What can we do about allergies, eczema and asthma?
Allergies, eczema and asthma in our children are on the rise – why?
Although we don’t have a definitive answer, there are many factors of our modern diet and lifestyle that are leading to the gut and immune imbalances that drive allergies, eczema and asthma! Let’s have a look at a few of them
The ways our babies are born and fed
When babies enter the world through the birth canal via a natural, vaginal delivery they are exposed to the mother’s healthy bacteria, which then enters the babies system and colonises in their gut. Breast milk then promotes colonization of the infant’s gut with bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which are necessary for the development of normal oral tolerance to foods.
When babies are born via cesarean section and/or formula fed they are more likely to develop allergies, eczema and asthma because they have missed out on this exposure to healthy bacteria from the birth canal or breastmilk.
A decline in nutrition in our kids
Our kids are eating much more processed, packet and refined food than they ever have before. These foods are void of the vitamins and minerals required to keep our kid’s bodies healthy and functioning well. Nutrients such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc and Iron are all required for a healthy and balanced immune system.
Use of antacids in babies
The increasing use of antacid medications in babies for reflux is a concern and has been shown to increase allergies in children
It makes sense when you think about it! Stomach acid is needed for the breakdown of proteins and if we reduce stomach acid with medications the proteins don’t get broken down properly. When the immune system comes across undigested proteins in the blood it sets off an immune response which can instigate an allergic reaction.
There have also been links associated with antacid medications in pregnancy increasing the incidence of asthma in children
We have become much more hygienic over the past few decades. Hand sanitisers, antibiotics, antibacterials, pasteurisation, pesticides, herbicides, antifungals are just some of the things we are using to keep safe from microbes! Yes, this has led to increased life expectancy due to decreased infections from harmful microorganisms but the reduced microbial load early in life has a negative side, it is thought to be one of the biggest causes of the increased incidence of allergies and atopic conditions.
Early exposure to microbes helps build up the immune system and decreases our risk of allergies and atopic conditions.
My approach to treating Allergies, eczema and asthma
My approach to treating allergies, eczema and asthma goes much further than removing the offending foods or environmental substances that are triggering the allergic response in a child.
For long-term success, it is essential to work on both immune system balance and enhancing gut health with dietary and lifestyle changes, nutritional medicine and herbal remedies.