The Big Debate

For a long time now, there has been a lot of worry and claim that vaccinations can lead to autism.  Some have even brought up the question of whether or not vaccinations can lead to food allergies as well.  I have written about this in the past expressing my own concerns.  I absolutely want to know the truth, if the truth exists (which, one day I believe it will.)  But for now, I have developed my own opinion about how to handle the dilemma of whether or not to vaccinate.

A friend of mine posted this article from CNN on his Facebook page.  You may have read or heard about it already.  Dr. Andrew Wakefield conducted a study in Britain that involved patients with autism and the link to vaccination, particularly the MMR vaccination.  The results of his study were spread all over the media and caused panic to many parents.  Consequently, a very large number of children were not vaccinated when they normally should have been.  This greatly lowered herd immunity and has led to a loss of the lives of many children.  To make matters worse, it appears that his study was falsified.  You can read more about that in the above link to CNN.

My motive for writing this article is not to support whether or not vaccinations lead to things such as autism or food allergies.  We truly do not have enough evidence to support either way.  After reading this article, and learning the effects of NOT using vaccinations, I have come to realize the true importance of them.  I have had my own struggle with whether or not to use vaccinations after reading many claims of the links to autism and food allergies.  My oldest son has life threatening food allergies, and I have a strong desire to know what has caused it.  However, the effects of this bogus study have proven what can happen if vaccinations were stopped.  We have solid proof that these diseases in which vaccinations prevent have horrible consequences, including death.  We do not have enough evidence that vaccinations lead to autism or food allergies.  And even if we did, would we choose a path that could lead to death?

I truly believe that we will someday have an answer.  It is a shame that all the money that was spent on this falsified study was not used on a true one.  But, thank you Dr. Wakefield for clearing up my clouded thoughts on whether or not to vaccinate!

1 Comment

Filed under research for the cause

Book Review- Flourishing With Food Allergies

51pvMpSDSuL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_I was offered the exciting privilege of reviewing a book about food allergies.  Flourishing With Food Allergies, by A. Anderson, proved to be a great resource for information on living with food allergies.  Living with food allergies, especially when it is your child, proves to carry a huge weight of worry and anxiety.  The first part of this book provides snippets from other people’s experiences.  It helped me to feel like I was not alone, or crazy for that matter. 

What I like most about this book is that it  is very thought provoking about the cause of food allergies.  I know that there has been great effort in searching for a cure, but I have always felt that finding the cause is more important.  If there is something that is causing such havoc on our biological system, it should be stopped!  What about autism and ADHD?  Could these be the results of the same culprit?  Do you realize how many extra chemicals go into our food supply? 

Many people take for granted that we live in a well protected society and that this protection includes our food supply.  Maybe you have noticed all the press on things such as BPA in our plastic, hormones and antibiotics in our milk, and pesticides contaminating our produce, just to name a few.  Ms. Anderson does a great job in her book shedding more light on some of these kinds of questions.

Leave a comment

Filed under food allergy support, product reviews, research for the cause

Food Allergy Reaction

This topic is always my biggest concern.  Obviously, I am always thinking about how to help Little R live a normal life while avoiding a potential food allergy reaction, especially a life threatening one.  He has had a few sporadic reactions over the years since his first one that almost took his life.  None of them required an Epi-Pen, but my biggest concern with this is that it can cause us to become complacent.

A lot of people are under the impression that all food allergy reactions will be like the first one.  They think that all symptoms will be the same, or that because the first reaction was not life threatening, that a life threatening one is unlikely. 

I cannot say it any clearer that THIS IS NOT TRUE!  I don’t know how many people I have talked to that have food allergy children, or care for one, and they inevitably make the comment that “They just get red around the mouth.  They have never had a life threatening reaction.”  Or, “Their reactions are NEVER anaphylactic.”  I believe that this is what makes death due to a food allergy reaction HIGH RISK!  I have read, and heard it said at FAAST food allergy meetings, that the number one cause of death from a food allergy reaction is FAILURE TO USE THE EPI-PEN IN TIME!  If you care for a food allergy child, you must first believe that any reaction could be potentially turn life threatening and be prepared to use the Epi-Pen! 

Ask any family who has lost a child due to a food allergy reaction.  I would bet that none of these families were the ones who were what most people would call “overprotective” when it came to their child’s food allergy.  I do not mean any disrespect to these parents.  I know how easy it is to live in denial or ignorance about food allergies.  Doctors just do not do a good enough job educating about them.  But, I just know too many other parents and care givers who live in this fog, and I wish for them to wake up, so to speak.

Read the story of  BJ Horn, or Emily Vonder Meulen.  Both of these children were loved by their parents, but ended up dying from food allergy reactions (namely peanut allergy) because the volatility of their allergy was not understood completely.  Click on their names to read their stories, and pay attention to the part where their parents basically say, “We didn’t know/believe that their allergy would be truly life threatening.”

Nobody wants to believe that they could lose their child, especially because of  food.  But, if your child has a food allergy, you MUST start taking this seriously!  If your child has a peanut allergy, you especially need to be on alert as peanut allergies appear to be the MOST volatile.

*BJ Horn link is from Allergy Moms blog.  Gina does a great job educating about food allergies.  I recommend reading her website and blog.

*Emily Vonder Meulen link is from Food Allergy Angel website.  Paul has developed this website to help share Emily’s story in an effort to educate others about food allergies.

Leave a comment

Filed under advocating, always be prepared, Anaphylaxis, food allergy reactions, food allergy support

Biocides???

Have any of you heard of this? Apparently nanosilver is used in many kinds of products as some kind of anti-bacterial/anti-fungal agent. It is a biocide. For instance, it might be added into toys, cutting boards, or sippy-cups to aid in killing bacteria and fungus.

I came across this information while I was reading the site The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. While the idea of protecting us from harmful bacteria and such seems like a great idea, there is also a lot of belief that using things like the nano-silver is preventing our immune systems form developing properly.

This reminds me of the “too clean” theory, and how many people believe this is what has led to the burst of food allergies. I always thought the “too clean” theory was a bunch of hoo ha, because I mainly thought it was linked to how I kept house, for instance. Don’t get me wrong, I do not live in dirty or trashy home, but I am not what I would consider to be obsessed with cleanliness… I have nothing but boys in my house for crying out loud…LOL!

My point is that there are obviously other factors in our daily lives that many of us do not even realize exsist. These things are affecting our health, and we don’t even know it! A lot of concerning statements have been in the news recently, like the danger of BPA. So, it is not surprising to me that there are other things as well.

I guess I am upset about all of this because I have been in the dark, so to speak. I think we take it for granted that we are being looked out for on these kinds of issues. It has become apparent that we have to look out for ourselves.

Some things can be avoided- eating unprocessed food, eating organic food, avoiding the use of other products with too many chemicals. But, some things are not so easy avoid. The use of the nano-chemicals is used in many things we would never think about. There is also know way of knowing it is present. The ONLY way to protect ourselves is to speak out!

biocide

1 Comment

Filed under research for a cure, research for the cause

Surf Sweets-Product Review

Mmmm… Who doesn’t like their sweet stuff every once in awhile? I know I sure do, and so do my kids. My biggest problem with this habit is what goes into some of this sweet stuff. I have always been leary of Red Dye, for instance. In fact, you can read about my concern here. High fructose corn syrup is another. I am always on the lookout for better things to fulfill our sweet tooth cravings.

surfsweets3

Recently, I was contacted by Surf Sweets to test and review their product. Surf Sweets makes a variety of different gummy candies and jelly beans. They are all certified organic, and safe of at least our allergens (peanuts, tree-nuts, and eggs.) I was very pleased to learn that their products do not use any artificial dyes.

The true test, however, is in the taste. I can assure you that this was the best part of my experience. I thought the gummy candies and jelly beans tasted great! My children were very quick to agree. :-)

You can visit www.surfsweets.com to learn more about the product and where it can be found.

Leave a comment

Filed under product reviews

Making the Most of It

The other evening, we put together a very impromptu get together with some neighbor friends.  What was a bad experience, turned into a great one!

Earlier that day we were at a family gathering for a graduation party.  These kind of get togethers are always a little nerve racking for me because of Little R’s food allergies.  As you can imagine, there is always a lot of food around with so many people to feed.  My family has gotten pretty good at thinking and planning ahead so that Little R can have a safe visit, but this visit turned ugly!

There were a lot of kids visiting at this gathering, so one of my uncles had planned for a fun activity for them.  The first red flag, or what should have been for me, was when he gathered the kids and had them go search for pine cones.  Yeah, you know where this is going.  I was busy socializing with other relatives, having my own fun, so I was not paying much attention.  The next thing I know, Little R came up to me with a very frightened look on his face and told me that all the kids were playing in PEANUT BUTTER!  You can imagine the skipped beat that my heart experienced at that moment!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Little R, with a very sad face, walked off to the other side of the yard and told me he would just play alone until they were done.  BUT, that was NOT good enough!  Peanut butter is not easy to clean up!  I knew that no matter how much effort was placed in hand washing, there would still be peanut butter lingering.  This party was no longer safe for Little R.

I very quickly decided that we HAD to leave.  What was worse was that Little C was covered in said peanut butter!  I had my mom take him inside to wash up as best as she could until we could get home for a real shower and change of clothes.  Little R was NOT happy about my decision to leave.  So, I very quickly came up with a change in plans… our own backyard bon-fire!

I quickly called my hubby to send him out for a fire-pit.  I then called some of our friends in the neighborhood.  We ended up having a GREAT time that night roasting marshmallows and making S’mores.  In spite of the horrific experience earlier in the day, it just goes to show what a positive attitude can do.  (And, no, my attitude was not positive at first, I must confess…)

I am sorry for the long post, but I had to get all of that off my chest!  You are probably wondering why I am sharing so many details.  I think it is important for our friends and family members to get a clear picture of what it is like living with these horrible food allergies.  Thanks for listening.

Little R enjoying one very yummy S'more! Little R enjoying one very yummy S’more!

3 Comments

Filed under food allergies and friends, Our personal journey

ALLERGY ALERT!

You may have heard by now, but just in case you have not…  Beware of your flower seeds this year.  Apparently, Target has some for sale that has ground up peanuts inside!  For more of the story, visit The Nut-Free Mom’s Blog.

seeds

Leave a comment

Filed under allergy alert, food allergies in the news