Auto-Immune Disease

I was talking to a friend yesterday about this week's BBC Horizon show about the dramatic rise in allergies amongst the UK population, and the causal theories put forward to explain this situation. She has Crohn's disease, her sister has arthritis and her brother has multiple sclerosis, all auto-immune disorders.

Her consultant is very interested in this triple-whammy, and has asked them about their home environment as children. In particular they seem interested in whether the house suffered from dampness and mould, and how keen their mother was on cleaning, and if they were breast fed.

So purely from interest, if any of you arrsers have an auto-immune disorder, did you grow up in damp or mouldy home, and have any/all of your siblings been afflicted with the same/ different A.I. disorder? Have breast-fed siblings escaped your fate?

Thanks in advance.
 
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My wife has chronic auto-immune disease. One symptom was crohns disease and that is hereditary, both her and her sister suffer, her father also suffers albeit mildly.

All had a healthy upbringing, but now having an auto-immune disease all suffer more than a 'normal' person would because as the name suggests the immune system has been weakened.
 
Can't think of anyone I know with an auto-immune disease but coming from a very rural background we probably all grew up in damp and cold houses , can remember black mouldy spots on the wall in my bedroom and we certainly played in some very dirty dusty barns as kids.........I have always linked our rural and rugged upbringing combined with the fact we drank raw or unpasteurised milk with the fact that as a family we suffered and still do many less colds and illnesses than those friends of ours who didn't swim in ponds , fall in slurry etc growing up.
A few years ago we travelled as a large family group round Kenya and our driver commented that he was surprised by the fact that none of the family group of 16 ranging in age from early teens to 70's suffered upset stomachs or any of the other normal tourist ills .
My thoughts have been that the increase in auto-immune type disease has been brought about by the fact that modern kids are not exposed to many of the basic pathogens as they grow up in an environment where everything is washed or wiped down with a product that "kills 99% of all germs" and everything is "dirty" so don't pick up and eat that marmite sandwich you just dropped on the kitchen floor....... obviously been wrong in my theory will watch this thread with interest
 
Auto immune conditions often have a familial tendency, but in my experience i could not generalise and say all the large number of auto immune conditions had environmental factors as possible causatives or were triggers for the first presentation of them.

I realise the experts are out considering the factors you mention, but until strong consistent evidence is presented i see things as if our family genetic makeup makes us susceptible to certain conditions. then we have heightened chance of contracting that condition, be it a auto immune condition or other health issue.

Stainmaster It is good that the consultant you mention is indeed looking into environment of the trio of auto immune condition sufferers, maybe just maybe these hands on medical experts can find a link. to at least some of these often life changing conditions.

Well if grimbo is correct then i should be fine, as i'm always in the slurry its just the depth that varies.
 
Yes, it came out of no-where and I have no idea why. I used to swim in ponds and go outdoors a lot as a child (i was even an army cadet). I was also pretty trim and in the rowing team. Then around 27 I got seriously ill with UC and it seriously fkd my life for the next 2/3 years. I'm only just recovering.

No family signs AFAIK but sometimes my Mum gets an upset tummy. It's very frustrating when some mates smoke 50 a day and live on KFC but are otherwise healthy. I have absolutely no idea what started it, and I don't think the quacks do either. The biggest blow is that it terminated my military ambitions earlier than I would have liked.
 
This is the only video I've ever seen which makes any sense, it's also based upon original research and not some homeopathy crap or alternative-medical woo advice like sacrificing chickens or using magic crystals:



http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/about-the-author/

Elaine Gottschall suggests UC is directly related to diet and the gut bacteria going out of sync. Which is weird because my diet was rather good before I got ill. I think there may be some link to diary, grain and yeast because, strangely enough, the disease is unheard of in Asian countries such as China and they don't each much in the way of dairy/grain/yeast. I wouldn't be surprised if the big companies were to blame due to additives and gluten etc.

I can't speak for the veracity of this article, the internet is unfortunately full of crap, but the premise generally rings true imho:

http://doctorauer.com/history-of-gluten-grain-based-diets/


In 1843, a physician named Stanislas Tanchou spoke at the Paris Medical Society Conference. He claimed that he could predict the cancer rates in major European cities over the next 50 years. He based his predictions on the percentage of grains being consumed in each major city. What is astonishing is that, over time, his predictions turned out to be correct. In the cities that had the highest grain consumption, cancer rates were the highest. This is in stark contrast to the fact that in populations who did not consume grains, cancer did not exist.

Towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, physicians also noticed more general declines in public health and a rise in digestive disorders, heart conditions, tooth decay, and other degenerative diseases. At the same time, missionaries, explorers, and physicians such as Dr. Weston A. Price documented the contrast in health between people who still subsisted on centuries old dietary practices dictated by their local environments, and people in ‘modern Western’ societies. Dr. Price hypothesized that the deteriorating health of modern civilizations was due to the increasing consumption of processed foods such as white flours, sugars, canned milk, and new hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as the in 1911 introduced “Crisco.
 
Thanks for replies gents, interesting stuff.

An interesting feature of the data collection on Horizon was that due to mass migration researchers have now observed that a significant proportion of migrants from developing countries go on to develop allergies during the first decade that they live in a western industrialised nation. Same people living a tribal existence on grasslands had an incidence of 1 in every 20,000, while UK has 1 in 3!!!

Another observation was that people with allergies tend to have a lower mass and variety of bacteria in their gut. Early antibiotic use,'sterile urban lifestyle', and lack of parasitic infections were suggested as factors.

As with many Arrsers my working environment was the great outdoors until I hit 30. I must have eaten copious amounts of soil, pine needles and assorted shite with ratpacks and been exposed to all manner of insects and microbes. My major hobbies were Kayaking and sea fishing, both pretty dirty pursuits. Those were the healthiest years of my life.

After moving to an indoor job it all started to go a bit wrong.......
 
I have Hashimotos / thyroid problems , my immune system attacks my body and thyroid . Its thought its caused by your thyroid gland absorbing what it thinks is iodine but is infact pesticides, pollutants , or in my case probably heavy metals such as chromium and nickel [ i was a welder ]
I may be wrong but i think i may have read that 1 in 20 in America has it , meaning lifelong medication . And its increasing fast , really makes you wonder about everything , where your foods from , what you wash yourself with etc .
 
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Isn't there a quote or saying that is along the lines of "eat a pinch of soil a day to stay healthy " ?
I do wonder if some of the problems are caused by most of our food not coming from our local environment hence not giving traces of local pathogens etc in our diets .The tribes studied would not have been eating food flown thousands of miles from where it was grown
 
Yes, it came out of no-where and I have no idea why. I used to swim in ponds and go outdoors a lot as a child (i was even an army cadet). I was also pretty trim and in the rowing team. Then around 27 I got seriously ill with UC and it seriously fkd my life for the next 2/3 years. I'm only just recovering.

No family signs AFAIK but sometimes my Mum gets an upset tummy. It's very frustrating when some mates smoke 50 a day and live on KFC but are otherwise healthy. I have absolutely no idea what started it, and I don't think the quacks do either. The biggest blow is that it terminated my military ambitions earlier than I would have liked.

Didn't see the Horizon documentary, but I'm a Coeliac. With hindsight it had always been a problem but rapidly progressed in a number of abrupt steps. First when I was about 9 or 10 years old, then at 19, but finally the big jump when I was 29 years old. This followed after a bad dose of flu and two lots of different antibiotics, coinciding with developing an obvious allergy to Penicillin. Each of the three jumps in poorer health followed antibiotic use so I've always suspected a link there.

But then again it was only after being diagnosed with Coeliac that I realised how much Gluten there is in most processed foods.

Had a quite good upbringing, no damp, no breast-feeding and an overly clean household. Coeliac although reasonably easy to control can really mess up certain aspects of your social life and career.
 
I have to avoid gluten too , and yes its in everything -Not a bad thing asits only in stuff thats bad for you isnt it ?We just have to plan your meals a bit more .
And yes , ditto to it affecting your work and social life . My condition causes terrible deppresion and me to be withdrawn from people . And its a struggle to get put on the correct medication , instead of the dirt cheap stuff that doesnt work .
 
Didn't see the Horizon documentary, but I'm a Coeliac. With hindsight it had always been a problem but rapidly progressed in a number of abrupt steps. First when I was about 9 or 10 years old, then at 19, but finally the big jump when I was 29 years old. This followed after a bad dose of flu and two lots of different antibiotics, coinciding with developing an obvious allergy to Penicillin. Each of the three jumps in poorer health followed antibiotic use so I've always suspected a link there.

But then again it was only after being diagnosed with Coeliac that I realised how much Gluten there is in most processed foods.

Had a quite good upbringing, no damp, no breast-feeding and an overly clean household. Coeliac although reasonably easy to control can really mess up certain aspects of your social life and career.

Interesting the connection with antibiotic use. The chances of allergies was said to increase dramatically in those who were prescribed antibiotics whilst below the age of twelve months. I think the premise was that it purges your gut of 'beneficial' bacteria. Another hit on the list was being born by C-section, as it eliminates the absorption of bacteria from the birth canal, and means that baby's first load of exposure is to hospital bacteria. Nice..........

There was also a section on being fed other people's shoite to help cure colostrum difficile (a hospital acquired infection).
 
Didn't see the Horizon documentary, but I'm a Coeliac. With hindsight it had always been a problem but rapidly progressed in a number of abrupt steps. First when I was about 9 or 10 years old, then at 19, but finally the big jump when I was 29 years old. This followed after a bad dose of flu and two lots of different antibiotics, coinciding with developing an obvious allergy to Penicillin. Each of the three jumps in poorer health followed antibiotic use so I've always suspected a link there.

But then again it was only after being diagnosed with Coeliac that I realised how much Gluten there is in most processed foods.

Had a quite good upbringing, no damp, no breast-feeding and an overly clean household. Coeliac although reasonably easy to control can really mess up certain aspects of your social life and career.


May I ask if you were in the military at some point in those years and how you coped? The main problem is you can't pick and choose much if you're eating at the canteen or using ration packs. If you want to try and avoid something as simple as bread, grains or milk wtf are you meant to eat? You can't have a sandwich or cereal for breakfast, are you meant to live on fruit, veg and meat? Those meals usually take time to cook whereas you can snack on other gluten type foods, you can pop into a motorway garage and easily buy a sandwich, try buying meat and veg though. It also usually means a constant diet and rapid weight loss, hardly the best thing if you're ill or have lost weight already.
 
Interesting the connection with antibiotic use. The chances of allergies was said to increase dramatically in those who were prescribed antibiotics whilst below the age of twelve months. I think the premise was that it purges your gut of 'beneficial' bacteria. Another hit on the list was being born by C-section, as it eliminates the absorption of bacteria from the birth canal, and means that baby's first load of exposure is to hospital bacteria. Nice..........

There was also a section on being fed other people's shoite to help cure colostrum difficile (a hospital acquired infection).

All of that applies to my son who was born six weeks premature. He's approaching nine years old and perhaps starting to exhibit signs of Coeliac. Although I'm hoping he doesn't have it, at least I'm aware of what to look for and can intervene at a much earlier age. My biggest regret was not being diagnosed in my late teens rather than late twenties.
 
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Cheers Matelot. In your last paragraph, do you mean that they are more prone to other infectious illness than the norm?

Absolutely - worse in my wives case by having a Liver transplant (liver failure caused by auto immune disease) then her immuno-suppressants depress an already low immune system.
 
May I ask if you were in the military at some point in those years and how you coped? The main problem is you can't pick and choose much if you're eating at the canteen or using ration packs. If you want to try and avoid something as simple as bread, grains or milk wtf are you meant to eat? You can't have a sandwich or cereal for breakfast, are you meant to live on fruit, veg and meat? Those meals usually take time to cook whereas you can snack on other gluten type foods, you can pop into a motorway garage and easily buy a sandwich, try buying meat and veg though. It also usually means a constant diet and rapid weight loss, hardly the best thing if you're ill or have lost weight already.

No wasn't military and understand that it's a bar to recruitment if already diagnosed. Certainly in the past I can see how it would have been impossible to continue serving once it progressed to a more acute stage.

Although now there's an opportunity for an organisation like the military to lead the way in supporting Coeliacs and generally improving diet more widely. The main issue is education for the caterers and being prepared for the extra expense. I guess the expense is the biggest problem but there's no other reason why gluten and diary free ration packs couldn't be developed and soldiers supplied with fresh meat, vegetables and fruit in canteens. Potentially it could be easier for a Coeliac soldier than a Coeliac civilian.

Yes it is very difficult eating out in either conventional or fast food restaurants and often you need to be self-supporting as far eating is concerned. There's no such thing as convenience food for a Coeliac but that's not necessarily a bad thing for anybody. It's probably convenience food that has caused so many cases of food allergies and intolerances in western culture over recent years.

Gluten-free ration packs would be handy anytime I go away on business or holiday! But you can get gluten-free cereals like rice crispies with, say, rice or soya milk. There are now some quite edible 'free-from' baguettes and buns. A restaurant visit tends to be an embarrassing interrogation of the waiting staff, it's always amusing to ask a waitress if their chips are gluten-free. Chips are one of the worst offenders as far as hidden gluten and usually safer to opt for the baked potato side dish.
 
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