A new lens requires drawing a bigger “box” around the issues to shed new light & open up areas where all sides can agree.
Perhaps instead of arguing over the details of antibiotic use, vaccinations, school lunches, & letting kids play in the dirt, get fevers & go outside without a coat – the one thing we can all agree with is that it is developmentally important to promote diverse gut microbiomes in ourselves & our children!
It is also our fundamental right to choose a birth by C-section, to choose vaccination, whether or not to breastfeed, what our kids eat, and the values we imprint on our children.
There are also numerous medical and socioeconomic scenarios where all of these practices will make logical, financial, and medical sense based on individual circumstances.
We will get much further in our understanding, our confidence in making decisions, & gain more public traction if we demonstrate how certain activities affect the gut microbiome & the long-term balance of the immune system.
The decision points become much less of an issue of “right vs. wrong”, but of risk & tolerance.
As long as you’re aware of the risk or benefit profiles in the first place & what actions are to be taken if unwanted scenarios develop.
With decisions, you can have a perfect decision making process, and a bad result can still happen. You can also have a terrible decision-making process and a good result can occur.
You learn to become comfortable thinking in terms of probabilities – and your concern or acceptance of those probabilities can be weighted in values and emotions.
In one child, the influences lead to allergic dermatitis, another a food allergy, in another it may be a spectrum presentation.
Focusing on the underlying patterns of these individual cases will show how they can be intricately linked further upstream to birth history as well as childhood practices driven by Western culture & medicine.
In determining mechanisms, we’ll find that somewhere upstream they are linked to loss of diversity in the gut microbiome, or immune imbalances driven from dysbiosis, infection or inflammation. There are natural (& medical) strategies to mend each scenario.
Birth history is one influence – but not the sole influence on these states.
It is much less controversial to say that that dysbiosis and loss of microbial diversity in the gut are linked to a number of gut & immune problems in childhood and adulthood. Certain activities or medical practices may lead to dysbiosis, loss of diversity & resulting immune imbalance.
“I don’t want to promote immune imbalance and gut dysfunction in my child” may carry more weight than focusing on a specific “black & white” diagnosis of something that may not apply to your child.
It also carries much less perceived guilt of not having the ability to breastfeed a child or delivering via C-section. If we accept that formula feeding & C-section deliveries can very well be medically necessary – then, we can also accept that these practices do disrupt optimal development of the gut flora and the immune system.
The benefit of that acceptance is that it directs us into practices that help restore balance or diversity where it may have been lost or understand why “my kid needs to take probiotics & abstain from junk food” – free from self-driven, medically-driven, or society-driven guilt.