Tag Archives: food allergies

Vaccination: A Healthy Dialogue

We’re going to change up the format on this week’s post as I would like to share a recent text conversation I had with a friend.  We are both blessed in that we have little ones on the way, and being such issues like this are quickly catapulted to the forefront on our list of concerns.  I felt like the thoughts and emotions are similar to what many have experienced or are experiencing out there so I hope that this will encourage further dialogue.

X:

“I just wanted to get your thoughts about the flu vaccine.  I’m kind of weary about vaccines in general but her doc and the internet say it’s important. What do you think?”

O:

“Many doctors will say that, and some pediatricians won’t even accept or work with you if you don’t follow the recommended regimen.  You need to find one who’s open to the lack of evidence and opposing statistics; and more importantly, personal choice.”

X:

“I’m focusing on it a lot more now.  It can be so confusing because I am in no way trying to act like I’m a professional or even half that for this type of thing. I honestly would like to leave it up to them to inform me.

But when you think people in this industry are constantly trying to deceive you for a buck, it becomes very scary. Who the hell can you really trust? Just because a doctor says they are for vaccines for this and that reason doesn’t give me a great sense of trust, especially because they are influenced by money (to some degree as well).

I’ve never been a fan of any kind of medicines, drugs, or vaccines. I literally don’t even like taking Tylenol.  But aren’t there two sides to everything? Is the existence of a vaccine primarily due to big business trying to make more money? I’m not saying I’d be surprised if that were so, but are there any real concrete benefits and reasons why we should at least consider administering vaccines?

The internet is chalk full of “good” reasons why. Are the normal, relatively informed public to ignore the consensus of information out there and go at it “on their own?” It just fosters a very paranoid culture that is obviously unfortunate.

And to think, I’m going to trust these people to deliver our most precious thing in the world, but I’m not supposed to trust them to advise me on anything regarding drugs.  Where does the line get drawn?  Am I supposed to become the doctor and tell him what to do or not do? Very confusing my man.”

O:

“I hear you. It’s rough. Ignorance is bliss, until something happens and it’s not. Do you get me?

To your point, how are the doctors who are against vaccination or for choice motivated by money?  Maybe they will get a few patients because they get the reputation as a forward thinking doctor, but they lose out on incentives from the government and inflated bonuses from pharmaceutical companies for administering or prescribing as much as possible.  We can go as deep as you want as far as unethical practices, but the bottom line is there aren’t any long term studies confirming the safety or efficacy of vaccines, in some cases quite the contrary.  Just like with most drugs on the market, we’re the Guinea pigs in this real life experiment.  Personally I trust the human body to protect itself as it was designed to do, if allowed to do so.

I don’t judge or envy anyone else having to make the decision; to each his own.  Obviously everyone does what they do in the best interest of themselves and their family.”

X:

“What do you say to us all raised in a time where forward thinking was probably not as advanced – all probably being administered vaccines at some point, but turning out “ok” nonetheless?

Are we just “lucky?”

O:

“Perhaps. Like I said, there are no long term studies. Who is to say some of that aluminum in the shots that has bioaccumulated in our brains isn’t going to eventually contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s?

But I hear you; many are fine from the surface and time being. But what about the other percentage that isn’t and all of the sudden is deemed autistic, has severe digestive issues and allergies from all antibiotics administered in the vaccine and thereafter for every other issue.  I guess the difficult thing about this position is we are now calling the shots for another human who we want the best for.  What if your child is one of those cases that could’ve been prevented? That’s where the issue is.

I’ve seen parents whose child was “fine” prior to a vaccination and then all of the sudden, is symptomatically autistic. I’ve met other couples whose child was vaccinated and provided non-stop anti-biotics for ear infections and now has noticeable digestive issues, allergies and they’re noticing “odd” personality traits.

These people search for “alternative” medicine because for whatever reason, (money, stubbornness, too much pride to admit past error, etc.) traditional medicine dismisses that it could quite possibly be the surplus of vaccines and over medication that could be contributing to, if not causing the problem.  So what’s the mainstream answer? More drugs, which is a whole other conversation.

All I’m saying is it comes down to what you believe, as you can find “research” and “evidence” for either side. I believe that our bodies possess the power to heal and protect ourselves, provided they are presented with the proper nutrition and environment; overall lifestyle to do so.  Contemporarily, we run into issues here because of the abundance of poor choices being made and the body and quality of life subsequently suffering, but again, another topic for another time.  So with vaccines, it’s all about if you want to roll the dice; which can be construed in either direction depending on what you believe.”

Why Gluten Free???

It seems that one of the trendiest topics being thrown around the health food arena today is a gluten free diet. However, unlike other diet fads, the reason to eliminate gluten from your diet is backed by a sound scientific explanation and significant positive changes have been seen when the gluten is kicked to the curb. This should be reassuring news to anyone who has heard the negative spin on gluten, but wondered whether or not it is just another excuse for food manufactures and restaurants to up-charge that gluten-free item.

What is Gluten Anyway?

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye oats, millet and barely. Gluten, or wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), is a type of protein called a lectin. (Keep in mind as you read that ALL grains [whole grains, corn, rice, etc.] contain these lectins, so all can wreak the same havoc I am about to describe.) Due to the structure of these lectins, they are not able to be broken down during the digestive process as other more friendly foods would. That leaves large protein structures intact and imbedded in your intestinal lining. Eventually, they make their way through your intestinal lining and this is where the problems begin.

Now that these lectins have entered the blood stream, they have access to your entire body. I’m talking everywhere from your reproductive organs, to your pancreas, to your brain. Once this unfamiliar protein structure is detected by the immune system, anti-bodies are created in order to get rid of the inappropriate foreign invader as it would a bacteria or virus. To understand what happens next, it needs to be understood that everything in your body is made up of a sequence of amino acids strung together to form a protein. Unfortunately these lectins have a remarkably similar amino acid sequence as many of the tissues in your body. So, now as your immune system works properly to destroy the unwanted foreign structure, it also begins to attack your own tissues due to something referred to as micro or molecular mimicry, and thus you have the start of an autoimmune disease. The situation is even further amplified due to the fact that when the large, awkward lectin (in this case WGA) makes its way through the intestinal lining, it also damaged it. This is what is commonly referred to as your “leaky gut.” The cascade continues, and now other proteins pass through the intestinal wall before being adequately broken down by the intestinal digestive enzymes. Immune responses are now generated to otherwise harmless foods. Food allergies and the start of other autoimmune diseases now have the green light to commence.

But Wait, There’s More?

Grains must be looked at as living things. They are a simple people with their objective being to survive long enough to reproduce. To do this, they must receive nourishment and have some sort of defense mechanism. Grains contain these things called phytates (or anti-nutrients) which tightly bind to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in order to nourish the grain and enable germination. All good for the grain, but not so good if that sucker is making a home inside of you. The phytate property of the grain enables it to powerfully bind the above listed essential minerals. This leaves you deficient and the door wide open for osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, reduced immune function and wound healing, and fatigue and heart problems, respectively. For survival, the lectin also comes equipped with protease inhibitors, meaning it actually inhibits some of the enzymes from breaking it down. This means that all food being digested is now subject to your digestive tracts reduction in breakdown capability. Translation: less absorption of the nutrients you need to survive.

Many people suffer from and are diagnosed with celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disease, able to be directly correlated with gluten as the cause. Many people suffer from various conditions and symptoms to which the medical community remains baffled as far as a cause. Often times, people feel completely fine or have minor issues and therefore dismiss their diet as having any effect on their health. Even if there are no external signs and symptoms present, some potentially hazardous, internal destruction could still be taking place. Gluten sensitivity is a lesser version of an outright allergy and is much more common. Conditions such as RA, MS, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, Parkinson’s, autism, and hypothyroidism (to name a few) have all benefited from cutting gluten (and other grains) out of the diet.

Do You Have an Issue With Gluten?

Well, if any of the above conditions or mechanisms of internal destruction described above doesn’t sound that pleasant to you, it may be worthwhile to find out. A simple way to do this is to eliminate the grains from your diet for 30-60 days. I know this may seem crazy, especially since another devious characteristic of gluten is that it comes fully loaded with molecules that fit into opiate receptors in your brain. Translation: It is actually addictive. But a simple period of trial and error may actually result in some of those seemingly minor issues disappearing. Upon completion of the gluten free period, you may even notice an instant headache or stomach issue when you attempt to reintroduce the beloved grains. This is your body politely asking you to knock it off before it gets worse. You now have evidence of an otherwise undetectable food sensitivity, and are empowered to make a change before things potentially get worse. Seems like this would be a better solution than taking side-effect carrying medications, or worse, winding up with some debilitating disease in the golden years, all because those cookies were calling your name.

A great read providing further explanation behind the mechanisms and possible destruction that can occur, along with meal plans and recipes to attempt a gluten-free lifestyle is: The Paleo Solution, The Original Human Diet, by Rob Wolf. Much of the above information was referenced from there.

Other References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10884708
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1737870/
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/