Can You Trust Your Doctor?

I believe in the goodness of people, so I believe your doctor probably has good intentions. Just like the generations of doctors before him or her. Just like the doctors a few decades ago, who told their patients that smoking cigarettes was perfectly safe, even good for your health. Those cigarette-prescribing doctors pointed their patients to the body of published “science” that supported the safety of smoking at the time.

Had you asked your OBGYN back in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, or 70s how to reduce your chance of miscarriage, your doctor would have told you to take diethylstilbestrol (DES) during your pregnancy, a drug that caused cancer in ten million daughters born to mothers who listened to their doctors. Doctors told their patients that DES was safe and the “science” said DES was safe; DES was recalled after 37 years on the market. 

Had you asked your doctor how to lose weight between 1973 and 1997, your doctor would have helpfully written you a prescription for Fen-Phen, a drug that caused massive heart attacks in patients for almost three decades. Fen-Phen remained on the market for 24 years before it was recalled. 

Had you asked your doctor how to lower your cholesterol in 2000, he would have prescribed Baycol, a drug whose side effects killed tens of thousands of people in just a few short years. Baycol was recalled only after 100,000 people were killed. 

Had you asked your doctor how to heal arthritis pain in the early 2000s, he would have prescribed Vioxx, a Merck drug. Vioxx was recalled after damaging the hearts and cardiovascular systems of more than 140,000 people. 

Had you complained of inflammation to your doctor in 2005, he would have prescribed Bextra, a Pfizer drug that caused heart attacks, strokes, and fatal skin conditions. After Bextra was recalled, Pfizer’s subsidiary admitted to “intent to defraud or mislead” with their promotion of the drug. 

Had you sought treatment for Type 2 diabetes in 2000, your doctor would have prescribed Rezulin, a drug that was found to increase hepatitis cases. When one doctor did voice concerns about Rezulin’s safety, the FDA fired him. The drug was only pulled after overwhelming evidence showed that it was dangerous–at a time that was already too late for many people who had been hurt by it.

Did you know that doctors used to prescribe tobacco cigarettes to prevent illness? Physicians played an integral role in the promotion of smoking. Those cigarette-promoting doctors were probably decent people who simply believed in the “science” of the time. Those doctors, with the best of intentions, believed they were helping their patients.

In the year 2016, if you take a healthy newborn to an American doctor, your doctor will recommend injecting your baby with 49 doses of vaccines containing a cocktail of known toxins, including aluminum, formaldehyde, MSG, aborted fetal cells, cow cells, chick embryo cells, monkey kidney cells, and some of today’s most common childhood allergens. Your doctor  might even mention the “science” that supports the safety of such a schedule, but the truth is that no prior generation has ever received this number of vaccines at such a young age. Zero long-term studies have examined the safety of the schedule. In the same way that we allowed cigarette manufacturers to fund and interpret the “science” of cigarette safety, our current system allows vaccine manufacturers to fund, oversee, and interpret the “science” of vaccine safety.

If you listen to your doctor and allow him to vaccinate your baby with a vaccine full of ingredients you haven’t researched, and then you call your doctor a few hours later because you’re concerned about your baby’s reaction, your doctor may tell you that nonstop crying, fevers, and even seizures requiring hospitalization are a normal response to those vaccines. This generation of American children is the first to experience a new “normal” when it comes to health: more autoimmune conditions than ever before, 1 in 42 boys diagnosed with autism, never-ending rashes, rampant obesity, incessant illnesses, and severe, lifelong allergies that many will never outgrow.

One day, with the 20/20 hindsight of history, we will look back on the vaccine debate in the United States and we will understand it more clearly. 

Until then, you can trust your doctor. But when you choose whether to trust your doctor without doing your own research, remember that your doctor, like millions of doctors throughout history, is only human.

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Sources here.

Source of vaccine ingredients: CDC.

 

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Zika Virus Rumors: Could the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy cause microcephaly?

In 2014, Brazilian officials recommended that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine. For the first time in the country’s history, thousands of pregnant Brazilian women received the Tdap vaccine. A few months later, in 2015, news outlets began reporting that Brazil was experiencing an unprecedented rise in the number of cases of newborns with a neurodevelopmental disorder known as microcephaly.

Officials quickly named a culprit: mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. But when officials were pressed to provide evidence of the link between birth defects and the Zika virus, a little-known pathogen that has been considered harmless since its discovery in the 1940s, they came up short. Even the mainstream media, including Reuters and the BBC, reported on the lack of a scientific link.

At best, officials could only suggest a “correlation.” Still, they ploughed forward with a new message: “Postpone pregnancy until we can sell you a new vaccine that will protect against Zika.”

The rise in cases of microcephaly in Brazil may be correlated with a recent increase in cases of Zika virus, but it’s just as heavily correlated with the rising trend of Brazilian pregnant women receiving the Tdap vaccine.

Could the Tdap vaccine, which has been in widespread use around the world—including in the United States—be responsible for Brazil’s many cases of microcephaly? If the Tdap vaccine were connected to microcephaly, wouldn’t there be just as many cases of microcephaly in the U.S.?

FACT: Rates of microcephaly are currently higher in the United States, where the Tdap vaccine is routinely administered to pregnant women, than in Brazil. Each year, approximately 25,000 American mothers give birth to babies with microcephaly. For many mothers in the United States, microcephaly is nothing new. Since Brazil began recommending the Tdap vaccine to pregnant women, rates of microcephaly in Brazil are quickly catching up to U.S. rates. (In the wake of its microcephaly crisis, Brazil has reported less than 4,000 of microcephaly for its population of 200.4 million. Compare that 25,000 new cases each year in the U.S. population of 318.9 million.)

FACT: Pertussis vaccines have long been associated with reports of brain swelling, brain damage, and death in infants and children. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database is full of these reports. Do a quick search for incidents related to both Tdap and DTaP (the name of the vaccine administered to children).

FACT: Statistics suggest that some vaccines are more harmful to men, but the Tdap vaccine—the same vaccine recommended to pregnant Brazilian women—appears to be more harmful to women. Vaccines affect men and women differently. As far back as 2011, American women were more than twice as likely as men to report an adverse reaction to the Tdap vaccine. According to a medalerts.org analysis, the gender disparity in adverse reactions “defies explanation.” In the U.S., a whopping 32.67% of reactions to the Tdap vaccine are reported by patients between the ages of 17 and 44, during their prime childbearing years.

FACT: The safety of administering the Tdap vaccine to pregnant women has never been studied.

What’s the bottom line? No one is suggesting that EVERY pregnant women infected with Zika will have a baby with microcephaly. And no one is suggesting that EVERY pregnant woman who received the Tdap vaccine will have a baby with microcephaly.

Timing and genetics play an important role as well.

But you should know the facts.

So how can we determine whether the 2014 introduction of the Tdap vaccine to Brazilian women is the cause of the 2015 rise in cases of microcephaly?

That question can be answered by studies that simply examine the safety of administering vaccines to pregnant women, but Big Pharma and their lobbyists are too powerful to allow studies that could hurt their bottom line. Even the package inserts of vaccines that doctors are legally administering to pregnant women admit that no studies have ever examined the safety of administering vaccines to pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor to provide you with the package inserts of any vaccines he or she recommends. Administering vaccines to pregnant women is generally considered an “off-label” use of vaccines.

Conclusion: With the country’s souring rates of microcephaly, there’s no doubt that something strange and sad is happening in Brazil. Cases of microcephaly are likely the result of a combination of factors or co-factors (including genetic predisposition, in-utero exposure to harmful chemicals or pesticides, plus a variety of maternal complications) but recommending that pregnant women receive additional vaccines is a simplistic answer to a complex problem—and it could make the situation even worse for generations to come.

For further reading:

Public Radio International | The Sketchy Numbers Behind Brazil’s Zika Crisis

UPDATE 02/11/2016: Zika Virus Update: Doctors Name Monsanto Larvicide-Tainted Water As Potential Cause of Microcephaly

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American Foods Banned In Other Countries

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A comprehensive and well-researched article from EatLocalGrown outlines some foods to avoid–if you live in the United States. These 10 foods are banned in other countries:

  • Genetically engineered papaya banned in the European Union
  • Ractopamine-tained meat banned in Europe, Russia, and China
  • Arsenic-laced chicken banned in Europe
  • Bread made with poisonous potassium bromide banned in Europe, China, and Canada
  • Fat imitation Olestra/Olean banned in the UK and Canada
  • Preservatives BHA and BHT banned in Europe and Japan
  • Milk made with rBGH banned in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Canada

This list offers 10 more reasons to buy organic, buy wild, buy local, read ingredients, and ignore package claims (and do your own research to take charge of your health!) Learn more about the Wellness and Equality health model here.

Welcome!

The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis in public health. Americans are more ill than they have ever been in history. Recent studies predict that by 2020, more than 80 percent of American men and more than 70 percent of American women will be overweight or obese. Not only are Americans as a population more ill than they have ever been, but the neediest among us are suffering most of all.

The disparity in health among social classes is growing rapidly. The gap in premature death rates between the poorest and richest Americans has almost doubled since 1980.  This disparity begins in the womb — low socioeconomic status is strongly linked to low birthweight — and the disadvantages continue throughout life. In 2009, 600,000 of Chicago’s 3 million residents lived in urban neighborhoods with limited or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, new studies are pulling back the curtain on food deserts, and challenging the old assumption that poor people choose unhealthy food voluntarily.  In reality, they often do not have access to healthier options. In America today, the best predictor of health is social class.

Food is one part of the health equation, but it is only one part. Wellness is about more than diet and exercise. It’s about our daily patterns and activities. It’s about exposure to toxins and chemicals. It’s about education, and awareness.

WELLNESS & EQUALITY is a progressive health blog.  Health, at it’s core, is simple. Our modern world, however, is complex; simple, natural living has become nearly impossible without thoughtful effort. The goals of this blog are to bring awareness to contemporary health concerns, including health-related inequalities, and to encourage a conversation about how we can alter the fate of millions of Americans — including ourselves.