Autism – Six Things NOT To Say to a Parent of an Autistic Child

As the prevalence of #autism increases, many are finding themselves in conversations with parents of children with autism and not knowing what to say…

boy on the beach
As the prevalence of #autism increases, many are finding themselves in conversations with parents of children with autism and not knowing what to say…

…sometimes the things people say have the opposite effect of their intentions…

  • Saying nothing at all..
  • He can’t be autistic because
  • He’ll probably grow out of it…
  • You’re my hero!… God knows you could handle this!… and other such platitudes…
  • I read that autism is caused by
  • I heard that you can cure autism by

Read What Not To Say to a Parent of an Autistic Child,
ScaryMommy, Special Needs, by Lexi Sweatpants,

Is Your Body Toxic?

An infographic by Time To Cleanse

In recent years, a surge of cleansing trends have emerged as the “cure all” for a number of health concerns and physical ailments. Skeptical consumers unaware of the benefits between these differentiating detox methods are bogged down with the age ole’ question: do they actually work?

Is your body toxic 1
Watch our selection of infographics addressing health issues on Flickr.
An image courteasy of @timetocleanse.

Goals

Detoxification – also known as “detox” – refers to the removal of toxic substances in the body with internal cleansing methods. Eliminating harmful toxic material of the body through cleansing is thought to:

– boost the immune system
– improve digestion
– prevent the onset of various health conditions
– promote good health
– generate positive mental feedback
– improve energy levels

Channels

There are seven “channels” of toxic elimination that occur during a cleansing process:
– lungs
– lymphatic system
– blood
– skin
– colon
– kidneys
– liver

History

Body cleansing is thought to have derived from the ancient Egyptian and Greek notion of “autointoxication”: a metabolic condition that results in unintentional, self-poisoning due to toxin buildup in the body. Preemptive cleansing measures were used to counteract the onset of this disorder.

Both biochemistry and microbiology supported detoxification processes in the 19th century, but these supported notions tapered off in popularity upon the turn of the 20th century.

Sources:

On Flickr®

Cancer de l’Enfant – “Enfants Cobayes”

Un livre enquête sur les dérives d’un système

imade de couverture d'Enfants Cobayes
Une enquête de Pierre Lacombe, journaliste à France 3 et de Loïc Dufour, journaliste indépendant, qui dénonce les dérives d’un système et nous plonge dans une réalité quotidienne insupportable dont les principales victimes ignorent tout.

Un livre de Pierre Lacombe, journaliste à France 3 et de Loïc Dufour, journaliste indépendant.

Malgré les progrès thérapeutiques importants réalisés depuis vingt ans, des centaines d’enfants, chaque année, meurent du cancer. Les auteurs se sont penchés sur le fonctionnement actuel des services de cancérologie de l’enfant. Les essais thérapeutiques ” randomisés “, qui consistent à donner aux malades un traitement tiré au sort, y sont devenus une règle indiscutable. Certains, pourtant, refusent depuis plus de vingt ans de suivre aveuglément cette méthode qui privilégie la recherche de groupe au détriment d’une médecine plus humaine adaptée aux besoins de chaque enfant. Pourquoi leurs médecins ont-ils un jour décidé d’arrêter les traitements de Lucie ou d’Anaïs quand d’autres ont fait renaître l’espoir ? Pourquoi n’ont-ils pas jugé nécessaire d’informer précisément les parents sur la nature des traitements, malgré l’obligation de ” consentement éclairé ” de la famille imposé par la loi ? Pourquoi leur a-t-on caché l’existence d’une approche thérapeutique différente ? Nos enfants servent-ils de ” cobayes ” ? Une enquête qui dénonce les dérives d’un système et nous plonge dans une réalité quotidienne insupportable dont les principales victimes ignorent tout.

En savoir plus:

Sur Flickr®

IVF Possibly Safer : New Method to Stimulate Ovulation and Effectively Mature Eggs

New trigger for ovulation could make IVF safer

Researchers have successfully used a new and potentially safer method to stimulate ovulation in women undergoing IVF treatment.

Twelve babies have been born after their mothers were given an injection of the natural hormone kisspeptin to make their eggs mature.

Doctors normally administer another hormone, hCG, for this purpose, but in some women, there is a risk that this can overstimulate the ovaries, with potentially life-threatening consequences.

Scientists at Imperial College London and clinicians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust tested the new method in 53 healthy volunteers at Hammersmith Hospital in London. The study, funded by the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research and the Wellcome Trust, is published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

One in six couples in the UK experiences infertility, and 48,147 women underwent IVF treatment in 2011.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) affects around a third of IVF patients in a mild form, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Less than 10 per cent of patients experience moderate or severe OHSS, which can cause kidney failure.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, who led the study, said: “OHSS is a major medical problem. It can be fatal in severe cases and it occurs in women undergoing IVF treatment who are otherwise very healthy. We really need more effective natural triggers for egg maturation during IVF treatment, and the results of this trial are very promising.”

Kisspeptin is a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates the release of other reproductive hormones inside the body. Unlike hCG, which remains in the blood for a long time after an injection, kisspeptin is broken down more quickly, meaning the risk of overstimulation is lower.

The women in the study had a single injection of kisspeptin to induce ovulation. Mature eggs developed in 51 out of 53 participants. Forty-nine women had one or two fertilised embryos transferred to the uterus, and 12 became pregnant, which is a good outcome compared to standard conventional IVF therapy.

The researchers will now carry out a second study in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, who have the highest risk of OHSS.

Our study has shown that kisspeptin can be used as a physiological trigger for egg maturation in IVF therapy,” said Professor Dhillo. “It’s been a joy to see 12 healthy babies born using this approach. We will now be doing more studies to test whether kisspeptin reduces the risk of OHSS in women who are most prone to developing it, with a view to improving the safety of IVF therapy.”

Alison and Richard Harper had a baby boy, Owen, in October 2013 after taking part in the trial in January.

We took part because we wanted to pay it forward in return for the people who made it possible for us to have a child through IVF,” Alison said.

“I went through several cycles of IVF previously but the one in the trial was the least uncomfortable – it was less painful and I felt less swollen. The staff we dealt with were incredible.”

Sources:

  • New trigger for ovulation could make IVF safer, Imperial College London, news_18-7-2014-11-49-26, 18 July 2014.
  • Kisspeptin-54 triggers egg maturation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization, J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI75730, view/75730, July 18, 2014.

Meet DES Australia NSW Founder and DES Activist Carol Devine…

Carol Devine is a DES Daughter and founder and coordinator of the Sydney based group, DES Action Australia-NSW, which formed in 1995

Image of Carol Devine
Meet @DESAustraliaNSW Founder and DES Activist Carol Devine,
 on Pinterest…

Carol Devine is a DES Daughter and founder and coordinator of the Sydney based group, DES Action Australia-NSW, which formed in 1995. The group has been contacted by thousands of people across Australia affected by the anti-miscarriage drug DES (diethylstilboestrol or “stilboestrol”). In 2008, Carol received judges highly commended in the Soapbox Category by Fellowship of Australian Writers – Qld for her article titled “Voices of Thousands Ring”.
Many people, including those unaffected by the DES drug have been moved in some way by this written work as it sheds light on the Australian experience of DES exposure.

Carol posts regularly on the DES Exposure Australia blog and tweets via @DESAustraliaNSW.

See our DES activists board on  Pinterest.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

B.C. Ministry of Health hires back fired UBC Drug Researcher

BC Ministry of Health re-hires consultant on evidence-based evaluation. A two-year controversy that derailed pharma safety probes sees partial resolution

A two-year controversy that derailed pharma safety probes sees partial resolution

BC Ministry of Health re-hires consultant on evidence-based evaluation. A two-year controversy that derailed pharma safety probes sees partial resolution.
image via Province of British Columbia

The B.C. Ministry of Health took a step today towards resolving an independent drug research controversy by announcing the re-appointment of Dr. Malcolm Maclure, Professor and B.C. Chair of Patient Safety in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics at UBC, as a research consultant.

  • Compensation unknown
  • Safety research put on hold
  • Access remains dismal: investigator
  • More accountability needed: experts
  • Ministry responsible for data breaches: report

Read Fired UBC Drug Researcher Rehired, Drops Lawsuit,
by Paul Webster, TheTyee, News, 18.07.2014.

More Information
  • B.C. Health Ministry hires back fired drug researcher,
    Times Colonist, News, July 18, 2014.
  • Ministry of Health hires consultant on evidence-based evaluation,
    Gov.BC, NewsRoom, July 17, 2014.
  • Research Stopped by Ministry Might Have Cut Big Pharma Profits,
    TheTyee, News, 8 Sep 2012.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates : Removing Healthy Breast of very Little Benefit if any…

Prophylactic Mastectomy does Little to Improve Breast Cancer Survival Rate

There may be little to no survival benefit for most women with breast cancer to have their healthy breast removed as well, new research indicates.

Many women with cancer in one breast have been electing to have the second breast removed (prophylactic mastectomy) out of precaution, but this new study finds that over 20 years, the survival benefit between women who’ve had a the second breast removed and those who kept their healthy breast was less than 1 percent, HealthDay reported.

We found fairly convincing evidence that there really is no meaningful long-term survival benefit for the vast majority of women with breast cancer by having their opposite breast removed,” study researcher Dr. Todd Tuttle told HealthDay. Tuttle, the chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, said the research shows that most patients have very minimal increases in life expectancy (1-7 months) by choosing to have the second breast removed.

Prophylactic mastectomy : the survival difference between those who had the surgery and those who didn’t was still less than 1 percent over 20 years, the study found.

Younger women with stage I, estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer saw the biggest increase in survival rate from having the second breast removed, but even that was minimal. The survival difference between those who had the surgery and those who didn’t was still less than 1 percent over 20 years, the study found.

The study, published in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, did not include women who had BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 breast cancer. According to HealthDay, these genes greatly increase a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Because of this increased risk, women are often offered preventive surgeries to remove the breasts and the ovaries.

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 100,000 women with stage I or stage II breast cancer to track survival over 20 years. Tuttle’s team then used a model to simulate survival results in women who had prophylactic mastectomy and those who did not, HealthDay reported.

Other factors, such as surgical complications or quality of life were not taken into account. Previous studies have suggested that women’s motives for having the second breast remove revolve around fear of the cancer spreading. One study of women age 40 and under with breast cancer who chose preventive mastectomy found that 94 percent of the women said they wanted to increase survival, yet only 18 percent thought the procedure would actually do that, HealthDay reported.

Tuttle said women who have the procedure for a peace of mind are giving themselves a false sense of security. He said that while women who have had breast cancer in one breast are at increased risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast, the probability of developing cancer in the second breast is about 4 or 5 percent over the next 10 years, HealthDay reported.

Sources and More Information

  • Prophylactic Mastectomy does Little to Improve Breast Cancer Survival Rate, SideEffectsLawSuitsNews, archives, July 18th, 2014.
  • Removing Healthy Breast of Little Benefit to Breast Cancer Patients: Study, HealthDay, breast-cancer-news-94, Jul 16, 2014.
  • Marginal Survival Benefit After Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy, Medscape Medical News Oncology, viewarticle/828411, July 16, 2014.
  • The harms and benefits of modern screening mammography, BMJ 2014; 348:g3824, 17 June 2014.
  • Survival Outcomes After Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy: A Decision Analysis, Oxford JournalsMedicine & Health JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst Volume 106, Issue 810.1093/jnci/dju160 – Full PDF – May 12, 2014.
  • Assessing Mammography’s Benefits and Harms, Oxford JournalsMedicine & Health JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst Volume 106, Issue 410.1093/jnci/dju103, March 31, 2014.
  • Perceptions of contralateral breast cancer: an overestimation of risk, NCBI, Dr. Todd Tuttle, PMID: 21947590, 2011 Oct;18.

Whooping Cough Vaccination Programme in Pregnancy still advised in the UK

Pregnancy and Whooping Cough

Public Health England (PHE) welcomes today’s (16 July 2014) announcement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advising the Department of Health (DH) that the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination programme for pregnant women should continue for a further 5 years. The advice reflects new data on vaccine effectiveness and safety published by PHE and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The DH announced the temporary vaccination programme for pregnant women in October 2012, in response to a national whooping cough outbreak that led to several infant deaths. Vaccinating women against whooping cough in pregnancy (between 28 and 38 weeks) means that the mother passes immunity on to her unborn child, protecting the baby until they receive their first whooping cough vaccination at 2 months old.

Whooping Cough vaccination image
Continuation of whooping cough vaccination programme for pregnant women advised in the UK as new evidence on effectiveness and safety published.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor John Watson said:

” Babies too young to start their vaccinations are at greatest risk from whooping cough. It’s an extremely distressing illness that can lead to young babies being admitted to hospital and can potentially be fatal. The JCVI’s advice will be welcomed by families and we will work with NHS England to ensure the programme continues to be offered to mums-to-be. ” 

New PHE research published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that vaccinating pregnant women against whooping cough has been highly effective in protecting young infants from this potentially fatal disease. Babies born to women vaccinated at least a week before delivery had a 91% reduced risk of becoming ill with whooping cough in their first weeks of life, compared to babies whose mothers had not been vaccinated.

These findings are supplemented by the first large study of the whooping cough vaccine safety in pregnancy, published by the MHRA in the British Medical Journal. Reviewing data from around 18,000 vaccinated women from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), the research found no evidence of risk from the vaccine to pregnancy or the developing baby, and rates of normal, healthy births were similar to those seen in unvaccinated women.

Dr Katherine Donegan, lead author of the MHRA study, said:

”  Coupled with the new evidence from Public Health England on the effectiveness of the vaccine, our research should provide further reassurance on the safety and benefits of the vaccine for expectant mothers and healthcare professionals who offer the vaccine” 

Out today, the latest PHE data also show an overall decline in whooping cough cases since the pregnancy programme started in October 2012. The greatest decrease in disease seen has been in infants under 6 months old, who are targeted by the maternal vaccination programme, which provides good evidence it is working.

There were 14 deaths in infants diagnosed with whooping cough in 2012 and born before the vaccination in pregnancy programme started. Eight deaths have been reported in infants diagnosed with whooping cough in 2013 and so far this year. The mothers of 7 of these 8 babies were not vaccinated in pregnancy.

PHE’s head of immunisation, Dr Mary Ramsay, said:

” We welcome JCVI’s advice that the vaccination programme for pregnant women is continued, particularly while whooping cough continues to circulate at elevated levels. It has been highly effective at preventing disease, and deaths in young babies.

The latest figures show that around 60% of pregnant women have received the whooping cough vaccination, which is a testament to the health professionals implementing this programme. However, these infant deaths reminds us how important it is that every pregnant woman is informed about the benefits of the vaccine, and given the opportunity to receive it at the right time so their babies are protected from birth.

Although we have also seen a decline in cases in older children and adults from the peak in 2012 the numbers still remain considerably higher than those in 2011, suggesting the infection has not fallen to background levels.

Today, we urge pregnant women to ensure they are vaccinated between 28 and 32 weeks of their pregnancy wherever possible, although vaccination may be given up to 38 weeks. We are also working with GPs, midwives and other health professionals to ensure they have the facts at hand, including the latest evidence from the PHE and MHRA studies, to help women take up this highly effective and safe vaccine. ” 

Whooping cough affects all ages and is highly infectious. Young infants are at highest risk of severe complications and death from whooping cough as babies do not complete vaccination until they are 4 months old. In older children and adults whooping cough can be an unpleasant illness but it does not usually lead to serious complications.

Dr Ramsay, continues:

” Parents should also be alert to the signs and symptoms of whooping cough – which include severe coughing fits which may be accompanied by difficulty breathing (or pauses in breathing in young infants) or vomiting after coughing and the characteristic ‘whoop’ sound in young children. In older children or adults it may present simply as a prolonged cough.

Parents must also ensure their children are vaccinated against whooping cough on time, even babies of women who’ve had the vaccine in pregnancy – this is to provide continued protection through childhood” 

Sources and More Information

  • Continuation of whooping cough vaccination programme in pregnancy advised, Gov.UKDepartment of Health, 16 July 2014.,
  • Continuation of whooping cough vaccination programme for pregnant women advised as new evidence on effectiveness and safety published, MHRA, News, Press Release and PDF con435838, 16 July 2014.
  • Laboratory confirmed pertussis in England: data to end-May 2014, HPA, Vol8 N°28, hpr2814_AA, 16 July 2014.
  • Effectiveness of maternal pertussis vaccination in England: an observational study, The Lancet, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60686-3, 16 July 2014.
  • Safety of pertussis vaccination in pregnant women in UK: observational study, BMJ 2014; 349 doi: bmj.g4219, 11 July 2014.
  • Pregnancy and Whooping Cough, CDC, get-vaccinated, June 11, 2014.
  • Whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy, NHS, Pregnancy and baby, 24/09/2012.

Is Your Office Silently making you Sick?

The Impact of a Toxic Office

Toxins in your office infographic
Watch our selection of infographics addressing health issues on Flickr.
An image courteasy of @timetocleanse.

If you are anything like the average full-time office worker you’ll spend 1700 hours or more at work this year, most of it sitting at your desk.
If that’s not a sobering thought by itself, the following information might be! There’s a good chance your ‘clean, safe’ office environment contains a cocktail of toxins, germs and other nasties which could be making your sick, without you even knowing they are there. If you thought your toxic colleagues were the only kind of toxins you encounter at work, it might be time to think again…

Sources:

TimeToCleanse toxic office blog.
Find them also on Facebook and Twitter.

Find all our posts tagged infographics and safer chemicals.

On Flickr®

The FDA wants to revise Nutrition Labels but do Changes go Far Enough?

Toward More Comprehensive Food Labeling

Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label
The FDA wants to revise nutrition labels, but former FDA commissioner David A Kessler, MD, says changes don’t go far enough.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise the Nutrition Facts label that must appear on virtually all packaged foods in the United States. The agency’s proposals are strong, urgently needed, and likely to make an important contribution to consumer behavior. But I believe they don’t go far enough — additional labeling requirements can do more to influence food choices, reduce obesity, and promote health. ”
David A. Kessler MD, Former FDA Commissioner.

Sources and More Information

  • Toward More Comprehensive Food Labeling, NEJM, Interview with Professor David A. Kessler, M.D., 10.1056/NEJMp1402971,
    July 17, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1402971
  • Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label, FDA Labeling & Nutrition, ucm385663, 05/28/2014
  • Nutrition Facts Label: Proposed Changes Aim to Better Inform Food Choices, FDA Updates, ucm387114, 04/30/2014
  • FDA proposes updates to Nutrition Facts label on food packages, FDA News Release, ucm387418, 02/27/2014