Archive | May 2012

One Mom’s Take on Vaccines…

I Hope You’ve Done Your Research…

Posted on May 31, 2012

My first article for Modern Alternative Mama was published over the weekend.

With my first post came a new audience. With a new audience, came comments and questions from people who don’t necessarily know me. One comment caught my attention. The reader wrote: “I hope this writer has done diligent and thorough research concerning vaccines”.

My response: “Thank-you for your concern over whether I have done diligent and thorough research concerning vaccines. That too is my concern for every parent I know. Not only is that my concern, it is also my prayer. My prayer is that every parent would conduct diligent and thorough research independent of what their pediatrician tells them to do”.

My response (and the reason for this post) is not necessarily just for this particular reader, but for every person who has thought or wondered the same thing: Have parents who don’t vaccinate actually done the proper research?

For me personally, I have logged in 7 years and over 5,000 hours of vaccine research.
I’ve been to “med school” and back again. 

I’ve done the research. Thorough. Diligent. Thought Provoking. Independent. Exhausting. Devastating. The truth isn’t always fun. Or easy.

Published studies. Medical Literature. Journals. Research conducted by Universities. Webinars. Books. Congressional testimonies. Transcripts. Websites. Blogs. The library.
You name it!

I often wonder how people come to the conclusion that parents who don’t vaccinate might not have done the proper research. Going against the status quo involves a conscious decision. A decision that goes against what is considered “acceptable” and “right” invloves a mindset that is aware, well researched,  and confident.

I recently read an article written by a doctor, writing for a Christian organization website. The article was about how amazing vaccines are and how we as parents need to make sure we get our children vaccinated. The conclusion to the article completely contradicted the point it was trying to make. It was actually very ironic. It read: “In the end, it is your own decision.  And I do believe that all knowledge, whether scriptural, scientific, geologic, economic, or whatever else you can think of, is from God.  He is the author of Truth.  So, when we humans stumble upon Truth, we are only meeting God where He is working already”

Say what??? How is doing what you are told to do (vaccinate your children) considered “stumbling upon truth?” Isn’t it quite the opposite? I had to dig deep to stumble upon truth. And yes, God is the author of Truth. And that truth told me that my 4 children would never receive a single vaccine. Ever.

And the part about “meeting God where is working already”. Really? I meet God where is already working every time I meet a parent of a vaccine injured child and see that they are being led through truth to healing and recovery.

It always astounds me when I hear someone tell a parent who has chosen not to vaccinate  “you have to be really careful when reading stuff off the internet”. As if we sit around reading bunk science off the internet and that’s how we arrived at our decision. No, the internet is what tells us TO vaccinate. The media tells us to vaccinate. The news stories and scare tactics tell us to vaccinate. Parenting Magazine tells us to vaccinate. Time Magazine tells us to vaccinate. Forbes Magazine tells us to vaccinate. The pediatricians office tells us to vaccinate. Society tells us to vaccinate.

You have to diligently seek out the research that goes against what mainstream society tells you to do. Ever read the Simpsonwood transcripts? I have. All 262 pages. How about these 60 published studies showing the link between vaccines & autism? Still waiting on Matt Lauer to share these studies.

I’m much more cautious of the CDC website which can never given a single reference or source to any of their vaccine data. That’s not research. Just because the CDC website tells me that vaccines saved the world from polio, doesn’t mean I have to believe it. No, I want proof. One year, I spent an entire summer researching polio. The truth of what caused the decline in polio is so far off from vaccines, it’s almost a joke that we still believe it was vaccines. Just read the testimonies of the polio vaccine inventors. Salk & Sabin were pretty cool dudes after all. Read my Dinner Party Post.

My response to those concerned about just reading “stuff off the internet”. 
Yeah, me too. Don’t do it.

I think it’s important to understand parents who don’t vaccinate. Otherwise stereotypes continue to lead our belief systems. Stereotypes keep myths around. The entire vaccine industry is built on stereotypes, myths, lies, scare tactics, and a belief system that is almost impossible to break.  Oh and a whole lotta money.

I think I’ve heard every stereotype given to parents who don’t vaccinate: Crazy, Conspiracy Theorists, Hippies, Uninformed, Misled. Misled by who? The Biomedical Community that is actually healing & recovering vaccine injured kids. I don’t care how big the “anti-vaccine” movement is, it could never compare to the BILLION dollar vaccine industry.

So who are these parents of unvaccinated children? How did they arrive at their decision? Seems like the folks at the CDC had these same questions. The researchers from the CDC published a study in the Journal of Pediatrics. It showed that children who hadn’t received any shots at all tended to come from educated families who had “parents who expressed concerns regarding the safety of vaccines and indicated that medical doctors have little influence over vaccination decisions for their children”.

Of course the vaccine industry’s most well-paid spokesperson Paul Offit had a comment on this study: “The surprising part is that someone who would be better educated would be less likely to get the vaccine,” he said.

Why is that surprising Mr. Offit? You might be a pediatrician, but you also invent vaccines and then vote them on to the vaccine schedule. Are we really supposed to trust you?

The study ended saying: ”It’s an excellent example of how more education and awareness translates to better health. Parents are gradually waking up to the dangers of vaccines. Those who have a university education and a well paid job, are in a better position to research vaccinations and know their rights. Education is power and they and those most invested in health and research are most likely to avoid vaccinations at all costs, a trend that is welcome and timely for future generations”.  -Dr. Mihalovicis a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research.

Let’s read that last sentence again:
“Education is power and they and those most invested in health and research are most likely to avoid vaccinations at all costs, a trend that is welcome and timely for future generations”.

So to the reader that is concerned over my decision and hopes that I have done my diligent and thorough research, I say this: “Thank-you…and right back at ya!”

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Lyme Disease on the Rise in Maine

Take a moment to read the article below.  In my opinion, the most important sentence is, “If you’ve been bitten by a deer tick, it’s safer to assume the bug was infected.”  I hear so often stories of people who were bitten or know someone bitten by a tick and they took it to a doctor or sent it to a lab and it came back “clean.”  I just can’t imagine a tick, nature’s dirty needle, coming back uninfected by anything.  It might not have Borrelia Burgdorfi, but it could transmit one of the many co infections, parasites or who knows what else.  As the tick attaches, it is a passageway of what it takes into its body and what it puts into your body.  Prevention, prevention, prevention this summer!

From: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/30/health/lyme-disease-and-other-tick-related-illnesses-on-the-rise-in-maine/

The tiny deer ticks marching northward through Maine may be hard to spot, but the diseases they carry are hard to miss.

Maine is recording increasing numbers of illnesses transmitted by the bite of the eight-legged deer tick, including two lesser-known germs following in Lyme disease’s footsteps. Cases of anaplasmosis, which affects white blood cells, have spiked from nine in 2007 to 26 in 2011, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears. Already in 2012, 15 cases have been reported.

“Although those numbers are very small compared to Lyme, the fact that it’s increasing, and it seems to be increasing pretty significantly each year, suggests to me that we really all need to become aware of all these diseases,” Sears said.

Also on health officials’ radar is babesiosis, a less common but potentially serious tick-borne disease in which microscopic parasites infect red blood cells. It can especially sicken those with weak immune systems and people who have had their spleen removed.

Both anaplasmosis and babesiosis cause fever, headache, and muscle aches, though some people infected with babesiosis experience no symptoms.

“If [people] get fevers and chills in the summer and they don’t have a rash, that could be Lyme disease without a rash, it could be anaplasma, it could be something else,” Sears said. “If they had tick exposure, that’s especially important.”

The deer tick can transmit Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. With one bite, a tick could infect its host with all three diseases.

The dog tick, meanwhile, which is larger with characteristic white markings, can carry Lyme but doesn’t transmit it.

Numbers wise, anaplasmosis and babesiosis still pale in comparison to Lyme disease. The most conspicuous of the tick-borne diseases, Lyme sickened about 1,000 Mainers in 2011 and more than 180 so far this year.

But the two emerging diseases are shadowing Lyme’s progression from southern to northern New England.

“Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are emerging in southern Maine the way we saw Lyme disease emerge several decades ago,” said Susan Elias, a clinical research associate at Maine Medical Center’s Vector-borne Disease Laboratory in South Portland. “We’re now seeing those two diseases moving inland and up the coast in the same pattern as Lyme.”

The spread of Lyme

Lyme disease has been recognized since 1975, when the first cases were identified in the town of Lyme, Conn. The illness was later traced to the bite of an infected deer tick. In 1982, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi was identified as the culprit behind the wide range of symptoms associated with the disease, from a telltale bull’s eye rash to, in more serious cases, nerve damage and heart problems.

Once limited to Maine’s southern counties, Lyme disease in humans has now spread to every county in the state. The number of cases reported each year has multiplied roughly 10 times since 1990 thanks to hungry deer ticks that feed mostly during the summer months.

Ticks are less of a problem in northern counties and at higher elevations, but that could change with a gradually warming climate.

“There’s sort of an imaginary line that you can draw through Bangor, and we can say we have higher density south of Bangor, lower tick density north,” with the exception of coastal Washington County, Elias said.

Maine’s climate prevents ticks from completing their two-year life cycle in the colder northern parts of the state, she said. But by 2050, warmer temperatures will mean ticks can progress from eggs to adults in all regions of Maine, according to research by the Vector-borne Disease Laboratory that’s based on models created by the University of Maine Climate Change Institute.

“It’s not this huge dramatic shift by 2050, it’s not like we’re going to be Virginia,” Elias said. “We’re going to be Massachusetts, which doesn’t seem like a huge change, but it is.”

The lab, which works to control tick-borne diseases, also identifies ticks sent in by the public. (It does not test ticks for disease.)

More ticks were submitted to the lab in March 2012 than in March of any prior year, Elias said.

“We got off to an early start because of the very mild winter where we had so little snow,” she said. “We started having tick submissions to our lab in mid-March, so that’s early.”

Conservatively, an average of 50 percent of Maine deer ticks carry disease, Elias said. In some areas, the infection rate is as high as 80 percent; in other regions it’s as low as 10 percent.

If you’ve been bitten by a deer tick, it’s safer to assume the bug was infected, she said.

Staying safe

With all the warnings about the nasty diseases deer ticks spread, some Mainers might be tempted to hole up inside for the summer.

But even Elias, who studies ticks for a living, encourages her 14-year-old boys to enjoy the outdoors.

“I have a town park behind my house and there are ticks, dog ticks and deer ticks,” she said. “I’d rather send [my sons] out and have them build treehouses and all that stuff. They come back in and we do a thorough tick check.”

Even if you find a tick crawling on your leg, that doesn’t mean you’ve been infected with disease, especially if it’s not engorged with blood.

“The ticks typically wander around for up to 24 hours before they even attach, so there’s a lot of opportunity to get rid of them,” Sears said. “Even if they’ve attached, you’ve got 24 hours at least before they begin to transmit the disease.”

Early signs of disease typically occur within a month of a tick bite. The most common symptom, a ring-like rash, occurs in about 80 percent of cases, Sears said. But patients can miss the rash if the bite occurs where they can’t see it, such as under the hair on the back.

Antibiotics are most effective in the early stages of disease, Sears said.

“It’s important for anybody who has been exposed to get diagnosed and get treated, the sooner the better,” he said.

Avoiding ticks

  1. Choose light-colored clothing so it’s easier to spot ticks; wear long sleeves and and tuck your pants into your socks.
  2. Use insect repellent with DEET on your skin and apply permethrin, a common insecticide, to your clothes.
  3. Check your skin and clothing for ticks and remove them promptly. Don’t miss warm, moist areas such as the ears, armpits and neck.
  4. Wash possible tick bites with soap and water and apply an antiseptic.
  5. Keep your lawn mowed and tidy to remove tick habitat.
  6. If you spot an embedded tick, use tweezers to grasp its mouth and pull it out with steady pressure. Don’t use petroleum jelly, hot matches or nail polish remover, which can increase the risk of infection.
  7. If a tick isn’t engorged with blood, it’s very unlikely it has transmitted disease.

Symptoms of disease

  1. In about 80 percent of Lyme cases, patients exhibit a ring-like rash that expands into a bull’s eye pattern. Flu-like symptoms are also common. Left untreated, Lyme can result in joint pain, nerve problems and heart problems.
  2. Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are also characterized by flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, headaches, and body aches. Babesiosis can result in anemia and dark urine and can be serious for people with weak immune systems and people who have had a spleen removed.

Treatment

  1. Oral antibiotics are used to treat Lyme and anaplasmosis. Babesiosis is treated with a two-drug regimen. Contact your doctor immediately if you’ve been bitten and are experiencing symptoms, as treatment is most effective when started early. The longer the tick is attached to your skin, the greater the risk of illness.
  2. It takes about three weeks for the body to consistently produce antibodies against Lyme, so early blood tests for the antibodies may not be accurate.
  3. Your doctor may treat you for Lyme without a blood test if you have the telltale rash or if you don’t exhibit symptoms but live in a high-risk area and an engorged tick was embedded on you for longer than 24 hours.
  4. A vaccine for Lyme disease was discontinued in 2002; no vaccine is available today.

Source: Maine CDC


Lyme Documentary

From: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1128408497/lymelight

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1128408497/lymelight/widget/video.html

Help us raise enough money to finish the documentary film LymeLight. All proceeds raised on this Kickstarter will go directly to funding the completion of this film.

  • For every pledge, we will add your name to the credits of the film.
  • LymeLight will be distributed on DVD and hosted online for free viewing.

LymeLight follows professional freeskier Angeli VanLaanen as she overcomes the complications of living with the chronic illness, “Lyme Disease”. Angeli, just twenty-six years old from Bellingham, Washington is considered one of the top women freeskiers in the world, competing in many high profile events such as the X-Games and having countless photos published in magazines. Most recently, she was featured on the cover of Skiing Magazine’s November 2011 issue.

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by a bite from an infected tick and can develop into complications with the joints, heart and/or nervous system if not treated. Angeli, living with Lyme disease for over 15 years, 14 of which were misdiagnosed, was forced to step back from her professional skiing career to focus on her health. Through strong mental and physical determination, you see Angeli work to overcome her illness and return to her sport of professional freeskiing.

LymeLight serves as an inspirational story for those who have fought to overcome chronic illness and physical setbacks. It delivers a powerful message of the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle on a daily basis.

More about Lyme Disease: 

Lyme Disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria (spirochete) called Borrelia Burgdorferi, which is transferred through the bite of an infected Black Legged tick. This bacteria attacks the central nervous system, can cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms. If caught promptly, treatment can eradicate the infection in 6-8 weeks. If left untreated, the Lyme spirochete can embed into any area of the body, making treatment long term. This condition is called Chronic Lyme Disease. Chronic Lyme Disease can be immobilizing and even fatal. There is much controversy and debate in the medical community on treatment protocol and the possibility of a cure for Chronic Lyme Disease.

Unfortunately Angeli’s story of going years undiagnosed, is all too common. Black Legged ticks can be found in almost every state in the USA and many countries around the world. 50% of people diagnosed with Lyme Disease have no recollection of a “bullseye rash,” a symptom particular to Lyme infection. In years past this rash was the main diagnosing factor. These days you will find physicians using the ELISA and Western Blot blood tests. This testing protocol is not sensitive enough to pick up the bacteria 100% of the time and in many cases leads to “false negatives.” These are problems you may run into if your doctor even thinks to test you for Lyme Disease in the first place. In most cases doctors overlook Lyme Disease as a possible cause all together.

For more information about Lyme Disease visit ILADS.org

“The most powerful solution to a problem is action. In sharing my story around the world, I will shed light on living with Lyme Disease and help create a supportive environment for those battling this illness. With understanding comes compassion, and having compassion from those around us inspires personal strength. I want to empower others to be strong through hard times.” Angeli VanLaanen

Someone Else’s Blog (Jessica)

http://grayson-youarewhatyoueat.blogspot.com/

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this blog, but it’s very informative.  The mom of 2 boys blogs about her cooking for many food sensitivities, chelation,  dental amalgam removals, parasites, sensory processing disorder, testing, supplements, yeast, bacteria, toxins, heavy metals, and much more.  It looks like her blog started in December of 2008, and she has tons of posts, all of which I want to read.  It’s bookmarked on my computer.  She even posts about her son being bit by a tick and having the tick analyzed for Lyme and co infections.

Jackson Pediatric Neurologist

Jackson does have an appointment with a pediatric neurologist here in San Jose at the end of June, but my dad brought to my attention some pediatric neurologists in Sacramento.  I’ve seen Dr. Chez’ name come up a few times on my Yahoo Groups message boards, and just today I requested from our pediatrician that he fax over a referral for Jackson to get an appointment.  I’m hoping to have an EEG sleep study done on Jackson to look for abnormal brain activity and possible seizures.  Our LLMD thought the overnight EEG would provide good information and hopefully rule out the seizure possibility.

http://www.checksutterfirst.org/neuro/autism/

http://www.checksutterfirst.org/children/videolibrary/autism.html

Jackson Update

No, no noticeable improvements from treatment yet, but I did want to report about the IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meeting we had on Friday.  It went really well. The psychologist and speech therapists reported their assessment reports, we came up with Jackson’s goals for the year and we talked about services.  Since Jackson turned 3 at the end of the school year, it didn’t make sense for Jackson to start a program for just a week or two.  The district proposed continuing the 20 hours of ABA in home therapy for the remainder of this school year (until June 8th), and for the extended year program (4 weeks in the summer).  The district is also going to have Jackson assessed for Occupational Therapy (which I’m sure he’ll qualify for).  We’ll then reconvene at the beginning of August, for another IEP, to discuss class placement for Jackson.  Since his needs are so extensive, it’s going to take some time to find the correct placement.  They already told us that the preschools in our district are not the correct match for Jackson, so they must look either to county programs or to other school districts.  All I know is that Misha and I will surely go visit any recommended classroom for Jackson to make sure the teacher and aids are fit to meet Jackson’s needs.

Misha and I were hesitant to accept the home ABA that the district offered us for the fact that Jackson is very home bound.  His current schedule is ABA 9-11am, nap 12-2pm, ABA 3:30-5:30pm.  When does Jackson get to go to the park or zoo or Discovery Museum?  We agreed to it since it is short term and they assured us that their goal is to get Jackson into school at the beginning of the school year.

The district was nothing but lovely with us.  After attending Autism support groups for all these months, the majority of parent’s reactions to dealing with IEPs and school districts is negative and parents feeling like they don’t get the services their kids need.  I’m so thankful that one think I DON”T have to stress about is Jackson getting the behavioral therapy piece of the puzzle.  He’s being well taken care of.

The other areas of Jackson’s treatment are going.  It’s been 3 months now, and our LLMD is sure that the reason we haven’t seen Jackson progress is the mold.  But what mold???  We have a mold person coming today with a tool to look for mold.  I’m seriously not letting him leave this house until he finds it and we make a plan to remove it so Jackson can move forward.  The biofeedback test showed Jackson’s Lyme numbers came down considerably, so we’re continuing on with the supplements and antibiotics, but really, he’s not going to get better until we figure out the mold.  We’re not giving up.  This journey isn’t over. We’ve been over many hurdles and through too many obstacles to slow down now.  I am 100% confident Jackson is in that body of his, and we’ll get him to thrive.  This I know for sure.

Explanation of GAPS

From http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=20

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS)

By Dr. N. Campbell-McBride

We live in the world of unfolding epidemics. Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), schizophrenia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive –compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder and other neuro-psychological and psychiatric problems in children and young adults are becoming more and more common.

In clinical practice these conditions more often than not overlap with each other. A child with autism often is hyperactive and dyspraxic. There is about 50% overlap between dyslexia and dyspraxia and 25-50% overlap between hyperactivity and dyslexia and dyspraxia. Children with these conditions are often diagnosed as being depressed and as they grow up they are more prone to substance abuse or alcoholism than their typically developing peers. A young adult diagnosed with schizophrenia would often suffer from dyslexia, dyspraxia or/and ADHD/ADD in childhood. Schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder are often described as two sides of one coin. We have created different diagnostic boxes to fit our patients in. But a modern patient does not fit into any one of them neatly. The modern patient in most cases fits into a rather lumpy picture of overlapping neurological and psychiatric conditions.

When we examine these patients in a clinical setting, we find that apart from so-called mental problems, they are also physically very ill. Digestive disorders, malnourishment, allergies, asthma, eczema, chronic cystitis, thrush and fussy eating habits are a consistent part of the picture.

What is a typical scenario we see in clinical practice?

Before examining the patient it is very important to look at the health history of the parents. Whenever the parents are mentioned people immediately think about genetics. However, apart of genetics there is something very important the parents, mother in particular, pass to their child: their unique gut micro-flora. Not many people know that an adult on average carries 2 kg of bacteria in the gut. There are more cells in that microbial mass than there are cells in an entire human body. It is a highly organised micro-world, where certain species of bacteria have to predominate to keep us healthy physically and mentally. Their role in our health is so monumental, that we simply cannot afford to ignore them. We will talk in detail about the child’s gut flora later. Now let us come back to the source of the child’s gut flora – the parents.

After studying hundreds of cases or neurological and psychiatric conditions in children, a typical health picture of these children’s mums has emerged.
A typical modern mother was probably not breast fed when she was a baby, because she was born in 60s or 70s when breast-feeding went out of fashion. Why is it important? Because it is well known that bottle fed babies develop completely different gut flora to the breast fed babies. This compromised gut flora in a bottle fed baby later on predisposes her to many health problems. Having acquired compromised gut flora from the start, a typical modern mum had quite a few courses of antibiotics in her childhood and youth for various infections. It is a well known fact that antibiotics have a serious damaging effect on the gut flora, because they wipe out the beneficial strains of bacteria in the gut. At the age of 16 and sometimes even earlier the modern mum was put on a contraceptive pill, which she took for quite a few years before starting a family. Contraceptive pills have a devastating effect on the beneficial (good) bacteria in the gut. One of the major functions of the good bacteria in the gut flora is controlling about 500 different known to science species of pathogenic (bad) and opportunistic microbes. When the beneficial bacteria get destroyed the opportunists get a special opportunity to grow into large colonies and occupy large areas of the digestive tract. A modern diet of processed and fast foods provides perfect nourishment for these pathogens and that is a typical diet a modern mum had as a child and a young adult. As a result of all these factors a modern mum has seriously compromised gut flora by the time she is ready to have children. And indeed clinical signs of gut dysbiosis (abnormal gut flora) are present in almost 100% of mothers of children with neurological and psychiatric conditions. The most common health problems in mothers are digestive abnormalities, allergies, auto-immunity, PMS, chronic fatigue, headaches and skin problems.

A baby is born with a sterile gut. In the first 20 or so days of life the baby’s virgin gut surface gets populated by a mixture of microbes. This is the child’s gut flora, which will have a tremendous effect on this child’s health for the rest of his/her life. Where does this gut flora come from? Mainly from the mother.
So, whatever microbial flora the mother has she would pass to her new-born child.

Gut flora is something we do not think much about. And yet the number of functions the gut flora fulfils is so vital for us that if some day our digestive tract got sterilised we probably would not survive.

The first and very important function is appropriate digestion and absorption of food. If a child does not acquire normal balanced gut flora, then the child will not digest and absorb foods properly, developing multiple nutritional deficiencies. And that is what we commonly see in children and adults with learning disabilities, psychiatric problems and allergies. Many of these patients are malnourished. Even in the cases where the child may grow well, testing reveals some typical nutritional deficiencies in many important minerals, vitamins, essential fats, many amino-acids and other nutrients. The most common deficiencies, recorded in these patients, are in magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, calcium, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vanadium, boron, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A, D, folic acid, pantothenic acid, omega-3, 6, 9 fatty acids, taurine, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, glutathione and many other amino-acids. This usual list of nutritional deficiencies includes some most important nutrients for normal development and function of the child’s brain, immune system and the rest of the body.

Apart of normal digestion and absorption of food healthy gut flora actively synthesises various nutrients: vitamin K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), ciancobalamine (vitamin B12), various amino-acids and proteins. Indeed, when tested people with gut dysbiosis always present with deficiencies of these nutrients. Clinical experience shows that restoring the beneficial bacteria in their gut is the best way to deal with these deficiencies.

The majority of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions look pale and pasty. When tested they show various stages of anaemia, which is not surprising. To have a healthy blood we require many different nutrients: vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K, A, D, etc), minerals (Fe, Ca, Mg, Zn, Co, Se, boron, etc.), essential amino-acids and fats. These patients not only cannot absorb these nutrients from food, but their own production of many of them in the body is damaged. On top of that people with damaged gut flora often have particular groups of pathogenic bacteria growing in their gut, which are iron-loving bacteria (Actinomyces spp., Mycobacterium spp., pathogenic strains of E.Coli, Corynebacterium spp. and many others). They consume whatever iron the person gets from the diet, leaving that person deficient in iron. Unfortunately, supplementing iron only makes these bacteria grow stronger and does not remedy anaemia. To treat anaemia the person requires all the nutrients we have mentioned, many of which healthy gut flora supplies.

Apart from taking a direct part in nourishing the body, beneficial bacteria in the gut act asthe housekeepers for the digestive tract. They coat the entire surface of the gut protecting it from invaders and toxins by providing a natural barrier and producing a lot of anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substances. At the same time they provide the gut lining with nourishment. It is estimated that 60 – 70% of energy, the gut lining derives, is from the activity of bacteria, which live on it. So, it is no surprise that when the gut flora is abnormal the digestive tract itself cannot be healthy. Indeed most children and adults with learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders and allergies present with digestive problems. In many cases these problems are so severe, that the patients (or their parents) talk about them first. In some cases they may not be very severe, but when asked direct questions the parents describe that their child never had normal stool, that their child suffered from colic as a baby and that tummy pains, bloating and flatulence are a common part of the picture. Adult sufferers describe the same kind of symptoms. In those cases where these children and adults have been examined by gastro-enterologists inflammatory process in the gut was found along with faecal compaction and an over-spill syndrome. Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his team at the Royal Free Hospital in London in the late 90s found an inflammatory condition in the bowel of autistic children, which they have named Autistic Enterocolitis. Schizophrenic patients were always known to have serious digestive problems. Dr. Curtis Dohan, MD has devoted many years to researching digestive abnormalities in schizophrenia. He found a lot of similarities between coeliac disease and the state of the digestive tract in schizophrenics. Indeed, in my clinical practice long before these patients develop psychotic symptoms they suffer from digestive problems and all other typical symptoms of gut dysbiosis pretty much from the start of their lives. Children and young adults with ADHD/ADD, OCD, depression and other neuro-psychological problems are very often reported to suffer from digestive abnormalities.

What other symptoms of gut dysbiosis do we know?

Well-functioning gut flora is the right hand of our immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells, immunoglobulins and other parts of the immunity. But most importantly they keep the immune system in the right balance. What typically happens in a person with gut dysbiosis is that two major arms of their immune system Th1 and Th2 get out of balance with underactive Th1 and overactive Th2. As a result the immune system starts reacting to most environmental stimuli in an allergic or atopic kind of way.
A baby is born with an immature immune system. Establishment of healthy balanced gut flora in the first few days of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of the immune system. If the baby does not acquire appropriate gut flora then the baby is left immune compromised. The result is lots of infections followed by lots of courses of antibiotics, which damage the child’s gut flora and immune system even further. The most common infections in the first two years of life in the children with neurological, psychological and atopic disorders are ear infections, chest infections, sore throats and impetigo. At the same time in the first two years of life the child receives a lot of vaccinations. A child with compromised immune system does not react to vaccinations in a predicted way. In most cases vaccines deepen the damage to the immune system and provide a source of chronic persistent viral infections and autoimmune problems in these children. There has been a considerable amount of research published into the state of the immune system in children and adults with learning disabilities and psychiatric problems. The research shows deep abnormalities in all major cell groups and immunoglobulins in these patients. The most common autoantibodies found are to myelin basic protein (MBP) and neuron-axon filament protein (NSFP). These antibodies attack the person’s brain and the rest of the nervous system.

So, the modern patient (child or adult), who we are talking about, did not get normal gut flora from the start and then got it damaged even further by repeated courses of antibiotics and vaccinations. As a result these children and adults commonly suffer from digestive problems, allergies, asthma and eczema. But apart from that in people who then go on to develop neurological and psychiatric problems something even more terrible happens. Without control of the beneficial bacteria different opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi have a good chance to occupy large territories in the digestive tract of the patient and grow large colonies. Two particular groups which are most commonly found on testing are yeasts (including Candida species) and Clostridia family. These pathogenic microbes start digesting food in their own way producing large amounts of various toxic substances, which get absorbed into the blood stream, carried to the brain and cross the blood – brain barrier. The number and mixture of toxins can be very individual, causing different neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Due to the absence or greatly reduced numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut flora, the person’s digestive system instead of being a source of nourishment becomes a major source of toxicity in the body.