Germs and autoimmune diseases

By CaliKo Latest Reply 2010-11-06 19:54:06 -0500
Started 2010-11-05 10:34:23 -0500

There was a little snippet in the ADA December publication about a study linking cleanliness with T1 diabetes. I've heard this before in regards to all autoimmune diseases, something about the immune system misfiring. I tried to find the ADA article online, but couldn't. I did find this article: and although it's on an arthritis site, it does mention T1 also. I'm wondering what opinions and insights my fellow DC members might have on this topic, I enjoy hearing what you have to say.

6 replies

Crashnot 2010-11-06 18:49:03 -0500 Report

I really think we've gotten to clean to teach our bodies how to work right in the world. That study may tie in to another one finding that there is a higher percentage of type 1 in the upper latitudes where people become Vitamin D deficient due to lack of enough sunlight, such as most of North America, Europe, and Iceland. Vitamin D is a big player in the immune system, so if you're already D deficient and your immune system is weak, living cleanly and then getting hit with a new germ could be one tipping point. So many different angles though. I think it all comes down to immune system influences.

CaliKo 2010-11-06 19:53:51 -0500 Report

Yes, it's an interesting twist. So often when we think about environmental triggers, we think of a virus or bacteria or toxins we may have been exposed to, and this is quite the opposite.

kdroberts 2010-11-05 11:06:55 -0500 Report

It's an interesting area. There was a study I read about recently, maybe the same one you did, that suggested that type 1 diabetes (when diagnosis occurred in a child) was more prevalent in children who grew up in white collar households than those who grew up in blue collar households. The theory they came up with was white collar households are much more likely to use things like hand sanitizer, sanitizing sprays and generally living in a much less germ filled environment. I've long believed that it's possible to clean too much and kids need some dirt and germs to build the immune system normally so I think it's quite plausible that the development of the immune system in childhood could be involved somehow with type 1.

CaliKo 2010-11-05 11:14:59 -0500 Report

Sounds like you may have read the study that the snippet referred to. It also reminded me about an article I read maybe a couple of years ago about an infectious disease doctor who firmly believed that children needed to be exposed to germs for that very reason. I remember it quoted him as saying he'd put a pacifier back in the mouth of his baby after it fell on the floor.

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