Thursday, April 08, 2010

Allergies and the hookworm

It's allergy season in San Antonio. Which means that everything is covered with green powdery pollen from the oak trees. It is everywhere and my body is not happy about it.

Last night while driving home I heard Act II of This American Life episode 404 about a guy with terrible allergies and asthma who learned that those diseases basically don't exist in the developing world. The reason for this, he learned, is a parasite, specifically hookworm. According to the program, having a hookworm calms your immune system response so you don't develop that condition where your immune system is trying to kill you. (my exaggerated non-scientific language, but still, you get the point)

So this guy goes to Africa and walks around barefoot in yucky places to intentionally infect himself with hookworm. He returns to Santa Cruz and the next time allergy season comes around he has no issues. His eyes don't swell shut. He is not sent to the hospital because of severe asthma attacks. He is cured. He drives down the highway with his windows rolled down shouting for joy.

Fascinating stuff.

Hmmmm hookworm...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

Natalie, Ella, and the Easter Bunny (otherwise known as Sadie) wish you a beautiful day!
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