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Do Farms Minimize Your Chance of Getting IBD?

livestock farms IBD connection

this was me almost exactly 1 year ago volunteering for several weeks (the hardest work of my life for sure!) up in Vermont, USA. I never thought the pig feeding duties in the morn and night would be what I wanted to get sent on…pretty cool hanging out with those mammas

Hey UC’ers,

I really hope you all are doing well in your post world cup 2014 lives.

A family friend passed an email to my dad a few days ago and then it was forwarded to me.  My dad’s friend thought that the readers of the site here would possibly be interested in this topic so I wanted to get it out to all of you to read over in-case you missed this news/study that came across the wire recently.

The general idea has to do with a very real possibility that by growing up on a farm in our current day and age may very well reduce the possibility of coming down with IBD (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) later on in life.

I know most of you aren’t farmers, or maybe the farmers simply didn’t come clean(or dirty) when we took a poll of what UC’ers do for work

But again, this might be interesting to read into, especially if you’re interested in some of the ideas of how our immune systems develop with regards to bacteria exposure.

So, here’s the link to a recap of the study:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711101347.htm

And, if you want to read the full study results as they were published, the link for that is right here:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10654-014-9922-3/fulltext.html

To get you excited, here’s a quote from the summary of the study:

The incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases is rising sharply — particularly among young people. However, new research indicates that growing up on a livestock farm may have a protective effect.

Some of you may remember mention of the “Hygiene Hypothesis” from the Gut Bacteria videos I shot several years ago with the scientist Les from Stanford University’s Microbiology and Immunology department(back when my video skills were just as horrible as they are today:)  Well, that same idea comes up a few times in the full version (2nd link above).  And if you are interested in reading more on that specific topic, make sure to read the references at the bottom of that same study.  There are loads of pretty cool links to more related info.  Much of that is from the international PubMed directory which you for sure should know how to use by now.  If not…read this PubMed How To Use post I wrote…:)

I wish you all the best no matter how your UC is doing at the moment.  (And let’s make sure to give Graham a HUGE congrats for being the first person to write a story on the site which has reached an AMAZING 500 comments today!  That’s right, his Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO) story is what everyone’s talking about once again!  YaY Graham.  his EVOO story link is here

Adam Scheuer

PS:  For those of you who are interested in maybe getting out on a farm and doing some good hard work, I’d for sure recommend it.  Who knows, you might really enjoy seeing and doing what your ancestors very well may have been doing for years.  Although my body is probably not cut out for the hardcore physical grind (and super long hours) that most farmers are required to put in daily, it was a major highlight of last summer for me…(not so much for Michaela on the other hand).    So here’s some pictures to maybe give a little idea of what farming might look like if you do give it a try:

I like hanging out with these guys alot.  We had to keep moving the herd every two days or so to a new patch of fresh grass.  The migrational grazing techniques this farm used was super interesting, but required us to constantly be moving the electric fences and soon enough you forget somethings hot and...zap zap (not so bad though)

I like hanging out with these guys alot. We had to keep moving the herd every two days or so to a new patch of fresh grass. The migrational grazing techniques this farm used was super interesting, but required us to constantly be moving the electric fences and soon enough you forget somethings hot and…zap zap (not so bad though)

Michaela getting her pig water and feed on

Michaela getting her pig water and feed on

you have about 500 best friends when its morning or afternoon feeding time with the chickens...when they see you walking over the electric fence with a feed bag they mob you like crazy.  you literally have to start kicking at em to get them to move or you'll be tripping all over the place(and if you drop the feed bag, they start pecking at it and sometimes poking holes in it....

you have about 500 best friends when its morning or afternoon feeding time with the chickens…when they see you walking over the electric fence with a feed bag they mob you like crazy. you literally have to start kicking at em to get them to move or you’ll be tripping all over the place(and if you drop the feed bag, they start pecking at it and sometimes poking holes in it….

now, if you look really close, you'll see some brown sludgey stuff on the bottom of the water bucket.  I'm not sure what that was exactly, probably a combination of dirt, maybe cow poop and whatever else...but for sure must be some good bacteria in that bowl ehh....and it was my job to get some grass, and scrub that crap out daily and then refill to keep things as clean as possible...so maybe this study ain't too far off in terms of bacteria exposure...

now, if you look really close, you’ll see some brown sludgey stuff on the bottom of the water bucket. I’m not sure what that was exactly, probably a combination of dirt, maybe cow poop and whatever else…but for sure must be some good bacteria in that bowl ehh….and it was my job to get some grass, and scrub that crap out daily and then refill to keep things as clean as possible…so maybe this study ain’t too far off in terms of bacteria exposure…

this was my favorite cow, always wanted to get an extra long scratching on the nose area

this was my favorite cow, always wanted to get an extra long scratching on the nose area

Tags: farms, livestock





10 Responses to “Do Farms Minimize Your Chance of Getting IBD?”

  1. DarleneJuly 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Hmmm. Interesting idea. I don’t know if it correlates with me, but possibly. I’m “elderly” now. My first 5 yrs were on a farm at a time when concern with germs and hand sanitizer wasn’t common. In fact, I made mud pies and took a few bites. My symptoms started later in life – about age 66 or 67, which is not the norm, and the diagnosis came in May 2012 – mild to moderate UC. I’ve had difficult days but on the average I’ve had it easier than most of you. There’s been an amazing new development — a good one — and I don’t understand what happened to cause it. For about two weeks now I’ve had normal BMs! Just out of the blue. I won’t complain though and I’m really enjoying the respite. Maybe the probiotics kicked in…or the chlorella? Don’t know. Maybe others have had a “spontaneous remission”?

    • AdamJuly 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Interesting for sure. Thanks for sharing Darlene and CONGRATS on the normal poopies! way cool and enjoy.

  2. Pam RechulJuly 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    I am in my 60s. I have NEVER lived around or spent much time on Live Stock Farms.
    I did have Scarlet Fever when I was around 10 or 12 years old.
    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis while in my 40s.
    My Colitis issues actually started over the last 7 or 8 years.
    My symptoms were mild, and I was prescribed Asacol.
    In the Fall of 2013 my meds were changed to Delzicol.
    My Colitis symptoms then took a terrible turn for the worse this past January 2014, and I had to be hospitalized.
    I tried ProBiotics and my body did NOT like them at all, no way, no how ! It was overall a BAD, BAD experience.
    I now just try to watch everything that I eat and drink. Hardly drink anything alcoholic, unless it is N/A Beer or Wine.
    I have noticed that STRESS makes my Colitis flare-up and it makes my symptoms worse.
    THIS WEEK I happen to be feeling great……… so you never know when reprieve will come, even if it is only temporary !!

  3. bevJuly 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Thank Adam….cool pictures for sure!!

  4. bevJuly 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    That was THANKS Adam…lol

  5. fatmaJuly 15, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks Adam about every thing you trying to help uc people

  6. Donna G
    Donna GJuly 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    There is a great book out on this topic “An Epidemic of Absence” which pulls together lots and lots of studies about germ theory, if you find this subject interesting you should definitely read this book. Very scientific read, not for everyone, a book I really enjoyed reading. It does seem that the exposure needs to be when you were very young, when your immune system and gut flora are establishing. But understanding is one step closer to a cure.

  7. Kathy Conway-ThompsonJuly 17, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Interesting. I am 51 and was diagnosed with UC (finally) in 2006 but lived on a working homestead with some cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats, dogs and turkeys. I was always having loose stools as a kid and was told I had a “nervous stomach”… god gotta love the 60’s. Anyway, I would say the theory doesn’t correlate to me today having had UC and I am experiencing for the first time, my first severe flair up.

    I am on Uceris, a new steroid and Lialda. I have taken Gluten out of my diet for nearly 2 years and eat minimal flesh products. Will be interested to revisit the diet suggestion here and tweak it to improvement. I am surviving but not happy to be on any meds. I also highly recommend SEROVERA ™ an Aloe Vera natural product that works to maintain healthy colon. It was of no support for this sever flair up but I cannot speak highly enough of it’s support.

  8. Jennifer JonesAugust 13, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Interesting theory with life on the farm. I am 51 and was diagnosed with UC 22 yrs ago and then RA 2 yrs ago. I did grow up on a livestock farm andhave
    lived on small acreages as an adult with horses. Growing up in the 60s and 70s there was alot of herbicide/pesticide exposure which I always wonder about the health effects of however most people I grew up around and family are all relatively healthy. The genetics and triggers for autoimmune issues are complex and maddening! enjoy every good day and be grateful:)

    • AdamAugust 13, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      Jennifer,

      Complex and maddening indeed, but for sure, what you said in the end of your comment is maybe some of the finest words written on this site to date…

      “enjoy every good day and be grateful:)”

      Amen to that, best to you and everyone else Jennifer:)) –Adam

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