Friday, November 27, 2009

...across the room into the REAL world.....

As we were raising our daughters my husband and I agreed on some very important common sense approaches to cleanliness and nutrition for ourselves and our children. One was to limit the use of antibiotics if at all possible. Sometimes I felt judged by other people because their kids were taken to the clinic or even worse the local emergency department at the first sign of a sniffle or cough and mine had to suffer through it! Did you know that even if a child feels sick Monday or Tuesday and is looked after at home, by Friday everybody has just had it and they head to walk-in or the emergency department for their instant anti-biotic fix! Nobody is allowed to ruin the family's weekend by being sick! REALLY! You may quote me:) At our house hands had to be washed after bathroom use and before and after a meal. Fresh fruits and/or veggies were served at most meals (we had to have something crunchy to eat at most meals). Don't think for a moment that this was what really happened at our house every day. We were not the perfect family. I'm just saying this was our desire for ourselves and something we wanted to instill in our daughters. That's just a little introduction into what I really wanted to post today which is an excerpt from a book I'm reading. I totally agree with the following written by Danna Demetre in "Change your habits, change your life":

Experts are reporting that many allergies and immune-system diseases have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last thirty to forty years. Some studies confirm that more than half of the U.S. population has at least one allergy. Many researchers suspect the increase may be due to changes in modern living to include the "hygiene hypothesis," which blames growing up in increasingly sterile homes as the problem. Others have pointed to changes in diet, air pollution, and even the rise in obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
Interestingly, the rise in allergies and immune-system diseases are only showing up in highly developed countries in Europe and North America. The illnesses have steadily increased in other countries as they have become more advanced.
This is what health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola says about this issue:

As society in general becomes more "sterile" it is causing real problems for your immune system, which is becoming increasingly unable to differentiate between real threats and harmless things like pollen and dust-bunnies.
Think about it: how many people do you know who carry a bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer with them wherever they go? Meanwhile, you're exposed to antibiotics, in your food and by prescription, while most of the food supply is pasteurized or otherwise treated to remove both good and bad bacteria.
And this is the key: while everyone was busy killing all of those "germs" they didn't stop to think about what this would mean for the future generation. Children are now growing up without being exposed to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have existed throughout the world - even in developed countries like the U.S. - since the beginning of time.
To some extent, this is a good thing. but to children's immune systems, which are not being exposed to bacteria and viruses like they were in the past, it results in an excessive immune response against a routine thing, like a peanut, resulting in allergies and auto-immune diseases.

While "clean living" is certainly a good thing, we must be wise and not take this to an extreme. We also need to stop pressuring our doctors to write prescriptions for antibiotics every time we have a sniffle or a cough. They should not be giving in to these requests, but unfortunately sometimes they do, which results in increasingly resistant strains of bacteria and a much bigger problem for all of us. Don't feel you have to avoid every germ on the planet. Let your kids play in the dirt. Yes, we do need to wash our hands after using the restroom and when in contact with sick people. but that old "ten second" rule for food dropped on the floor not being contaminated is a good one to keep. Our bodies get strengthened by small doses of bacteria. Let's not be afraid to live in the "real" world and leave our hand santizer behind on occasion.

1 comment:

Michele said...

AMEN Mom!!! I totally agree!!!