Garrett turns 2!

Garrett turned two on August 15th. This last year has gone by so fast.

Garrett is such an amazing little guy. I’m not sure how one child manages to be such a melded combination of characteristics but somehow he is able to do it. He is my snuggler and a complete mama’s boy. He still finds his way to my hip or in my lap for much of the day. At the same time he is very independent and the phrase we probably hear most often from him is, “Garrett do!” or “Garrett too!”. Mike has taken to calling Garrett, “Garrett too.” Over the last several months and especially the last few weeks Garrett is developing a deep love for his daddy. He wants to do everything daddy does and is starting to miss him when he is gone. For the last six months or so when Garrett wakes up in the morning he will say, “dada?” wanting to know where daddy is. When I respond, “at work” his usual response used to be a somewhat disappointed “ohhhh.” The last week or so he has started saying “missssss. dada missssss” with a very sad face. He is truly sad and distraught when daddy is gone now.

Garrett is also very stubborn, strong willed and frankly, rebellious. For someone who has just barely turned 2 he is amazing at toeing the line. If you draw a line he will run to the edge of it, look you square in the eye and then calmly put his foot over it taunting you to see what you’re going to do about it. He does this not only with Mike and I but with other adults and children. He likes to provoke reactions, usually just for fun. This has caused me, as his mom, a lot of stress. I have learned to loosen up, to enjoy his nature and to give him a bit more wiggle room.

Garrett is a rough and tumble all out boy. He likes guns, dirt, water and sticks. What he wants is “his”, what he looks at is “his” and what anyone else wants is “his”. He is not afraid of taking it by force even from a child (or adult) bigger than he is. He sometimes takes great joy in snatching things from others even if he has no desire for what he has snatched. He reminds me of a little lion cub looking to dominate anything and everything around him. He will push down little babies that are minding their own business, just to know that is able to do it. It is to the point where if we are with a group of children and one of them starts to cry, I usually have to jump up and remind Garrett that we do not hit, push, take…etc

Unfortunately, his sister receives the brunt of Garrett’s attempts at family domination. She will often comment about how she doesn’t like him much but then carefully add that she loves him but that it’s hard being his sister. Thankfully their relationship has taken a turn for the better in the last two weeks or so and they are beginning to have as many positive interactions throughout the day as negative and are starting to really play together. All of my parenting techniques, theories and patience have been worn thin by this little boy. But despite this, I love him with all my heart. His sweet nature is so apparent and he is a loving and giving boy who’s empathy is really starting to blossom. He is beginning to treasure and love his sister and despite his behavior towards her sometimes, he can not stand when she is not with us. He calls her “nana” (his attempt at saying Camden) and is sad whenever she is not with us. He is beginning to worry and cry when she is upset and tries to make her feel better. He also wants to do everything Camden does. He even decided he wanted to ride a horse despite his initial terror over them because Camden loved riding so much.

Garrett has so many quirks it is hard to know where to start. He has developed a hate of “tags” and will not allow one to be in his shirt or on most objects for that matter. Even during his Birthday party he made his dad cut of a “tag” on one of the gift bags. He is a funny blend of liking “boy” and “girl” things. He turns every available object into a gun (including alphabet letters and veggie booty) yet at the same time begs to wear Camden’s dresses, butterfly tattoo’s and prefers to sleep with pink blankets. He even asks for pink nail polish. Of course Camden and I find this hilarious and often oblige him with his requests. He will hate us for this someday, I’m sure.  His favorite color is orange and he takes great joy in any object he finds or owns that is “ownge”.

Garrett loves musical instruments and especially likes the drums and guitar. He likes to color and paint and his favorite food in the world is candy. Meal wise he loves things with a lot of flavor. He enjoys spaghetti (with rice noodles) and beef stew. Development wise he is really in a big growth phase right now. His expressive language has been exploding the last two weeks and he is repeating much of what we say and is learning new words every day. He is learnings his colors and wants to do everything the big kids do. He learned how to peddle a bike yesterday, on his Birthday. He is fully potty trained now, both during the day and night. We have weaned him from nursing at night but he still wakes up anyway. I am hoping he will start truly sleeping through the night within the next 2-3 months. He is still nursing and though I would prefer to be done with our nursing relationship I am waiting until we can get a vitamix to make sure he is getting enough nutrition.

Garrett continues to have serious allergies to many foods. Though his reactions have greatly reduced in frequency he is continuing to lose foods. He is currently allergic to: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, nuts, sunflower seed, sesame seed and dogs. Recently he has come up allergic to rice all though we have not removed it from his diet at this point because we are not seeing any reaction from the rice and his diet is all ready so limited. Feeding Garrett is definitely a huge challenge all though I am getting more used to it. What is frustrating is the things he can eat sometimes are quite ridiculous. It makes me mad that he can eat things like french fries, all manner of candy, soda, chips, sugar cereal like Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs but I can not give him an egg or a piece of bread. I have had to let go of my concern for many foods not because I have changed my mind on whether or not they are healthy or good for you but out of necessity and a concern for his quality of life. For example I did not have the money, time or energy to find and edible recipe for a wheat free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, seed free Birthday cake. So instead, I made him a rice crispy treat cake chock full of corn syrup, petroleum based dyes and all manner of artificial flavors. But it was delicious, he loved it and it was simple. I’ve just had to learn to let go, some. He eats way too much candy and french fries for a kid his age or for any kid for that matter but you try telling your child day in and day out, “No. Not for Garrett. That will make you sick.” It’s hard and frustrating. I do my best to get high quality whole foods in him but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. I am so excited to be saving for a Vitamix blender that I plan on using to increase the amount of vegetables in his diet since he refuses pretty much any vegetable besides corn, carrots and potatoes.

For his Birthday this year we had an Elmo themed party. I’m not quite sure how he has become so fond of Elmo since he has never seen Sesame Street but he recognized Elmo in the dollar store the other day and we had leftover Elmo party supplies from Camden’s 1st Birthday. He was sooooo happy when he woke up from his nap to find an Elmo party. He also has Elmo sheets now that one of Mike’s friends from work gave us and he loves having them. We had a spaghetti dinner for him (one of his favorite meals) and I made him a Rice Crispy cake with Dots and sprinkles on top. We also had ice-cream sundae’s for everyone else. To make the cake I used Spectrum Vegetable shortening which is made of palm oil rather than soy based shortenings. You can not tell a difference in flavor or texture and it is delicious.

Despite how challenging these first two years have been for me I would not trade raising Garrett for anything. He has required me to rise above my fears, selfishness and insecurities in order to be a better mom and a better person. I am a less judgmental and more forgiving person because of him. His love, precious hugs and kisses, laughter and sense of humor bring so much joy and entertainment to our family. His presence in our family has given me greater spiritual strength and faith.

Garrett Michael Reid, we love you with all our hearts.


Land of the Dulldrums

That is just how I have been feeling lately. I am just sort of in a funk. I think there is just so much going on in our lives right now and with the pregnancy on top of that and the stress and worry over this new baby my mind just went into a fog. It is so hard to motivate myself to do anything all day.

I have an ultrasound on Friday to try and determine how far along we are in this pregnancy and I think that will make my mood better. At our last midwife appointment when I was supposedly 12 weeks we were not able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler and my uterus was not measuring 12 weeks. Which isn’t too alarming on its own since I didn’t feel like I was that far along anyway. I think I am closer to 8-9 weeks pregnant. However, last Friday I had some spotting and that was stressful. I have never spotted before in a pregnancy and even though it wasn’t red blood and they say it can be normal it has stressed me out since we haven’t heard the heartbeat yet. So, we’ll find out on Friday.

Mike’s parents are also most likely moving in with us at the end of June. One of them needs to find a job up here with health insurance and so that is what we are praying for right now.  It is also possible that Mike’s sister will be moving in with us in August. It may become a rather full house, but that is okay. The more the merrier. Right? :)

We’re also having a hard time being able to see Mikayla right now and that is frustrating. We haven’t been able to see her since April and she doesn’t even know we are pregnant yet. We’re supposed to have her this weekend so I am crossing my fingers that it all works out.

Honestly what is stressing me out the most is Garrett and this pregnancy. We just found out that Garrett has developed 2 new allergies in addition to the ones he all ready has. He is now also allergic to rice and sesame so all of his allergies include: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, sunflower, pea, sesame, rice and dog (he doesn’t eat dogs but if he gets licked by one he breaks out in hives).  So far we don’t have to take rice out of his diet (they want us to continue unless his reactions get bad) but I still cried the whole way home. Usually I’m a pretty good sport about his allergies but on Tuesday I definitely had a “why me???!!!” day. I am very worried that this next baby will also have extreme allergies like Garrett and it is frustrating beyond belief that no one can give me an answer on what to do/not do to prevent allergies in this next baby. And it is the same with Garrett, so far people can only tell us what he is allergic to and we have not been able to make any progress in healing his gut or reversing his allergies. I just pray that time will eventually heal his little body and that he will eventually be able to eat most foods. I am interested in visiting a local NAET specialist in Bellingham just to give it a try. Honestly, I’m very skeptical about this allergy elimination technique but at this point we’re willing to try anything. I’ve just got to come up with a way to pay for it since insurance won’t cover the treatments and unfortunately, they’re expensive. I am thinking of doing some fundraising this summer to raise money for a few trial treatments to see if it makes any kind of improvement.

Well, I think that is all for now. I can not wait for this fog to lift so that I actually feel like doing stuff. Right now I just want to sleep all day.

Delaying DPT Vaccination May Reduce Incidence of Asthma

Here is a study that my friend Bari tipped me off on that finds that children who delayed their DPT vaccination had lower incidences of developing childhood Asthma. There has not yet been a similar study done for DPaT which is considered safer than the original DPT. We stopped using DPT in the United States in 2002 after a disturbing trend of side-effects. DPT is referred to as whole cell pertussis and DPaT is referred to as acellular pertussis.

Here is the study abstract. I tried to get a copy of the full text but you have to pay for a copy of it so I chose not to do that at this time. If you have a copy of the full text please let me know, as I’d like to read it. This study was printed in the March 2008 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Registration is free to read abstracts.

A more detailed abstract was available on MedScape and also has free registration. The information posted below was from Medscape.

Delaying DPT Vaccination May Reduce Incidence of Childhood Asthma CME

News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Laurie Barclay, MD


Release Date: April 14, 2008; Valid for credit through April 14, 2009

April 14, 2008 — Childhood asthma is reduced by half when the first dose of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) is delayed by more than 2 months vs given during the recommended period, according to the results of a retrospective longitudinal study reported in the March issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

“Early childhood immunizations have been viewed as promoters of asthma development by stimulating a TH2-type immune response or decreasing microbial pressure, which shifts the balance between TH1 and TH2 immunity,” write Kara L. McDonald, MSc, from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and colleagues. “Differing time schedules for childhood immunizations may explain the discrepant findings of an association with asthma reported in observational studies. This research was undertaken to determine whether timing of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) immunization has an effect on the development of childhood asthma by age 7 years.”

The investigators analyzed data from the complete immunization and healthcare records of a cohort of children born in Manitoba in 1995, from birth until age 7 years. Using multivariable logistic regression, they computed the adjusted odds ratio for asthma at age 7 years according to the timing of DPT immunization.

Among 11,531 children who received at least 4 doses of DPT, the risk for asthma was halved in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months. For children with delays in administration of all 3 doses, the likelihood of asthma was 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 – 0.86).

“We found a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of whole-cell DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma; the association was greater with delays in all of the first 3 doses,” the study authors write. “The mechanism for this phenomenon requires further research.”

Limitations of this study include possible ascertainment bias; findings not yet confirmed with the diphtheria, acellular pertussis, tetanus (DaPT) vaccine; and inability to refute the issue of early-life infections as an explanation for the association between delayed immunization and protection against the development of asthma.

“Further study is vital to gain a detailed understanding of the relationship between vaccination and allergic disease, because a perception that vaccination is harmful may have an adverse effect on the effectiveness of immunization programs,” the study authors conclude.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research supported this study. Some of the authors have disclosed various financial relationships with the Western Regional Training Center for Health Services Research, the National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Allergen, and/or Novartis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;121:626-631.

Clinical Context

Early childhood vaccinations may promote development of asthma, directly by stimulating a TH2-type immune response or indirectly by decreasing microbial pressure. In support of this hypothesis, an IgE response to vaccine antigens often occurs in children vaccinated with diphtheria/tetanus, and this response is more pronounced among individuals with atopy.

Epidemiologic evidence linking DPT immunizations to childhood asthma is inconsistent. Some studies show an increased or decreased risk of developing asthma, whereas others show no association. This study assessed whether timing of DPT vaccination affects the risk of developing childhood asthma by age 7 years.

Study Highlights

  • Of children born in Manitoba in 1995, 11,531 children (82.6%) had received at least 4 doses of DPT and were included in this study.
  • These children were primarily immunized with whole-cell pertussis DPT, because the DaPT vaccine was phased in throughout Manitoba beginning in November 1997.
  • The investigators analyzed data from the complete immunization and healthcare records of these children from birth until age 7 years.
  • The investigators used multivariable logistic regression to compute the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for asthma at age 7 years, based on the timing of whole-cell DPT immunization.
  • Prevalence of asthma was 11.7%.
  • Children with asthma were predominantly boys (3:2) and lived in urban areas (70.3%); 25% were from low-income homes; and 10.1% had mothers with a history of asthma.
  • The risk for asthma was decreased by 50% in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.25 – 0.97).
  • Sensitivity analyses that varied the interval for DPT immunization showed that these findings were robust.
  • Asthma prevalence rates decreased successively from 13.8% to 5.9% with each month delay in DPT administration.
  • Likelihood of childhood asthma was also decreased after delays in the administration of the second and third doses of DPT. Most of these delays were in children with delays in their first dose.
  • The reduction in asthma risk for the second and third doses mainly resulted from the delay in the first dose because there were no statistically significant differences in asthma risk with delays in the second and third doses in the absence of delays in the first dose.
  • However, for children with delays in administration of all 3 doses, the likelihood of asthma was further reduced by 60% (likelihood ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18 – 0.86).
  • Based on these findings, the investigators conclude that there was a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma; that the association was greater with delays in all of the first 3 doses; and that the underlying mechanism requires further research.
  • Limitations of this study include possible ascertainment bias; findings not yet confirmed with the DaPT vaccine; and inability to refute the issue of early-life infections as an explanation for the association between delayed immunization and protection against the development of asthma.

Pearls for Practice

  • Among children who received at least 4 doses of DPT, the risk for asthma was reduced by 50% in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months from the recommended period.
  • For children with delays in administration of all 3 doses of DPT, the risk of developing asthma was decreased by 60%. The reduction in asthma risk for the second and third doses mainly resulted from the delay in the first dose.

Sunbutter: The Peanut Butter Alternative

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Happy, Happy, Joy!

I can not tell you how happy I was to learn about Sunbutter. The topic came up on a pregnancy forum that I frequent in regards to moms that are avoiding peanut butter during pregnancy for fear that it leads to peanut allergies in their offspring. I’m not sure I agree with that theory but I am so happy to have learned about Sunbutter.

Peanut butter and I were best friends before my daughter came down with a peanut allergy. I’m not sure any other food allergy could have come at such a blow to my own personal dietary preferences. Now of course, her health comes before my food cravings so we have not kept it in the house since we first learned of her peanut allergy, which requires the use of an Epi Pen, upon exposure.

Once upon a time we tried Soy Butter which was the nastiest concoction I have ever tasted and I shudder just thinking about trying to pass that off as a peanut butter alternative to my daughter. A few months ago I tried Almond Butter and all though tasty it is not something I am willing to allow Camden to try since we have been counseled to avoid all tree nuts (her only reaction thus far has been to peanuts).

Sunbutter must be a direct inspiration from Heaven, I’m sure. It is soooo good. Even my husband when he went to take a whiff of the can said, “Wow, it smells exactly like peanut butter!” And truly, it does. It tastes a lot like peanut butter too but is delicious in it’s own right. Camden’s verdict? She absolutely loves it and is asking for Sunbutter constantly. We had homemade waffles for dinner and my love for waffles is back because I was able to top them with a bit of Sunbutter and dip them into maple syrup. Mmmm, that is the only way to eat waffles. I am looking forward to making our first batch of “peanut butter” cookies made with Sunbutter and all the other yummy baked goods that we’ve missed at Christmas times because we’ve had to go peanut free.

The best part about Sunbutter is that it is safe. It is produced in a peanut free facility and is safe from any cross-contamination. Even better? It is healthy. It contains double the fiber, more iron and 30% less saturated fat than typical peanut butter. It contains no hydrogenated oils and also has 27% of the adult requirement of vitamin E, per serving. It is also Gluten Free.

We bought our first jar of Sunbutter from a store called Haggen’s for about $3.89 and it is the Sunbutter brand. We later went to Trader Joe’s and realized that they carry Sunbutter as well and it is actually made by Sunbutter but is under the Trader Joe’s label. Next time we will buy the Sunbutter from Trader Joe’s. It is only $3.50 a jar and unlike the product under the Sunbutter label the Trader Joe variety does not contain any preservatives. It has 3 ingredients: roasted sunflower seeds, evaporated cane juice and salt. Whereas the Sunbutter we purchased under it’s own label has the following ingredients: sunflower seeds, sugar, mono-diglycerides to prevent separation, salt and natural mixed tocopherols to preserve freshness. For me, I run under the simpler is better approach. 3 ingredients is better than 5. I also tried the Trader Joe’s version, which I picked up for a friend, and I prefer the taste and texture of the TJ version much more even though they are made by the same company.

I think this product is such great news for everyone. It is not just peanut allergic kids that are affected by peanut allergies. It is their siblings, their parents, their extended families, their daycares and preschools and public schools and even beyond that airlines and public places in general are affected. A product like Sunbutter allows for a very tasty and safe alternative. In some taste tests people have actually preferred the taste of Sunbutter over Peanut Butter. As a peanut butter lover I can say that I love Sunbutter (though I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I’d choose Sunbutter over peanut butter). I honestly won’t miss peanut butter with this alternative. I am astounded by how good it is.

Sunbutter can be found at grocery stores and health food stores nationwide. It can be found at stores such as the following: Albertsons LLC, Andronico’s, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, Giant, Kroger’s, Publix, Super Target, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Winn-Dixie, and Whole Foods. I found mine at Haggen’s which is a chain in the Pacific Northwest. I live in Eastern Washington but will be traveling back over to the west side next month and will visit Trader Joe’s again. If anyone would like a jar and can’t find any near them please let me know and I’d be happy to ship you a jar, or two or three. :)

I do want to point out that some parents of peanut allergic children may still avoid and not want to have Sunbutter in their homes or for their children to eat it and it is important for people to try and be understanding with this choice. Their reasoning is that Sunbutter looks and tastes like peanut butter and they don’t want their children to become confused on what is and is not safe for them to eat. Since my daughter’s food environment is very controlled (by myself) and she is never exposed to food unless I okay it, I don’t necessarily have this concern. I did take time to sit down with her and explain why she could eat this and that it wasn’t peanut butter and was made from Sunflower Seeds and that unless mommy or daddy gave it to her she was not allowed to eat Sunbutter.

2008 Study: Pertussis Infection and Atopic Disorders in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children

The following study was published on February 19th, 2008. I am pasting the abstract below from PubMed for the full text of the study please see HERE.

Thank you mommyof3 for bringing this study to my attention.

To help my readers, Atopy is defined as the following (this definition is taken from Wikipedia): Atopy (Greek ατοπία – placelessness) or atopic syndrome is an allergic hypersensitivity affecting parts of the body not in direct contact with the allergen. It may involve eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma.

In lamens terms this study looked at children ages 8-12 that were either vaccinated or unvaccinated for pertussis (whole cell) within their first year of life and then subsequently contracted the pertussis disease during their childhoods. They then compared out of the vaccinated and unvaccinated children the incidence of atopy during the course of the child’s life. All though the unvaccinated children had a much higher rate of contracting the pertussis disease they found that only the vaccinated children had a positive correlation with developing atopic disorders following infection with pertussis.

I love the following quote that is taken from the Discussions section in the full text article. I myself don’t find it too puzzling:

“Our finding of positive associations in vaccinated
children is in line with associations found in
other studies, but contrasts sharply with the
results in our group of pertussis-unvaccinated
children. This is puzzling, as in these children, the
pathogen has more impact, and one would thus
expect, if the relationship is causal, a stronger
relationship between infection and atopy in the
unprotected group. Also, with a higher prevalence
of past pertussis infection in the unvaccinated
group, we would expect a higher
prevalence of atopic disorders in this group
compared with the vaccinated group, but this is
not the case (Table 2). This suggests that the
effect of pertussis infection on atopy is restricted
to pertussis-vaccinated children, an explanation
supported by research in a mouse model (23).”

Here is the abstract:

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Feb;19(1):46-52. Epub 2007 Dec
Related Articles, Links
Reported pertussis infection and risk of atopy in 8- to 12-yr-old
vaccinated and non-vaccinated children.

Bernsen RM, Nagelkerke NJ, Thijs C, van der Wouden JC.

Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC – University Medical
Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


“In the unvaccinated group, there were no significant associations
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders.

In the vaccinated
group, all associations between pertussis infection and atopic
disorders were positive, the associations with asthma [odds ratio
(OR) = 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI(95%)): 1.36-3.70], hay fever
(OR = 2.35, CI(95%): 1.46-3.77) and food allergy (OR = 2.68, CI(95%):
1.48-4.85) being significant. There was a positive association
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in the pertussis
vaccinated group only. From the present study, it cannot be concluded
whether this association is causal or due to reverse causation.”


Pertussis infection has been suspected to be a potential causal
factor in the development of atopic disease because of the effect of
pertussis immunization on specific IgE antibodies. Although several
studies found a positive association between pertussis infection and
atopic disorders, this relationship has not yet been studied in a
population stratified by vaccination status. To assess the
association between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in
pertussis-unvaccinated children and in pertussis-vaccinated children.
Using data from a previously conducted study on the relationship
between the diphtheria-tetanus-per tussis-(inactivated) poliomyelitis
vaccination in the first year of life and atopic disorders, the study
population of 1872 8-12 yr old was divided into children pertussis-
unvaccinated and children pertussis-vaccinated in the first year of
life. Within each group, the association between pertussis infection
and atopic disorders (both as reported by the parents) was assessed.
In the unvaccinated group, there were no significant associations
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders. In the vaccinated
group, all associations between pertussis infection and atopic
disorders were positive, the associations with asthma [odds ratio
(OR) = 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI(95%)): 1.36-3.70], hay fever
(OR = 2.35, CI(95%): 1.46-3.77) and food allergy (OR = 2.68, CI(95%):
1.48-4.85) being significant. There was a positive association
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in the pertussis
vaccinated group only. From t h e present study, it cannot be concluded
whether this association is causal or due to reverse causation.

PMID: 18086216 [PubMed – in process]

Vaccines, Asthma & Allergies

Here is an article that I have been holding on to for a few years. It is one of the first articles that I read that lead me on my quest for more research into this topic. This article was written by Rita Hoffman and in 2001 was submitted to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee. On November 12th, 2001 they held a public meeting in Seattle, WA to review the possible association. The committee’s conclusion was that “there is inadequate evidence to either accept or reject a causal relationship between multiple immunizations and increased risk of allergic diseases, particularly asthma.” What is important to gather is that they were not able to dismiss the connection, there simply wasn’t enough evidence and research at the time. Here is the article and the original source is HERE.

Anaphylaxis Action’s submission to the Institute of Medicine

Anaphylaxis Action
c/o Rita Hoffman, R. R. #2,
Stirling, Ontario, Canada. K0K 3E0

November 6, 2001

Immunization Safety Review Committee
National Academy of Sciences
Institute of Medicine FO 3009
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20418

Re: Epidemic of Children with Anaphylaxis

Dear Dr. McCormick, Chair & Committee,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit the following information for your review of the possible association between multiple immunizations in newborns and infants and immune system dysfunction. We are writing in particular about the potentially life threatening allergic response called anaphylaxis.

The exact numbers of children affected by anaphylaxis are difficult to pinpoint. A study in Arch Intern Med 2001 Jan 8;161(1):15-2, Anaphylaxis in the United States: an investigation into its epidemiology, concluded with “The occurrence of anaphylaxis in the US is not as rare as is generally believed. On the basis of our figures, the problem of anaphylaxis may, in fact, affect 1.21% (1.9 million) to 15.04% (40.9 million) of the US population.” PMID 11146694

In June of this year an article by Associated Press Writer Jim Fitzgerald entitled Peanut Butter Wars Rage in Schools stated “Schools that haven’t had a dangerously allergic pupil can expect one soon.” And “peanut allergies among schoolchildren were ‘barely on the radar’ a decade ago, said Dr. Robert Goldman, a New York allergist and Immunologist who specializes in pediatric cases.” “Now I’m seeing a tremendous number of cases,” he said. “It seems like the incidence is really increasing. As to why, I don’t think anyone in the world could tell you for sure.”

In Canada, the Anaphylaxis Canada’s Summer 2001 newsletter states that “20% of Canadians suffer from some form of allergy and approximately 4% of children and 2% of adults have developed a potentially lethal allergy to food.”

The cover story in the September 2000 issue of Professionally Speaking, the magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers is “An Abnormal Response to Normal Things.” The article begins with “Teachers have to be aware that allergies can kill. A growing number of children are at risk – and a well prepared teacher can make all the difference.” The article explains that “About a decade ago, the sudden surge in highly allergic children entering school systems across the province caught many educators off guard.”

Why the “surge” in anaphylactic children entering school a decade ago? These children were among the first to receive an additional vaccination, Hib meningitis. Is it possible that the Pertussis and Hib vaccine, both shown below to cause allergic responses, are creating a hypersensitive immune system in some children? Has any study looked into what happens to atopy incidence and IgE levels when 5 vaccines are given concurrently in infants?


JAMA 2001 Apr 4;285(13):1746-8 Detection of peanut allergens in breast milk of lactating women states, “Most individuals who react to peanuts do so on their first known exposure”……………..and concluded “Peanut protein is secreted into breast milk of lactating women following maternal dietary ingestion. Exposure to peanut protein during breastfeeding is a route of occult exposure that may result in sensitization of at-risk infants.” PMID 11277829

Women have been ingesting peanut protein while breastfeeding for decades. What has changed in the last 15 years to cause infants to develop life-threatening allergies to this legume? One change has been the vaccination schedule.

The Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1999 Jul; 119(3):205-11 Pertussis adjuvant prolongs intestinal hypersensitivity concludes: Our findings indicate nanogram quantities of PT (pertussis toxin), when administered with a food protein, result in long-term sensitization to the antigen, and altered intestinal neuroimmune function. These data suggest that exposure to bacterial pathogens may prolong the normally transient immune responsiveness to inert food antigens. PMID 10436392

Does this study explain why babies and toddlers react on their first exposure to the peanuts or other antigens? The babies may have been sensitized by the vaccines to the proteins through breast milk or formula ingested at the time of vaccination. This would also explain why children are anaphylactic to a variety of proteins, such as different tree nuts, peanuts, egg, legumes, milk, seeds, etc., depending on what proteins the mother ate at the time of vaccination.


Rates of anaphylaxis have increased dramatically since the introduction of the Hib vaccine.

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 1979 Mar-Apr;6(2):139-49 Comparison of vaccination of mice and rats with Haemophilus influenzae and Bordetella pertussis as models of atopy, states “The Haemophilus influenzae vaccinated experimental animal provides a model that is possibly more related to human atopy than the Bordetella pertussis vaccinated animal.” PMID 311260

Ann Allergy 1979 Jan;42(1):36-40 states “To determine whether Haemophilus influenzae could be a factor in human atopy its effects were studied on the (para-)Sympathic Cyclic nucleotide-histamine axis in rats. Haemophilus influenzae vaccination induced changes in the cholinergic system compatible with higher cyclic GMP levels and enhanced histamine release. The authors suggest an involvement of the cholinergic system in Haemophilus influenzae vaccination effects. PMID 216288

Agents Actions 1984 Oct;15(3-4):211-5 entitled Bronchial hyper-reactivity to histamine induced by Haemophilus influenzae vaccination states “……This suggests a hyper-reactivity of the parasympathethic, cholinergic pathways as a result of H.influenzae vaccination.” PMID 6335351

Eur J. Pharmacol 1980 Apr 4;62(4):261-8 entitled The effects of Haemophilus influenzae vaccination on anaphylactic mediator release and isoprenaline-induced inhibition of mediator release states “These results indicate an increased sensitivity to antigenic challenge and suggest that the functioning of beta-adrenoceptors was decreased as a result of H. Influenzae vaccination.” PMID 6154589


Pediatrics 1988 Jun (81) Supplement – Report on the Task Force on Pertussis and Pertussis Immunization – extract states, For more than 25 years, it has been known that pertussis vaccine is a reliable adjuvant for the production of experimental allergic encephalitis.

Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir 1987;23 Suppl 10:111s-113s A model for experimental asthma: provocation in guinea-pigs immunized with Bordetella pertussis states, ” Guinea-pigs were sensitized with killed Bordetella pertussis….. the presence of the immediate type of immune response was verified by passive cutaneous anaphylaxis….. B. pertussis not only alters adrenergic function but provocation in B. pertussis-sensitized guinea-pigs seems to be a good model for bronchial asthma. PMID 2889487

Pediatr Res 1987 Sep;22(3):262-7 Murine responses to immunization with pertussis toxin and bovine serum albumin: I. Mortality observed after bovine albumin challenge is due to an anaphylactic reaction……….the results of our experiments have established that the disease induced by coimmunizing mice with Ptx and BSA is due to an immediate type hypersensitivity. PMID 3309858

Infect Immun 1987 Apr.;55(4):1004-8 Anaphylaxis or so-called encephalopathy in mice sensitized to an antigen with the aid of pertussigen (pertussis toxin), states, Sensitization of mice with 1mg of bovine serum albumin (BSA) or chicken egg albumin (EA) ………….induced a high degree of anaphylactic sensitivity when the mice were challenged i.v. with 1 mg of antigen 14 days later. PMID 3557617

JAMA 1994 Aug 24-31;272(8):592-3 Pertussis vaccination and asthma: is there a link? A study of 450 children, 11% of the children who had received the pertussis vaccination suffered from asthma, as compared with only 2% of the children who had not been vaccinated. PMID 8057511

Allergy 1983 May;38(4):261-71 The non-specific enhancement of allergy. III. Precipitation of bronchial anaphylactic reactivity in primed rats by injection of alum or B. pertussis vaccine: relation of response capacity to IgE and IgG2a antibody levels. …..These results show that injection of alum or B. pertussis vaccine without antigen can precipitate/enhance anaphylactic response capacity and production of specific and non-specific IgE and IgG2a. PMID 6307077


Requests for information on the types of adjuvants currently used in human vaccines have not been answered to date. We did find that adjuvants are used to create allergic animals for scientific study and also that peanut oil has been used as an adjuvant. Peanut is by far the most common food to cause anaphylaxis in young children. Is peanut oil, or a similar protein or portion of a protein used in human vaccines as an adjuvant or “protein coat” in the Hib vaccine? Aluminum has also been used as an adjuvant and is known to cause allergies according to the studies below. Could the adjuvants used in vaccines over the last 15 years be creating anaphylactic and allergic children?

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001 Apr;107(4):693-702 Murine model of atopic dermatitis associated with food hypersensitivity states, “Female C3H/HeJ mice were sensitized orally to cow’s milk or peanut with a cholera toxin adjuvant and then subjected to low-grade allergen exposure………………..An eczematous eruption developed in approximately one third of mice after low-grade exposure to milk or peanut proteins……………….This eczematous eruption resembles AD (atopic dermatitis) in human subjects and should provide a useful model for studying immunopathogenic mechanisms of food hypersensitivity in AD.” PMID 11295660

Allergy 1980 Jan;35(1):65-71 Antigen-induced bronchial anaphylaxis in actively sensitized guinea pigs. Pattern of response in relation to immunization regimen….guinea-pigs sensitized with small amounts of antigen together with alum produced IgE and IgG1 antibodies. PMID 7369497

Allergy 1978 Jun:33(3):155-9 Aluminum phosphate but not calcium phosphate stimulates the specific IgE response in guinea pigs to tetanus toxoid. It is hypothesized that the regular application of aluminum compound-containing vaccines on the entire population could be one of the factors leading to the observed increase of allergic diseases. PMID 707792

Pediatric Allergy Immunol 1994 May;5(2):118-23 Immunoglobulin E and G responses to pertussis toxin after booster immunization in relation to atopy, local reactions and aluminum content of the vaccines. The role of aluminum for IgG and IgE responses to pertussis toxin (PT), as well as for side effects, was investigated in 49 children with known atopy status………………the addition of aluminum to the pertussis vaccine was, thus, associated with a stronger IgG antibody response, but tended also to induce a stronger IgE antibody response. The correlation between total IgE and PT-IgE, which was most prominent in children with atopy, indicates that the role of immunization for the development of allergy merits further studies. PMID 808719

Adv Drug Deliv Rev 1998 Jul 6;32(3):155-172 entitled Aluminum compounds as vaccine adjuvants stated, “Limitations of aluminum adjuvants include local reactions, augmentation of IgE antibody responses, ineffectiveness for some antigens and inability to augment cell-mediated immune responses, especially cytotoxic T-Cell responses. PMID 10837642

Annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, Vol. 85, Number 1, July 2000 article T-cell subsets (Th1 versus Th2) includes Figure 7 on page 15 – “Factors responsible for the imbalance of the Th1/Th2 responses which is partly responsible for the increased prevalence of allergy in Western countries. Risk for atopy – Th2, increased exposure to some allergens and Th2-biasing vaccines (alum as adjuvant).” PMID 10923599

Vaccine 1992;10(10):714-20 Parameters affecting the immunogenicity of microencapsulated tetanus toxoid states “As expected, incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA) proved to be a more potent adjuvant than peanut oil…………….” PMID 1523881

Can J Comp Med 1985 Apr;49(2):149-51 compared 6 different adjuvants in swine including four mineral oil compounds, one peanut oil compound and aluminum hydroxide. PMID 4016580

C R Acad Sci Hebd Seances Acad Sci D 1975 Apr 7;280(13):1629-32 states…….. a stable water in oil emulsion can be produced by using metabolizable peanut oil with arlacel. When mycobacteria are added, a potent emulsified oil adjuvant is obtained which increases the immune response to BSA and to influenza vaccine. PMID 811378


Immunology Today, March 1998, Volume 19, p. 113-116 states, “Modern vaccinations, fear of germs and obsession with hygiene are depriving the immune system of information input upon which it is dependent. This fails to maintain the correct cytokine balance and fine-tune T-cell regulation, and may lead to increased incidences of allergies and autoimmune diseases.” PMID 9540269

From the journal Allergy 1999, 54, 398-399, Multiple Vaccination effects on atopy, “An increase in the incidence of childhood atopic diseases may be expected as a result of concurrent vaccination strategies that induce a Th2-biased immune response. What should be discussed is whether the prize of a reduction of common infectious diseases through a policy of mass vaccination from birth is worth the price of a higher prevalence of atopy.” PMID 10371102

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Feb. 2000; 23(2):81-90, Effects of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis or tetanus vaccination on allergies and allergy-related respiratory symptoms among children and adolescents in the United States, “The odds of having a history of asthma was twice as great among vaccinated subjects than among unvaccinated subjects. The odds of having any allergy-related respiratory symptom in the past 12 months was 63% greater among vaccinated subjects than unvaccinated subjects.” PMID 10714532

Thorax 1998 Nov;53(11):927-32 Early childhood infection and atopic disorder, stated “Interpretation of the prediction of atopic disorders by immunisation with whole cell pertussis vaccine and treatment with oral antibiotics needs to be very cautious because of the possibilities of confounding effects and reverse causation. However, plausible immune mechanisms are identifiable for the promotion of atopic disorders by both factors and further investigation of these association is warranted.” PMID 10193389

Epidemiology 1997 Nov;8(6):678-80 Is infant immunization a risk factor for childhood asthma or allergy? This study followed 1,265 children born in 1977. The 23 children who received no DPT and polio immunizations had no recorded asthma episodes or consultations for asthma or other allergic illness before age 10 years; in the immunized children, 23.1% had asthma episodes, 22.5% asthma consultations, and 30% consultations for other allergic illness. Similar differences were observed at ages 5 and 16 years. PMID 9345669

Arerugi 2000 Jul;49(7):585-92, The Effect of DPT and BCG vaccinations on atopic disorders findings include, “From these results we conclude that DPT vaccination has some effect in the promotion of atopic disorders…….” PMID 10944825

International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 121:1:2000, 2-9, Genetic and environmental factors contributing to the onset of allergic disorders. “The increasing prevalence of allergy in developed countries suggests that environmental factors acting either before or after birth also contribute to regulate the development of Th2 cells and/or their function. The reduction of infectious diseases in early life due to increasing vaccinations, antimicrobial treatments as well as changed lifestyle are certainly important in influencing the individual outcome in the Th response to ubiquitous allergens. PMID 10686503

In conclusion, living with anaphylaxis is to be continually on guard for minute quantities of everyday food or other substances that may cause death. Keeping anaphylactic children safe involves the whole community including the child, parents, teachers, bus drivers, caregivers, friends and family.

It is our hope that the Committee will investigate the questions we have raised and will recommend further investigation into the connection between vaccines and this most distressing allergic disease called anaphylaxis.

Your time is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully yours,

Rita Hoffman

Additional studies linking vaccines to allergic responses:

Clinical Immunology 2001 Sep;100(3):355-61 Infection of human B lymphocytes with MMR vaccine induces IgE class switching. Imani F, Kehoe KE. Circulating immunoglobulin E (IgE) is one of the characteristics of human allergic diseases including allergic asthma…….. Here, we show that infection of a human IgM(+) B cell line with MMR resulted in the expression of germ line epsilon transcript. In addition, infection of freshly prepared human PBLs with this vaccine resulted in the expression of mature IgE mRNA transcript. Our data suggest that a potential side effect of vaccination with live attenuated viruses may be an increase in the expression of IgE. PMID 11513549

Additional vaccine adjuvant studies using nut oils:

Vaccine 1996 Dec;14(17-18):1703-6 Immune responses following cocktails of inactivated measles vaccine and Arachis hypogaea L. (ground nut) or Cocos nucifera L. (coconut) oils adjuvant. Eghafona NO. “The study suggests that the oils under investigation, particularly to GO (ground nut) oil should be considered as an adjuvant with IMV (Inactivated Measles Vaccine) after extensive study in humans; since it stimulated cellular immune response comparable to that of LMV (Live Measles Vaccine). PMID 9032902

Agents Actions 1976 Feb;6(1-3):75-85 Adjuvant disease induced by mycobacteria, determinants of arthritogenicity. Audibert, F, states “Our previous findings showed that the water soluble adjuvant (WSA) of M.smegmatis which could substitute for mycobacterial cells in Freund’s complete adjuvant and induce delayed hypersensitivity was not arthritogenic in the Wistar rat. We have since observed that auto-immune diseases could be elicited by WSA. PMID: 181972

Vaccinated Milk??

The world of food allergies is quickly becoming a more encompassing world. And Milk allergy is at the top of the list, rising to that position within the last 10 years. Here is an interesting article that explores the introduction of rBGH in the 1990’s in the form of vaccines given to cows to increase their milk supply and the political and health impacts that this action has had.

My own child is unable to consume pasteurized milk and will break out in hives that she will scratch until she bleeds. All though she does better on Organic milk than regular milk she still gets hives. She tolerates raw milk just fine however. There has also been concern that these extra hormones in the milk are leading to earlier puberty, obesity, cancer, yeast infections, and breast buds in boys among other suspected results. It is important to note that the use of rBGH (rBST) does not improve the quality of milk, only the quantity. By the way, unless your milk specifically says on the label that it doesn’t contain rBGH or rBST than it most likely does.

Other posts about raw (unpasteurized) milk:

Raw Milk…Why?

Welcome to Real Milk

This article was taken from

Got Milk Allergy? What the Labels (and Docs!) Don’t Tell Us

According to CNN and a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Immunology, milk allergy is the most common food allergy, having established itself in the number one position in the last ten years.

Interestingly, a new protein was introduced into the American milk supply just over ten years ago. Children with a milk allergy are allergic to the proteins found in milk.

Are these recently introduced proteins responsible for the milk allergy epidemic? You decide.

What the leading pediatric allergists (funded by Big Food and Big Pharma) failed to tell us…

In the early 1990s, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, in conjunction with a global pharmaceutical corporation, invented a vaccine that could be injected into cows to increase their milk production.

This vaccine contained a new protein that was designed to manipulate the hormones of cows in order to force them to produce more milk. More milk out of cows meant more money for the corporations, so their concept was a hit.

The only snag was that the vaccine that they were injecting into the cows contained a manipulated protein engineered to be a growth hormone. Because of the hormonal disruption that this protein created, increasing evidence showed that this manipulated protein was proving to cause breast, colon and prostate cancer . Mounting evidence also showed that cows injected with this protein showed increases in infertility, birth defects and fetal loss.

Because of these health consequences, government agencies around the world decided NOT to allow this manipulated protein and growth hormone into their milk and beef supplies. In the US, however, it was a different story.

In order to ensure passage through the FDA, the corporation who stood to profit from this cow vaccine, employed a strategy of placing their employees in critical decision making positions by essentially creating a revolving door between their corporation and the FDA.

For example, at this corporation, a Ph.D. named Margret Miller assisted in the development of this manipulated growth hormone. When it came time for the FDA to approve this hormone, Ms. Miller jumped ship to join the FDA and take a role in its scientific and safety evaluations!

Given Ms. Miller’s success at playing both sides of the field, Michael Taylor, an attorney at this same corporation, became a lobbyist and drafted guidelines that exempted milk producers from labeling dairy products from cows that had been treated with rBGH.

The revolving door strategy became so successful that this corporation continued to staff regulatory, scientific and positions of influence from both sides of the aisle right up to the Supreme Court where they placed their former attorney, Clarence Thomas, who provided legal clout in the manipulation of America’s food supply.

As a result, in 1993, this genetically manipulated milk protein, rBGH, was controversially approved and allowed to enter the American food supply – in the form of milk, cheese, yogurt and beef. Today, 1 in 8 women has breast cancer, 1 in 6 men has prostate cancer, and milk allergy is the most common food allergy in children.

Has the financial relationship that leading pediatric allergists have with this chemical corporation affected their ability to fully disclose the risks presented by the introduction of this protein in 1993?

To learn more about What’s In Your Milk? , there are three things that you can do right away!

  • Buy milk, cheese and yogurt that is labeled “rBGH-free”
  • Purchase beef that is also labeled “rBGH-free”

Signs of a milk allergy may include but are not limited to:

  • Stomach aches, colic, gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Allergic Shiners (dark circles beneath the eyes)
  • Eczema, rashes and skin disorders (including acne)
  • Migraines, headaches and other neurological symptoms
  • As well as the classic allergic symptoms like hives, swelling, difficulty breathing and possible anaphylaxis (as detailed at

According to a November 2007 report from the FDA, the FDA “does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply” putting “American lives at risk.”

So stay smart, stay savvy…and keep asking questions! In a system that is failing our children, mothers can’t! There is so much that you can do to protect the health of your family! Learn more at

NOTE: One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies assisted in the development of the controversial rBGH vaccine.

According to Congress, a provision was added to the Homeland Security Act just prior to passage that shields the pharmaceutical industry from billions of dollars of anticipated lawsuits over vaccines, removing liability for any injuries that may result from vaccines they manufacture.

The provision was added so late that most members of Congress were not even aware that it had been added to the 470-plus page bill. And it was so similar to a defeated vaccine bill from 2002 that an aide even commented that the provision was actually in a different font than the rest of the Homeland Security Act, as if someone had cut and pasted it into the new bill.

Despite concerns over vaccines’ toxicity, allergenic risks and the 100,000,000 DNA fragments that each vaccine is allowed to contain, the FDA lacks funding and does not conduct independent tests to assess the safety of these vaccines, relying on industry-funded research conducted by the pharmaceutical and chemical corporations themselves.