Allergic Illness - Innovative Strategies At The Marsden Centre


Allergic illness in North America is increasing at an alarming rate.  The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates almost 5% of children and 2% of adults suffer from food allergies.  The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation estimates almost 25% of Canadians suffer from allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergic illness.  The levels of allergic skin conditions and food allergies have almost tripled over the past 3 decades.

There are several theories on why the rates of allergies are on the rise. They include:

The Hygiene Hypothesis

This is the leading theory on increasing allergic illness.  This hypothesis states that as children’s environment becomes more sterile and devoid bacteria, their immune systems are not challenged with germs and therefore not be trained to tolerate their environment.

This hypothesis is supported by research which shows children raised on farms or in rural settings have much lower rates of allergic illness.

Antibiotic Use

The rise in antibiotic use in children is closely correlated with the rise allergic illness. Researchers believe that antibiotics may affect immune function and therefore allergy by impacting gut flora. A healthy and diverse gastrointestinal flora is known to be an important factor in a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Deficiency in vitamin D has been correlated with increased rates of allergic illness in several studies. Vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of the immune system. In northen climates like Canada, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common.
At the Marsden Centre we utilize a variety of innovative assessment tools and therapeutic strategies aimed not only at reducing the symptoms of allergic illness, but reducing reactivity to allergens.

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