Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Finger sucking makes you healthy?

Did you do finger sucking or nail biting in your childhood? If so, your mother maybe scolded you. These behaviors are deemed as impolite in many countries. Some physicians believe extended finger sucking in childhood causes disorganized teeth and some adverse effects in development.

Recently, a study was published regarding a positive effect of finger sucking. According to the authors, people who had finger sucking behavior are less likely to have allergic reactions.

Independent: Children who suck their thumb and bite their nails are less likely to get allergies, study finds

Some allergic reactions are associated with autoimmune diseases. Thus, our immune system attacks alien subjects when they invade our body. But some bacteria can live in our body without being attacked by the immune system. Why the difference occur? One possibility is immunotolerance. The immune system does not identify germs which are commonly found in the close environment.

In other words, the more our body is kept in a clean circumstance, the more allergic reaction emerges, theoretically. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that allergic reaction is more frequently seen in modern age compared to the past. The improvement of hygiene is one of the reasons of increased allergies, ironically.

In contrast, children who frequently suck their finger are exposed to germs, unintentionally. This act has an effect to make their immune system calm to ignore non-toxic bacteria, the authors guess.

Pediatrics: Thumb-Sucking, Nail-Biting, and Atopic Sensitization, Asthma, and Hay Fever

I am not sure this interesting hypothesis. And I do not recommend you to suck your finger if you are suffering from autoimmune disease.

On the other hand, there are some patients with autistic disorder who are fond of sucking fingers. The cause of the autistic disorder is still unknown. But it is said the prevalence rate of autistic disorder is rapidly increasing. It is highly likely that the age of parents is associated with the autistic disorder. Besides, the relationship between autistic disorder and autoimmune diseases is also discussed. Perhaps, some autistic patients unconsciously know that they have a risk for allergic reactions, and they suck their finger to protect themselves.

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