What about Vaccines?

January 30, 2013 6:45:56 AM PST

This is my best shot at some well-balanced advice on vaccines.   I feel strongly that you should only give a vaccine if and when you really feel that the child will benefit from that particular vaccine, and needs it now (rather than later, when their immune system is more mature). I don't think you necessarily do "best" by a child by hitting their very immature little immune system with a germ they will likely never be exposed to.   Booster shots, giving another assault on the immune system, just to possibly hit a slightly higher level of immunity, are generally not something I'm in favor of unless there's a specific reason. 

I just want to say one thing to the moms of very young infants that haven't been vaccinated:

KEEP BREASTFEEDING AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! You're protecting your baby in the best way possible against any illnesses she might be exposed to right now, and also protecting her longterm health in about a million ways. If you ever need help with breastfeeding, there are lots of great lactation counselors, la leche league, etc. out there who would love to help.

I think that for each vaccine, you need to think hard about the vaccine itself, and the illness you're vaccinating against, and know the following information:

  • - How many cases there are in the U.S. each year (how likely will your child be exposed).
  • - The effectiveness rate of each vaccine.
  • - What the vaccine is made of and whether any ingredients in it have a bad safety record.
  • - The chance of side effects from this vaccine.
  • - What kind of treatment is available for the disease (e.g. is it deadly, disabling, or just a nuisance you can treat)
  • - Whether anyone in your family has ever had a negative vaccine reaction.
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Posted in General Health By Terri Mykland

An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism

December 19, 2012 3:46:20 PM PST

In recent years, scientists have made extraordinary advances in understanding the causes of autism, now estimated to afflict 1 in 88 children. But remarkably little of this understanding has percolated into popular awareness, which often remains fixated on vaccines.

So here’s the short of it: At least a subset of autism — perhaps one-third, and very likely more — looks like a type of inflammatory disease. And it begins in the womb.

It starts with what scientists call immune dysregulation. Ideally, your immune system should operate like an enlightened action hero, meting out inflammation precisely, accurately and with deadly force when necessary, but then quickly returning to a Zen-like calm. Doing so requires an optimal balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory muscle.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

G is for Glutathione

December 12, 2012 3:13:38 PM PST

It has been a while since I have done an ABC post, but I thought I would add in a letter since I have learned so much about this biochemical in the last year and it’s importance to a person or child’s health and well-being.

I have blogged about Glutathione a few times, here (acetaminophen/Tylenol LOWERS glutathione) and here (and so does aspartame). I am revisiting it today, in light of some recent blood work that we got back for Lady A and some new research I have done, that I feel VERY compelled to share, because I think this Mighty Chemical Glutathione {G} has implications in ALL OF OUR HEALTH!

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Posted in Biomedical By BrainChild Nutritionals

Gut-brain Connection no longer "Crazy Talk": AAP

November 27, 2012 12:23:06 PM PST

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just taken a giant leap toward recognizing the association between gastrointestinal problems and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD.)

The November 2012 issue of their journal, Pediatrics, has a 200-page supplement entitled Improving Health Care for Children and Youth With Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  As I perused the various articles to see what the AAP was up to, one particular gem caught my eye: Gastrointestinal (GI) Conditions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Developing a Research Agenda...

After a mere three sentences, my jaw dropped.

“Many individuals with ASDs have symptoms of associated medical conditions, including seizures, sleep problems, metabolic conditions, and gastrointestinal disorders (the italics are mine), which have significant health, developmental, social, and educational impacts.” A few lines later I found there is a “lack of recognition by clinicians that certain behavioral manifestations in children with ASDs are indicators of GI problems (eg, pain, discomfort, or nausea).”

My first thought was that someone from ARI or MAPS had snuck into the AAP and switched a few words in the article before it went to press, and no one had noticed. But as I read the entire piece, I was shocked to see other crazy ideas such as...

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Newborn blood may reveal early signs of autism

November 27, 2012 12:06:56 PM PST

Children diagnosed with autism tend to have low blood levels of several immune molecules at birth, according to an epidemiological study published in August in the Journal of Immunology

Studies have found differences in the immunological profiles of children and adults with autism, as well as in the mothers of children with autism during pregnancy, but only a handful of studies have examined this issue in newborns.

“There’s something altered about the immune status of these offspring that’s different from [that of typical] children,” says Paul Patterson, professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the study.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland