Having read this article on Allergies, The scourge of modern living I found it fitted in with my line of thinking about ME/CFS. I hope I don’t lose the excellent value of the article by summarising it as follows; Food allergies are on the increase in the modern world. Why might something as small as a sesame seed kill a human? But apparently our air has become cleaner but our allergen symptoms are spreading more widely. A study in Australian shows the large numbers of children with food allergies. The article goes on to suggest They speculate about the reasons for the increase in food allergies and suggest 3 reasons; 1. Delayed introduction of allergens e.g. not giving children peanuts until they’re 5. 2. Human microbiome which is the sum total of the of the array of “bacterial life” that the body comes into contact with us and help create a healthy gut. The result of this depleted microbiome is that 3. Food allergies are linked to the availability of sunlight … can make an infant three times more likely to have egg or nut allergies. Modern living means we spend more time indoors with children on games or TVs and when outdoors their skin is often covered to protect them from the sun. Maybe the genome of those affected by ME/CFS contain How many of those affected have allergies/hay fever/astma/eczema? From my admittedly small enquiries, those ME/CFS sufferers I asked have one or someone in their immediate family has one or more of these. A lot of ME/CFS sufferers were very busy before the onset of their illness which may have resulted in them being indoors depleting their vitamin D reserves. (I wonder for how many ME/CFS sufferers, the onset of their illness was in the Autumn or following a prolonged period indoors due to work/school?) They may also be more tired due to being busy. They get a virus which leads to lack of sun for a further week or two due to being ill. This could further deplete their already diminished vitamin D reserves and potentially push them into the danger zone where the body is maladapted and misreads an otherwise innocuous virus as a severe threat or perhaps the virus is perceived as a foreign agent which triggers a sort of ‘allergic’ response. This deleterious response is ME/CFS. They now remain indoors for an even longer period of time due to being ill which further depletes their already low reserves of vitamin D and reduces their chance of recovery. (Is the body shutting down energy output perhaps in order to force the body to rest to aid recovery from the attack?) The virus finishes, but the host has already set in motion a chain of events – it is now on high alert and cannot reverse its position. Just like in a time of conflict, an army sometimes moves from fighting an external enemy to fighting its own people who are now seen a threat. These ‘enemies within’ weren’t necessarily seen as an enemy before. Could this be similar to the way in which some ME/CFS sufferers develop intolerances for foods which they could tolerate before the onset of their illness? For ME/CFS sufferers, the triggers may be numerous (?) but the response is pre-programmed into their genes so when a certain number of factors come together it leads to the onset of the illness. It is the specific combination of these factors which results in ME/CFS in these individuals. Biotics and the biome: According to my son’s osteopath, 7 out of 10 patients with ME/CFS are first born. If this is true, could it be that parents are much more vigilant with first born infants, use more disinfectant in their surroundings and on their children (wipes). This prevents these children getting the essential bacteria to populate their gut. This is less likely with second born infants as parents are more relaxed or just too busy. In addition, there are fewer opportunities for children to play outdoors particularly in cities. Even if they do go to parks, there are often ‘play areas’ separated from the natural environment like grass and trees where they might find more natural bacteria. The stage is now set so that if they have not come into contact with these bacteria early in life but then do ‘meet’ them at some later stage the body perceives them not as an ‘old friend’ but as a foreign agent which triggers the massive response. I wonder what anyone thinks of these ideas or if it fits in with their experience/understanding of ME/CFS?