In June 2006, there were 4 million children aged under 15 years in Australia, representing one-fifth (19%) of the total population (ABS 2006a). In 2004-05, 41% of children aged under 15 years had a long-term health condition compared with 44% in 2001 (ABS 2006 & ABS 2002). That’s a 3% decrease in just three years – things are on the improve. Or are they?
In fact issues like SIDS reduced dramatically, but others were still on the increase. The Health & Welfare Institute and other organisations looked at the following emerging health concerns in Australian children:
- Asthma – more on asthma here
- Type 1 diabetes – more on type 2 diabetes here
- Cancer – more on children’s cancer here
- Congenital heart defects – more on heart health here
- Digestive disturbances in children – more on that here
- And many others including, mental health issues, disability, and so on. This list is really endless.
So lets look into what this means. As a parent myself, I have seen a struggling health system failing us in providing adequate health improvement for our children, and knowing what I knew that could make a difference, I determined to do what I could about it. But what are parents actually dealing with today?
Between 1997 and 2010, the three leading causes of infant death have remained unchanged: perinatal conditions(46%) – of which more than one-quarter were due to the effects maternal complications during pregnancy on the infant; congenital anomalies (the leading condition was congenital malformations of the circulatory system, accounting for 8% of all infant deaths); and ‘symptoms, signs and abnormal findings’ (which includes SIDS). Diseases of the respiratory system were reported for 19% of children – the main conditions were asthma (12%), hayfever and allergic rhinitis (8%) and chronic sinusitis (3%). Mental and behavioural problems were reported for 7% of children overall.
Who can find this acceptable?
The WHO EDC Report of 2012 and the government gave the ‘Decision-makers’ some new and disturbing findings as to why this was so, and I reported on that in January 2014 here. Despite what the authorities say, there are clear indicators as to the reasons for some of these ‘inexplicable issues’ and there is plenty of evidence that preventative measures can be taken. Unfortunately the unsuspecting public is noted aware of these.
Are you the decision-maker in your family?
In the past I provided the findings of the WHO Obesity Report and the Australian Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Report of 2014 here for readers to look into this disturbing situation. Those reports were warning that Australia must do more about its obesity problem, saying more than 28 per cent of Australians are obese, the leading cause of heart disease, which is the leading killer in Australia, affecting one in every two people.
Prevention Rather Than Cure IS The Answer
“It is usually impossible to determine the cause of cancer, whether it be a brain tumour or leukaemia, or any other, in any given individual.” is the usual response from cancer organisations when a parent asks why their child might have such a thing. Yet the Cancer Prevention Coalition headed by world leader in Toxicology Prof Samuel Epstein has for decades been saying loud and clear that preventing cancer is not rocket science. Step One: reduce chemical exposure, and Step Two: give the body the nutrients it needs to repair and rebuild (which is after all, a perfectly natural process of life).
This is exactly the philosophy of the Savvy team, and we even go two steps further. You must ensure that all detox pathways are open, so the body can eliminate toxic waste. Plus: We offer a free support group who can help you access the best quality solutions for almost anything within the home, for health and wellness and work with you on your wellness goals. The traditional medical focus is on preventing recurrence, or at least slowing down the disease. Our focus is to reverse its effects or preferably prevent it in the first place, by looking at the many possible causes and taking steps to reduce all avoidable exposure to them.
So let’s unpack these first three simple steps.
STEP ONE: The first thing to rectify is the chemical exposure that we are being subjected to on a daily basis. Whether we are currently suffering from a debilitating disease or consider ourselves well, the potentially harmful chemicals you are unwittingly exposing yourselves and your families to to do have a negative effect on health. Reducing these for everybody is vital, especially for disease prevention, but it is especially important to the foetus whilst still in-utero. This means means that during pregnancy eliminating chemical exposure must be the number one step a would-be mother must take.
STEP TWO: The second and vitally important step is to address the nutritional factors. These are minerals, enzymes, probiotics, essential fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins, and they need to be in the body in adequate, usable forms and in the correct balance. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods. A healthy diet supports energy needs and provides for human nutrition, without exposure to toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.
This is not new news. In the early 20th century, some doctors hypothesised that vitamins could cure disease, and supplements were prescribed in megadoses by the 1930s. Their effects on health were varied though, and due to massive misunderstandings of the wholistic nature of the body, and of the wide variety of efficacy in nutritional vitality itself, by the 1950s and 60s, nutrition was de-emphasised in standard medical treatments, as pharmaceuticals gradually took over as the treatments of choice.
As an aside, did you know about Dr Linus Pauling? Linus Pauling, who ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century and the only person in history to be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His book, How to Live Longer and Feel Better, advocated the very high intake of Vitamin C. Pauling promoted vitamin C for treating cancer and the common cold, working with The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential to use vitamin C in the treatment of brain-injured children.
In 1967 Linus Pauling introduced the expression “orthomolecular” to express the idea of the right molecules in the right amounts, and the term has continued to be utilised in more wholistic practices. Orthomolecular medicine is a form of complementary and alternative medicine aimed at maintaining health through nutritional supplementation, and the assertion (which conflicts with the scientific consensus) that dietary nutrition is generally inadequate in maintaining homeostasis.
The approach is sometimes referred to as megavitamin therapy as the practice evolved out of, and in some cases still uses, large doses of vitamins and minerals many times higher than the recommended Dietary Reference Intake (which lists minimum daily allowances). This is a misnomer as there are other nutrients that are more important than vitamins. Minerals are essential nutrients you must get from your food, however due to over farming, and poor soil, you will not get adequate amounts in your foods. You will find several articles on minerals by doing a search on this website.
STEP THREE: Open the detox pathways of the body, so the body can do the work it was meant to do – repair and heal. Your body is meant to detoxify naturally, and your major organs of detoxification are: your liver, kidneys, intestines, skin and lungs. Unfortunately, these days, many children’s (and adults) detoxification pathways are blocked, which results in toxic buildup and a variety of unwanted symptoms.
Keep in mind that to detoxify, your body needs energy and to produce energy, your body needs minerals. Your body definitely needs vitamins, but it can produce some, but to do that it requires minerals. Minerals also nourish your adrenals and thyroid, your chief organs of energy production, as well as being essential for every cellular activity and hormone function. Yes, they are very important.
In addition, your body “actually needs larger amounts of certain minerals—called macrominerals—than the amounts of vitamins it requires to stay healthy. Studies show that mineral deficiencies are at the root of every health problem. Your body simply needs minerals to stay healthy, strong and energized.
Australians Face A Real Problem!
The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare correctly states that good health is an important element in a child’s quality of life as it can influence participation in many aspects of life, including schooling and recreation. They report on the current statistics, saying that indicators show that Australia has shown significant progress in reducing infant and child deaths. This is a wonderful thing, but let’s look at how we are really doing. The following statics vary from report to report, but they give you a general idea. I have given the full reports below.
How many children have asthma?
About 12% ( one in eight, or 414,500) of Australian children aged 0–14 were reported to have asthma as a long-term condition in 2007–08. This is similar to the prevalence of asthma in the general population (10%). While the prevalence of current asthma among children increased during the 1980s and early 1990s, the trend has since reversed. Between 2001 and 2007–08, it decreased from 13.5% to 9.9% among children aged 0–15 (age-standardised rates). I have since written about this here – Don’t Wait For An Asthma Attack
How many new cases of Type 1 diabetes among children are there?
In 2009, there were 913 new cases of Type 1 diabetes among children aged 0–14, with the rate higher among boys than girls (24 and 20 cases per 100,000, respectively). The overall incidence rate of 24.6 per 100,000 population (around 1 in 4,000) compared to 12.3 per 100,000 back in 1983, or to 23.2 in 2002. The incidence rate increased with age, and was 2.6 times as high among older children (aged 10–14) as younger children (aged 0–4). Is this an improvement?
How many children are being diagnosed with cancer?
During 2004–2008, an average of 583 new cases of cancer were diagnosed each year among children aged 0–14, and more than half (54%) were in boys. Younger children (those aged 0–4) were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed as older children (aged 5–14) (21 and 12 per 100,000 children respectively). Childhood cancer does not discriminate; it can affect any child from any socioeconomic or cultural background. The lifelong side-effects caused by cancer treatments are far more devastating in a child than in an adult, and current treatments do not address this issue. Cancer is estimated to be the leading cause of the burden of disease in Australia.
The most common types of new cancer diagnosed were acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, brain cancer, neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Leukemias are cancers of the bone marrow and blood, the most common childhood cancers. They account for about 30% of all cancers in children. Leukaemia occurs when the body begins to accumulate apparently abnormal white blood cells. In the process, the mature white blood cells decrease drastically in number and ability. Numbers of mature platelets and red blood cells are also reduced.
Children who have inherited certain genetic problems have a higher risk of developing leukaemia as do children who are receiving medical drugs to suppress their immune systems following organ transplant. Children who have received radiation or chemotherapy also have a higher risk. In 1979 a paper was published that claimed that magnetic fields from high current installations such as power lines and substations in the proximity to residences were associated with increased risks of childhood cancer1. Since that time, at least twenty epidemiological studies have been conducted in this area worldwide. In 2002 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified 50 Hz magnetic fields as a possible carcinogen.
Even when a child is cured of cancer, the impact of the disease on that child’s life into adulthood is profound. In Australia, an estimated one in 900 young adults aged between 16 and 45 years is a survivor of childhood cancer. However, up to 70 per cent of long-term cancer survivors go on to develop one or more chronic health conditions as a result of having been treated for cancer as children.
Many survivors experience illness due to the late effects of disease and cancer-related therapies – including organ toxicity, growth and hormonal deficiencies, infertility and secondary cancers. Two-thirds of survivors report at least one chronic medical condition and one-third report at least one severe or life-threatening medical condition later in life. Survivors of childhood cancer also have a 20 times greater risk of developing a second cancer than the general public.
What about digestive disturbances in children?
Being able to adequately digest what we eat impacts on every aspect of health, growth and development. Digestive disorders and diseases significantly affect millions of persons worldwide inducing a highly significant economical impact comprising health care costs and a burden on the economy from work absenteeism, in addition to the patient’s decreased quality of life.
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), functional constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are also highly prevalent diseases and disorders affecting each of them 1 out of every 6 persons all over the World. Coeliac disease is another common condition, in which the small intestine lining is damaged and this interferes with absorption of nutrients. Patients with coeliac disease have intolerance to a protein in gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. In such patients, when gluten is ingested the immune system responds by attacking the cells lining the small intestine.
The Rome III Committee set the following definition of a very common digestive condition called dyspepsia: “Dyspepsia is defined as the presence of 1 or more symptoms that are considered to originate from the gastroduodenal region, in the absence of any organic, systemic, or metabolic disease that is likely to explain the symptoms.” This covers a multitude of conditions which all respond wonderfully to the Savvy Teams’ three step process.
Other Common Digestive Issues:
Unfortunately the research is scanty on some of these conditions, and yet the western cultures often have the poorest digestive health in the world.
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) affects 10.4% of children in Australia
- The bacteria Helicobacter pylori is known to cause infection and inflammation of the gastric mucosa and affects 36% of people. Approximately 15-23% will develop peptic ulcers, or cancer of lymphoma.
- Constipation is a functional digestive disorder is characterised by persistently difficult, infrequent, or seemingly incomplete defecation, and affects at least 10% of the general population, with rising numbers of younger and younger children being affected. It is important to remark that functional constipation is highly prevalent among children of the industrialized societies with rates ranging from 20 to 34% of the population. Constipation means that one of your major detox organs are not function, and are in fact causing auto-intoxification.
- IBS affects 9%+ of Australians (and younger and younger children are suffering its affects.
- The prevalence of coeliac disease in Australia may be as high as 1 in every 500 people. Patients may develop initial symptoms as children or adults. Coeliac disease is sometimes triggered or becomes active for the first time after surgery, viral infection or severe physical or emotional stress.
- Ulcerative Colitis – The first incidence study conducted in Australia examined people living in only one city, and reported an annual incidence (new cases of UC per year) of 11.2/100,000 people, suggest that between 16,000 and 33,000 people have ulcerative colitis at any given time. While the condition is most common in the 15–35-year-old age group, UC also affects children, and cases have been recorded in babies as young as 6 months old.
A British study reported that incidence of Ulcerative Colitis had increased five-fold between 1988–1998, at which time the annual incidence in children ≤ 16 years was 1.4 per 100,000 people. Looking globally, studies have reported an annual incidence of Ulcerative Colitis (UC or IBD) ranging from 0.5 to 24.5 cases per 100,000 people. About 10% of UC cases are recorded in individuals < 18 years of age. The data suggests that UC is perhaps less heritable than Crohn’s disease, and that environmental factors such as diet or infective agents may play a greater role.
How many children suffer from congenital heart defects?
Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the heart’s structure that are present at birth. Approximately 1 out of every 100 newborns have congenital heart defects ranging from mild to severe, making it the most common of birth defects. These defects occur while the fetus is developing in the mother’s uterus and it’s not usually known why they occur (but check the WHO Report).
What about mental health in children?
According to the 1998 Child and Adolescent Component of the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 14% of young people aged 4-17 years were reported to have a mental health problem (Sawyer et al. 2000). In 2004-05, 7% of children aged under 15 years were reported to have some form of mental or behavioural problem as a long-term health condition, with rates rising from very low levels among children aged under five years to 10% of children aged 10-14 years.
How many children have a disability?
In 2009, it was estimated that about 288,300 Australian children aged 0–14 had some level of disability, which was fewer than in 2003, when the estimate was 319,900. The most common disability types were intellectual, affecting an estimated 161,600 children, and sensory/speech (119,100 children). The proportion of children aged 0–14 with severe or profound core activity limitations (2009) was 3.9%.
What Can Parents Do About These Frightening Facts?
The Savvy Team recommend you do everything in your power to reduce your family’s risk of childhood diseases by following as many of the three step process you have read in this blog. It’s a simple solution you can do for the whole family, effective for all sorts of issues, and it gives protection over the long-term. Our encouragement: Commit to a Healthy Home – ask us how! [[email protected]]
If you would like to peruse other reading material – check out which of these interests you.
- Why Take Nutrition
- How Nutrition Affects The Spine
- Protect Your Body From The Toxic World
- Wellness – It’s Not That Hard
- Liver Detox Pathways Require Essential Nutrients
- The Danger’s Of Toxic Deposits in Your Body
- Natural Detoxification: Fact vs Fiction
- How Do Bad Carbohydrates Cause Weight Gain
- Nutrition For Kidney Support
- Ph Balance And The Mineral Connection
- Questions And Answers on Essential Fats
If you would like to read testimonials of people who have had success in neurological disorders with the supplements the Savvy Team recommend, you can check them out here, or ask whoever sent you to this site for further information.
- Hormones & Me: Growth Problems In Children
- Long-term Follow-Up Project on Children’s Cancer
- World Gastenterology Report
- National Eating Disorders Report
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Information about Heartburn – Oesophageal Reflux)
- NPS MedicineWise (‘Stepping-down’ medicines for heartburn and reflux)
- A Picture Of Australian Children’s Health Report 2012
- WHO 2012 EDC Report
- Children and Cancer, in Children’s Health and the Environment, a WHO Training Package for the Health Sector, World Health Organization.
- Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) Books – Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for Australia (ICD10 C91.0) http://www.aihw.gov.au/acim-books/ [Accessed March 2014].