This week’s blog isn’t so much about me educating, presenting ideas or supported information or even preaching (well…probably a little preaching, but only enough to get some feedback).
This week, I’m going to really just lay out an issue, give you my gut feelings and logic on the topic, without citing any evidence, and then drop the green flag and let you all throw down with your thoughts. We have some educated an opinionated readers of this blog…it’s time to really, REALLY pipe up and get involved.
This past weekend, I had a good friend in town. He was in my wedding, we’ve known each other for 25 years, I still consider his parents my parents as well. Point being – I love and respect this guy. He drinks diet soda like it’s going out of style, exercises inconsistently, is a bit overweight and is on blood pressure medication (in fairness to him, high blood pressure is a family issue, so it may not be all diet and exercise). But he comes from a medical family, and is a hell of a reader (so he’s able to consume a lot of information). As a result, he has strong opinions about healthcare issues.
Somehow, while I was cooking breakfast, which is a paleo (except the sugar in the bacon curing), local sweet potato, meat, and egg vegetable hash (if you’ve been around me during an early morning shift, you know what I’m talking about), the conversation took a turn, and the issue of vaccinations came up.
He was spouting off statistics and facts about how mercury hasn’t been in vaccines in decades, and that there’s no evidence to support a causal relationship between vaccinations and autism-spectrum disorders – rather that the best indicator seems to be the father’s age. On the other hand, I grew up with an Autism-spectrum brother, and a mom who suspected vaccinations might have had a hand in that. Mom tried a heavy metal detox diet with my brother. It was one of many things that seemed to incrementally help his condition (today, as an adult, we think he would likely test negative for Asperger’s).
My wife has read more about this than I have, and she has shared information with me about how there seems to be evidence that indicates the correlation and possibly causality of vaccinations and Autism-spectrum disorders. Ultimately, I wind up somewhat in the middle on this argument….
I love evidence, but I’m a slow reader. So I have to pick and choose what I sink my teeth into, and this is a topic I’ve only done passive research on (ie – I’ve had conversations with people who have read more than me). I’m also a smart guy (there, I said it. Take that, modesty!), and I apply logic and critical thinking to things.
So, I believe that the likelihood of vaccinations taking such a southbound turn between me and kids born 12 years after me is pretty slim. But I don’t trust big businesses, such as pharmaceuticals, enough to think that they’d make a change if it meant slimming their profit margins, unless they had to. Thankfully, drugs are fairly consistently monitored.
I also don’t trust that food manufacturers are interested in doing anything but maximizing their margins, either. In recent years, the exposure of practices used in producing our foods has enlightened many (including myself) to the vastness of the health problems caused or exacerbated by manufactured foods that serve to do nothing but maximize margins…not give us better nutrition.
So, my resulting opinion on vaccinations is this:
I will grant my friend that the vaccinations may not have mercury, and that may very well not be what’s going on. But I don’t dismiss the role vaccinations may play. At the very least, I think that there’s the possibility that the fact that we administer many vaccines to infants in relatively rapid succession could trigger some overload to their immune system that triggers other strange responses. It seems to me that they are probably being exposed to vaccines to illnesses that shouldn’t be geographically or generationally relevant to them, but in our modern society, they are relevant. Catch-22 situation, right? But I’m almost certain that the foods we’re eating, and passing on to our children, through conception, gestation, breast-feeding, formula and even baby food is probably screwing us all up in all kinds of untold ways. I wonder: is eating real foods so radical? Is there the possibility that we should keep a closer eye on food manufacturing like we do pharmaceutical? Is it possible that we could explore different ways to combine, and time the vaccinations we give kids?
Am I just nuts? These aren’t rhetorical questions. What do you think? Post some comments, folks! Let the debate begin, but let’s keep it respectful!
Full infographic: http://dailyinfographic.com/vaccination-nation-infographic