Many children in Australia and New Zealand are being robbed of the innocence and magic of childhood. The dramatic increase in prevalence of serious conditions such as allergies, autism, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obesity are forcing children to deal with health issues that deprive them of the full enjoyment of a happy and secure childhood. More and more families are seeking support for unhappy and unhealthy children who have not followed the normal developmental path we hope all children will take.
1 in 5 children now in Australia have food allergies but food intolerances are on the rise as well. Orthodox medicine does not really know why these conditions have increased even though preventative measures have been put in place. Things like delaying the introduction of allergy causing foods like nuts, wheat and dairy.
Some ideas to explain this rapid increase from both doctors and naturopaths are:
Sign up for our FREE Blog
- The Hygiene Hypothesis is that our environments are so much cleaner than they were, the overuse of antibacterial soaps and cleaners mean our children are not exposed to the bugs and dirt they were in the past. This stops the immune system maturing and makes them more prone to allergies
- The imbalance of Th1:Th2 immune response. For a healthy immune system the immune system activates two types of immuno-survellaince: the Th1 response which controls allergic type reactions and the Th2 response which activates the parts of the immune system responsible for fighting off pathogens, bacteria and microbes. Because our children no longer play in and eat dirt, our houses are cleaner (see the Hygiene Hypothesis above) and children no longer get the normal childhood diseases we all got (things like chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella) the Th1 response is incompletely initiated and matures slower. This Th1 and Th2 balance exists like a see saw and needs to be in balance.
- The Toxins in our environment are overwhelming our body systems: there are now 100 new chemicals released into our environments every year.
- Food is not as nourishing as it was: our soils are massively depleted of crucial minerals due to modern farming methods and over fertilization. Even if you eat organically Australian soil is deficient in zinc and magnesium. Zinc is essential for healthy immunity.
- The over consumption of processed foods, colouring, preservatives and additives and our over reliance on wheat and dairy.
- The wheat we eat today is not the wheat of our parents day. No matter whether its organic or mainstream It is now a high yield genetic strain with a huge increase in the gluten component. The chemical construction of the gluten is very similar in structure to morphine so very addictive and increases appetite. It often elicits an unusual immune response. Sourdough is lower in gluten due to its fermented properties.
- Our gut bacteria is no longer healthy and many clinical studies have pointed to the importance of healthy gut bacteria for a healthy immune response: after all 70% of our immune system is in the gut! So if we have an unhealthy gut then our children born vaginally colonate with unhealthy bacteria at birth and those born by caeserian section are further disadvantaged. See the massive amount of studies on probiotics and their benefits.
- This decrease in good gut bacteria allows dysbiotic bacteria to thrive and when it thrives our gut wall becomes permeable allowing leaky gut to occur which develops into food intolerances.
- Vaccinations: some people believe immunisation is the cause for the massive increase in allergies. We now have 49 doses of 14 vaccines by the time our children are 6 compared to 1980 where there were only 8 vaccines before the age of 2. Autism in 1985 was 1 in 2500, now its 1 in 50. We are not advising you to conscientiously avoid vaccination we are just stating the facts. This is an incendiary debate.