It’s the end of the week and I’m a slug. Yup, I’m barely hanging on to my chair and all I want to do is crawl home and indulge in a bunch of fat and sugar – my drugs of choice. And it becomes so hard to fight against when it’s dark going to work and coming home.
But I’m not going to do that, nope. I’ve booked myself a massage and will follow that with going home for a 20 second hug from husband and daughters. That should nourish me.
Why 20 seconds? A hug that is at least that long releases oxytocin which makes us feel good and strengthens our immune system. It’s easy, it’s fast and our family loves it. So go get hugging!
My husband and I watched a fascinating documentary on David Suzuki’s, The Nature of Things on CBC this weekend. It was about the latest in autism research that shows that gut health may be the link. Some parents are already putting this into action with gluten/dairy free diets for their autistic children.
This documentary also brings up illnesses in infants and the onset of autism with anecdotal information from different parents of autistic children. It is especially poignant for those whose children were developing normally and then autism took over.
Rob has always felt that our youngest daughter’s life-threatening food allergies were created by an unknown illness just before she turned 1 when she was in Pediatric Intensive Care in the Isolation Wing and she was dosed with massive amounts of antiobiotics. Her food allergic reactions showed up shortly after that. Watching this documentary just gave him even stronger feelings that he is correct.
Here is the link to watch the documentary online at CBC:
The diagnosis of Celiac disease is on the rise and as such, there have been many studies lately about the causes and possible prevention. While Celiac disease is an immune response to the proteins in wheat, barley and rye (known collectively as gluten), it is a non-IgE response, meaning the reaction is not anaphylaxis but a myriad of symptoms from headaches to gastrointestinal upset and nutritional deficiencies. Damage of the intestine and other body systems (such as osteoporosis of the bones) can be undiagnosed for years.
Up until this point, once properly diagnosed with Celiac disease, the only way to avoid the symptoms and subsequent damage is complete avoidance of gluten; not always a very easy prospect in our food supply. So bring on the parasitic hookworms! Read more »
Mustard has become Canada’s 11th priority allergen after a review by Health Canada as announced last week.
Health Canada had been reviewing several different foods including garlic and onions but only mustard made the list. This is because while mustard allergies are not exactly rampant, they are more common than you might think and the severity of the recorded reactions has prompted concern. Garlic and onions were considered but the evidence of recorded reactions shows less severity and more intolerance as opposed to an anaphylactic response.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’re aware that I had a cousin react to mustard in the spring which shocked everybody in the family except me. Given what I do, I’ve been aware for several years that Europe labels for the top 12 food allergens (plus lupin) which includes Canada’s top 10 with the addition of mustard and celery. Since November of 2008, I’ve been adding mustard, celery and lupin to the list that I send my ingredient suppliers to document. The results prompted me to add celery to the list of allergen declarations on the Nonuttin’ website.
Like prior allergen labeling laws before it, this new regulation will require food manufacturers to plainly list mustard if it is an ingredient. Currently, if you’re allergic to mustard, you must avoid any product that simply lists “spices” as a food ingredient. If you take a look at any of the products in your food cupboard, particularly savory items, you’ll find a lot of products that only indicate “spices”.
It would appear at first glance that this must be a huge relief for mustard allergy sufferers. My hope is that the amount of products they can eat will increase with better labeling. Unfortunately, as many of you with other food allergies can attest, food allergen labeling can backfire when manufacturers put all of the priority allergens on their label.
In any case, the review has prompted Health Canada to put into place review procedures for the priority allergens as the prevalence of food allergies grows and more data is documented. It’s not easy for food manufacturers but it really is necessary as we battle with increasing immune system issues.
The CBC ( Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) had a really informative documentary recently on their Passionate Eye program called Allergy Planet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that the documentary was on and I only caught the last half hour.
What I did see was fascinating. What I thought was really interesting was that scientistis believe the antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) was created in the body to fight parasites. Since our bodies generally no longer fight parasites, the IgE has turned on what should be innocuous substances such as food, creating a surge in food allergies but also in other immune diseases such as asthma. This gives further credence to the Hygiene Theory.
I saw a small part of the program that followed a woman who believed she had allergies and sensitivities to essentially everything from the car steering wheel to her fridge and wore gloves and used oxygen constantly. While scientific studies hadn’t been able to bear out all of those allergies, she felt she couldn’t cope in the outside world and had isolated herself to get some relief.
One portion of the program dealt with scientific studies of Barbados due to the significant increase in asthma and allergies there over the last several decades. So far, the studies have shown that the air pollution is non-existent on the island due to its isolation. Conclusions drawn from the studies so far seem to indicate that modernization (including better hygiene) and genetics seem to be creating the perfect storm for asthma and allergies to explode. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7766656.stm for further information on this particular issue.
Overall, the portion of the documentary I saw was very well done and I’ll try to keep an eye on when it might be on again. You can also watch the schedule for your own interest at: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/passionateeyemonday/2009/allergyplanet/.