Thursday’s the day. Six weeks on budesonide glop, and it’s time for another endoscopy to learn whether anything has actually changed. I tend to think so, but will be curious to know if my speculation bears any resemblance to what’s actually going on in there.
I would have hoped to have been using these last six weeks to launch an elimination diet, but the complexity of doing that–too many possible allergens, too much life going on at the same time–sent me down the medical route first.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking. Lots. All this reading about eosinophilic GI diseases and, more lately, allergies, certainly leads a girl to wonder stuff. For example…
There’s plenty of interest out there in the “hygiene hypothesis.” That is, the suspicion that our increasingly antiseptic modern environments don’t expose us to enough bona fide infectious agents. Instead of killing pathogens, goes the theory, maybe our untrained, understimulated immune systems go berserk, and begin reacting to normally harmless substances, or even our own bodies. It’s proposed as one reason we’re seeing more allergies, more asthma, more lots of maladies, including EE.
But I find myself wondering instead (or perhaps as well) about the possibility of creeping allergens and toxins. One of my skin prick tests, for example, came back positive to corn. Come to find out that corn is in everything. Really everything. Not just the ubiquitous corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup. All those mystery ingredients like citric acid, lactic acid, and “natural flavorings”? Nearly always corn-derived. Honestly, shouldn’t there be some consequence of having a food supply so totally infiltrated by out-of-place proteins?
Similarly, a few months ago, Nancy at Taste Life, speculated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates could be implicated in EE because they seem to initiate a process that results in hyper-allergic responses. Makes sense to me.
We want to believe that our antiseptic and modern world is safe, but what if we’re poisoning ourselves bit by bit, ingesting and surrounding ourselves with proteins and toxins that human bodies simply aren’t designed to cope with? Maybe it’s not that we’re ultra-clean, but, rather, ultra-saturated in unnatural molecules and recombinant foods. Or, maybe it’s both. That is, without enough genuinely harmful pathogens to train our immune systems, our bodies are turning on all these things that may not be problematic in and of themselves, but cause illness because they shouldn’t be in our bodies to start with, or at least not in the locations and quantities we’re experiencing.
And if that’s the case–if it’s our world that’s making us sick–then maybe everything we do to treat EGIDs is just a band-aid. How does one get out of this mess?