Thursday, August 12, 2010

Great News! All blog posts and published articles on children's health moved to Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet website

Hi Everyone, To make life easier, I now have all the posts and published articles on how to improve the health of our children on the Saving Our Kids, Healing our Planet website. This is a great website with lots of wonderful information!

Please check it out, sign up for our newsletters and leave a comment at
I'd love to hear from you!

The best of health to you and your family,
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN
Cofounder Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Article on Preventing Autism Published on Age of Autism and Pathways Magazine

On Sunday March 28th the Age of Autism published an article I wrote entitled: What Can Be Done to Prevent Autism Now!  link:

        It will also appear in the June issue of Pathways Magazine.  Some think that writing about autism prevention is premature because we haven't found all of the answers as to the causes of this epidemic.  Without knowing the causes, they say, how can we possibly profess to know anything about prevention?  My response:  we know enough now to exercise the precautionary principle and have women of childbearing age minimize their exposure to the 87,000 chemicals in use, maximize their nutrition to optimize their own and their baby's health and make wise choices regarding vaccines.

       My intention for writing the article was this.  During the 33 years I have been a registered nurse as well as during the last 15 years of helping parents improve the symptoms associated with their child's autism, we've  all learned a few things along the way that may serve others in minimizing the likelihood of having a child develop autism.  We also have good research (which I referenced in the article) indicating much of what is going on with  children on the spectrum (GI disorders, oxidative stress, immune dysfunctions, nutrient deficiencies, inflammation etc) are identifiable, treatable and in some instances preventable. We also have reports from  thousands of parents who have improved their child's condition using the biomedical approach. With all that we do know, I'm suggesting that women of childbearing age take as many precautions as possible to ensure that their child has the best shot at optimal health and development.  

Please post a comment and let me know how you feel about this issue.

the article also appears on our website Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Organic Lifestyle.....then (when it was weird) and now!....

Back  in the era of the late 70's, some of  us "fringe folks" gravitated toward natural foods and what is now called "greener"  lifestyles.  We started food co-ops, delivered our babies with midwives, made our own baby foods from fresh produce and sent away for wooden toys and clothing for our kids,   The whole concept of "organic" was just starting out and not exactly popular....actually we were considered pretty  weird by the not so progressive mainstream thinkers of the time. None the less, we persisted and if truth be told we were a little self righteous about our alternative lifestyle . Now of course it's hip to buy organic and products and information on how to switch over to the green side abounds.      

But even in this enlightened age, I think the questions still it worth it to invest in organic food for my family? Should I really buy an organic mattress for my child's crib?   I don't want to give up my Tide detergent.  Are regular cleaning products really that bad?   Well with 87,000 chemicals in our food, air, water and vaccines, 1 in 6 kids being diagnosed with a behavioral, developmental or neurological disorder, 1 in 100 diagnosed with autism, 11 million with ADHD, Asthma cases more than doubled since the 80's and the big one.....childhood cancers are now the leading cause of deatth in children........the answer is an unequivical YES!  

You don't have to be wealthy to go organic....just smart.   Cook in batches, buy in bulk, get coupons from and, join a co-op, buy a share in a CSA farm where the farmer only grows  according to how many people purchase shares, grow herbs in pots on your windowsill or start a small garden and save tons.  Get the kids out there in the garden picking the produce and cooking up the tomato sauce.  Believe me I wasn't Martha Stewart when it comes to all this and you don't have to be either.....just know that anything you do to move in this direction will help your health, the health of your kids. and the health of the planet!

And just's not weird going the natural route any's actually the hip thing to do!

Here's an article sent to me today that you might find helpful....
Good health to you and yours
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Why Buy Local and Organic?

Does buying local, organic food really make a difference? Absolutely! Here are just a few reasons why you should try to buy local and organically grown food whenever possible. If you need help trying to locate local growers and organic markets, try using websites like to search for nearby sources of organic food.


In your grocery market you may notice one set of produce marked “organic”. Do these foods support sustainability and eco-friendly practices? Not necessarily. If the “organic” produce was grown in a distant farm and shipped through supply chains to your store, then it has probably consumed more energy and helped spread more emissions than any locally grown food, even if it comes without pesticides. Try for the winning match of both organic and locally grown!


Of course organic foods are healthier! They come naturally grown and without any dangerous hormone treatments or unhealthy pesticides. There is no genetic modifications that can cause unwanted side effects or threaten local ecologies. It is also much easier to ensure that local produce meets true organic standards, too, so the label “organic” is generally more dependable on foods grown in your area. Plus, they hardly take any time at all to ship, so your food tends to be fresher and better-tasting.
This sign is the best of both worlds!


There’s nothing like supporting small local businesses, especially in these more trying economic times. Local producers work hard to grow their food organically, and they should be supported in their endeavors. Whatever money you spend buying local food will stay in your town or city, supporting local growth and development. Local farms also tend to spend your money in wiser and more eco-friendly ways than large suppliers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's not "fear mongering" when researchers publish finding that fruit Juices can contain harmful substances.

Fruit juice cancer warning as scientists find harmful chemical in 16 drinks

By Sophie Borland

Child drinking orange
Scientists have found many fruit juices and squashes contain too much antimony, a potentially lethal substance. (Posed by model)
Fruit juices drunk by millions of children each day could contain a harmful chemical linked to cancer, scientists have warned.
Researchers have found high levels of antimony - which can be lethal in large doses - in many popular brands.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen found that bottles of fruit juice and squash contained up to 2.5 times more of the substance as is deemed 'safe' in tap water, under EU guidelines.
In some cases the levels of antimony were ten times higher.
The scientists believe that the chemical is leaching its way into the fruit juice from the plastic bottles which hold it.
Previous research found traces of the chemical in bottled mineral water which experts believed was leaching in from the plastic container.
The team has expressed 'concern' over their findings, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which they say raises fears for the health of millions of children.
They have called for an investigation 'straight away'. The substance can cause cancer, heart and lung problems, according to previous studies.
Although the scientists have not specifically named any brands, the chemicals are believed to have been found in 16 of the most popular blackcurrant and strawberry squash and fruit drinks consumed by children.

Claus Hansen, a PhD student at the department of pharmacology, who took part in the research, speculated that the citric acid in the fruit juices could speed up the leaching process.
He said: 'The antimony concentrations in the products tested exceed the limit of drinking water but no legalisation exists for foodstuffs so no legislation has been broken.


Antimony is used in the making of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, the type favoured by most mineral-water sellers. It is a silvery-white semi-metal that is also used in electronics and flame-proofing materials. Furthermore, it can be used as a medicine to treat people infected with parasites. The recommended EU limit for antimony in drinking water is five micrograms per litre. However, no limits exist for foodstuffs.
Levels above this could cause nausea and vomiting however the effects of long-term exposure are unknown.
'However we cannot be sure that the antimony levels are harmless.
'It would be a good idea to have some more research to get a better impression of what the antimony limit should be in fruit drinks.
'You would have to drink a lot of blackcurrant juice to go beyond the recommended maximum dose which is why there's no antimony limits for drinking water or soft drinks.
'But we can't be sure the high level we  found is not harmful.'
The Royal Society of Chemistry added: 'Marketing, certainly for the cordial products, is geared towards children. It's a children's drink.
'This means they are more likely to drink it and more likely to be at risk.'
The scientists looked at 42 different red fruit juice drinks from Denmark, Scotland and Greece including blackcurrant, strawberry, raspberry and sour cherry and found concentrations 17 times higher than previously studied.
Soft Drinks.jpg
Fruit juices and juice drinks are safe, said a spokesman. 'It is not uncommon that different product types should have different regulatory requirements'
The report, published in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring, said that more research was needed to find out whether it was present during the manufacturing process.
Previous research in Germany in 2006 found antimony was leaching into bottled mineral waters from their plastic containers.
In 2005 Volvic mineral water was at the centre of a health scare after a potentially harmful chemical was found in some of its bottles.
Danone Waters, which produces Volvic, launched an investigation after a mother of two reported a strong 'burning' chemical taste to the Food Standards Agency.
It found the water, which is advertised as being filtered through volcanic rocks, contained naphthalene – a chemical which can cause liver damage in high doses.
Responding to the research, the British Soft Drinks Association today defended the industry.
'Fruit juices and juice drinks are safe,' said a spokesman. 'There is no read across between the levels of antimony permitted in drinking water and those that might be acceptable in a fruit juice or a juice drink.
'It is not uncommon that different product types should have different regulatory requirements.'
He added: 'The packaging is safe.  The data in the study does not confirm any conclusions about the packaging: the authors themselves conclude that "further studies are warranted".'
'All ingredients and packaging are carefully regulated to make sure that soft drinks are safe to drink.'

After lots of folks posted their opinion stating that this research was merely "fear mongering", I posted the following comment:

How can anyone dismiss these types of reports as "scare or fear mongering"... Of course the researchers are going to say more research is needed and the report isn't 100% conclusive, that's a standard statement they all make.   The problem is there are 87,000 chemicals in widespread use and less than 15% have been tested for safety.  Cancer in children is the leading cause of death, autism is now 1 in 100 kids with more research coming out every day linking environmental toxins to this epidemic. Incidence of Asthma has more than doubled since the 1980s, ADHD, name it, it's on the rise.    It's certainly a challenge limiting the amount of toxins kids are exposed to.   But, it's our job as the adults who have polluted this world for convenience sake to do all we can to ensure the safety and health of our children. 
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet www.SOKHOP.comn  

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chronic Illness on the Rise in Children.....Why?

Did you see the article in the LA Times today on how chronic illnesses are on the rise in children?  If not, it's at,0,456579.story. 
When I taught childbirth classes and worked in labor and delivery back in the 80's, my coworkers thought I was a little nuts because my ongoing slogan to all the parents was "don't abdicate responsibility for the health of your kids to your pediatrician". They have their place ...broken legs, appendicitis....but when did they become the sole authorities on childrens' health? Of course there are some wonderful pediatricians: Liz Mumper, Sid Baker, Larry Rosen, Nancy O'Hara etc, but they've broken from the pack. What distinguishes them from the average doc is the fact that they actually listen, respect and honor what parents tell them. We are the authorities on our children and through doing our own homework, feeding out kids optimal diets, learning about herbs and natural healing for colds, ear infections, stomach viruses, we can minimize the use of antibiotics, drugs used for the ever growing psychiatric illnesses being diagnosed in children and invasive procedures that have damaged this generation of children. I feel it from many parents, they are taking back their power. We just have to wake the rest of the world up!
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why the Push to Make Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Wakefield the Bad Guys?

I think the advertisement for the drug Concerta placed directly below the summary of the article about Jenny McCarthy says quite a bit about this question.  See, if we are made to think that the only tool available to us is a hammer (vaccines and drugs), they just have to convince us that all our illnesses are nails.  It's brilliant and  this is exactly what the propaganda created by the profit driven pharmaceutical industry wants us to believe. Your child has ADD: don't look at their chemically laden, sugar rich diet, just use the Concerta hammer. If your child has the possibility of developing an illness, don't worry about making their immune systems strong through good nutrition, fresh air and exercise (and God forbid don't use vitamins or herbs), just think Hammer.....more vaccines! Come on folks,  it's time to take our critical thinking beyond the sound bytes and look at the real motives at play here. If we buy into the distorted messages sent through the media regarding this complex issue without doing our own homework, the campaign to dumb us down will  have worked.. Although it would be nice for this to be a simple matter, for Jenny's voice to be ridiculed and silenced and  Dr. Wakefield (a brilliant pediatric surgeon) to be discredited, it's not that black and white.  The vaccine autism connection has not been put to rest just because the media attempts to convince us erroneously that "all" the studies have proven this or that Jenny and Wakefield are lunatics. There's so much more to this story:  The world is polluted with 87,000 chemicals, most of our food is void of nutrients needed to support health and  create strong immune systems, and vaccines although they might have their place, are not completely safe and should not be the main solution offered for keeping our kids healthy.   They also carry a risk for genetically susceptible kids period!  Making Jenny and Wakefield the bad guys is part of the strategy to convince us that vaccines have nothing to do with autism.  However besides these two sacrificial lambs, there are thousands of parents who know their children regressed after vaccines.   Try telling the public Toyota cars are totally won't work because the injured passengers are not going away and in defense of our injured children and future generations of children, neither are we.
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Read articles on Safer Ways to Vaccinate and What Can Be Done To Prevent Autism Now! at
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Friday, February 19, 2010

Please sign a petition in defense of Dr. Wakefield:

From Dr. David Berger, MD  Wholistic Pediatrics

About Dr Andrew Wakefield
As most of you know, the British General Medical Council placed a serious reprimand on Andy Wakefield, and as a result journals have started to withdraw his research on vaccines from the medical literature.  Research that has nothing to do with his original 1998 journal article is being redacted. Now there is growing concern that scientists will be hesitant to do more research on vaccine safety.
I have known Andy for almost 10 years, and have seen the serious research that he has produced (over 30 publications) . His research can be viewed here:

A petition of support for Dr. Wakefield has been authored by leading Biomedical Autism physician Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless. She is hoping to obtain as many signatures as possible, which will be presented as part of Andy's appeal.  The petition can be viewed at I would encourage everyone to read the petition and sign it if they agree. Also, please forward this link to anyone who you feel would be interested in reading it.

Thank you Dr. Berger for writing this request and Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless for authoring the petition
Please send this to anyone interested in protecting our children and preventing the personal and professional persecution of a researcher simply because he challenges the safety of certain vaccines.  
Maureen H. McDonnell, RN 
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Use the Herb Echinacea? ........and when not to use it......

Two facts to consider: 1) I've been using and recommending the herb Echinacea with great results for my family and patients for over 30 years and 2. I don't sell it!

In this post I'll give a little background on this popular herb and I'll also explain when and why to use it, how we think it works, and when not to use it. references at the end

Background: The real name is Echinacea purpurea and it is derived from the decorative purple coneflower. Although there are contradictory scientific studies and therefore confusion over how it supports or stimulates the immune system we do know that unlike antibiotics that only fight bacterial infections, Echinacea seems to help the body fight off viral and or bacterial infections and it does this by promoting T-cell activity. Originally used by Native Americans for respiratory illnesses, by 1920, Lloyd Brothers of Cincinnati, Ohio, a respected pharmaceutical company counted echinacea as its largest-selling product. Of course once sulfa based antibiotics were developed, Echinacea lost it's popularity in the US. It remained popular in Europe however and today 1.3 million prescriptions are given for it each year in Germany alone.

When to Use It: Echinacea works best when it is used at the first sign of an infection. This is a pretty important piece of information because if you ignore those early signs that indicate you or your child are coming down with something, you'll miss the chance to experience echinacea's primary benefit. So pay attention to that slightly sore throat or the achiness that so often precedes an illness. When those subtle symptoms kick in, reach for the bottle of echinacea and start using it! Continue using it until the symptoms disappear (or if you do get the cold for a few days into the illness.) Do not use for longer than a week or two. If symptoms worsen, fever develops and or there is no signs of improvement, consult a physician. Antibiotics may be necessary -

Why Use It: Because it seems to be quite effective in helping the immune system function more effectively. I have seen it short circuit so many infections by "nipping them in the bud". I've recommended this to many mothers of children with a history of chronic ear infections and subsequent use of multiple courses of antibiotics. Once they cut out dairy, reduced sugar and began using echinacea at the first sign of an infection (often indicated by the child pulling at their ears), the incidence of infections requiring antibiotics greatly diminished.

How to Use It: During all these 30 plus years, I have tried a few different ways of taking it (capsules, tablets, tea and tincture). The best most effective way I have found is to take it in liquid (tincture) form. For an adult, I usually suggest mixing the recommended number of drops in a small amount of water and take every 4-5 hours. Hold your nose because it doesn't taste all that great. For a child (they do make children's versions of the liquid), follow the recommendations on the bottle. I would add a splash of juice in theirs (again to disguise the bitter taste.) As I said previously, I have no financial affiliation with any company who makes these tinctures, but I have found the Gaia Herb brand to work exceptionally well.

For How Long: It is not recommended that you take Echinacea for more than a week or two at a time. Either use it at the first sign of infection and a few days after or if you have been prone to chronic infections, you might want to take it in cycles, 1 week on, 2 weeks off, 1 week on etc. I had one patient who had been to 18 physicians for chronic urinary infections and was given multiple courses of antibiotics. She found that if she did cycles of echinacea she was able to ward off these infections. Of course she changed her diet too. For more on warding off colds and flu, see post on this blog: Winter Colds and Flu, Anything Natural We Can Do?

When Not To Use Echinacea: Definitely do not use it if you are highly allergic and or specifically if you are allergic to ragweed. Also if you have an autoimmune illness or such as HIV, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.or tuberculosis it is not recommended. If you have a history of allergic reactions, consult your physician about using Echinacea.

More free health articles at our website Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet

Yale SY, Liu K. Echinacea purpurea therapy for the treatment of the common cold. Arch Intern Med . 2004;164:1237-1241.

Luettig B, Steinmuller C, Gifford GE, et al. Macrophage activation by the polysaccharide arabinogalactan isolated from plant cell cultures of Echinacea purpurea . J Natl Cancer Inst . 1989;81:669-675.

Brinkeborn R, Shah D, Geissbuhler S, et al. Echinaforce in the treatment of acute colds. Results of a placebo-controlled double-blind study carried out in Sweden. Schweiz Zschr Ganzheits Medizin . 1998;10:26-29.

Melchart D, Walther E, Linde K, et al. Echinacea root extracts for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Arch Fam Med . 1998;7:541-545.

Mullins RJ, Heddle R. Adverse reactions associated with echinacea: the Australian experience. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002;88:42-51.

Aldous MB, Wahl R, Worden K, Grant KL. A randomized, controlled trial of cranial osteopathic manipulative treatment and echinacea in children with recurrent otitis media. 2003 Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, May 3-6, 2003;abstract 1062.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Don't Believe What You're Hearing About the Safety of the MMR and the Recklessness of Dr. Wakefiled

We all know what the media can do to a story and even NPR, a station I usually respect has this one wrong! You see Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a smart, pediatric gastroenterologist surgeon, who while working at the Royal Free Hospital in London over a decade ago encountered several parents who made the observation that after their child received the MMR, they developed severe bowel issues and later were diagnosed with autism. Now Wakefield mind you was a traditionalist. He was not into natural healing of any sort. He did have one or two things going for him however. The guy is brilliant, articulate and oh yes, he actually listens to parents. It was this last trait that got him into trouble and is at the route of his 12 year personal and professional hell. Because not only did he listen to these desperate parents and try to help the affected children, he coauthored a paper with several other researchers that was published (later retracted) in the Lancet suggesting that in a subset of children with autism, there was a distinct inflammation in their bowel which he hypothesized could be related to the measles virus and may be connected to symptoms of autism. (By the way, a version of this theory (the connection between bowel issues and autism was just published on January 4,2010 in the prestigious journal Pediatrics.) But back to Wakefield's villification: So subsequent to his research, at a 1998 press conference, he suggested that it might be wise if parents and pediatricians considered separating out the Measles, Mumps and Rubella components of the vaccine for some children. That's when all hell broke lose! From that day forward he has been hounded and tortured by the UK media and many in his own profession believe he is a medical heretic. I wouldn't be such a defender of Dr. Wakefield if 1. I didn't have the highest regard for him professionally and 2. if as a pediatric registered nurse for 33 years I hadn't witnessed children deteriorating physically and mentally after vaccines (not always the MMR, but often enough) So this recent decision by the UKs General Medical Council's to discredit Wakefield is meant to send a strong message to any other researcher out there who dares to challenge the medical orthodoxy. The message is: If anyone attempts to unravel the mystery as to why we are experiencing an autism epidemic and in the process points a finger at the Holy Grail of the medical system (vaccines), then you too will be persecuted. Parents, researchers, clinicians and others from around the world support Wakefield's theory. So although the media is doing a fine smear campaign, this well funded propaganda driven machine hasn't fully comprehended that many of us are taking the persecution of Andrew Wakefield very personally. And this groundswell of resistance is not going away until the unbiased research that either proves or disproves his theory is allowed to take place.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My article on getting healthy before you get pregnant was published in Natural Awakenings Magazine

Healthy Women Make Healthy Babies!

I have been a RN (in the fields of newborn care, labor and delivery, clinical nutrition, childbirth education, and pediatrics) for 32 years. Additionally, and most relevant to this article, is the fact that I had the great privilege of coordinating the Defeat Autism Now! Conferences for 10 years. As a result of my interaction with hundreds of parents of children with health and developmental problems, I am convinced that the more a woman does prior to conceiving to maximize her health, the less likely she will be to experience problems with fertility as well as complications associated with pregnancy, labor & birth. Of equal significance is the fact that if a woman minimizes her exposure to toxins and maximizes her nutrition before and during her pregnancy, she may greatly decrease the chances that her offspring will develop health, behavioral and or developmental problems.
No one has all the answers as to why so many of our children are being diagnosed with autism, allergies, ADHD, childhood cancers, diabetes, asthma etc. Better diagnosis some say (I can’t accept that one). Possibly an environmental factor? (getting warmer). Certainly the increase in the number of vaccines must play a role (absolutely). The problem is, while the researchers figure out all the answers, more and more children are negatively impacted by these conditions. So when moms of affected children want to get pregnant with another child, or women who have never conceived before ask: what can be done to increase the chances of having a healthy baby, I believe there are common sense, practical and effective strategies for shifting the odds in favor of a very positive outcome.
First: the present state of affairs: Did you know that the CDC has reported that I out of every 6 children born in this country have either a neurological, behavioral or developmental problem? Dr. Kate Thomsen, MD, MPH (Assistant Clinical Professor at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in NJ) reported at a recent Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet ( children’s health conference that: “According to the CDC 31% of pregnancies are complicated by maternal health issues, 11% of women who are pregnant smoke, 10% drink alcohol, 69% don’t take enough folate (folic acid), 31% are obese, and 12% of all babies are born prematurely” (which greatly increases their risk of developing health and or neurological problems). At the same conference, Dr. Doris Rapp, MD (a board certified environmental medical specialist, allergist, and author of Our Toxic World, A Wake Up Call) told the audience that according to The National Research Council in Washington, 7% of all couples are now sterile, 50% of all pregnancies end in a stillborn, miscarriage, birth defects or a chronic health problem and finally, in spite of all our medical advances, 7 out of every 1000 US newborns die (which ranks us 27th out of 28 for infant mortality.) I don’t know about you, but I find these statistics startling, more than a little scary, and completely unacceptable.
We all know that the days and weeks immediately following conception are crucial for the development of the fetus. A poor diet, tobacco use, environmental toxins, alcohol, drugs etc. all pose a threat to (what every woman hopes for), a healthy baby. What we don’t often discuss with our physicians or friends (and yet it may be of equal, if not greater significance) is the importance of the health of the mother prior to becoming pregnant. I believe, in order to minimize the complications associated with pregnancy and birth as well as enhance the chances of having a healthy child, a woman should be in an optimal state prior to conceiving. This is why for years I have half jokingly told my daughter, step-daughters and daughters- in- law:”give me your body for one year prior to getting pregnant, and I may be able to save you from the heartache and stress that so many parents of sick or disabled children know only too well”
What do I mean when I say “give me your body for a year prior to conceiving?” Obviously, I’m not a body snatcher and I can’t imagine any of these daughters moving back home for that long a time. What I am suggesting is this: let’s get a good health history and do an assessment of your nutritional status. We also might test for heavy metal toxicity and check to see if there is a yeast (Candida) overgrowth. If there is a history of migraines, fatigue, depression, yeast infections, PMS, acne, constipation etc., we could address those symptoms by implementing a naturally based, nutritional approach that may include a detoxification program. The goal for my daughters (and now my clients) is to get them healthy prior to getting pregnant, so they can increase the likelihood of having a great uncomplicated pregnancy, labor, birth and baby!
Before I get into the specifics of what can be done to ensure an optimal outcome for mom and baby, let me explain a bit about what has changed in our world in the past 60 or so years that may be contributing to the rise in the health problems we are seeing in our children. Around the mid 1940s, exhausted from World War ll, parents of the baby boomers began demanding products that were “convenient.” As a result, many industries began creating items that were derived from plastics and other synthetic materials. The use of both pesticides and prescription drugs escalated, chemicals in cleaning and personal care products increased and processed convenience food became the rage. Industry and technology answered the call of the culture by creating better living through better chemistry. In the 1950s, the 1st generation of children exposed to these chemicals was born (I was one of them!). As we now know, many of these chemicals created for this modern/convenient lifestyle ‘bioaccumulate” or build up in our bodies. Presently, the EPA tells us there are over 80,000 chemicals in our air, water and food and 2.2 billion pounds of chemicals are sprayed on our crops annually. The average American home contains 3-10 gallons of hazardous materials and 85% of the chemicals that are registered have never been tested for their impact on the human body

To read this full article (too long for the blog) with the entire list of suggestions for getting healthy before you get pregnant, go to my website at (Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet) The article is a pdf listed on the left side of the home page. Healthy Women, Make Healthy Babies or try

Friday, January 8, 2010

An Exciting Article in Pediatrics is a Triumph for Parents of Kids with Autism

On January 4th in the Journal of Pediatrics two papers were published by a team of GI specialists. They were entitled: Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) A Consensus Report,and Recommendations for Evaluation and Treatment of Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Children With ASDs. The titles may sound a bit boring, but the significance and impact of these papers is monumental! You see, for years, many parents of children with autism were telling their doctors, "my child has horrible diarrhea, or they are severely constipated or they seem to be in pain." Additionally, these non-verbal kids often had unusual behaviors like biting themselves or aggression or waking up in the middle of the night screaming. Doctors, (not really understanding the medical or physical problems that often accompany an autism diagnosis) would say, "oh they have diarrhea or constipation because they are autistic. Or, they seem like they are in pain because they are autistic." I know what you are thinking....that just doesn't make sense. But it is true (as reported by hundreds if not thousands of parents.) Now, as a result of these new reports, pediatricians are instructed to no longer chalk up unusual behavior or bowel symptoms to the diagnosis of autism, but rather they are encouraged to investigate the underlying causes and treat the child's discomfort, pain, or GI disease. I know it seems like doctors should have listened to the parents long before this and it shouldn't have taken 27 investigators reviewing all the literature and publishing a consensus report in the Journal of Pediatrics to get pediatricians and others in the medical profession to wake up and take the necessary steps to address these conditions. But it did. I for one would like to celebrate this victory on behalf of the many parents who were told there was nothing that could be done, and for the children who had to suffer through their discomfort. Finally, the conclusion has been drawn that children with autism often do have medical disorders including GI diseases and that these maladies (abdominal pain, chronic constipation, diarrhea,and gastroesophageal reflux)can be at the route of unusual behavior. These two papers represent a long overdue acknowledgement of what parents had been telling doctors for years. Now I pray for the next miracle or breakthrough.... a similar paper will appear in a prestigious medical journal stating (what many of us already know) and that is: when a child with autism's physical discomfort and medical conditions are addressed and they begin to feel better....., lo and behold, they show improvement in other areas such as: cognition, speech, attention, behavior. The Defeat Autism Now! organization has been saying this for years. But you wait and see, mainstream docs are going to get this any day now!