I've read two articles this week on our weakening immunity. One study in England suggests that the reason there's been a rise in nut allergies in children is because we've insulated them too much from a varied diet.
Another study from Norway (I think) says that we disinfect ourselves so much that we've become vulnerable to even minor bugs.
I think there's a lot of truth in these findings. When I was growing up there were only a few token children with allergies. Greg suffered from egg and chocolate allergies, but I suspect they might've been induced by his parents' monumental cigarette habit.
I know for the short time I had to live in their home, I was constantly sick--me--the girl who never got sick. Poor Greg thought he had married a defective wife. It wasn't until later that we put two and two together. Once we moved away, I was back to my normal self.
By the way, Greg grew out of his allergies. Was it because he also moved out of his parents' home? We'll never know.
My mother who grew up in Mexico during the 30s drank unfiltered water. Yet any tourist knows not to touch the stuff.
My first year in Texas, I came down with poison ivy. Worse. Rash. Ever. Even the doctor said it was the worst case he'd ever seen. I was almost unrecognizable.
Every year after that, I'd invariably come in contact with the vine, or the smoke when I burned brush. And every year I'd come down with poison ivy.
At first, I'd go to the doctor for my dose pack of antihistamines, but as the years went by, I stopped going. The rash would be less prevalent and severe.
I still get poison ivy but it's more of a nuisance than an ailment.
I'm not sure what the answer is. None of us want to take chances with our health and we're almost paranoid when it comes to kids' health.
We took more risks when I was a kid, but that's because our parents didn't know better. Now I wonder if they didn't do us a favor.
What's been your experience? Do allergies run in your family? Did your parents or grandparents suffer many complaints?