By Dr. Larry Wilson
As a group, children do not fare well in America. Our mortality rate ranks 18th among the industrialized nations. The birth defect rate in America has doubled since 1950. Failure to thrive, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, depression, fatigue syndromes, anxiety and many other conditions are increasing in children and young adults. While the wealthier elderly demand more government benefits, the children, with long lives ahead of them, wither. There is much you can do to help the next generation of children to be healthier.
If you are old enough to read this article and are ever considering having children, begin your pre-natal care now! Avoiding alcohol or drugs during pregnancy is hardly enough to produce a healthy child.
It is very important to address more subtle nutritional imbalances as well. Screening for these imbalances is inexpensive using a properly performed and properly interpreted hair mineral analysis. Once you receive your analysis and nutritional program, it can take at least several months to improve your body chemistry and remove a few toxic metals, so start early, preferably now.
Here is the problem with current pre-natal care. Usually a woman does not know she is pregnant until she misses a period, several weeks after conception. By this time, the pregnancy is well underway. It is rather later to begin pre-natal care. The first 8-12 weeks of pregnancy are called the "critical period". All the organs and tissues are formed in the first 8-12 weeks.
In some primitive cultures, special nourishment for women begins as soon as they reach puberty or, at the latest, when they marry. This makes so much sense.
Inherited or Congenital?
More and more health conditions today are blamed on faulty genes. This fatalistic idea is not only depressing, but in many cases incorrect. The fact is, nutrients are needed to activate genes. If the proper nutrition were present, many times the defect would not occur. Folic acid and zinc are just two among many vitamins and minerals that can, in fact, prevent birth defects.
In the field of genetics, researchers now admit that at least one percent of the population has what are called polymorphisms. These are expressions of genes that are not correct. They are not the same as genetic defects, which affect far fewer people. However, polymorphisms cause many of the same type of problems because the proteins the genes make are defective.
Genetics researchers do not give a cause for polymorphisms. However, I believe they are the result of toxic metals and possibly nutrient deficiencies. To read about polymorphisms, see www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/75/4/616.
Toxic metals interfere with nutrients and are highly associated with genetic defects. Published research proves that toxic metals such as cadmium, copper, mercury and others pass through the placenta, affecting the health of the baby. Textbooks on toxic metals refer to babies as "sinks" for toxic metals. Genetic research is wonderful, but it will never replace improving the health of parents in order to produce healthy offspring.
American and world maternity statistics could be much better. The birth defect rate in America has doubled since 1950. Rates of cesarean section and maternal diabetes have risen dramatically in the last 50 years, and continue to rise. Developmental difficulties, obesity, diabetes, learning disorders, ADHD, autism and many other problems of children are increasing rapidly.
Today, one of every five children is diagnosed with a learning disorder, and some 5 million of our 32 million children are taking a psychotropic drug to control their behavior. We seem to be breeding generations of sick children. No wonder health care costs keep rising! Let's examine some known causes and what you can do about them.
Nutrients and Genes
Forty or more nutrients are needed so that mothers and children will have robust immune systems, proper bone and brain development, and can handle the birth experience without complications. Prenatal vitamins replace only a few of these. To replenish even one mineral can take nine months or more! Starting when you get pregnant is much too late. Believing that all you need is a prenatal vitamin is a joke.
Correcting nutritional imbalances can make a great difference for pregnancy and birth. Animal breeders know this well. Sadly, the public and many doctors do not understand this. One reason is they are not familiar with tools such as tissue mineral analysis that can detect imbalances at the cellular level that can be corrected before pregnancy and birth complications arise.
Dietary intake of calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc often don't meet minimum standards, which are barely enough to keep one alive. The problem begins with inferior quality food. Hybrid crops bred for production, color and flavor, but not nutrition, are grown on depleted soil and laced with pesticides and herbicides.
Most people don't eat enough completely natural foods. They prefer or just end up eating denatured foods - fluffy white bread, white sugar, candy, pastries and white rice. These have been stripped of their minerals and vitamins. In addition, most have added preservatives, colors, irradiation and hundreds of other additives further impair the nutritional quality of the food. This stuff (hard to call it food) is barely more nutritious than its cardboard packaging!
Poor eating habits such as eating in the car or eating on the run further decrease the nutritional benefit of our food. Stressful lifestyles, air pollution, medical drugs and exposure to environmental toxins increase nutritional needs, so the inferior diets become even more inadequate. If you are even contemplating having children, do yourself and them a favor and begin now to eat better quality.
The medical drug culture contributes to many birth defects and problems of pregnancy and birth. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that common prescription and over-the-counter medications increased birth defects in 8000 infants by 120 to 240%.
Did you know that many prescription medications antagonize or deplete nutrients? Folic acid antagonists include tripmethoprim, triampterine, carbamazepine, phenytoin, penobarbitol (Dilantin) and primidone. Antibiotics often kill the beneficial bacteria that produce folic acid, a vitamin necessary to avoid birth defects.
Other problem medications include Aspirin, barbituates, over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan, Celebrex, cholestyramine (Questran), Cimetadine, Colistipol, corticosteroids, ethosuximide, hydrochlorthiazide, indomethacin, methotrexate, methsuximide, nizatidine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, birth control pills, ranitidine bismuth citrate, ranitidine hydrochloride, salsalate, and valproic acid.
Toxic Metals and Toxic Chemicals
When a person doesn't ingest enough essential nutrients, the body absorbs more toxic metals from the environment. Low zinc, manganese and vitamin C intake, for example, can cause an increase in copper. High copper is associated with morning sickness, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and post-partum depression. It also passes through the placenta and is associated with birth defects, ear infections and learning problems in children.
Toxic metals include mercury used in dental fillings and as a preservative in vaccines and flu shots. Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke, tap water and junk foods. Lead is found in paints, dyes, and many other places. All these are highly toxic to the unborn, and pass easily through the placenta from mother to child.
Toxic chemicals are also found in household chemicals, cleaners, paints, tap water, building materials, even synthetic clothing and synthetic carpets. Reducing your toxic load when you become pregnant is good, but rather late. It takes many months or years to remove all the toxic chemicals from your body. Sauna therapy, however, is one way to greatly speed up the process.
For example, cadmium found in cigarette smoke has a half-life of 27 years. This means it takes 27 years for half of it to leave the body. The time can be shortened with a nutritional balancing program. However, the best time to start cleaning these out of your body is now.
Other Health Concerns
Tissue mineral testing can detect other imbalances that are important to correct before becoming pregnant. These include low thyroid and adrenal glandular activity, an impaired immune system, sugar and carbohydrate intolerance, hidden infections and impaired digestion.
Correcting these imbalances through diet, supplements and lifestyle changes can make pregnancy much safer and more pleasant. It can also ease the birthing process and give a baby a much healthier start in life.
A New Women's Paradigm
A new health paradigm is coming. The new ethic, particularly for women, is to take care of your body when you are young so you will have healthy children. Women used to take much better care of their bodies. The women's liberation movement and other changes in society, such as two working parents, has had a horrible effect on babies who depend on their mothers' bodies for their nutrition and genetic integrity. Real women's liberation is to free oneself from all of society's bad habits, instead of copying men's bad habits.
Until this shift occurs, wise young women will have to take the initiative. Be different from your friends! Maybe you will start a trend. Help each other resist the temptations of soda pop, junk food, alcohol and cigarettes. Other killers of your health are late hours, reduced sleep and all drugs, including legal prescription and over-the-counter products that may give temporary relief but are not healthful.
Having Healthy Children
Here are some basics for having healthy children:
Nutrition. Start eating better now. Upgrade your diet. Begin by eliminating all products made with bleached white flour, white sugar and corn syrup. This alone is a big step for many people. Eat more fresh food and eat more vegetables – a lot twice a day.
Eat more organically grown food to reduce your pesticide load and increase your nutrition. Organically grown food was shown in a 1993 study in the Journal of Applied Nutrition (45:1, pp. 35-39) to contain an average of more than twice the mineral content of regular supermarket food. More and more markets are selling organic foods.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Also avoid extreme and deficient diets, which includes vegetarian diets or any other extreme diet. A recent study showed five times greater likelihood of the birth defect hypospadias in women who followed a vegetarian diet during pregnancy.
Take nutritional supplements. At the very least, use kelp, sea salt and brewer's or better nutritional yeast and take a quality multiple vitamin-mineral.
Drugs and Medications. Forego alcohol and recreational drugs. Alcohol not only kills brain cells and destroys your peace of mind. It depletes zinc and magnesium, two minerals often in short supply and critical for a healthy young baby. However, an occasional small glass of wine or beer is probably fine until you are actually pregnant. Then it is best to abstain completely.
Avoid over-the-counter or prescription medications unless absolutely needed. Modern medicine is now the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer! Try natural remedies first. During pregnancy, or even if you remotely believe you are pregnant, be very careful with any drugs, even if it is prescribed by a licensed doctor or naturopath. They may not realize that it is not safe for mothers carrying developing children in their wombs.
Toxic Chemicals. Carefully throw away all toxic cleaning chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, toxic paints, and other poisons in your home and work space. There are safe alternatives for most of these. As much as possible, surround yourself with natural materials, use natural-fiber clothing, and make sure homes and work areas are well-ventilated.
Many indoor environments are toxic from the fumes and residues of toxic chemicals. Chemicals brought into the home from a father who works with them is another factor that should be corrected before pregnancy.
Improve Your Health. Tissue mineral testing and a well-designed nutritional balancing program of the type we offer can be extremely helpful to correct subtle nutritional imbalances before they develop into diseases and problems. The way you look or even feel is not a good guide to your condition! Do this preferably before you become pregnant, although you can start a program while you are pregnant.
Natural therapies including chiropractic, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, yoga, tai chi and others are also excellent to help improve your health. The more healthy and balanced you become, the easier and safer pregnancy and birth will be.
Fitness and Lifestyle. Birth is a physical process. Do some gentle exercise daily such as walking. Vigorous exercise is neither needed nor helpful in almost all cases. Learn how to relax if this is difficult for you. Get plenty of rest and sleep, and make the decision to love yourself more every day. Do your best to make your home and work environments safe, quiet, happy and low-stress.
Other Preparation Ideas. Look at your relationship carefully. Is it stable? Is this the man or woman you want to be the parent of your child? If not, begin counseling or make another choice now, rather than get stuck later with a child and a partner who is immature or otherwise non-supportive. This is very important. Do not allow romance or even feeling sorry for a partner to blind you. Having children usually does not fix a bad relationship.
Are you financially and socially able to support another family member? Is one parent willing to stay home with a child? Also, religious and spiritual values become much more important when a child is involved. Now is the time to think about the values you and your partner will teach your child. Be sure the two of you are "on the same page".
Learn about four interventions that can dramatically improve the outcome of pregnancy. They are:
1. Use a midwife or other birth attendant.
2. Always have someone other than the doctor present at all times to keep an eye on you and on everything around you.
3. When possible, have your child outside of a regular hospital.
4. Leave the hospital as soon as possible. Do not allow the hospital to vaccinate your child before leaving the hospital. It is standard procedure now in some hospitals and you may be weak and tired. So give prior instructions and have someone stay with your baby at all times to make sure no medicine or vaccines are given without your approval. Do not be railroaded on this issue. The baby's life or health may be at stake.
Learn about the dangers of vaccines. Natural alternatives such as homeopathic vaccines do exist but are usually not needed. Also learn now about natural ways to deal with children's infections, parenting skills and alternatives to traditional schooling. All these can be vital to learn now, not later.
Enlightened birthing practices can help reduce the stress of birth and enable babies to get a better start. Important practices include:
Do not expose the newborn to bright lights.
Allow the child to begin breathing on his own if possible.
Do not be in a hurry to cut the umbilical cord. Let all the blood go into the baby first.
Allow the child to remain with its mother instead of being isolated after birth.
For low-risk pregnancies, home birth is safer than hospital birth. Often you will get better service if you involve a midwife and a doula or birth attendant.
After birth, have your child checked over by a competent chiropractor or osteopath. A simple adjustment may help prevent many childhood problems. A session with a cranial-sacral therapist is not a bad idea, either. It is a lot easier to correct imbalances when a child is young, than when they have become entrenched years later.
The author recently spoke to a mother whose child received the DPT vaccine at age one. Soon after, the child contracted pertussis. Afterwards, his development regressed, and he now has persistent developmental disability or PDD. This is a very common story.
Often vaccines do not work, and they are very dangerous, especially for babies. Longer-term effects of vaccines are also unclear and difficult to trace. Vaccines are not responsible for the decline of major diseases, as we are led to believe.
The structure of vaccines is such that there is no question that illness could be triggered later by the use of vaccines. Many vaccines are still preserved with mercury and aluminum, two very toxic elements.
Become well-informed on this issue. Read the other side of the story, not just what the health department and doctors tell you. They are often simply wrong and many doctors are in denial on the vaccine issue. A few excellent books include Murder by Injection and The Poisoned Needle. Health food stores often have books regarding the dangers of vaccines. Books are also available from the National Health Federation, PO Box 688, Monrovia, CA 91017.
If you would like a hair test, please contact Joy Feldman
HAVING HEALTHY CHILDREN
Eating white sugar has affected the health of millions around the world. Dr Nancy Appleton, author of Lick the Sugar Habit has documented research findings concerning its effects on the body. Here are some examples:
Sugar can suppress
the immune system.
Sugar upsets the mineral
relationships in the body.
Sugar can cause
hyper-activity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
Sugar reduces high /density lipoproteins.
Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.