Peanut allergies…

Allergies3Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, noted there are finally several reasonably good scientific studies, published in venerable medical journals, suggesting what I have been saying for years…that the reason peanut allergies have skyrocketed the past couple decades is due to, well, not peanuts, but not enough peanuts.  Contrary to what doting, hyper-protective, and often allergophobic/germophobic moms have whined about for years, it is not the exposure of kids to peanuts that is the problem, it is the prevention of exposure by hand wringing moms that is the problem.

There are millions of allergans in our environment, small particles of proteins which are easily recognized by our bodies as “foreign.”  We would literally be an allergic machine if our systems did not quickly desensitize to these harmless chemicals, usually during infancy.  Instead our bodies rapidly grow inured to the presence of them, and stop full blown allergic reactions.  This used to happen all the time, prior to development of our peanutophobic world.  Now you couldn’t buy a single stale peanut on an airline if you wanted.  You couldn’t find a few old peanut crumbs in that pouch containing the vomit bag.  Most everything we use in cooking carries a label “contains no peanut oils,” for fear mom will use, leading to the early demise of her blessed child.

Now articles are appearing that show an analogous problem with mom’s using those asinine hand sanitizers.  The children of these germophobic moms now contact far fewer bacteria and viruses than in the good ole days.  That’s progress, right?  Not so fast.  If not exposed early and often, these kids develop no antibodies to some of the more common germs.  Ergo, their immune systems are never primed, depleted before they even get started in this germ-laden world. Hand sanitizers have no proven value.  And by newer measures, may even cause considerable harm.

Please, between peanuts and bugs, let’s allow our kids to be kids.

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see: https://michaeloconnellmdnh.wordpress.com/

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