Monday, February 28, 2011

Is the Environment Poisoning Our Children? | Sandra Steingraber | Orion Magazine

Did you read the question above? All I can say is "well DUH!". The environment is poisoning all of us, some faster than others based on their choices, but it is harming our vulnerable children probably most of all.

This is a long read, but so worth it. Especially if you are not in the Autism world and especially, especially if you've never had the pleasure of sitting in on the "Defending your child from a toxic world" session at a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) conference. Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld, affectionately named Dr. Doom and Gloom, goes over many of these points, outlining just how toxic our world has become and how to mitigate some of that. So, here is the article, I would say enjoy but more than likely you will feel sick to your stomach afterwards....

Is the Environment Poisoning Our Children? | Sandra Steingraber | Orion Magazine

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking a break from Respen-A

So, I have a back log of blogging topics, as usual. So, I will attempt to slowly catch up by discussing a supplement break I took with my son's Respen-A a couple of weeks ago. With Respen-A it is required that you give 2,000 mg of calcium and magnesium at a 4 to 1 ratio. The preferred form is calcium carbonate and let me tell you, we have played with various calciums over our year of doing Respen-A. So, when I ran out of calcium carbonate - and because of its form is not widely used - I could not find it locally. So I figured this was a good time to take a break and see if we still needed it. We often become complacent with supplements and I start to think "do we REALLY need this anymore?" and so it is good I think to take a break once in a while after things have stabilized and you are not making any other changes. We don't do that very often. So, we stopped on a Sunday. Ummm yeah.....not so bueno. Meltdowns, screaming, deja vue and not in the good way. Monday afternoon I was in the classroom helping out for another mom who couldn't make it. Luckily, I was there at math time and helped him stay on track with his math sheet. He normally comes home with the "In class" sides completed and then we complete the "At home" sides. While we took a break from Respen-A, the only day he came home with completed "In class" math sheet sides was Monday when I sat with him and helped. Emotionally explosive is the only way I can describe his moods. I was back to calling his name several times just to get him to look at me. So Tues/Wed were more of the same. Calcium came Wed afternoon (thank GOD!). We were back to administering the patch Thurs morning. He had a rocky morning but by mid day his teacher reported that it was like a switch was flipped. All of a sudden he was completing his math worksheet, independently, without a word from him. She checked on him and just left him to it, noting the change from the rest of the week.

She and I spent about 45 minutes on the phone after school that day discussing her observations, which fit with mine. It was just so uncanny that she noted the huge change in him the very day the patch went back on. So, this confirmed for us the continued need for Respen-A. Since putting it back on, his moods have leveled back out and his focus is much better. So, Respen-A will be on board for a while longer since there was such a drastic negative change when stopping. Boy, brought us back to what our reality "used to be" and can I say how glad I am to not be there anymore? So I wanted to share our experiences on taking a break from Respen-A. Obviously my hope is at some point most of our supplements will no longer be critical for his functioning. But there is a lot of healing that needs to happen first, and we apparently are just not there yet. That's OK. It took a while for the damage to be done, it will take a while for the healing. But as long as we know the supplement is required and working, we will keep pressing on!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Medical Flex Spending Accounts for 2011

Please note, any supplements that you normally claim via flex spending will now require a prescription!! Anything that is over the counter cannot be claimed through flex spending without a prescription.

So, check with your doctor and make sure you have your ducks in a row. If you contribute to a flex spending account and try and use it for over the counter items, it will be added to your gross income with a 20% penalty!!! Supplements (as recommended by our doctors) comprise a huge portion of our flex spending reimbursements and I bet many other families are in the same boat. So, make sure you are covered and you get your doctor to write up a prescription for ALL of those over the counter supplements, including cough syrups, homeopathic remedies, even pain relievers like Ibuprofen and Tylenol (which ideally you are not using these days much but just in case....). By the way, if your 2010 plan allows you to spend into 2011 (usually March 15th is the deadline), this new requirement applies! So, if you still have 2010 funds to use, you will be required to submit a prescription along with the reimbursement request!

Read the Kiplinger article HERE

"Did you know" by Doris Rapp, MD

Anyone who hasn't heard of Dr. Doris Rapp needs to! One of the first books I read on this journey to heal my son was "Is This Your Child" which addresses the issue of food allergies and intolerances and some of the behaviors associated and how to tell what is causing reactions. It was a very eye opening book on the power food has on behavior and the negative health effects from eating allergenic foods. She just did a "Did you know" list that I am copying for you to enjoy. She is amazing, become her friend on Facebook to keep up with her posts.

“Did You Knows” From Doris Rapp, M.D.
February 20, 2011

•That 2 tsp of baking soda in a half glass of water can relieve a food allergy in a few minutes.
•That celery is one of the most pesticide treated vegetables?
•That strawberries are one of the most pesticide treated fruits.
•That toxic chemicals are stored in the fat of meat so you should buy only lean or organic meat to prevent chemical exposures.
•That the EPA suggests that more than one meal a month of farmed salmon increases your risk of cancer?
•That butter has more PCBs than any other food?
•That mothers who eat fish from the Great Lakes have a greater chance of having a birth defective baby than other mothers.
•That babies float in 287 toxic chemicals while in the uterus and these chemicals are found in the baby’s blood at birth and can damage the baby in many ways.
•That pesticide exposures during the first 3 months of a woman’s pregnancy can cause an increased chance of having a miscarriage, a stillborn or a defective baby.
•That men should avoid chemicals, such as lawn herbicides, for at least 65 days before they conceive so they have a better chance of having normal sperm.
•That men are becoming more effeminate because of all the feminizing chemicals to which we are all exposed. Their sperm counts and testosterone levels are dropping. Young men are developing breasts and needing Viagra.
•That aspartame or Equal can short circuit your nervous system because it can fray the coatings of your nerves causing serious damage to all your nerves. In addition, many studies indicate this chemical does not help you lose weight.
•That an air purifier can sometimes help you in hours to a few days if dust, molds, pollen or chemicals are making you ill. You can get a refund in 30 days if the help is not satisfactory, less $25 and shipping and handling. Call 800-787-8780.
There is a one week allergy diet that will quickly relieve many food allergies in 5 to 7 days if major allergenic foods are your problem. It costs nothing to carry out the diet. In the second week of the diet when you add the foods back, you will quickly see which food cause which symptoms.

Doris J Rapp, MD.

Visit www for more valuable information.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Once you've met one mom with Autism......

There is a saying "Once you've met one child with Autism, you've met one child with Autism" meaning they all are so different that there is no way to paint every child with a broad brush. Some are sensitive to touch, some crave touch, some are overly friendly, others avoid contact with other people, you get the idea. And so goes the statement about our families as well. Except....knowing quite a few Autism moms as I do, our stories are more similar than they are different with respect to toxicity. Hmmmm....very weird for a "genetic" disorder, don't you think? Tongue in cheek of course because I have been able to change my son's Autism in a way that I would not have been able to with a strictly "genetic" disorder. My son's progress has stunned many, including our family and friends. Where he was is a very different place than where he is and I know our road is still long.

But I did not start out a health nut. I ate a SAD (standard American diet), I believed in vaccinations, I gave Tylenol with those vaccinations and also for other ailments, I myself got the MMR 3 months before conceiving my son, I ate microwaved foods, I ate fast foods filled with GMO's, MSG, soy, etc, and boy did I love my bleach and other toxic "cleaners". It took this journey to realize how toxic this path was.

I feel like my son bore that brunt. He was my wakeup call, I just wish his little body had not had to be the one impacted. I wish I could have woken up about these issues before he was injured (especially at those 4 month shots). I wish I had done research on THAT aspect of his life, like I tried to do with everything else being the Type-A overachiever and all. I went along with things because the doctors told me they were safe. I never looked at the fact that vaccines have not been studied together (which is how they are administered) nor looked up vaccine ingredients, or the fact that many safety studies are funded by the people who have the most to gain from their continued usage. I would have looked at someone like they were crazy to suggest I delay or not vaccinate. Now, I am that crazy person suggesting that. But, it took MY child being harmed. I wish it had not. And yet my old mainstream pediatrician could not help me when he was diagnosed. "Find a speech therapist" was what I was told. What about the fact that he would not sleep more than 4 hours a night or he screamed most of the day or he sat and would spin Tupperware lids all day? Crickets chirping. It took finding an alternative doctor to address things like yeast and bacterial imbalances in the gut, dietary changes, methyl B-12, and for a while melatonin to get my son's body to heal and regulate enough to sleep a full night and look at me or even notice I was in the same room.

So when I read yet another Autism mom's blog (like the one below, copied from her blog) and hear those familiar stories, I find another in my new "tribe". Someone who understands just how I have been changed. And some of these changes have created rifts in my life, in my friendships, even in my family. But it is who I am now. I cannot sit passively as someone touts the flu vaccine, talks about how great soy is or wants to microwave my child's food. Yes, I will be that bitch because I have been forced to be. The old saying "all in moderation" is one I believe in, unless you are talking poison, then not even a little bit thank you very much because we have been slowly poisoning ourselves for decades and I think it is finally catching up to us. It is not my desire to offend but I have spent the last 6 years reading about all of the ways we seem destined to kill ourselves and it is starting with this current generation. Our kids are sicker than EVER. And no one in mainstream medicine seems to care (but they will prescribe you an antibiotic, steroid cream or allergy pill!). So I guess it is up to us to care and to change the world, one child at a time. So read this mom's story and know, we didn't start out like this, but learning and understanding what is harming our children has changed us into this. It is not blind faith or ignorance. This comes from years of research and watching the positive changes that have come from removing and avoiding further toxicity. We're screaming mad and we're not going to take it anymore. So there you go, angry tirade of the day complete, now carry on.


GAPS 365 – One Family’s Journey Repair the gut, repair the mind

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, Day 33
Posted on February 16, 2011 by admin

It is difficult to share these events but I do anyway. We need to wake up to the fact that autism is not a neurological disorder but a disease that affects the whole body, not just the brain. Yes, there are trained professionals to help with autism. None of them are mainstream. Mainstream medicine is there to hand you the bad news topped with the attitude that there’s not a damn thing you can do other than behavior modification.

We pay dearly for our all mighty insurance and it doesn’t cover squat diddly do. So us moms scour the internet searching for answers while our husbands (for those of us that are fortunate enough to still be married) make money to pay for it. And we still go in debt.

My understanding is that recovery is about finding what works. These kids are an ever changing mystery. What’s more mysterious is the fact that Western Medicine has nothing to offer. The doctors are waiting for Big Pharma to discover some magic pill.

I have researched two years now about autism. I have watched autism come and go in our own household. At first I thought autism was genetics. Played the blame game, then blamed myself. Then I thought food allergies caused autism. But why would we be so allergic to everything. Then I thought it was vaccines, not just mercury, but the whole overload of toxins into a young child.

After two years of constant reading, Dr. McBride’s theory makes the most sense to me personally. I wasn’t breast fed (yeah, I’m a 60’s child) therefore I had my own gut flora problems from stupid formula. Then I was vaccinated with toxins that created more problems. Followed by a diet that wasn’t horrible. My mom made many things from scratch but honestly ate way too much sugar and grains even back then.

I took birth control pills for five years which further messed up my gut flora. At this point I’m eating crappy foods because the yeast monsters growing in me are controlling me. Had a tetanus shot a few months before I got pregnant exposing me to more toxins and viruses.

Ate the Standard American Diet (SAD) during pregnancy. The SAD diet contains GMO’s (Pesticide written into the plant’s DNA), irradiated veggies and meats, Big Farm inhumanely raised animal meat that is inferior and shouldn’t be consumed, pasteurized A1 milk, (Please look up “The Devil in Milk”), processed foods, microwaved foods, sugar, sugar and more sugar.

Delivered my baby naturally. The birthing canal is a baby’s first exposure to gut flora since all babies are born with sterile guts. My boy gets my horrible gut flora followed with the Hep B vaccine his first 24 hours. Followed by what ever stuff the doctors give your baby boy during circumcision.

I breast feed but even my breast milk wasn’t great. I have six amalgam fillings (That’s 50% mercury per filling) and every time I eat, drink hot liquids or chew gum, I release mercury vapors in my body and subsequently release the mercury in my breast milk. Amalgams are not safe and they are not stable contrary to what the ADA claims. Mercury is the second most toxic element on earth. An ignorant dentist shoves the second most toxic element on earth in your teeth when you’re a kid and everyone pretends that it’s ok to walk around with a head full of toxins.

We continue with Western Medicine’s protocol of vaccination which causes infections and a whole host of problems followed by the doctor recommendation of alternating Tylenol and Advil to bring down the fever. You guessed it. Those medicines cause further damage to gut flora.

We drank the fluoridated city water. Fluoride is a neurotoxin, always has been and always will be. We brushed our teeth with more fluoride. Ever wonder why you’re supposed to drink fluoridated water but spit out toothpaste? There’s enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to kill a toddler. Read the danger warning on the tube. Fluoride is not FDA approved for consumption. Fluoride is used as an herbicide. Does this make any sense?

Personally, had a few things going for us. I have been horribly sensitive to chemicals my entire life because of my own gut dysbiosis. I’ve only used body care products and household cleaners that were unscented, no dyes, and free from toxins. Second, I knew the harmful effects of antibiotics even back then. Antibiotics strip away all of your good gut flora. Had I been the typical American mother and exposed my son to fragrance and other chemicals, he would be far worse off than he is. Had I given him antibiotics and stripped away his gut flora, well, I can’t even imagine.

Dr. McBride writes that every child with autism that she has treated came from a mother with gut dysbiosis followed by exposing each of those children to the modern world. Yep, in a nutshell, this is what causes autism. It’s not one thing gone wrong. It’s a whole host of things gone wrong.

It’s not just autism that is an epidemic because of our modern world. We also have Asperger, depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia, AD/HD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PDD:NOS, sensory processing disorder, and failure to thrive.

Wonder what the next generation of kids will be like.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All natural alternative to traditional hand sanitizers

Through our journey to heal our son's Autism, we have had a huge education on the toxicity of our world. And some of the sources of toxicity (like in our air for example) we cannot really control much unless we build ourselves a bubble. But, I think many people understand that as our world has grown more toxic, so have we become more sick. We've seen dramatic rises in auto-immune disorders, even in our children. So, as much as we can reduce our toxicity (even if your child does NOT have Autism) then we are helping their body do what it should be doing like growing and developing, not fending off the chemicals.

I am not a fan of the mainstream hand sanitizers. Why? Well, many of them have things in them that I personally don't want on my childrens' bodies. Click HERE to read just one brand's product info from the Safer Cosmetics database to learn just HOW and WHY some of these ingredients are some you may want to avoid.

So, I decided to take a shot at making my own hand sanitizer. It is made from all natural, quality essential oils and water, that's it!! I have had friends, family and even the daycare at my gym try it and give me feedback! One friend even used it internally as a breath freshener (although I am not suggesting that it be used in that manner). There are no harsh chemicals, no "burn" on cuts and it is actually good for a multitude of purposes. The main essential oil in it is Tea Tree essential oil. Here are some reports on the effectiveness of Tea Tree:

Study on Tea Tree oil vs Triclosan on MRSA
An article on Tea Tree and MRSA with two other scientific citations
Tea Tree oil as a promising anti-microbial

Tea Tree has been shown to work well on nail fungus, athlete's foot, killing germs on wounds (my family uses it directly, undiluted, on all cuts/scrapes), I use it as a house sanitizer rather than other more chemical laden alternatives. It is a powerful antifungal and has been used to treat yeast infections. I also use it in the neti pot to cleanse nasal passages, especially when I feel a sinus infection coming on. I also use it in a diffuser around the house if the "bugs" are going around. It really is a gem around our house.

So, if YOU are looking for an alternative, then get your T*E*E*M Clean hand/cart/house sanitizer right HERE!