• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Why everybody is suddenly allergic to everything

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
11,368
Points
1,160
Why everybody is suddenly allergic to everything

If you haven't noticed, the allergy rate in the Western world is getting kind of nuts. So what’s going on? For one thing, we’ve been parenting our kids all wrong

In this episode of Everything Should Be Better, Tristin Hopper explains why allergy rates are so high among some groups and not among others. Watch the video above, or read the transcript below.

Here’s a fun fact about the Amish: they don’t really get allergies.

That’s right: While you city dwellers are making a lunch run for dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free vegan kale wraps, most Amish can chow down on whatever. A 2012 study of Amish children in Indiana found that only 7 per cent had some kind of allergy sensitization, compared to 36 per cent of American children as a whole.

This is an important fact because, if you haven’t noticed, the allergy rate in the Western World is getting kind of nuts.

In the U.S. shellfish allergies have gone up 40 per cent in just the last 15 years. And nut allergies have quadrupled. In the U.K., hospital admissions for allergies have gone up 500 per cent since 1990, with British children also undergoing a five-fold increase in rates of peanut allergies.

So what’s going on? Why are the Amish happily chugging milk and breathing pollen while the rest of us can’t so much as look at a plate of pad thai?

For one thing, we haven’t been parenting our kids right. For a long time, the advice was to not expose your kids to potentially harmful allergens until they were older. Parents were told not to feed their kids peanuts until age three, for instance.

Now, it turns out that this was all wrong: By denying children early exposure to allergens, it was actually causing them to become allergic.

One particularly illuminating study looked at the peanut allergy rates among Jewish children in Israel and Jewish children in the U.K.

They’re both Jewish, so allergy rates should be about the same, right? Wrong. The British kids had a rate of peanut allergy 10 times higher than the Israeli kids. The reason? Israelis were chowing down on peanuts as babies, whereas Brits weren’t getting peanuts until they were toddlers. The result was that by the time many Brits got their first taste of peanut, their bodies couldn’t handle it.

It turns out there’s a brief window of time after you’re born in which your body is super receptive to unfamiliar foods and won’t react to them. Miss that window and, boom, you’re allergic.

That’s why groups like the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are now advising parents to load up their kids with potentially allergenic food, including peanut butter, before the age of six months.

Another explanation for our now-spiking allergy rates is called the “hygiene hypothesis.” The gist is that by living super-sanitized HEPA filter, Purel-soaked lives, we are becoming increasingly fragile people unable to stomach even our own food.

Some of the most compelling evidence is that farm children are consistently less allergenic than children living in cities.

The same is true of rich countries versus poor countries. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that the more developed the country, the higher were the rates of allergy-induced asthma. Of the places probed by the study, the city with one of the lowest rates of allergic asthma was Mumbai, India, a place known for many things, with cleanliness not being one of them.

The phenomenon has even been noticed among migrants. Immigrants from a low-allergy country like Turkey or Egypt move to a western country like Canada or the United States. Then, when they have their first kids in the West, those kids are just as wracked with allergies and asthma as the other kids in their playschool.

Allergies are caused by your immune system mistaking harmless things for pathogens and shifting into high gear to battle it. The hygiene hypothesis holds that those of us in the West aren’t giving our immune systems a proper workout, so it’s essentially shorting out and treating everything like a threat.

You’re never going to completely get rid of allergies. Even Amish kids, Israeli babies and Mumbaikars have some allergies among them, but there’s obviously a reason that allergy rates everywhere else are skyrocketing.

The evidence so far seems to indicate that grandpa was right — a little dirt is good for you. Eat dirt off the floor, let the dog give you kisses and let your baby inhale some dust.

We might be too clean for our own good.

https://nationalpost.com/health/why-everybody-is-suddenly-allergic-to-everything

 

FSTO

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,517
Points
1,090
No shit.
I'm a farm kid. Our drinking water came from the same well that our cattle drank out of. Drank raw milk strait from the dairy cow until I was 16. Probably ate as much dirt as I did veggies for a while.

My kids didn't grow up on a farm, but they spent quite a bit of time around their aunts and uncle Farmers and we never limited what kind of food they ate at all. Me and my kids and my nieces and nephews and their parents don't have any allergy issues at all.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
3,685
Points
1,060
[quote author=FSTO] Drank raw milk strait from the dairy cow
[/quote]

That's a lovely mental image  ;D
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
671
Points
1,260
daftandbarmy said:
Here’s a fun fact about the Amish: they don’t really get allergies.

And some not so fun facts,
Health among the Amish is characterized by higher incidences of particular genetic disorders, especially among the Old Order Amish. These disorders include dwarfism, Angelman syndrome, and various metabolic disorders, such as Tay-Sachs disease, as well as an unusual distribution of blood types.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_among_the_Amish

 

Weinie

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,575
Points
1,110
FSTO said:
No crap.
I'm a farm kid. Our drinking water came from the same well that our cattle drank out of. Drank raw milk strait from the dairy cow until I was 16. Probably ate as much dirt as I did veggies for a while.

My kids didn't grow up on a farm, but they spent quite a bit of time around their aunts and uncle Farmers and we never limited what kind of food they ate at all. Me and my kids and my nieces and nephews and their parents don't have any allergy issues at all.

I too grew up on a farm, and I did the same things that FTSO did, and don't have a problem with allergies.

My daughter currently attends a school where one kid has allergies to 23 different food items/groups. We can't even send a balanced meal in her lunch, nor can the other 450 kids that attend the school.

I went to school in the seventies. Had someone declared they had a peanut allergy, we would have held him/her down and fed them peanuts, just to see what would happen
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
4,434
Points
1,110
I grew up on a farm where I was exposed to barley dust - it’s the worst of all grain dust IMO. No issues til I got into my 50s.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
671
Points
1,260
Grew up in a village. Later annexed by the City.

Natural boundaries were / are a lake, a river, and a pond. 

No allergies and still healthy - knock on wood.  Must have been the clean living.  8)
 

Jonezy76

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
I've been saying for a while now that parents don't let their kids eat enough dirt nowadays. Everything is too clean. Doesn't let the body build an immunity.
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,150
Points
1,110
Jonezy76 said:
I've been saying for a while now that parents don't let their kids eat enough dirt nowadays. Everything is too clean. Doesn't let the body build an immunity.

For some reason the Castle Anthrax scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail came to mind.

Sir Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.
Sir Galahad: I don't think I was.
Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Sir Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Sir Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.
Sir Galahad: Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.
Sir Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on.
Sir Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
Sir Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
11,368
Points
1,160
Weinie said:
I too grew up on a farm, and I did the same things that FTSO did, and don't have a problem with allergies.

My daughter currently attends a school where one kid has allergies to 23 different food items/groups. We can't even send a balanced meal in her lunch, nor can the other 450 kids that attend the school.

I went to school in the seventies. Had someone declared they had a peanut allergy, we would have held him/her down and fed them peanuts, just to see what would happen

The food shaming I've seen, especially amongst the women folk, is astonishing and ill informed.

It seems that someone reads a magazine article/ listens to a pod cast about something related to food, then it automatically becomes gospel and some people feel pressure to not feed their kids certain types of food.

Meanwhile... bacon sandwich  :nod:
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,679
Points
1,040
Weinie said:
I too grew up on a farm, and I did the same things that FTSO did, and don't have a problem with allergies.

My daughter currently attends a school where one kid has allergies to 23 different food items/groups. We can't even send a balanced meal in her lunch, nor can the other 450 kids that attend the school.

I went to school in the seventies. Had someone declared they had a peanut allergy, we would have held him/her down and fed them peanuts, just to see what would happen

My kids old school was like that; the list of what we couldn't bring was about 2 pages long, and excluded most of the stuff she liked (including I believe citrus fruit, kiwis and some vegetables). When we asked for some suggestions on how to give her a healthy lunch they told us to figure it out.  We switched schools for others reasons, but that was a huge relief.

Found out later that basically any parent could just say their kid was allergic to anything and it would get banned there; just dumb. Someone also wanted them to cut down a walnut tree because their kid was allergic to nuts. It was one of those hundred year old trees so they told them to pound sand and did a bit of education for the 9 year old not to eat nuts off the ground. It was a pretty sad day for humanity.

The new school is more common sense; they only restrict something were someone has a Drs note and it's something where the kid will go into anaphylactic shock from being in the same area. They put in a rule that kids can't share their lunches, so for the kids that are just sensitive to something if they eat it, sorts that problem out.
 

Strike

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Navy_Pete said:
The new school is more common sense; they only restrict something were someone has a Drs note and it's something where the kid will go into anaphylactic shock from being in the same area. They put in a rule that kids can't share their lunches, so for the kids that are just sensitive to something if they eat it, sorts that problem out.

My kid's school does something similar but will limit that food item in that class only because the kids move around from desk to desk so often.

Me, not allergic to any food and my only allergies are to ragweed and cannabis (believe it or not). Both give me a pretty bad histamine reaction.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
11,368
Points
1,160
Navy_Pete said:
Someone also wanted them to cut down a walnut tree because their kid was allergic to nuts. It was one of those hundred year old trees so they told them to pound sand and did a bit of education for the 9 year old not to eat nuts off the ground. It was a pretty sad day for humanity.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  :facepalm:
 

Jonezy76

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
Navy_Pete said:
My kids old school was like that; the list of what we couldn't bring was about 2 pages long, and excluded most of the stuff she liked (including I believe citrus fruit, kiwis and some vegetables). When we asked for some suggestions on how to give her a healthy lunch they told us to figure it out.  We switched schools for others reasons, but that was a huge relief.

Found out later that basically any parent could just say their kid was allergic to anything and it would get banned there; just dumb. Someone also wanted them to cut down a walnut tree because their kid was allergic to nuts. It was one of those hundred year old trees so they told them to pound sand and did a bit of education for the 9 year old not to eat nuts off the ground. It was a pretty sad day for humanity.

The new school is more common sense; they only restrict something were someone has a Drs note and it's something where the kid will go into anaphylactic shock from being in the same area. They put in a rule that kids can't share their lunches, so for the kids that are just sensitive to something if they eat it, sorts that problem out.

Is the same at the school my children attend. There were a couple kids with alleged peanut allergies. One tested, one not. One carried an epipen, one not. The last student with a peanut allergy graduated in 2012, but the school remains peanut free. When I asked the principal why they were still not allowed, I was told "just in case".

My youngest (10) started school after the ban and has no idea why it is in place, just that he can't have peanut butter at school. I explained that there were some kids that were allergic at one time so no-one was allowed. He said "Too bad someone couldn't just tell them that if they're allergic to peanuts, they shouldn't eat them instead of making us all suffer".

He gets it.

 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
4,434
Points
1,110
"WHY? Because we've ALWAYS done it that way!!!! The temerity of you to ask is astounding"

Is really what they are saying.
 

Sub_Guy

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
460
One of my little fellas has a mild peanut allergy.  His head won't explode if he breathes in peanut dust.  However he will look like someone gave him a beating of a lifetime if he eats a peanut. 6-8 hours after consuming a granola bar with peanuts (this was before we knew about his allergy) his face was very puffy, looked like he just stepped out of the ring after a few rounds with Clubber Lang.

He knows what he can and can't eat, he always asks if baked goods contain peanuts.  He's also a smart little mother f.

Traditionally after he's done collecting treats from the neighbourhood he'd go through all his stuff and hand me the peanut treats. Well this year he traded all his peanut treats away to his neighbourhood friends, no M&Ms or Reese's for me 

We keep peanut butter in the house and I don't expect anyone to go without, which is why the peanut bans at schools kind of irk me.
 

BeyondTheNow

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
6
Points
530
I cut out all alcohol and caffeine once I found out I was pregnant, but as far as any foods were concerned, nothing was off limits. (The only craving I had was Reese peanut butter cups in my 7th mth. I ate inhuman numbers of the things. Consequently, my son’s favourite chocolate bar is Reese PB cups, and he can’t get enough of the ice-cream either.) Anyway, once he was born the only precaution I took was following guidelines for exposing younguns to honey too early. He ate peanut butter very early, sampled seafoods, etc. His father and that side of the family has a history of severe allergies—food, pets, seasonal, etc— so while I was expecting there to be some sort of reaction to something for my son, even mild, and we were prepared when exposing him to high-risk items like peanuts, he has absolutely zero allergies to date. He’s 10.

I don’t disregard those who have potentially fatal sensitivities/reactions to things , and I’d certainly be concerned if my child was afflicted with serious allergies. But in some instances it definitely seems like precautions in schools and such have become overkill. Of course, easy for me to say...

Our environment has bred this issue though. We’re a society of extremes. The pendulum has to fall back to centre wrt removing every single type of negative thing we could possibly expose our children to.



 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
671
Points
1,260
BeyondTheNow said:
But in some instances it definitely seems like precautions in schools and such have become overkill. Of course, easy for me to say...

We've never had allergies in our family. But, SARS2 put a fright into me.

Partner and I had to wear our N95 masks and full PPE on all jobs. Even in the station, unless > 3 metres from others.

Full isolation at home. That was the toughest part.

"Working quarantine" is financially lucrative. But, was glad when it was over, without suffering any ill effects, as many others did. Some died. Some were permanently disabled.

As you say, BTN, "such have become overkill. Of course, easy for me to say..." 

So, if someone has an allergy, and asks my co-operation, I have no problem with that. :)


 
Top