Vaccines- Don’t Decide by Watching the News

This was a post is in response to this article about polio. Vaccination- or any health procedure- should not be dictated by the government.

I’m not necessarily opposed to vaccines (we didn’t vaccinate our mildly autistic child), but all of these arguments are invalid:

1. I wasn’t sure who Jenny McCarthy is. I wondered ed if she was some doctor. Had to look her up. Had nothing to do with our decision. What is offensive about this statement is the assumption that the only source of information anti-vax people use is an actress. It would be like saying, “Everyone who voted for Obama did so because Billy Joe of Green Day said to”. It discredits the research done by each person.

2. Being part of the anti-vax crowd, very few people actually believe that autism is CAUSED by vaccines, but treat them as a complicating factor. Because there are so many complicating factors (diet, environmental toxins, antibiotics, etc.) eliminating one of them can help.

3. Saying “I was vaccinated and I didn’t get autism” is like saying, “Grandpa smoked for 80 years and didn’t get lung cancer.” Same with saying “I wasn’t vaccinated and I didn’t get polio.” Well written medical articles discuss things in terms of “correlation between x and y” and then most news articles, such as this say, “If you do this, you are killing everyone.”
It is hype.

4. Simply saying the “problem is too complex” is a cop out. Yes, it’s complex. No, we don’t understand it completely. If something is working to prevent an immediate problem, you can worry about other problems later on. Autism is better than living in an iron lung, which is better than dying. Now that polio is reduced, we can look into improving the vaccines and finding what other correlations and causations are out there. Likely the autism rate is rising because children aren’t dying of diseases or or farming accidents. Vaccines aren’t inherently bad, but we should be working to constantly improve them and evaluate each one as an individual product, rather than ‘having your shots’ as a lump sum, good or evil.

The only argument I agree with:
1. Correlation does not indicate causation- Yay, someone gets this. Let’s apply this to other commonly used graphs showing correlation where we are supposed to believe causation without a doubt. In other words, every graph you see in an article like this one.

Admittedly, I am no expert in this. I deferred the vaccination decision to my girlfriend. I just hate articles like this that try to make every anti-vaccination person out to be an unintelligent nut-bag.

My understanding is that current research shows that it is not mercury as such. Most autistic children have a yeast (candida something or another) overgrowth in their intestinal walls. This is obvious to anyone who has ever had to change a diaper on an autistic child. The yeast helps keep heavy metals in the system. This has been shown over and over based on studies of the yeast and the fact that children with autism often show LOWER heavy metal concentrations in fingernail and hair tests (meaning their bodies are not getting rid of the heavy metals in a normal fashion). Interestingly enough, the plaque found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients has been found to attack candida as well. Could it be that these plaques were an inappropriate reaction to a yeast overgrowth? Could they be linked to autism? Maybe. That’s where current research is, at least in my understanding.

What can be done about it? Attack the problem from several angles:

1. Diet. Yeast needs sugar to live. Cut the sugar, kill the yeast. Also, different foods can generate allergic responses that promote yeast growth. When we first tested my son, he was allergic to 66 foods. Also, your yeast profile can influence your allergies in a complex positive feedback loop- yeast controls allergies, and allergies have control on yeast growth.

2. Probiotics. Your body produces ways to keep the yeast in check. Except most of us have antibiotics at every sickness. Antibiotics are great, and have their place. But they do kill the cells that control the yeast- and my understanding is that the yeast is largely unaffected by the antibiotics Supplementing probiotics can help.

3. Limit heavy metals by avoiding exposure and using various elimination methods.

As far as your own life, statistically speaking (correlation), your kids are much more likely to die by suicide than by contracting polio. They are more likely to be severely injured playing sports than polio. And we are all more likely to die of obesity related illnesses than polio, even when polio was at its peak.

Parents of autistic children are used to hearing people sounding the “bad parent” alarm. Until the mid-90s, autism was thought to be an emotional disorder (in spite of the numerous physical symptoms) caused by “cold” parents.

These articles are charged in such a way to direct anger at the small percentage of parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. These articles want to call all anti-vax parents bad parents, and some even advocate having our children placed under state care.

Don’t be surprised when we simply yawn at those accusations.

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