The big F… December 2, 2012
An inspirational article written by one of my favourite Doctors.:
DR JAYNE LM DONEGAN MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFP MRCGP MFHom
GP & Homeopath
In my opinion, the biggest barrier to intelligent management of childhood
illnesses is fear which comes in many forms:
- Fear of trusting our own judgement and intuition because we have been lead to believe that only the ‘professionals’ are qualified to make decisions about our children,
- Fear that diseases that were once regarded as part of growing up are now ‘killers’,
- Fear that without high tech interventions our children will suffer disability or death ,
- Fear of symptoms such as fever, cough or rash,
- Fear that without paracetamol or ibuprofen, our children will all have febrile convulsions,
- Fear of every rash, that it might be meningitis
- Fear of allowing cough and mucus to run its natural course (out of the body)
- Fear that the world outside is full of random bacteria and viruses that are just waiting to strike our children down,
- Fear that without antibiotics, no child will come through an illness,
- Fear that without 99% bactericidal soap our children will be infected by dangerous germs in their environment
- Fear that without vaccination, no child will reach adulthood.
We even seem to be afraid nowadays that our children cannot cope with fresh air, so we keep them cooped up in over heated houses instead of putting them out to play in all weathers as our grandparents and great grandparents were
It is not surprising that there is so much fear in the realm of healthcare, or more accurately, disease care. If you feel this way, it is because that is how your doctor, health visitor and practice nurse feel too. Unless they have studied an alternative health philosophy, all they know about infectious disease is ‘The Germ Theory of Disease’ – all those bugs are out there waiting to get you, and if you don’t have the latest antibiotic/vaccine/ antiseptic/ bleach your child’s toys three times a week, you will contract a hideous disease that may be mild in some cases, but could, without doubt, attack and harm your child, leaving them disabled or dead.
No wonder so many of us reach for the bottle of paracetamol, sterilise our houses, don’t allow our children to pick up food they have dropped on the floor, and vaccinate with 25 different vaccines by the time they are 13 months, according to the latest schedule (29, if your child gets the BCG and Hepatitis B vaccine)
We are also encouraged to fear by the sensationalist handling of disease in the media. We hear horror stories about an increase in
cases of measles as if it were the black death. If a child can be found who has died, the story is paraded four times an hour on news bulletins and splashed across all the newspapers with the savage delight of a pack of hounds pulling apart a fox at a hunt. Any attempts at finding out the circumstances of the case, the prior state of health of the child, details about their treatment before or after reaching hospital are met with absolute silence – the idea seems to be to promote fear, not understanding. Even a visit to a farm is clouded with dire warnings of ‘Deadly E.coli risk’!
Does this fear matter?
Yes it certainly does, because a frightened parent is a stressed parent. The immune system is a delicate, sensitive and wonderfully intelligent apparatus. A child, and even more so, an infant, sees the outside world through the lense of their parents feelings and understanding. It is only later that they take their first independent steps along the path of self knowledge.Common sense tells us that stressed mothers cause stress in their babies, and this has been confirmed in studies. Stress causes outpourings of steroid hormones which, after an initial boost, cause a lowering of the effectiveness of the immune system.
So you enter a vicious cycle,:you fear that the worst will happen to your child, this lowers you child’s ability to cope with their day to day life, and when they get ill, lowers their ability to cope with the illness, then they go on to get complications and there you have it: a self fulfilling prophecy.
So what can we do?
We can put our feet back firmly on the ground, take a nice calm deep breath in, and an even longer one out and look at the facts. If it were really that difficult to reach adulthood, none of the human race would have reached the twenty first century. And if you look back at recorded history, the real killers throughout the ages have always been: war leading to famine causing pestilence and then death – the three horsemen of the apocalypse.
Worldwide, clean water has saved more lives than any other single intervention.
I believe that every parent inherits the ability to care for their child, in much the same way as we inherit the colour of our eyes, hair or skin. All the tools we need are inside us already, all we need is practice in their practical application.
The great American naturopath Herbert Shelton was fond of saying: “happiness, contentment and cheer should be cultivated with as much care and persistency as the gardener exercises in the cultivation of his plants.”
So cultivate self confidence, optimism and faith. Faith in yourself that you have been endowed with everything necessary for your
present task, and faith that you and you children have been born into a supportive world where there are many more good people than bad, and abundance of what we need rather than lack.
© 2008 Dr Jayne LM Donegan
Dr Jayne LM Donegan
MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFP MRCGP MFHom
Are childhood infections a good thing? October 10, 2011
Here is another article written by Dr Jayne Donegan and posted with her permission. See her website for more interesting articles on childhood illness and vaccinations.
“My interest in vaccination stems from my concern for child – and adult – health safety issues. It is important that every parent has sufficient information to make an informed choice about vaccination that is right for them and their family.” ~ Dr Jayne Donegan
ARE CHILDHOOD INFECTIONS A GOOD THING?
GP & Homeopath DR JAYNE LM DONEGAN MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFP MRCGP MFHom
We vaccinate against lots of childhood diseases now because we are told that having the diseases is a bad thing and leads to thousands of deaths. However, when we look at the figures from the Office for National Statistics, we see that 95% of the people who used to die from measles stopped dying before the vaccine was introduced in 1968 and similarly 99% of the people who used to die of whooping cough. The mortality rate for tuberculosis fell no differently in countries that did and did not use the BCG vaccine.
Scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and typhus were deadly killers. They all disappeared without a vaccine. Why?
Because the good old Victorians realised that if they did not take steps to clean up the cities after the massive move from the country to towns in the eighteenth century, everyone – rich people included – was going to die in epidemics. They cleared slums, introduced new minimum standards for sanitation, they built railways to bring fresh fruit and vegetables into the cities, they built sewers and piped water supplies (the ones that we still rely on now) and they arranged for the dead to be buried outside of towns.
Why did vaccination catch on in such a powerful way?
It was all to do with Pasteur and his ‘Germ Theory of Disease’. He said ‘The germs are present in the disease, therefore the germs cause the disease’. However, meeting a germ is no guarantee of catching the disease, that is why all the people on a bus where one person has ‘flu don’t get the ‘flu. It all depends on their susceptibility.
What is susceptibility?
It is the state of your immune system. If you are healthy and happy, you live in well ventilated housing, drink clean water and food which is not full of artificial sweeteners, additives and hormones, you spend enough time outside and somebody loves you, then you will expel completely or have mild forms of most infectious diseases.
Pasteur himself said on his death bed ‘The soil is everything; the germ is nothing’, but no-one seems to remember this as we all rush helter-skelter towards protecting ourselves from the monster who lurks without rather that strengthening our immune system from within.
A well known saying in the science of immunology is that ‘autoimmunity is the price one pays for the eradication of infectious diseases’1
This is because our immune system has evolved through the challenge of infectious diseases. Yes, they were scourges when they first arrived but they have been our travelling companions for a long time – it is not in their interest to wipe us out – who else would they have to infect? It’s a two way street. We let them infect us and they make us strong.
The way children learn what to do with their immune system is by being exposed to lots of viruses and bacteria and learning how to deal with them (as in ‘You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die!’). They learn what is ‘me’ and what is ‘not me’ so that their immune system is able to protect rather than attack them.
We see all too commonly now the effect of denying children natural exposure to these diseases in the rise in the incidence of asthma, eczema and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes.
A study by Ronne in the Lancet (1985;1:1-5) showed that adults who had had natural measles with a rash had a lower incidence of various cancers, including cervical cancer. West (Cancer 1996;7:1001-1007) showed that girls who had had clinical mumps as children had less cancer of the ovaries.
Scientists nowadays are talking about trying to make a vaccine of ‘dirt’, to simulate the effect of having childhood illnesses because they see how weak everyone’s immune system is becoming – city children are being told not to visit farms in case they die of E. coli. For goodness sake, a child comes in contact with E. coli every time it wipes its bottom!!!
Doesn’t vaccination have the same effect as natural infections?
No? Why not? Because when we vaccinate we give a different form of the organism, in a different dose, at a different age and by a different route to natural infection. This tends to sensitise rather than immunise.
We are all told not to give babies below the age of six months citrus fruits, nuts, wheat or unmodified dairy products by mouth to avoid allergies; yet at the age of eight weeks (or, in the case of Hepatits B vaccination, one day) we inject them, not only with the unnatural organism, but also with mercury (thiomersal), aluminium and formaldehyde – all quite poisonous.
● Vaccination stops children having their childhood illnesses at a beneficial age (3-4years).
● Children are now susceptible to rubella and mumps at just the age when girls can conceive and boys can be made sterile.
● Antibodies from vaccination are of poor quality compared to those from natural disease.
● They do not cross the placenta to make young babies immune with the effect that children less than one year are more susceptible.
This is when babies are most likely to suffer neurological damage from whooping cough and is precisely what is happening today. Because of the plethora of deaths in young babies from whooping cough, the Department of Health added a whooping cough ‘booster’ to the pre- school vaccination program and in the USA they have already added another shot to the school leaver program – when will it stop?
Are childhood diseases nice to have?
Are they hard work for the parents?
Do you have to know how to support your child through these illnesses rather than suppress them with paracetamol or ibuprofen and non indicated antibiotics so that they come out of them stronger rather than weaker?
Is it worth it in the long term?
I believe so.
We cannot escape these illnesses. They have been with us too long. They are part of why we are who we are. We can run but we can’t hide. The more we try to fight them with vaccines and antibiotics instead of living with them and strengthening ourselves the more we weaken our immune system and become susceptible to a whole host of pathogens – listeria, legionella, Lyme’s disease, cyclospora, not to mention the AIDS virus that no-one had heard of a few decades ago.
© Dr Jayne LM Donegan 2002, revised 2010
MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFPRHC MRCGP MFHom
1 Wilson AG, Duff GW, Genetic traits in common diseases, BMJ 1995; 310:1482-3
To book a telephone or in person consultation to discuss health or vaccination issues, or if you would be interested in hosting a lecture or workshop in your area, please call: T/F 0044 (0)20 8632 1634 leaving your details clearly or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in The Informed Parent 2009
‘Vaccination – the Question’
‘Vaccination – the Science’ (for practitioners and very interested parents)
‘Vaccination and Travel Medicine’
‘What do you do if you don’t Vaccinate (and also if you do)? Supportive treatment of Childhood Illnesses’
* ‘Mumps, Measles, Rubella – Which is better: The Disease or the Vaccine?’
‘Tetanus and Treatment of Cuts and Grazes’ ***** Focus on Meningitis – How Can You Avoid It
‘How to Raise a Healthy Child (and Parent!)’ *** ‘Homeopathy for Children – An Introduction’
‘Oh Happy Days! Food Refusal, Bed Times and other ‘Parental Learning Opportunities’
© Dr Jayne L.M. Donegan MBBS DRCOG DFFP DCH MRCGP MFHom
Telephone/Fax 0044 (0)20 8632 1634