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No Bones About It
Ask Abby
YOUR GUIDE TO HEALTH AND WELLNESS Women’s Healthcare
Dr. Peter J. Stumpf Abby Rockett, WHNP BC
The Vaccination Question
Dear Abby,
There is little doubt that most parents want the best for their child. As a
My Primary care Provider has suggested that I take a low dosage (5mg) of
parent you will continually make decisions that will affect the health and well being
DHEA one pill in the morning Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am afraid of breast
of your child. Whether you decide to vaccinate your child should be one of those
cancer side effects because of lump problems, he said that the dose is very small and
choices. Although a tough one to make, the choice should be yours. Today, parents
will help me with my weight issues. What is your take on this? A.B.
are often confronted with pressure from medical personnel to vaccinate while at the
same time bombarded with heart wrenching stories of vaccine-damaged children.
Dear A.B,
Both sides seem to have a wealth of statistics to support their claims. What can a
When I first started to read about DHEA I was very excited. I was wondering
concerned parent do?
if it was going to make me feel young again. I used The Harvard Women’s Health
Education is the key to an informed decision. Knowing all of the risks
Watch, the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Northrup’s The Wisdom of Menopause to gather my
and benefits involved is essential to a clear understanding of the options available.
information. I hope this helps.
Parents have a right to choose what is best for their child. Parents may initially
“Look younger, live longer, feel better! Reduce body fat and build lean muscle
decide not to vaccinate, yet begin to later in life when they deem it necessary. Delay-
mass. Restore sexual vigor. Boost your immune system, and protect against major
ing vaccination allows the child the opportunity to develop his/her immune system
diseases.” This promotion from one book reflects the type of media exposure given
during the first year of his/her life, building the child a better tolerance to vaccines.
to DHEA supplement, the so-called “super-hormone” which had recently exploded
Those who vaccinate selectively may feel that there are certain vaccines that pose a
on the retail scene.
greater risk of potential side effects than others do. They may also want their child to
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an endogenous hormone (made in the hu-
build a natural immunity to some of the diseases (ex. Chickenpox) rather than seek
man body) secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA serves as precursor to male and
vaccination. Others may choose to take smaller doses of the vaccine to lessen pos-
female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens ). It is found ONLY in humans, pri-
sible reactions. The important thing to remember is that this is your choice to make.
mates, and very few non-primate species and it is formed from cholesterol. DHEAS
Do not feel pressured into a decision you are not comfortable with making. Educate
secretion from the adrenals shows a dramatic cycle of high and low points over the
yourself and make an informed decision you can live with after reviewing all the is-
lifespan of most humans. Secretion is very high in the fetus, drops sharply after birth
sues.
to very low levels in childhood, rises before puberty, and again reaches high levels in
young adulthood. Thereafter, levels progressively decline, about 2% per year, often
reaching very low levels after age 70. By eighty years old, the body only has 5% of
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You
the DHEA levels it had at age 20. Researchers do not know why these fluctuations
Vaccinate Your Child
occur. Nor do they know if the decline in older humans is due to deprivation of an
(adapted from Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide)
essential hormone or if it is a natural and normal consequence of aging.
Further, at all ages the individual variability is very high and the normal range
• How dangerous is the disease against which I am vaccinating?
of serum DHEAS is therefore very wide. Also, important genetic differences appear
• What is the likelihood of my child’s contracting the disease if I don’t vaccinate? If
to exist. (For example, Japanese men have significantly lower levels than American
I do? (Remember vaccines are not 100% effective.)
white men.) Usually by age 80 levels of DHEA are only about 20% of those at age
• What are the risks of the vaccine and how likely are these to occur?
25 with males showing 20-25% higher levels than women, however individual dif-
• Is my child at high risk for adverse reactions to the vaccines?
ferences can be immense. Some 80-year old people have very high levels, particu-
• Can I minimize my child’s risk of disease?
larly those with certain illnesses or diseases, while others have only negligible levels.
• Can I minimize my child’s risk of a vaccine reaction?
The claim that no matter what a person eats, he/she will still lose weight by
• What legal concerns does my decision involve?
taking DHEA is “totally false.” Arthur Schwartz of the Fels Institute for Cancer
• Can I live comfortably with my decision?
Research and Molecular Biology, states: “No human data exist whatsoever that show
that DHEA can help a person lose weight.” One small study did show that eight
The medical model stresses the benefits of vaccines simultaneously with
older men taking DHEA for six months lost fat and gained muscle. However, six
the perceived outcomes linked with not vaccinating. According to vaccine propo-
other studies with both men and women found no change in body fat at all.
nents, although there are inherent risks associated with vaccines, they are minimal
Adverse effects can and do occur, such as increased insulin resistance, a drop in
compared with the potential risk of “vaccine-preventable diseases” and chance of
HDL (the so-called “good” cholesterol), mood swings, fatigue, transient hepatitis,
renewed epidemics.
elevations in liver function tests. In women, there can be hair loss, acne, hirsutism
Opponents of vaccinations claim that improved hygiene, better nutrition,
(excessive body and facial hair), breast tenderness and swelling, irritability, men-
public sanitation, clean drinking water, and improved medical care are responsible
strual changes, deepening of the voice, etc. In men, acne and gynecomastia (breast
for the reduction in disease, not vaccinations. In fact, opponents say the risks of
enlargement) have been reported.
adverse reactions from vaccines are greater than the chance of contracting the disease
I read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause.” Dr.
or having serious repercussions from the disease. Taking vaccines can reduce the
Northrup suggests that over the years the adrenal glands become exhausted and
ability to acquire natural immunity. There is also evidence that vaccines are linked
can no longer function. “the first and most profound effect being the waning abil-
not only to the serious side effects of seizures and death, but also to the growing
ity to produce DHEA. The result is fatigue often accompanied by depressed mood,
health problems in our society such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, learning disabili-
irritability etc.” However, the testing that she offers is multiple salivary or serum
ties, and autoimmune disorders. There is much concern that the contents found in
tests taken at different times of the day. Not only would this be very inconvenient
certain vaccines (ex. aluminum, mercury, and chick embryo components) may cause
but I would think that if I had adrenal insufficiency it would show up on the first test.
severe, long-term problems such as motor paralysis, liver and kidney degeneration,
Adrenal Insufficiency is a serious medical condition (Addison’s disease) and should
learning disabilities and the susceptibility to allergies.
be treated under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, including a
Deciding whether or not to vaccinate is a tough decision for any parent. It is a choice
pharmacist. Several studies suggest that DHEA may improve well-being, quality of
that must thoroughly weigh the risks and benefits involved. Data can be easily ma-
life, exercise capacity, sex drive, and hormone levels in people with insufficient adre-
nipulated to support either side of this continuing debate. It is therefore essential that
nal function. Though promising, additional study is needed to make a strong recom-
you make a decision only after careful consideration of all the options available to
mendation.
you and your child.
There is a lack of available studies on the long-term effects of DHEA. How-
Make an informed decision with your child’s health in mind. Know all of
ever, DHEA may cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the
your options. For more information please visit our website at www.sunshinechiro-
body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other
practic.net and click on the “Links” tab. Until next time, be well.
hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without
supervision by a licensed healthcare professional.
Dr. Stumpf owns Sunshine Chiropractic, a family practice located on Route 25A in
Take Care, Abby
Miller Place. He can be contacted through his website –
Abby Rockett is a board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and has been in
www.sunshinechiropractic.net.
practice for 11 years. You can visit her website at AbbyRockett.com to find out about
upcoming exercise programs that are being developed especially for women in their
“Prime.” It is never too late to do something about your health.
1
Improper Northshoerian April 20017 17 4/2/2009 10:22:13 AM
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