germ freak...not in my house...that's something like a pig's sty, lol, but I can't stand anything on my hands and if I touch something in public I have to wash my hands. I'm trying to NOT be so neurotic about it, as I agree with everything said here, but how the heck do you get over THINKING about the germ thing, lol. :lol: Some of the neuroticness comes from being sick for a constant 3 year period, but I don't know where the rest comes from. :ph34r:

Donna :D

I also wash my hands first thing when I get home--I don't want to catch a virus or anything. I think that's just common sense after we've been out in public.

I don't think too much about it, just warm soapy water--dirt is one thing, icky cold germs is another :lol:


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Liz, if he likes small town, he'd love Canton. If he likes big cities, he's better off in Columbus. :)

Donna, I'm a germ freak, too. I use the shopping cart wipes, I wash my hands the second I get home. Since I'm so ill right now, I'm paranoid about catching something else.

I always was a perfectionist about my house, but not a germ freak at home ... hubby would joke that it's a model home. But I can't even clean it now, so the kids do it. It's as clean as kids can get it. :lol:


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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I'm very skeptical of the hygiene hypothesis. We're not really all that sterile, just ask any microbiologist. And the popular media and lay people aren't really understanding what it is, because it is presented in 30 second soundbites on the local news.

I found a really good critique of that hypothesis I'll post it if I can find it again. Found it! http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlere...i?artid=1448690

Snippet:

Most recently, a further aspect of Strachan's hypothesis has received considerable attention, particularly from the media, namely his proposition that the reason why this key exposure no longer occurs, or occurs to an insufficient extent, is the trend not only towards smaller family sizes but also

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i am pro-dirt too :)

My kids do wash their hands with regular soap and I will wipe down the phone...but I dont go overboard. We are in the middle of cattle country and farmers get cow poop on them all the time , hubby does a calving and gets the poop on his face (direct hit sometimes. What I have noticed is that none of these guys gets e-coli and all these farm kids stay relatively healthy. Very few with asthma, etc. We are however a hotspot for MS (southern Alberta)...

Sandy

My "fear" is mold, We had a mold problem in our previous house and kids were always sick and it was during the exposure to it - that they developed their autoimmune diseases. Mind you they had to have a genetic weakness, but I believe mold was the trigger, plus influenza at the time didnt help!


Sandy

Type 1 diabetes - 1986

hypothyroid -1993

pernicious anemia

premature atrial beats

neuropathy

retinopathy

daughter is: age 15

central hypotonia and developmental delay

balance issues (rides an adult 3 wheel bike)

hypothyroid 1996

dermatographia - a form of angioedema 2002

celiac 2004 - by endoscopy

diagnosed Aspergers at age 7 - responded very well (HUGE difference) to gluten-free diet

recovered from Kawasaki (2003)

lactose intolerant - figured out in Oct/06

Gilberts syndrome (April/07)

allergy to stinging insects

scoliosis Jan 2008

nightshade intolerance - figured out April 2008

allergy to Sulfa antibiotics

son is 13

type 1 diabetic - 2003 diagnosed on his 9th birthday

celiac - 2004 by endoscopy

lactose intolerant - figured out Nov/06

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i am pro-dirt too :)

My kids do wash their hands with regular soap and I will wipe down the phone...but I dont go overboard. We are in the middle of cattle country and farmers get cow poop on them all the time , hubby does a calving and gets the poop on his face (direct hit sometimes. What I have noticed is that none of these guys gets e-coli and all these farm kids stay relatively healthy. Very few with asthma, etc. We are however a hotspot for MS (southern Alberta)...

Sandy

I wouldn't be surprised if your family has built up immunity to e-coli with being around cattle all the time. E-coli is an issue, however, with the general public because strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and the risk of developing necrotizing fasciitis (sp?) goes up along with it. That's where we do need to be careful about germs/bacteria to ensure we aren't unnecessarily exposing ourselves through poorly handled and undercooked foods. Precautions have to start with the people who first handle our foods, whether it's contamination of water used on the fields (contamination of food crops), handling by sick workers (eg, crops/foods contaminated with hepatitis), or poor health procedures during slaughter and packaging.

My "fear" is mold, We had a mold problem in our previous house and kids were always sick and it was during the exposure to it - that they developed their autoimmune diseases. Mind you they had to have a genetic weakness, but I believe mold was the trigger, plus influenza at the time didnt help!

Certain types of mold (ie black mold) are an issue for everybody, not just those with allergies, and can definitely be very harmful to one's health. I'm sure it contributes to chronic autoimmunity issues and long term health.

Michelle

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I grew up in home which in 1960's and 1970's was quite unusual..as my mother had an idea that being exposed to germs kept us healthy. She cleaned home of course and used cleaners and bleach but wasn't off the wall about washing hands or playing in dirt outside. We were not sicker than any other neighborhood children. I married husband who is "Felix Unger" and he always insisted in washing hands when coming in, taking shoes off before entering house and again, my level of colds and sore/strep throat or flu never changed. No more, no less after being married which led me to go back to my mother's way of thinking that some exposure to germs keeps the immune system at a good "hum" and is in our best interest. Then anti-bacterial soaps came out - I don't buy them.

Additionally, as a teenager I only washed my face once a day - and that was if I wore some mascara and blush - so some days I didn't wash my face, but I've sometimes dabbed it with alcohol - I don't remember why. I never had breakouts and my skin was clear. I believe that there's a "mantle" needed to protect the skin and chemicals and harsh scrubbing removes it.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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I grew up in home which in 1960's and 1970's was quite unusual..as my mother had an idea that being exposed to germs kept us healthy. She cleaned home of course and used cleaners and bleach but wasn't off the wall about washing hands or playing in dirt outside. We were not sicker than any other neighborhood children. I married husband who is "Felix Unger" and he always insisted in washing hands when coming in, taking shoes off before entering house and again, my level of colds and sore/strep throat or flu never changed.(snip)

Taking shoes off at the door is part of the culture in Canada. It would be rude not to do so. But it also serves a good purpose. It keeps your floors cleaner, and extends the life of your flooring! My floors get dirty enough as it is...I can't imagine having to constantly clean up after tracked in dirt, especially on my carpet. Also, it's good for your feet to not constantly be wearing shoes.

Additionally, as a teenager I only washed my face once a day - and that was if I wore some mascara and blush - so some days I didn't wash my face, but I've sometimes dabbed it with alcohol - I don't remember why. I never had breakouts and my skin was clear. I believe that there's a "mantle" needed to protect the skin and chemicals and harsh scrubbing removes it.

You don't need to wash your face more than once per day. I have heard the recommendation that you should wash before bed. I prefer to wash in the morning myself, but I don't wear makeup either. I also only shower every other day, and only use soap on the parts that really need it. The oils on the skin perform an important protective role, and to use soap frequently washes that away.

Michelle

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