Nicola McFadzean Family Health Day

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Information about Nicola McFadzean Family Health Day

Published on January 15, 2008

Author: Tirone


PRE-CONCEPTION HEALTH CARE::  PRE-CONCEPTION HEALTH CARE: Integrative Health Solutions for Parents-To-Be By Nicola McFadzean, N.D. Why is a preconception program so important?:  Why is a preconception program so important? 1 in 160 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders may have a genetic predisposition but are largely caused by environmental factors. Slide3:  These environmental factors begin in utero. Your baby’s first environment is the womb. Making sure baby has a clean healthy environment to start out in will help prevent problems further down the track. Slide4:  Environmental Working Group (EWG) study showed average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. Of these – 180 cause cancer in humans or animals 217 are toxic to brain and nervous system 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. Slide5:  The chemicals included – Heavy metals especially mercury Eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles (including the Teflon chemical PFOA) Dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products Numerous pesticides A developing fetus is more susceptible to damage because - :  A developing fetus is more susceptible to damage because - A developing child's chemical exposures are greater pound-for-pound than those of adults. An immature, porous blood-brain barrier allows greater chemical exposures to the developing brain. Children have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, allowing more of a chemical to reach "target organs." A baby's organs and systems are rapidly developing, and thus are often more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure. Systems that detoxify and excrete industrial chemicals are not fully developed. The longer future life span of a child compared to an adult allows more time for adverse effects to arise. Also …:  Also … Germ cells (ie ova and sperm) start to mature about 100 days prior to conception. This is the time that they are most vulnerable to toxins, nutritional deficiencies and radiation. Healthy habits need to be started before pregnancy even occurs. Steps in preconception planning::  Steps in preconception planning: 1. Assess goals and timelines Initiate testing to identify problem areas Nutritional and lifestyle counseling General detoxification Heavy metal detoxification Counseling for pregnancy and beyond Step 1: Assess Goals and Timelines:  Step 1: Assess Goals and Timelines The longer the lead time the more that can be done. Heavy metal issues require 6 months or more to test and treat. The ideal time to start is 12 months ahead of planned conception, but lots of good things can still be done with only a month or two to spare. Slide10:  Pre-conception programs are tailored to the individual, so adjustments can be made based on individual circumstances. Step 2: Initiate Testing:  Step 2: Initiate Testing Sophisticated diagnostic testing is performed to identify problem areas for each individual. Areas may include – Comprehensive blood chemistry testing::  Comprehensive blood chemistry testing: Includes a screen for – Liver and kidney function Mineral levels Gluten intolerance Candida (yeast overgrowth) Auto-immune disease Blood sugar dysregulation Hormone testing - :  Hormone testing - Cortisol is a hormone put out by the adrenal glands in times of stress. An excess of cortisol can interrupt the production of reproductive hormones, contributing to infertility. Stress can be mental/ emotional, but can also be physical eg GI infections, heavy metal toxicity. A simple saliva test can assess adrenal health. Slide14:  Thyroid imbalance can contribute to infertility and is associated with adrenal dysfunction. Deficiency of progesterone can cause infertility. Particularly in women age 35+, progesterone is declining while estrogen may be staying the same. A saliva test can map out the estrogen and progesterone over the course of a month. Testing for digestive health:  Testing for digestive health GI infections such as H. pylori (bacteria) or Cryptosporidium parvum (parasite) can create imbalance through the entire body and contribute to infertility. Food allergies/ gluten intolerance create inflammation in the body, as well as immune activation. Neither of these are good for a developing fetus. Genetic Testing:  Genetic Testing Testing is now available to assess methylation and other biochemical pathways that regulate detox, immune function, neurotransmitter production, DNA transcription and repair, and viral control. Supplementation in parents can help buffer their genetic weaknesses so that those same problems are not passed on to baby. Autistic-spectrum kids have known defects in methylation pathways, so this is an important preventive measure. Heavy metal testing:  Heavy metal testing Heavy metal toxicity is a key factor in autistic-spectrum and other developmental disorders. Mercury is one of the most powerful neurotoxins known to man. A baby’s first exposure to mercury and other heavy metals is in utero - even worse, mercury is concentrated across the placenta 8-fold. Slide18:  The most useful test for heavy metals is a provoked urine test. Heavy metals only stay in the blood stream for 6-8 weeks after exposure – after that they are taken up into the tissues. Giving a chelating agent such as DMPS or DMSA will push the metals back into the blood where they can be excreted through the kidneys (and levels measured in the urine). Step 3: Nutritional Counseling:  Step 3: Nutritional Counseling General guidelines – Organic food where possible to minimize exposure to pesticides, fertilizers, exogenous hormones etc. Avoid refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. No caffeine or alcohol. Avoid foods with high bacteria/ parasite levels such as brie, sushi etc. Slide20:  Minimize high-allergen potential foods as they create inflammation and trigger immune activation – Gluten Soy Dairy These are the major problem foods for autistic-spectrum and ADHD kids. Slide21:  Specific nutrients – Folic acid is recommended prior to and during pregnancy to reduce risk of neural tube defects. Most birth defects occur when baby’s spine is fusing which is approximately 2 weeks after the missed menstrual period – starting folic acid when first aware of pregnancy may be too late!!! Slide22:  Specific nutrients for Dad – Chlorella – can help sperm count and motility. Vitamin C – helps minimize DNA damage in sperm cells. Essential fatty acids – reduce inflammation and create healthy neural tissue. Herbs such as Tribulus can boost testosterone production. Slide23:  Important supplements for mum – High quality prenatal vitamin/ mineral with at least 700 mcg folic acid. Essential fatty acids with adequate DHA for fetal neural development. Adequate calcium for pregnancy (approx. 1500mg) with balanced magnesium. Probiotics to maintain digestive health. Step 4: General Detox:  Step 4: General Detox Detox is important to reduce chemicals in the body that may be harmful to developing fetus. Can only be started once the body is well supported with good nutrition and basic supplementation. Detox involves all the organs of elimination – liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, bowels. Slide25:  Aspects of detox – Reducing incoming toxins – through better diet, filtered water, avoiding smoke, minimizing alcohol and synthetic medications. Supporting the liver to upregulate phase 1 and phase 2 detox. Opening up channels of elimination. Slide26:  Detox tools – Homeopathic medicines Amino acids eg methionine Liver herbs eg artichoke, dandelion, milk thistle. Kidney herbs eg uva ursi, dandelion leaf Bowel herbs eg flax, cascara, psyllium, aloe Sauna Colonics Exercise Lymph massage Epsom salts baths Step 5: Heavy Metal Detox :  Step 5: Heavy Metal Detox Chelation should not be undertaken while amalgam fillings are still present in the mouth – there are many good biological dentists who can replace amalgam fillings with non-mercury containing composite material. Slide28:  Amalgam fillings release approximately 17 mcg of mercury each day. A person with 8 amalgams would release 136 mcg of mercury vapor daily, or 4590 mcg over a 9 month gestation period. This is way more than the 237 mcg injected into our kids through vaccinations in their first two years. Slide29:  Mild chelators – cilantro, chlorella, garlic. Stronger chelators – DMSA, DMPS, EDTA. Chelating agents can be administered by IV, orally, via suppository or in a transdermal (cream) form. Step 6: Counseling for Pregnancy and Beyond:  Step 6: Counseling for Pregnancy and Beyond Includes which supplements are safe to take during pregnancy. Important to keep up with prenatal vitamin/ mineral, calcium, essential fatty acids and probiotic. Garlic can be a good antimicrobial to keep the digestive system healthy. Chlorella can help bind up unwanted mercury from environmental exposure. Tips for the Newborn:  Tips for the Newborn Give a neonatal probiotic as early as possible, especially if baby was born via c-section (vaginal birth helps colonization of healthy flora in the baby’s gut). Get newborn tested for genetic enzyme defects and start supplementing asap. Do not be in a hurry to wean or introduce solid foods – breast milk is the best possible nourishment and provides immunity to the baby. The Vaccination Dilemma:  The Vaccination Dilemma Decisions should be educated and informed, not made under pressure. Alternative vaccination schedules are available that reduce the number of vaccines and adjust their timing. Vaccines are one of the major environmental (and controllable) causes of damage to immune and nervous systems. Slide33:  General guidelines – Never vaccinate a sick child. Check, double-check and triple-check lot numbers to make sure they are thimerosal-free ie do not contain mercury. Give MMR separately. In fact, separate all vaccines. Consider waiting until the child is two and their immune systems are more developed before starting vaccinations. Slide34:  Check vaccine titers (blood test) prior to boosters as immunity may already be present. 2 days prior to vaccines give – Vitamin C (250-500 mg/day) Vitamin A (5000-8000 IU/day) Glutathione (75-150 mg/day) Who Can Benefit From A Preconception Program?:  Who Can Benefit From A Preconception Program? Anyone who is planning to have a baby. In particular, this program is ideal for – Parents with children on the autistic-spectrum Couples struggling with infertility Couples who have pre-existing (unresolved) health issues Couples starting their family later ie late 30’s/ early 40’s Some Final Thoughts:  Some Final Thoughts In my work with autistic-spectrum children, I realized that creating healthy children starts way before they are born. As parents or potential parents, we want the best for our children, and often sacrifice our own health and needs for them. The best gift you can give to an unborn child is to work on your own health first, and pass that benefit on. Your baby’s first home is the womb – make their home a healthy one. Thank you!!!:  Thank you!!! Nicola McFadzean, N.D.

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