Imagine a time, where faeces and urine flowed by your front door. You walked into it, ran past it, played around it even. It’s impossible to think of missing such times, with crazy illnesses like Dysentery and Cholera causing widespread death.
Yet something interesting happened in Paris and London in the mid 1800’s that suggested our departure from the dirt would not be without its price. A new disease was born. It was called Catarrhus Aestivus or Summer mucus discharge. What was discovered was Hay Fever and it started to dominate the upper echelons of society. The cities with the first sewage systems and first toilets were the first to experience Hay Fever on a larger scale. Ironically those who grew up around farms and actual hay, suffered the least.
Hay Fever became known as a disease of affluence, even superiority. The Americans travelling to the UK in that period would hope to ‘catch’ Hay Fever as a sign of their own superiority.
Why Hay Fever?
Well as a consequence to our improved hygiene, we started to have less exposure to dirt and its abundance of microbes. Tape worms also became less common. What we didn’t know at the time is that our Immune System got used to the exercise. We co existed with parasites and worms and a host of other organisms for millions of years.
Then we decided we didnt need them anymore and our immune system went a bit wrong.
Our water became cleaner – no more soil based organisms running through our water supply.
Our fruits and vegetables are always washed
Our floors and kitchen surface sprays are designed to kill 99.99% of germs.
Victory is ours over bacteria! Except its not. In the absence of a ‘dirty anything’, our immune system has taken a turn for the worse. Without anything to destroy, it turned inward and started attacking itself in the widest variety of ways
The Rise of Autoimmune Diseases
From Type 1 Diabetes to Rheumatoid Arthritis to MS to Autoimmune Thyroid conditions to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. They all have one thing in common. Our immune system started attacking itself. So far, estimates are 8% of population affected by one or more Autoimmune conditions.
Those furthest away from the equator suffered more(seemingly down to reduced Vitamin D levels) and woman suffered the most with four times as many women afflicted. We still don’t understand fully why women are favoured but it’s been suggested that the importance of staying well during childbirth and raising kids was so vital to their evolutionary survival that a kick ass immune system became a female trait.
So I don’t think any of us envisions pouring sewage down our streets again or purposefully infecting ourselves with worms to modulate our own immunity. Yet if we find ourselves inflicted with one of the many autoimmune conditions, what can we do?
Can you recover from an Autoimmune Condition?
What if we could reeducate the immune system?
What if we could give it food and drink that teaches it to play nice again?
Well there is hope on the Horizon, at least for those with Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis. This small new study showing what a lot of Nutritional Therapists have seen in their own practice. Here we have Inflammatory Bowel Disease being treated by a Dietary Autoimmune Protocol with the excerpt below showing a truly amazing result.
Clinical remission was achieved by week 6 by 11/15 (73%) of study participants, and all 11 maintained clinical remission during the maintenance phase of the study.
The great thing about this result is, it came without side effects. Its almost an accepted norm that side effects run alongside medical treatment but here we may have a viable alternative. Further trials required to show the extent of its efficacy. It is however unlikely to see a larger study funded as the end result of the study doesn’t result in a patentable and profitable product.
This is unfortunately the sad truth of a lot of clinical trials..funding only appears when a profitable drug can be created at the end. As nutritional therapists, our advice may be doomed to stay on the periphery. Yet one by one, lives are changed with a knife and fork and people hear the message…there is hope.