Browsing Tag childrens wellness

Are we destroying our future? (children and genomics)

There is an ancient Chinese proverb or a curse depending on your perspective thatgoes something like, “May you live in interesting times”. And yes, we truly live in interesting times. The advances in Science, Technology and Medicine have been truly breathtaking and awe inspiring.

As we gambol merrily along our lives, we have to stop and think about the legacy that we are leaving our children in more ways than one. Are we giving our children a better standard of living? Are we leaving behind a better world? Are we leaving behind a happier world? As we look at these, the answers become a little more complex and less black and white. Yes, as we increase our income levels, they get to live in better quality buildings. Life gets more comfortable. There is access to increased medical care and better facilities. In most Asian countries as they rapidly modernize everything begins to look neater and cleaner. They never go hungry. They have access to appropriate educational facilities.

However lets look a little at the nitty gritty of the cleaner buildings and the other changes in the environment. Most of these changes are facilitated by the advent of modern technological changes. For one thing, every year there are 2000 new chemicals being introduced into the environment that were not there before. One estimate, is that from the time of our grandparents to date we have 100, 000 new chemicals that were not there before. If you ever go into a construction site, you would notice the use of glues, solvents and new chemicals that make the process of designing new buildings easy and the impact on biological systems traumatic. One of the most commonly used ingredients is formaldehyde. This was once primarily used to preserve dead animals It is a very toxic substance and is now used in 200 household items. Imagine what it does to the nerve and brain tissue of developing foetuses in the mother’s womb not to mention young children.

We are at the beginning of one of the most terrifying epidemics that is beginning to sweep the emerging first world economics ie. Asia, India and China. Its not SARs or even the swine flue. It’s the epidemic of Syndrome X. Syndrome X is the precursor to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. What is particularly pernicious about this is that the programming for this condition is in utero. The study of how genes are turned on or off by the environment (nutrition, diet, toxins and emotions) is called epigenetics. The implications of the epigenetic revolution are even more profound in light of recent evidence that epigenetic changes made in the parent generation can turn up not just one but several generations down the line, long after the original trigger for change has been removed.

In 2004 Michael Skinner, a geneticist at Washington State University, accidentally discovered an epigenetic effect in rats that lasts at least four generations. Skinner was studying how a commonly used agricultural fungicide, when introduced to pregnant mother rats, affected the development of the testes of fetal rats. He was not surprised to discover that male rats exposed to high doses of the chemical while in utero had lower sperm counts later in life. The surprise came when he tested the male rats in subsequent generations—the grandsons of the exposed mothers. Although the pesticide had not changed one letter of their DNA, these second-generation offspring also had low sperm counts. The same was true of the next generation (the great-grandsons) and the next.
Such results hint at a seemingly anti-Darwinian aspect of heredity. Through epigenetic alterations, our genomes retain something like a memory of the environmental signals received during the lifetimes of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and perhaps even more distant ancestors. So far, the definitive studies have involved only rodents. But researchers are turning up evidence suggesting that epigenetic inheritance may be at work in humans as well.
In November 2005, Marcus Pembrey, a clinical geneticist at the Institute of Child Health in London, attended a conference at Duke University to present intriguing data drawn from two centuries of records on crop yields and food prices in an isolated town in northern Sweden. Pembrey and Swedish researcher Lars Olov Bygren noted that fluctuations in the towns’ food supply may have health effects spanning at least two generations. Grandfathers who lived their preteen years during times of plenty were more likely to have grandsons with diabetes—an ailment that doubled the grandsons’ risk of early death. Equally notable was that the effects were sex specific. A grandfather’s access to a plentiful food supply affected the mortality rates of his grandsons only, not those of his granddaughters, and a paternal grandmother’s experience of feast affected the mortality rates of her granddaughters, not her grandsons.

The studies by Pembrey and other epigenetics researchers suggest that our diet, behavior, and environmental surroundings today could have a far greater impact than imagined on the health of our distant descendants. “Our study has shown a new area of research that could potentially make a major contribution to public health and have a big impact on the way we view our responsibilities toward future generations,” Pembrey says.

The logic applies backward as well as forward: Some of the disease patterns prevalent today may have deep epigenetic roots. Pembrey and several other researchers, for instance, have wondered whether the current epidemic of obesity, commonly blamed on the excesses of the current generation, may partially reflect lifestyles adopted by our forebears two or more generations back.

Michael Meaney, who studies the impact of nurturing, likewise wonders what the implications of epigenetics are for social policy. He notes that early child-parent bonding is made more difficult by the effects of poverty, dislocation, and social strife. Those factors can certainly affect the cognitive development of the children directly involved. Might they also affect the development of future generations through epigenetic signaling?

Be well
Dr Sundardas

May 13, 2009 By : admin Category : affecting your child childrens wellness Tags:Are we destroying our future? (children and genomics), children, childrens wellness, Dr sundardas, genomics, naturopathy, NTRC, Singapore, wellness
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How to keep children safe

I have a special soft spot when it comes to children. Every time I see a disabled or handicapped child my heart goes out to the child. I also feel for the parents. When it comes to children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder however I also feel a little angry. Why? I am not angry with the parents (I feel for them). Nor am I angry with the children.

Sometimes when I look at them my heart breaks. I am angry that there is so much misinformation about the nature and conditions that surround the problem.

Of course every time I surf the web and read what others have to say, there seem to be a range of opinions. However, the bottom line is that no one concerted school of thought apart from the Defeat Autism Network and its philosophies and practices has consistently helped ASD children recover and experience a fuller range of life and experiences.

I don’t wish to outline a treatment protocol here for ASD ( this is covered in my clinic website www.NaturalTherapies.com). What I want to do is to outline an overall procedure so that children have a reasonable chance of growing up well physically, emotionally and mentally. This is based on my experience of working with 10, 000 people of which 1,000 were children suffering from ASD, infections and allergies and emotional issues. Every adult was a child once and when I saw them , I saw the scars of inappropriate parenting.

I think parents need to make sure that they are physically, emotionally and mentally prepared to have a child. Both parents need to prepare themselves physically first. Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and the use of recreational drugs. If that seems like too much work, then the next question to ask is, “Are you sure that you are ready for the rigours of childbirth and child raising which will last for at least twenty years?” If you have been smoking or drinking then make some attempts to detoxify your liver. Ensure to the best of your ability that you have lowered the level of toxic chemicals in your system like heavy metals like mercury and PCBS like dioxin. Correct as much of your deficiencies as possible. If you are both are physically healthy, your baby has that much more chance of being physically healthy.

The next step is to be in a happy marriage or relationship. Why this provisio? It stands to reason doesn’t it that if you and your partner are happy with each other when the baby is in the womb, the mother will produce “happy molecules of emotion” (neuropeptides). This will bio-chemically program the baby in utero to be a “happy little camper”. The positive emotions will also program the baby to have positive emotions and high self esteem. In many Asian cultures, the concept of in-utero programming was practiced. Now we have “hot- housing” for producing smart kids. I have spent twenty years researching the impact of all these variables and a few books on the topics are planned. What I am outlining here are the takeaways from the research.

The baby is born. Minimise as much trauma as possible. You cannot legally avoid vaccines. However you can delay them until they are at least 1 year old. The baby’s innate immune system is at an all time high for the first 6 months. Thereafter it starts declining and other mechanisms kick in. In my experience of working with ASD children, none of whom are born with ASD just the tendency towards it, the trigger seems to be some kind of infection or vaccine (normally MMR) impacting the baby’s immune system within the first few days to few months of the baby’s birth.

Thereafter breast feed to child for at least 9 months to a year. When you start weaning them and adding solids, go slow. Notice their responses to new items and watch out for skin responses (rash, itch, cradle cap), digestive responses (colic, diarrhoea and constipation). All of these are markers of food intolerances which will eventually lead to significant health issues.

Maintaining close contact between mother and child in the first 24 hours of birth creates close bonding that results in a young person who will bond with others and be emotionally healthy and well-adjusted. Birth trauma of any kind, lack of close emotional bonding will create a young person who can grow up to be angry, distant and even psychopathic and suicidal.

It is interesting to note that the care and concern that the that parents demonstrate in the first seven years of the child’s life will critically impact him/her for thye rest of their lives. This behaviour by the parents provides the basis for imprinting that would condition the child physically, emotionally and mentally if not spiritually as to what type of person he is and what type of world he lives in. This sets the Blueprint for his Life. The role modeling they provide creates the basis for healthy well functioning happy person or a chronically dependent dysfunctional person.

The Imprint period from birth to about age 7 is the time when we are like a sponge. We pick up and store everything that goes on in our environment. The basic programming occurs between the ages of 2 to 4, by which time the bulk of the programming is complete. We also get our basic programming, which includes drivers and the script at about this age many of the cases of child abuse and or incest that is repressed normally occur about this time frame.

During this time frame the child unconsciously picks up the parents’ behaviour. Many cases of deep-seated dysfunctional attitudes also tend to originate from this time frame. The very notion of imprinting comes from Konrad Lorenz who studied the behaviour of ducklings when they hatched. He discovered that baby ducks would imprint a mother figure in the first day or so of life. So if you wish your children to have happy, positive experiences, you the parents need to live powerfully positive and happy lives.

Be well
Dr Sundardas

April 20, 2009 By : admin Category : Are allergies/food sensitivitities affecting your child? affecting your child autism childrens wellness Tags:ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, childrens, childrens wellness, How to keep children safe
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Are allergies/food sensitivitities affecting your child?

Allergies can play havoc with a child’s ability to benefit from teaching. Some forms of ‘hyperactivity,’ short attention spans and mood swings are caused by allergies and intolerances for certain foods and other environmental factors.

There is much controversy in the medical and related fields concerning allergies and their identification, including the types of tests used to identify allergens (the substance that causes the body to show an allergic reaction). In fact, much about allergies is unknown.

What is known? We know that the white blood cells (also known as lymphocytes) are a fundamental component of the immune system that protects our bodies from invaders. When they make a mistake, an allergic response can occur.

In other words, the blood cells of an allergic person are “misinformed’ at the genetic level and cause the production of large quantities of IgE antibodies. The antibody becomes attached on one side to the food/substance molecule and on the other side to a mast cell (mast cells are a type of cell containing histamine and other allergy mediators instrumental in the allergic response). When this happens, histamines and other chemicals are released from the mast cells, causing such immediate responses as runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes and indigestion. IgE can cause anaphylaxis, an extreme, sometimes even life-threatening response in which the airways swell, sometimes to the point where the person cannot breathe.
Signs of allergies and intolerances
Take a long, serious look at your child. Obvious changes sometimes occur in the physical appearance of children and adults who have typical allergies, or food or chemical sensitivities.

Perhaps you recognise a characteristic “spacey” or at times almost “demonic” look in a child’s eyes when he or she suddenly becomes “impossible.” These looks are sometimes accompanied by characteristic sounds, such as throat-clearing and clucking. The latter is typical, in particular, of a dairy or milk sensitivity. Some mothers complain that their children make strange noises at home or at school. A few whine and say the same phrase over and over. In addition, children (and adults) can develop a hoarse voice or red ears or cheeks due to food or chemical exposure. Other symptoms include slurred or rapid speech.

The effects of chemical odours, such as perfume or certain cleaning materials, tend to occur within seconds or a very few minutes. Food reactions take fifteen to sixty minutes to become apparent. A reaction to dust or moulds usually occurs within an hour. Parents can often pinpoint the cause merely by thinking back over what happened. For example, if red earlobes, a severe headache, or wiggly legs occur half an hour after lunch, it would be logical to assume the symptoms are possibly related to something that was eaten. If the problem is eczema, watch the arm and leg creases: these areas commonly become red and itchy during meals or immediately after contact with dust, moulds, or certain foods. The actual rash, however, will not develop until the next day. Also suspect food allergies/sensitivities if your child has any form of intestinal complaints after eating. If dark eye circles and muscle aches routinely occur after gym, art, chemistry or biology class, or after a shower, suspect a reaction to a chemical exposure. If these changes occur after play on freshly cut grass, suspect grass pollen. If a child’s nose becomes itchy and drippy, or if asthma and coughing get worse after tumbling on gym mats or playing on an old carpet, the cause could be dust, moulds, or both. If a youngster becomes wild and uncontrollable and has a peculiar spaced-out look after using a bathroom that smells of scented body preparations, deodorants or disinfectants, suspect chemicals.

Parents should learn to watch for dark eye circles (which can be black, blue or pink), red earlobes (sometimes becoming so hot that ice is needed to provide relief), nose-rubbing, skin-scratching, wiggly legs, yawning and various throaty sounds. Small, horizontal wrinkles under the eyes are typical of allergic children, especially those who have eczema. Abnormally red rosy cheeks can occur in anyone, but they are particularly characteristic of allergic children two to four years old and of adult females who have multiple food or chemical allergies.

Facial twitches or tics, along with restless legs, are very common in some children. Other muscles also can go into and out of spasm causing discomfort or pain. Foods, moulds and chemical odours, such as the smell of tar or perfume, are common but unsuspected causes.

Hives, which look like mosquito bites, are often caused by foods, dust, moulds or chemicals. More generalised rashes can be caused by a chronic yeast infection (often following anti-biotic treatment), by contact with formaldehyde in polyester clothing or bedding or by some chemical found in a laundry detergent or fabric softener.

Stomach pains, ‘winds’, nausea, diarrhea, constipation or halitosis are commonly caused by an allergy to food or drink. Recurrent headaches are another very common allergic symptom in all age groups. The pain may occur above or behind the eyes or on the sides, back or top of head. Yeast overgrowths may be caused by repeated courses of antibiotics (in children, frequently used to medicate ear infections or tonsillitis. A white-coated tongue is a common indication of excess yeast.

Sudden unprovoked aggression in both children and adults can be related to allergy. It is often associated with red earlobes, wiggly legs, dark eye circles and a special ‘look’. Behaviour may include hitting, biting, kicking, spitting and punching.

For twenty years I have seen more than a thousand children with allergies and sensitivities in my practice. The number seem to be increasing in the last decade. I wonder why?

Be well

Dr Sundardas

March 4, 2009 By : admin Category : childrens wellness Tags:allergies, Are allergies/food sensitivitities affecting your child?, child, childrens wellness, food
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