The outbreak of the measles that took place in California raised a furor about vaccines. The debate has brought to mind issues I have wrestled with as a parent. When my twins were 15 months old they received the MMR vaccine. In the weeks following the vaccine both toddlers had increasing problems with digestion and stomach pain. Their social development came to a standstill.
I was puzzled. Was it the repeated courses of antibiotics prior to the vaccine the cause? Or was it the vaccine? Or was it because they were twins, born by cesarean section? I didn’t know. I pursued the only avenue that I knew—dietary changes. I kept a journal of foods eaten and observed the symptoms the children experienced. We removed milk, wheat and refined sugar from our diet.
My daughter (one of the twins) is now a nurse and she discovered a book written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD. As she told me about Gaps: Gut and Psychology Syndrome, I wanted my own copy.
The book has a chapter entitled, Vaccinations. Does MMR cause autism? In this chapter I found a logical explanation of our health crisis. New research is looking at how our bodies receive and sustain healthy bacteria in the gut. We need healthy bacteria to digest food well and to avoid the accumulation of toxins in the gut.
The first exposure to healthy bacteria occurs when an infant passes through the birth canal. Skin to skin contact and breast-feeding are additional means.
The twins were born by cesarean section and did not have immediate skin-to-skin contact with me. But I did establish breastfeeding. As long as I breastfed my babies they were healthy. As soon as they were weaned they had repeated sore throats and ear infections. The pediatrician prescribed antibiotics every time.
Antibiotics treat infection but they also kill good bacteria in the gut. The overall health of my babies was spiraling down when they received the MMR vaccine. With this new challenge to the immune system, the bacteria in the gut just got worse.
Dr. Campbell-McBride writes: A compromised immune system is not going to react to environmental insults in the normal way! Vaccination is a huge insult to the immune system. The manufacturers of vaccines produce them for children with normal immune systems which will react to these vaccines in a predictable way. However, in our modern society with our modern way of life, we are rapidly moving to a situation where a growing proportion of children do not have a normal immune system and will not produce an expected reaction to the vaccine.
This doctor recommends that every baby receive a comprehensive immunologic survey prior to being given a vaccine. She also recommends delayed vaccinations when necessary and the use of single vaccines instead of combination vaccinations like the MMR.
Giving the measles vaccine as a single vaccine also means that the vaccine does not need to be grown off of aborted fetal cells. With the MMR, the rubella portion of the vaccine is developed off of aborted fetal cells. Japan offers the single vaccine.
I believe that parents should be well educated and advocate for their child. The medical field should not bully parents.
UPDATE: As I continue to watch the news coverage on the debate over the MMR vaccine, I wonder if the medical system is doing a good job in recognizing which children are at greater risk for a vaccine reaction. The question shouldn’t be: Does the MMR cause autism? Instead the question should be: Have we looked carefully at the health history of the child before giving a combined vaccine that is going to place a burden on the immune system?