Asthma treatment plans seem to include only medications. However, what if you could identify household items that contribute to allergy induced asthma?
It seems all too common for toddlers, elementary school kids and teens to be dealing with asthma and allergies. Both of these conditions are created when the Th2 arm of the immune system (specifically our cell-mediated immunity) becomes too dominant. I call the Th2 cytokines the “guard dogs” or our immune system. They stop stuff from getting in. The Th1 aspect I call the “attack dogs.” They work to destroy stuff once it enters. We obviously need balance between the two.
Things like exposure to normal healthy bacteria in our gut and exposure to pets very early in life challenge our attack dog immune cells and keep them trained. Antibiotic use EVER and living in an otherwise sterile, hygiene environment does not train the attack dog immune cells.
Vaccinations stimulate the guard dog immune cells, potentially leading to allergies and asthma. We also know that Tylenol exposure, both in the womb and out, can increase asthma risk.
But did you also know that there are many chemicals in our environment that you are exposed to every single day that can increase the risk of asthma? This particular study looked at the presence of compounds know to mimic hormones in the body as well as chemicals already known to contribute to asthma. Researchers looked at just where many of these compounds may be lurking, and you’ll likely find most of the list present in your home, car and office. They include:
- Vinyl products (think shower curtains)
- Fragranced products such as perfume, air fresheners, and dryer sheets
Researchers found that many chemicals that they were able to find on products you would be exposed to were not listed on product labels.
Let’s go back to number 2 above, because this is the one that I think most people have a hard time understanding. Or maybe they are just not willing to admit that fragrances are a problem. Just to clear things up–they ARE.
Think on this. Just how many of these do you expose yourself to?
- Dryer sheets (we use those dryer ball thingees)
- Carpet fresheners (so the carpet still stinks, but you’ve covered up the stinky smell with a chemical one)
- Most candles (very few are made with only essential oils)
- Air fresheners (see carpet fresheners, above…)
- Bath stuff (bombs, shampoos, bubble baths, salts)
As an example of just how oblivious society is, let me relate a recent experience I had in a fancy, “natural” bath type store. This particular store sells many things that they tout as natural, one of them being bath bombs.
I asked one of the salespeople if they made any with just essential oils. When she was unable to find ANY, I stressed my concern with the term “fragrances.” She even called over her manager to assure me that these are still natural and that there are no problems with “fragrances.” I figured that right then and there was not the time to get into an argument over asthma triggers with the store manager. But you get the point….even this store promotes their products as “natural” and yet they are anything but.
So how many of these types of products do you have in your home that you, prior to reading this post, were not aware of?