by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC, AADP
Kids who live and work on farms have far less allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Researchers theorize that this is due to exposure to a wider variety of soil microbes, both beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses.
In today’s too-clean environment, our kids lack access to these microbes that can both train the immune system how to fight and give it the tools it needs to fight.
A healthy gut microbiome is essential for the normal development and function of the immune system. An unhealthy gut is a common cause of autoimmune disorders, of which I include autism and ADHD.
An unhealthy gut typically means that there is some form of gut dysbiosis, which means that the bad (pathogenic) guys outweigh the good (probiotic) guys. Common causes of gut dysbiosis include antibiotics, GMO foods, low stomach acid, steroids, birth control pills, birth via C-section, lack of breastfeeding and passage from mother to newborn as the baby goes through the birth canal.
Most of the immune system lies in the gut, and if there is gut dysbiosis, then immune dysregulation typically develops.
One way to counter gut dysbiosis is to supplement with probiotic bacteria and yeast. Look for a multi-strain blend that includes a high number of CFU (colony forming units), is refrigerated and, if possible, includes soil-based organisms.
Eating fermented foods and implementing a gut-healing diet such as the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) / SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), Paleo or Body Ecology Diet are other ways to heal the gut.
In addition, getting your child out in nature and exposed to a wide variety of microbes found in dirt and on plants can help train and reinforce his immune system.
Maria Rickert Hong is a former Wall Street equity research analyst who is now a Certified Holistic Health Counselor. She is the author of the bestselling book, “Almost Autism: Recovering Children from Sensory Processing Disorder, A Reference for Parents and Practitioners.” As a health coach, she helps parents make diet and lifestyle changes to recover their children from symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, almost autism, autism, PDD-NOS and ADHD. She has recovered her two boys from SPD, asthma, acid reflux and eczema can be reached at www.MariaRickertHong.com Maria is a board member, Media Director and blogger for Epidemic Answers, a 501(c)3 non-profit that lets parents know that recovery is possible.