The incidence of asthma and allergies are on the rise. In the United States alone, asthma rates have doubled since the 1980s. And, according to a recent article by the BBC, doctors once estimated 15 percent of the population had some type of allergy, but now believe the figure is closer to 40. More patients are also suffering from multiple allergies than ever before. The reason for this trend has been widely disputed, but a new study points the finger at a surprising culprit: lice.
According to research conducted at the University of Nottingham (PDF link), some parasites may reduce their hosts' risk of developing immune dysfunctions like asthma, allergies, and some forms of arthritis. The study analyzed the effects of various parasites on the immune activity of wild wood mice and discovered that the louse Polyplax serrata triggered an immunosuppressive effect in mice. While this sounds like a negative effect, the finding supports the idea that modern, parasite-free populations have heightened immune responsiveness, and it is this heightened immune response that might increase the risk for allergic diseases.
Theories like the "Hygiene Hypothesis" point to our sanitary modern lifestyle as the cause for the prevalence of allergies and asthma. Because humans are no longer exposed to many types of bacteria, viruses and parasites, we may be loosing our ability to fight certain diseases. Basically, we are too clean for our own good.
"Much like laboratory mice, people in developed countries are currently exposed to a very different profile of infections than encountered by their ancestors," explains lead researcher Janette Bradley in a press release. "It is possible that the immune dysfunctions we see today are the result of immune systems calibrated for a set of challenges completely different to those they now routinely face."
Since parasites like Polyplax serrata dampen innate immune responses, they help protect against immune dysfunctions like asthma or allergies. According to the study, populations without immunosuppressive parasites may have "unnaturally" elevated levels of innate immune activations, and therefore increased risk of immunopathology.
This is why the study used wild mice, who have "normal" levels of parasite infestations. Laboratory mice are raised under unnatural pathogen conditions and stress-free circumstances, but studying wild mice allowed scientists to better analyze how immune systems function in a natural environment. Immunological analyses of wild populations may provide a breakthrough for immunology and give scientists a better understanding of how immune systems respond to natural levels of diverse microorganism exposure.
Dust / Mites are one of the most Psycho & Respiratory Producing Year-round Allergens out there.
Others include Cat, Cockroach, some Molds.
Allergy Treatment options >
#1) Avoid your Offending allergens i.e. Dust Mites.
Live your Life in a Bubble ?
Impossible > Besides most / all Offending allergens are Omni-Present in Today's Sociaty.
#2) Take Allergy Med's > ALL Your Life ( Ouch )
Med's ONLY Mask Your SYMPTOMs > while your allergy disease Only Exacerbates > Leading to a LifeTime ( Ouch ) Slippery Slope of multiple recalcitrant Allergy Driven Diseases, Health Complications & compromised quality of Life.
#3) SOLUTION > A Physician-Based Allergy Program > designed to Test For / Treat YOUR unique enviro & Food allergy Profile.
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A Sufferer has to:
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Neutralize EACH of their identified Offending Allergens at the Source….
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BREATH IN LIFE !
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Good Health Regards for 2009
Principal of DropYourAllergies > Primary PHYSICIAN Diagnostics
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Something I've always said. My mother used to get onto me for doing things like walking around barefoot and not constantly washing my hands. If I do something like pet an outside dog, I'll wash my hands because I don't like the smell. If I play in the mud or get something sticky on my hands, I'll wash them because I just don't want to see dirt and goop on them. But if I'm about to eat? If I've touched a shopping cart?
Seriously? Most of the time I do not wash my hands, unless I know something smelly, dirty, or dangerous is on them, and I've got one Hell of an immune system. I'm never sick. In fact, the only time I've been sick in the past few years was when I got malaria in Morocco, and that was just unavoidable. Before I began shunning the obsessive washing of hands that I see in my country, I was always sick and sniffly, and I had terrible asthma and allergies.
The same thing goes for walking around barefoot. If one exposes oneself to a normal amount of worldly pathogens (unless you've got immune disease or other issues), it really does boost the immune system, provided that you're not stupid enough to go walking through a garbage dump. The added benefit to walking around barefoot? Studies have shown that (no surprise) being barefoot is the best and most natural situation for most people's feet and that shoes have compromised the health of our feet.
Department of Biology
lnwolf41 I am 48 and grew up without antibacterial soap,and without the avid germ phobia that I see in our society today. We keep our chideren isolated from anything
"dirty", constantly wiping down counters, door knobs and
anything a germ might be on; by using antibacterial solutions,and other super cleaning agents. If the child never comes in contact with germs how is his/her body going to build up its immune system? If you get a cold or the flu and then get better, your body just got stronger and increased its chances to fight the next virus even faster.
We have more germ a phobes today then in the past.
no pain no gain - i heard that somewhere, seems relevant.