But is it really that expensive? Testing certainly is, but what if you work on process of elimination on your own? I have already ditched most of the carpet in my house, for example—and now I am almost certain that it’s the mold in our house that I am allergic to (it’s in the basement, but still). There are other things I can do as well, such as eliminate dairy foods (as Dr. Andrew Weil suggests) or experiment with having the house open or shut during different months.
We have de-used antibiotics in our home for years now. Though I had to be put on the medicine when I had blood poisoning due to gallstones and my daughter was prescribed antibiotics a couple of years ago for an ear infection (which I thought was silly, since kids in Europe are rarely prescribed them for such things and they aren’t helpful in treating them), we otherwise do not use them if we can help it.
We buy milk that’s certified to not have antibiotics in it. We don’t even buy antibacterial soup or lotion that’s so popular (why do they even make it?). We do all we can to avoid using them when we don’t have to.
Ulcerative Colitis is a particularly painful, and for some, embarrassing digestive system disease. It occurs when the intestines became inflamed. They can become so inflamed that the sufferer is in pain, has fevers, has bleeding, and can lose weight. Diarrhea is often present, requiring frequent trips to the bathroom.
The disease often starts in the rectal area, but it can grow slowly to infect the entire large intestine. While the exact cause is not known, it is believed that a weaker immune systems, certain foods, and stress can trigger attacks.
In severe cases, surgery is an option, but that involves removing the colon, which requires the patient to wear an ileostomy bag to collect waste. There's also steroids -- while this helps some, others cannot tolerate the side effects which may include cramping and weight gain. Some drugs also suppress the immune system, which makes the patient more prone to infection and other diseases, like cancer.
So why haven't we started using dogs to diagnose cancer? A quick sniff test could eliminate the need for biopsies and other scans, saving patients and insurance companies lots of money. Well, dogs and hospitals don't mix so well. The infrastructure necessary to keep a team of cancer-sniffing pups on staff would cost about as much as would be saved from avoiding standard lab tests. Human doctors can feed themselves and go home at the end of their very long work days, but dogs require constant care from people. It's just not practical to install a kennel in a hospital that's already full of patients, doctors, and sleepy med students. So scientists are working on building a machine with a nose as good as a dog's.
The study indicates that the DNA sequence passed from one generation to the next does not change when there are environmental toxins exposed to the individual. However, the compounds change the way that genes work. More specifically, in the way that these genes turn on and off. Scientists knew that these toxins could expose the individual and potentially a next generation to troublesome conditions, but they did not know how far it would pass.
Like, for example, the folks at UMass who conjured up iHeal. Despite its tackily borrowed iWhatever name template, iHeal pushes mobile technology into a brave new place by making use of auxiliary electronics to help users manage their drug addiction or recover from post-traumatic stress disorder.