Germs or No Germs? Tips for Parents Wanting a Healthy Immune System for their Kids, from ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Kristina Sargent, DC
Today there are bleaches, disinfectants, antibacterial sprays, cloths, and wipes available to keep bacteria away for parents who are obsessed with keeping their children and their environments clean. For millions of American parents, cleanliness is next to godliness.
However, there is a rising sentiment that we have become too clean. For those who believe that the immune system needs to be challenged, naturally cleanliness is not necessarily next to godliness. 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, kids need to consume some dirt, bacteria and friendly parasites for a healthy immune system.
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 utoimmune reactions. The autoimmune disorders associated include MS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, hay fever and allergic rashes.
ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Kristina Sargent, DC offers the following tips for challenging the immune system gently and naturally.
* Gentle Washing- Washing hands with antibacterial soap, unless you are performing surgery, is not necessary.
* Play in the Dirt-It’s okay for your kids to play in the dirt, and if they eat a little – don’t worry about it.
* Supplement-Take a good probiotic supplement to aid the digestive in keeping the population of good bugs strong, especially if you are taking an antibiotic. EPA/DHA can help moderate the T1 and T2 cells to balance your immune system
* Eat Fresh and Healthy-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.
* Go Wheat and Dairy Free-Take wheat and dairy out of your diet for 90 days. Yes, supplement with B-complex and calcium/magnesium. Most allergy symptoms clear up within that time frame.
* Vitamins-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.