Sunday, February 8, 2015

MMR Lawsuits

With Measles making headlines these days, the vaccine debate is in full swing.

Given my son's history of vaccine anaphylaxis, our allergist has recommended that my daughter avoid combination vaccines.  This means the MMR, along with the DTaP, and a few others.  It used to be that the MMR components could be separated, but from the calls into my county health department and some online research, it appears that the individual measles vaccine is no longer produced.

Given all the hysteria, I'm wondering why the news outlets are not talking about the pending lawsuits against Merck and their MMR vaccine.  Parents deserve to know all the details before rushing out to have their children injected. At least they'd be making an informed decision rather than one based on pure emotion.

Not that the HuffPo is my go to information source, but I found that this article sums it up nicely.  I recall reading it when the Mumps outbreak was going on in the NHL earlier this season, even though the players were vaccinated with boosters and all:

Merck Has Some Explaining To Do Over Its MMR Vaccine Claims


The allegations are astounding and lengthy. Taken directly from the article:

"The first court case, United States v. Merck & Co., stems from claims by two former Merck scientists that Merck "fraudulently misled the government and omitted, concealed, and adulterated material information regarding the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in violation of the FCA [False Claims Act]."
According to the whistleblowers' court documents, Merck's misconduct was far-ranging: It "failed to disclose that its mumps vaccine was not as effective as Merck represented, (ii) used improper testing techniques, (iii) manipulated testing methodology, (iv) abandoned undesirable test results, (v) falsified test data, (vi) failed to adequately investigate and report the diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, (vii) falsely verified that each manufacturing lot of mumps vaccine would be as effective as identified in the labeling, (viii) falsely certified the accuracy of applications filed with the FDA, (ix) falsely certified compliance with the terms of the CDC purchase contract, (x) engaged in the fraud and concealment describe herein for the purpose of illegally monopolizing the U.S. market for mumps vaccine, (xi) mislabeled, misbranded, and falsely certified its mumps vaccine, and (xii) engaged in the other acts described herein to conceal the diminished efficacy of the vaccine the government was purchasing."
These fraudulent activities, say the whistleblowers, were designed to produce test results that would meet the FDA's requirement that the mumps vaccine was 95 per cent effective. To the whistleblowers' delight, the judge dismissed Merck's objections to the case proceeding, finding the whistleblowers had plausible grounds on all of the claims lodged against Merck."

And that's just the first of three cases.  The one I find most disturbing is the case involving current CDC scientist William Thompson, "the allegations involve a cover-up of data pointing to high rates of autism in African-American boys after they were vaccinated with MMR,"  Basically, they withheld statistically significant data to avoid an uproar back in 2004.  The study found that African-American boys who were given the MMR vaccine before age 24 months were more likely to be diagnosed with autism.  To so blatantly disregard data because it doesn't coincide with an agenda is absolutely reckless.  Not to mention the follow up studies that this would have led to could have possibly provided some answers one way or another.
#CDCwhistleblower

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bone Broth goes Mainstream...We love this stuff

With all the great nutrients in bone broth, what's not to love?!  I happened to see this article on Yahoo! the other day reporting on all the health benefits and the laundry list of goodness lingering in each bite.  I still notice a huge difference when I feed this to my baby regularly, her skin clears up right before my eyes.  Lately she's been sucking it out of a medicine dropper prior to meals. (Baby girl just turned 11 months!)

https://www.yahoo.com/health/bone-broth-4-reasons-wellness-experts-are-obsessed-102364515057.html

Other ways I use the bone broth is to make the baby's rice cereal, or make arborio rice--both substituting the broth in place of water, and of course as a soup base.  I always start with an organic chicken, and I'll use the bones for two batches of broth.  The second is always lighter in color, but it still works well.  The bones are pretty disintegrated by the time the second batch is done.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Press Announcements FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination

Press Announcements FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination



Taken from this FDA press release...."This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease."



This may to explain the increase in Whooping Cough.  When I asked our Pediatrician about the DTaP vaccine, she said the recent variation drives the allergists crazy with all the side effects. Wow.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Neglected Blog

Oh my poor neglected blog.  I'm so sorry for the long delays in posts.  I really do have the best intentions.  Part of the reason for my slacking is that allergies and eczema are not controlling our lives these days, and the other part is due to internet browser issues (I.E. won't allow me to write new posts, so I'm forced to visit this blog via a seldom used browser on my part.)

I do have a couple updates.  The baby's skin is continuing to look lovely.  Aside from a reaction after she rubbed against my husband who had deet bug spray on his clothes which caused this terrible outbreak:


Given her brother's history and the bug spray reaction, the Ped recommended that the baby see an allergist.  The allergist skin tested her for a handful of environmental and food allergies.  Only egg came back as potentially problematic.  This doesn't mean much to me seeing how my son's skin test showed absolutely no reaction to peanuts. Crazy that in this day and age that this is still the best that they have to offer.  Fortunately the baby didn't make a peep during this entire test, it didn't even phase her:

The upper left is the positive control (histamine), just underneath is the negative control (water I think).  You can see the bottom right is very inflamed--this is egg.

The allergist also recommended that we refrain from the multiple disease/combination vaccines for now, and stick to the single vaccines.  He didn't deem Polio or Hep B necessary (neither do I), although he does recommend the HIB and the Prevnar.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Baby Naet Treatment & Reaction

My baby girl had another NAET treatment.  After explaining to the doctor how her skin cleared up while on chicken broth, the doctor treated her for 'small intestines' since that's where food is absorbed.  Within 2 hours baby was hot to the touch and then she vomited.  After that she was fine.  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that we've seen reactions like these in the past and the end result has always been positive.  It's been a week, and so far so good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chicken Soup, It's Good for What Ails You

Hello...anybody still out there?  My apologies on neglecting this blog.  I knew having a baby would keep things hopping around here, but Whoa!  I don't even have time to jump on the computer after I get home from work.

Baby is now 5 months old!  She pretty much stopped nursing after I returned to work. She figured out that it was much easier to be fed from a bottle, and that-was-that.  Unfortunately, just like my son, once she went to formula full time eczema reared it's ugly head.  She was getting the giant welt like patches on her arms and legs.  I was having terrible flashbacks and was hell-bent on preventing another nightmare.

I realize a baby's immune and digestive systems are immature and need time to develop.  From what I've gathered, a baby's stomach is permeable to allow the antibodies from breast milk to enter the baby's system.  The stomach will eventually 'seal up'; however, prior to doing so other foods can more easily seep through and the body may attack the foods in the form of an allergic reaction.  If this is all true, it makes sense to me that the baby's system was not liking the formula components and was creating inflammation in the form of eczema.

So what to do about this?  Changing formulas is an option, but to me that's not getting to the root cause.  I was looking for ways to help 'seal up' the stomach.  Was that even possible?  With some digging, I discovered that homemade bone broths have the potential to do just that.  Homemade broths are gelatinous and are chock full of nutrients and minerals that help aid with the digestive system, among other things.  We turned to homemade chicken broth when my son was going through the worst of his crisis to help heal his body.

So with that, homemade chicken broth was baby's first food.  After three days her skin showed marked improvement.  My neighbor who initially thought I was nuts for feeding the baby broth, is completely sold on the idea after seeing the undeniable difference.  It's been 3 weeks now, and baby's skin is smooth and soft and her cradle cap has cleared up.  It reminds me of how dog owners are told to feed dogs chicken soup to get their shiny coats.

So how does one make homemade chicken broth?  It's so simple.  I take a whole, organic chicken and toss it in the crock pot on high for 4-6 hours.  I add a little sea salt.  If this wasn't for baby, I'd add some veggies and spices.  After it's cooked (the legs start to separate form the body when it's done), de-bone the chicken and use the meat for whatever.  Put the bones and joints back in the crockpot, fill with 6-8 cups of water, add 1-3T apple cider vinegar, and cook on low over night.  Strain into containers.

Baby loves it.  She gets 1-2 ounces prior to a formula bottle 3-4 times a day.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby's First NAET Visit

Not Allergic?  Can that be possible?  I took the baby for her first NAET consultation and she was tested against all of the basics (about 16), plus a slew of other items including seafood, nuts, and the Baby's Only formula.  Amazingly she held strong to everything and no treatments were recommended at this time.  HUH?  I'll take it.  I decided to bring her in as she had some baby acne and a little cradle cap going on, which is pretty standard stuff at this age.  But I wanted to make sure I wasn't in denial that there were some deeper underlying issues given our past experience. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome at this time.

So far she has been a textbook baby.  At 9 weeks she's very content, calm, happy, and alert.  She has a routine already, where she takes a 90 minute nap in the morning and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, followed by a shorter nap later in the day, then bed time by 9pm  She wakes at 5:45am for a snack, and then sleeps for another 2 hours.  If she would have been my first I probably would have had 3 or 4 babies. She's absolutely amazing.

Next week we have her 2-month appointment (a bit late due to scheduling conflicts.) Then the following week she's having her hip ultrasound as we want to rule out hip dysplasia as it runs in the family (so far there really is no concern, just family history.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's in that baby formula?

When I was pregnant with my first I always thought I would breastfeed and that would be that.  I mean, it's how our bodies provide for our babies so it must be the best and easiest way to nourish them.  Well, that's only half correct.  It is the best way, but I found it to be a far cry from easy!  Breastfeeding turned out to be the most challenging thing I had ever taken on in my life.  It was literally like having the life sucked right out of me.  My son was so sleepy, he could have cared less about eating.  We had to torture him with cold, wet wash clothes to try to wake him up enough to eat.  "They" say babies will eat when they're hungry, they won't die.  Well, my husband and I are convinced this one would have and given the amount of weight he was rapidly losing his nourishment was a huge concern during the early days.  Feeling defeated on the breastfeeding front, I resorted to pumping.  That lasted all of 4 months before my supply dried up and he was put on formula (Similac.)  It was then that the eczema first appeared and the rest is history.

Fast forward to baby number two.  She's been a great eater from the start.  She wakes, latches, and eats.  It's been awesome.  But prior to her birth I was well aware that I may need to formula feed so I started doing my research.  I seriously considered making my own following the Weston A. Price recipe, but the thoughts of seeking out raw milk and going through the whole process was overwhelming to me.  I then started to look at organic formulas, and this article stood out on the Food Babe's website.  It's absolutely astounding what goes into formula.  GMO's, palm oil that forms a soap in the baby stomach, synthetic nutrients, to name a few.  Even the word "organic" does not guarantee a healthy formula. In the end I decided that if I have to supplement it would be with the Baby's Only brand, but there are still a few areas that are left to be desired.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What we do to Stay Healthy!

With a newborn in the house and a school age kid I find it even more important to stay on top of our health.  I try not to let all the talk of this year's flu scare me, but I'm the first to admit that it is down right scary when you hear about 20 & 30 year-olds dying from the flu.  It's then that I have to take a step back and remind myself that it comes down to keeping one's immune system functioning optimally.  Last last year's flu shot was only about 56% effective overall according to the CDC, and the effectiveness for the media hyped H1N1 vaccine was 47% overall. So basically about the toss of a coin.  It comes down to the fact that although it would be nice to rely on a medical intervention to keep us healthy, in the end we are responsible for our own health.

Some steps that my family takes to optimize our health include:

  • Healthy eating--we try to minimize sugar and cook from scratch as much as possible so we can control what goes into our food while avoiding processed foods to a large extent, and focusing on antioxidant rich vegetables.  We recently bought a Nutramix blender and have been adding greens to our smoothies.  We also add coconut oil and local raw honey to our foods when possible.  The nice thing about making healthy dinners is that we always save enough left overs for lunches the next day.
  • Vitamins--Each day starts with probiotics to help with immune function. We all take vitamin D, Astaxanthin, Omega 3s, and a multi.
  • We take a homeopathic flu remedy as a preventative strategy twice a month called Mucococcinium. It's formulated to elevate the body’s immune system to combat all types of influenza and respiratory colds.  It’s clinically proven to be 88% effective at preventing the flu and 82% effective at treating the flu-- more effective than the flu vaccine.  
  • Hand washing, which we've taken to a new level now that we have a baby in the house.  Thank goodness for coconut oil to lather on afterwards to help with the dryness!
  • Rest.  It's not the easiest thing to get with a newborn around, but we try.
  • Moderate exercise.  I've learned over the years that my body needs to take things in moderation, and that goes for exercise, too.  As a hobby, I've been teaching group fitness for over a decade.  At one point I was teaching 11 classes per week.  I can honestly say that I was in the best shape of my life teaching only 2 classes per week than the ll (or anytime I wasn't allowing my body the recovery time it needed.)  I've read studies on long distance runners, too, that are at risk for severe health issues due to over-training.  The key is MODERATION!  You can get too much of a good thing.
Those are all I can think of right now, what are some of things your family does to stay ahead of cold and flu season?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Witch Hazel for Skin Care

I'm not sure how good witch hazel works on eczema, but it does seem to work really well on diaper rash!  My little girl has a huge appetite, making it nearly impossible to keep a dry diaper on her.  She's only 3 weeks old and has had her first diaper rash despite our best efforts.  It was looking pretty bad, and then I sprayed on some witch hazel, patted her dry, and followed that up with using a hair dryer on a warm/cool setting to completely dry her after her diaper changes.  I then applied diaper cream, either Butt Paste or my homemade cream of shea butter, coconut oil, & zinc (recipe is here).  Within 24 hours she was almost as good as new!