A new study unveils the possible link between widely used childhood medicines and the risk of developing allergies and especially asthma. It says that to head off allergies, expose the kids to pets and dirt early. The new approach to allergy prevention and treatment arises from what is known as the hygiene hypothesis.
It suggests that growing up in cities and suburbs, away from fields and farm animals, leaves people more susceptible to a host of immune disorders, including allergies and asthma. But in case of allergies that are triggered by the urban life it is mainly due to a possible link between antibiotics and asthma.
A new study has found that infants younger than 12 months who have had antibiotics may be more likely to develop asthma when they get older. The research was conducted at the University of British Columbia and published in Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. The researchers analyzed seven studies that compared kids who got antibiotics before age one with kids who didn't get any antibiotics. But according to the American public health policy it is the vaccines which could play an important role.
If the immune system gets stimulated too early and too often but not by the real antigen then it would start attacking its own tissues. That might lead to allergies, asthma and a host of other autoimmune disorders like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders, juvenile diabetes and autism.
A study conducted among European kids who severely restrict the use of medicines such as antibiotics and fever reducers are at a lower risk of developing allergies. The results were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Homefirst, a medical practice in Chicago that follows a similar philosophy and has thousands of never-vaccinated children.
The group's medical director, Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, said that he couldn't think of a single case of autism in children who had never been vaccinated. The asthma rate among Homefirst patients is so low it was noticed by the Blue Cross group with which Homefirst is affiliated. But tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eliminated never-vaccinated kids from consideration because their medical records were inherently unreliable. But such comparisons are avoided by the federal health authorities.