Thursday, August 28, 2014

Autism: In the Major Media News and Not!

Boy is autism a MAJOR buzz word in the media this week! Well, it is sort of a buzz word in the media I should say. First, let's start with the good news! California has now been forced to cover therapy services for autistic children on the state's low income medicaid program. The Center for Medcaid and Medicare Services has ordered the state insurance programs to cover ABA therapy. Help should be on the way. This coverage should apply to anyone 21 years of age and younger. For more information on the story click HERE.

The next story has been suppressed, denied, and covered up this week.   I'm not sure I can write a post to cover everything that has happened.  Honestly, I don't have the time!  I will point to some good sources. Basically the story is that a scientist at the CDC, Dr.William Thompson, had conversations with Dr. Brain Hooker.  Hooker regularly submits FOIA requests to the CDC for information related to vaccine safety and autism.  So Hooker somehow got to speak to Thompson over the phone.  Hooker secretly recorded the phone calls.  In the call Thompson admits to covering up data that African American babies were 236% more likely to develop autism if they received the MMR vaccination before 36 months. The autism community has been discussing this information for at least a week.  They have been tweeting and haring the story all over Facebook.  Interestingly enough, not one work from the mainstream media news outlets.  Someone then writes an excellent article with reference and posts it to CNN's iReport.  What happens?  Within a day of the article being posted it was taken down as fraud.  That is the suppression.

Then another report was submitted and it was removed even faster.  That article was later re-posted with CNN's caveat that the news media was waiting for a statement from the CDC.  Really?  Does CNN really think the CDC would admit to possible fraud???  So this is the denial.

Thompson would not come out publicly himself.  He was outed by Hooker. In the meantime I think Thompson panicked.  Who wouldn't! He was risking life, home, job, and family so he went to find himself a layer.  The lawyer released a public statement for Thompson.  You an find that information HERE and HERE. In the statement he both confirms the information was left out of the study but then denies by saying he thinks everyone should be vaccinated.   Notice that the lawyer specializes in whistleblower retaliation

Now that the story is getting more press the peer reviewed, medical journal Translational Neurodegeneration, the people that published Hooker's study, has pulled the paper.  You can find a copy of it HERE. This is the coverup.

Gianelloni's blog has a good general post about the story.  You can read it HERE.

Now the diversion is coming.  The magic show to make the story disappear.  It looks like Time is the first major news outlet that is covering the story and they are working at discrediting it. You can read the story HERE. As I read the story I was yelling and muttering at my computer screen because of the distortion of the truth.

Here is her story and I am going to interject my comments I was thinking to myself when I read it...

Whistleblower Claims CDC Covered Up Data Showing Vaccine-Autism Link

The claim, however, may just be more unsubstantiated fuel from the anti-vaccination movement

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a war going on between those who believe in the health benefits of vaccines – that they can prevent deadly infectious diseases such as measles and polio – and those that believe that the immunizations do more harm than good. Now one of the authors of a 2004 government study that found similar vaccination rates among children with and without autism says the study omitted some important data.

The vaccine war is being fought on social media, in social circles and increasingly in doctor’s offices, as physicians are faced with doubts and questions from parents who find themselves being recruited onto the side of skepticism (The reason parents are being recruited is because they are smart enough to ask questions and realize that the CDC is not giving them the information.  Just as the CDC is not giving information to Congress as they have requested). Skepticism is healthy, and the sign of curious minds, but not when it flies in the face of evidence (Even in peer reviewed medical journal articles there are studies that raise concerns.  Don't worry yourself about it though because the press has told you so). Especially gold standard, rigorous scientific evidence that has been accumulating for decades and shows that vaccines are not linked with an increased risk of the developmental disorder.  (This story is listed below with my comments.)

William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and one of the authors of a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics, spoke with Brain Hooker, who serves on the board of Focus Autism (which was founded to “put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors”), about the data that was not included in the final report. The study looked at both healthy children and those with autism, to see if there were any differences in their rates of being vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and found none. That suggested that childhood immunizations likely were not contributing to an increased risk of autism. Hooker and Thompson, however, discussed a subset of the 624 children with autism and 1824 without the condition who were studied and Thompson admitted that among African-American boys, the incidence of autism was higher among those who were vaccinated than among those who weren’t. But that information was not part of the paper. Thompson claims he was not aware that the discussion was being recorded (if he was do you think he would have ever said anything?), and his statements appeared in a video released on YouTube on August 22 entitled “CDC Whistleblower Revealed.”

Did the CDC cover up the data, as Hooker claims? A couple of things to keep in mind, both about the people behind the video and about how epidemiological studies like the one published in Pediatrics work (and explained in more detail in this article from Science-Based Medicine)(The Science-Based Medicine group are VERY pro-vaccine. I would not call them an unbiased source either). For starters, the video was narrated by Andrew Wakefield, the British researcher responsible for seeding the questions about vaccines and autism in the first place. In 2010, the General Medical Council in the UK revoked his license to practice medicine and a year later, the journal that published his paper concluded that his findings were fraudulent. (To me it all most seems that the author went out of her way to to bias the audience. Wakefield is not as bad as people make him out to be. Just click HERE to see his side of the story. Wakefield also had a point.  There is a high chance that the gut microbiome is involved in at least some types of autism.  More and more information is being published in medical journals discussing the gut microbiome. Just head over to Google Scholar and do a search for "gut microbiome autism" yourself.)
Next, any time scientists take the original population of participants in a study, however large, and drill down to analyze trends in a subgroup – in this case the African-American boys – the power of the associations they find dwindles. That’s because the numbers get smaller, and in order to be statistically relevant – something known as statistical significance to statisticians – certain threshold numbers and confidence intervals for the connection have to be reached. In the 2004 study, the scientists looked at a smaller set of 355 children with autism and 1020 without for whom they had Georgia state birth certificates, which included additional information that might be relevant for any associations, such as birth weight, gestational age, and mother’s age, race and education. “This information was not available for the children without birth certificates; hence the CDC study did not present data by race on black, white or other race children form the whole study sample. It presented the results on black and white/other race children from the group with birth certificates,” the CDC notes in a statement responding to the video. Thompson claims that the findings were statistically significant, but results from smaller numbers of subjects still don’t hold as much weight as correlations found in the larger group. (I disagree with this assessment and apparently so does Thompson who admitted the data left out was statistically relevant.)

In addition, it’s important to note that the study simply correlated age at vaccination and reports of autism, which says nothing about the direction of the connection. For example, the authors of the 2004 study note that “Case children, especially those 3 to 5 years of age, were more likely than control children to have been vaccinated before 36 months of age.” The association between vaccination and symptoms, however, was more likely due to the fact that the children had to be immunized in order to register in preschool (You can't really get vaccinated much before 36 months for the MMR because doctors don't want to do it for state compliance.  I know.  I lived in Alabama.  My oldest daughter (now 20) was vaccinated two months before she was suppose to and I had to get her the vaccine again before she went to school. Most doctors are care NOT to give the vaccines early!  Also, why are case children going to preschool at a greater rate then control children.  That does not make sense to me.), and doesn’t necessarily indicate that the shots contributed to the autism.

In a statement issued through his attorneys (yes, his attorney specializes in whistleblower retaliation!), Thompson says “Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information.” He calls for transparency in the data collecting and reporting process, but says that the way that the 2004 study was presented does not negate the importance of vaccination. “I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.” (I'm sure Thompson wouldn't have any incentive to say that when he may want to keep his job with the CDC and not be labeled a quack.  I'm sorry Thompson it might be too late for that.  You have spoken and many have listened.  Now if the main stream media will only listen too!)

The latest in-depth review of immunizations shows that they aren’t linked to higher risk of autism or cancer

It’s been three years since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) came out with its comprehensive look at vaccine safety. That’s enough time to generate dozens more studies investigating side effects and risk of conditions such as autism and cancer that keep some parents from vaccinating their children against potentially lethal diseases like mumps, measles and pertussis(First lets get this straight.  The link to the article being sited says "Vaccine Safety: New Report Finds Few Adverse Events Linked to Immunizations."  I added the emphasis. In my blog I explain why being one of the "few" (how many is a few anyways?) is a horrible thing.  Also the IOM is a bunch of doctors that have been brainwashed into thinking vaccines are good. Look at the O'Leary et al. I posted on my page under the measles section.  The abstract left ALL the information out of the results section of the study.  There was a reason for that. Most doctors recommend a risky vaccine because it was recommended by major medical associations like the AAP. Rather shameful in my opinion!

Since 2011, when the IOM issued its report, 67 new studies that included proper follow up periods and control groups have emerged. So the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality requested an updated review of the data on vaccine safety, this time including data on previously unstudied immunizations against pneumococcus, rotavirus, Hib and inactivated polio virus vaccines in addition to the well-studied ones.

Overall, the researchers, led by Margaret Maglione at the RAND Corporation, (I looked the RAND Corp up.  I noticed they are a non-profit. Someone donates money to pay the bills.  Where is that money coming from?  I did not see anywhere the sponsors/contributors/donators of the company.) report in the journal Pediatrics that most of the childhood immunizations are safe, with only a few (again, how many is few and if YOUR child is one of the"few: I don't think you will feel it is that rare of an event!) associated with rare adverse effects. The group found that the MMR vaccine, which some parents believe raise the risk of autism, does not increase the risk of the developmental disorder. They did find moderate evidence that rotavirus vaccination can cause twisting of the bowels in a small number of children, but the condition can be treated (The first version of this vaccine was pulled from the market because of all the damage it did.  As for treating the twisted bowel; yes, it's done through surgery. Do you want that for YOUR child?  This does not even cover that Paul Offit is the inventor of that vaccine and made MILLIONS off the sell of the patent and now he works for the CDC recommending the vaccine schedule.).
“We need to keep doing this,” says Dr. Carol Baker, executive director of the center for vaccine awareness and research at Texas Children’s Hospital, of the study updates. “We can’t just sit still and rest on prior information.”

Increasingly, she says, pediatricians are spending more time discussing vaccines and vaccine safety with confused or hesitant parents. (That's because people are getting smarter and refuse to just vaccinate their children. Studies are not always transparent, the CDC is not transparent at all and refuses to hand over information to Congress after being requested. Why should I worry...NOT!) That’s a different scenario from the days of the polio epidemic, when parents were lining their children up to get them vaccinated against the paralyzing disease. “The major reason the safety of vaccines has become more of an issue recently is that many of the diseases they prevent have pretty much disappeared,” says Baker, who also served as chair of the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which makes recommendations about which vaccines children should get, and when. (I am going to state here that we have prevented disease two ways.  One is vaccinations.  They do work some. They can decrease the number of cases of a disease.  One the other hand the vaccines are dangerous for some people including those who are genetically predispositioned with autoimmune problems.  In that case it may be better for them to catch the disease.  Also most of the infectious disease cases were winding down in number anyways before vaccines were introduced. This is because of an increase in nutrition, sanitation and better medical practices.)  “So this is a very needed report.”

It’s especially helpful as more parents are either skeptical about vaccines, and need reassurance that getting their children is the safe, and responsible thing to do, or are adamantly convinced that vaccines do more harm than good. (Again, I will point out that I am not a true Anti-Vaxxer.  I think vaccinations are fine if your child is healthy.  On the other hand I FIRMLY believe we are vaccinating our children incorrectly.  We should not be administering vaccines until children are about two and have had a chance to fully develop their immune system.  The United States requires the most vaccines before the age of six than any other country. Amazing huh? Also there is not mention of aluminum adjuvants used in vaccines, that the medical professionals have no idea how the aluminum adjuvants excite the immune system, and the dose of aluminum given to babies during their multiple injections surpasses the toxic threshold. You can read more on aluminum adjuvants on my page.) Many pediatricians have alerted their patients that they won’t see children whose parents won’t get them vaccinated since they could pose a risk of passing on disease to their other patients, including infants under six months old who can’t get vaccinated because their immune systems are still too undeveloped to respond properly to the shots, and children whose immune systems are compromised because of cancer or other conditions. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t advise that its members refuse patients, but some pediatricians believe it’s the only way to protect the children they see. (Lucky for those of us that vaccinate on an alternative schedule or not at all we can still find doctors to see. Plus many of us are blessed to have healthy children so rarely need to see a doctor in the first place.) “Pediatricians have to have a conversation about risks and benefits of vaccines,” says Baker. “So we need to keep looking at the studies and the data. Vaccines are good, and disease is bad, and the risk-benefit ratio is favorable for all vaccines. This new study gives reassurance that that’s true. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Tale of Hypothyrodism and Iron Deficient Anemia

I know no one really reads my blog for posts about me.  They read it for updates about my children.  Sadly, dear reader, you are left relying on me for that information and I have not been up to writing a blog post in a long time!  I had several issues going for the last several months but I had no idea what was wrong.  The thing that really got me motivated to see a doctor was my extreme fatigue and my drastic hair loss.  If you had been reading my blog for awhile you know I have been complaining about my hair falling out since John and I separated.  I thought the issue was related to stress but I kept seeing hair fall out.  Again, I was not too concerned because I thought it was still stress related but this time from work.

By the end of June I was so fatigued, if you left me to sleep, I could sleep for 16 hours a day!  If you knew me you would know this is a HUGE problem.  First, I don't have time to sleep like that!  Second, I used to be able to wake, on my own, about five minutes before my alarm would go off.  I know, it sounds strange but I don't like being startled awake so I would wake on my own.  With the fatigue I was sleeping through my alarm AND not making it to work on time!

At the same time I was noticing that my hair had thinned to the point you can see my scalp, my nails were brittle and weak plus I was having may stomach issues (gastric upset and diarrhea). I kept seeing my general practitioner (GP) doctor and getting no where.  I had been getting blood all along while seeing a a few GPs.  On my blood work they did find my thyroid was WAY high for me.  Typically my thyroid is about 1.5 to 2.  When it is that low I feel better and have more energy to deal with things.  The test showed it was 6.5. This was quite high and helped to explain my fatigue and brain fog.  The bad news was my hair was still falling out and I was not feeling more energized after taking two months of a higher dose of thyroid.  So my GP suggested I see a specialist and sent me to a hematologist.

I had told her in the past I had issues with iron deficient anemia.  This has been a problem for me since the birth of the Quads.  I think it has to do with the hernia patch.  The doctor had stitched the hernia patch (which looks like a screen mesh) to my abdominal wall.  I think when I do ANYTHING that requires the use of the abdominal muscles that the patch pulls at the incisions site (on the abdominal muscles) and causes bleeding.  I think this bleeding is causing my autoimmune system to go nuts plus is increasing the internal inflammation in my body (as seen in my increase Protein C numbers).  My lab work at the time showed my hemoglobin and hematocrit were within "normal" range.  My numbers were at the lowest number of the acceptable range or one number above.  Since my GP just scans lab work versus reading and interrupting the results herself she did not think I had an iron issue but still wanted me to see a hematologist because I had mentioned I take a multivitamin with iron AND an iron supplement yet my levels were pretty low.

At the Hematologist I explained about the fatigue, brain fog, and general feeling of being unmotivated to do anything.  My issue with my nails, hair, tongue (would get super sore and super sensitive to salt and hot sauce) and the gastro problems.  Then I told him about my theory involving the hernia repair. He listed patiently.  Then he ordered a bunch of blood work.  The hematologist did an expanded blood work planel to include the percentage (%) of hemoglobin in the blood. When that blood work came back I finally had proof I was not only iron deficient but I was pretty severly iron deficient!  The percentage of hemoglobin in the blood values that are consided "normal" are 8% to 50%.  Huge range, right!?!  My value was 4%.  This is EXTREMELY LOW for a woman!  So I was ordered to get IV iron transfusions.  When I asked why the Hematologist said I was not absorbing iron in my digestive track for some reason. I perviously had an upper and lower GI testing done and the GI doctor could find nothing wrong.  I was even tested for celiac disease, irritable bowel disease and milk allergy.  I did not have ANY of those!  The hematologist was not sure why I was not absorbing iron from my diet or the supplements I was taking but he knew the IV route would at least get my iron level up and do it quickly!  It took about 2 weeks after the IV iron transfusion (the transfusions took two weeks) before I was feeling MUCH better.

I missed my last appointment with the hematologist through a misunderstanding.  I am bummed because I am already noticing my hair falling out more again and I feel tried more readily but at least now I know what's wrong. It has taken me THREE months and lots of testing to figure it out but I did!  I have an appointment to go back in two weeks.  I can't wait!  Nothing like being poked and watching what looks like rust drip into your viens and then feeling FABLOUS for a few weeks!  LOL

The moral of this story...

Just because your lab values are "normal" does NOT mean that everything is okay.  If you are not feeling well continue persuing the subject until you have an answer! NO ONE know YOU better than YOU!

For a blog with some really good information on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid disease) or hypothroidism in general please check out Hypothyroid Mom blog.  It has a wealth of information!

For information on iron deficient anemia please check out The site has a lot of information on symptoms, testing and what you can do to increase iron in your diet.