There is a rising sentiment that we have become too clean! But wait, isn’t cleanliness next to Godliness? Well, not exactly according to of us who believe that the immune system needs to be challenged, naturally. The Hygiene Hypothesis basically states that our bodies need to be challenged by friendly bacteria and parasites or the immune system doesn’t respond appropriately. This results in a significant rise in autoimmune disorders and allergies. So, although most people have their wipes, hand sanitizer and multiple other solutions for keeping their kids hands germ-free, however, kids need to consume some dirt, bacteria and friendly parasites for a healthy immune system.
In 1989, David P. Stratchan was the first to see the relationship between a decreased incidence in eczema and hay fever in children who came from larger families. Eczema and hay fever are known to be allergic reactions. Since that time hundreds of articles have been published supporting the need to be in contact with friendly bacteria and parasites to balance the immune systems ability to recognize a foreign invader.
The body has two sides of the immune system. One side that produces cells called T1 and the other produces T2 cells. When our body comes in contact with a “bad” bacteria or virus, T1 cells are produced to fight that bacteria, this is a normal response. If the immune system receives inadequate amounts of this simulation, the T2 side becomes over-active, resulting in allergic and auto-immune reactions. The autoimmune disorders associated include MS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, hay fever and allergic rashes.
We know that if all the bacteria, yeast and mold in our body were to die, we would die and our stools can contain up to 60% bacteria. Clearly there is a symbiotic relationship that cannot be denied. We need good bugs! And while it is important to keep devastating diseases in check, ridding our body of the friendly flora and fauna is equally devastating.
So, to balance all of this consider the following:

1. Washing hands with soap and water, unless you are performing surgery, antibacterial soap is not necessary.
2. It’s okay for your kids to play in the dirt, and if they eat a little - don’t worry about it.
3. Take a good probiotic supplement to aid the digestive in keeping the population of good bugs strong, especially if you are taking an antibiotic.
4. EPA/DHA can help moderate the T1 and T2 cells to balance your immune system.
5. Eating fruits, vegetables and lean meats, instead of processed foods from a box or bag, will give the body the nutrients it needs to keep a healthy immune system and feed the good bugs.
6. Take wheat and dairy out of your diet for 90 days. Yes, supplement with B-complex and calcium/magnesium. My experience is that most allergy symptoms clear up within that time frame.
7. Add 1000-2000IU of Vitamin D3 to your vitamin regime. It is also necessary to balance the T1 and T2 sides of your immune system.

Dr Kristina Sargent is a chiropractic physician with 18 years experience.  Her mission is to engage, educate and empower people to take control of their health to prevent chronic diseases and lead successful lives through serving people with alternatives to medication.  Her toolbox includes personalized diet recommendations, weight loss, exercise, chiropractic care, positive thoughts, prayer and meditation, and massage therapy. Her office, Restor Healing Centre, is located in Wheaton, Il. The website is .
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