Reversing Chronic Diseases in Children

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by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola:

STORY AT-A-GLANCE
  • Epidemic Answers, founded by Beth Lambert in 2009, is a research organization focused on helping children with autism and other chronic diseases
  • In her 2010 book, “A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children,” Lambert reviewed not only the epidemic of autism but also other childhood epidemics, such as autoimmune diseases, and their environmental root cause

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  • Epidemic Answers’ research project, “Documenting Hope,” is analyzing the environmental causes behind chronic conditions and what we can do to reverse them
  • Autism and most other chronic childhood diseases are caused by a constellation of factors that contribute to the total toxic load of modern living

In the featured video, I interview Beth Lambert, who in 2009 founded Epidemic Answers, a research organization focused on helping children with autism and other chronic diseases.

When I graduated medical school, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000. For the first decade of my medical practice, I didn’t have a single autistic patient. By the mid- to late-1990s, I was treating hundreds of autistic children in my practice, and since then, autism has reached truly epidemic proportions.

In her 2010 book, “A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children,” Lambert reviewed not only the epidemic of autism but also other childhood epidemics, such as autoimmune diseases, and their environmental root causes.

“I cataloged these kids who were getting better and told their stories,” she says. “Since that time, I have been documenting stories of kids who have reversed all kinds of conditions, and I have launched a nonprofit organization to help connect parents with the resources they need to help their kids get on the road to recovery.

Subsequently, I also started several research studies to look at the environmental causes of autism, ADHD and autoimmune diseases, and what can be done to help reverse these [problems].

So, it’s really become a life mission for me to help people understand that their kids don’t need to be sick, and there’s plenty of tools and resources we have today to solve this epidemic. It’s just information and access to resources. That’s really it. Because that’s the answer, I’m just hell-bent on getting that message out there.”

Studies Underway

Chris D’Adamo, who co-wrote my paper on linoleic acid (LA), published in the journal Nutrients, is the research director for the Epidemic Answer’s research project called “Documenting Hope,” which is looking at the environmental causes of chronic conditions and what we can do to reverse them.

“Our first study is gathering tons of information about what it means to be a child in modern America,” Lambert explains. “What they are eating, what they are putting on their skin, what they are doing all day long — screen habits, sleep — anything you can imagine that is as part of their health. We correlate all of these things with health outcomes, symptoms and diagnoses, et cetera.”

They’re also working on an intervention study in which they’re doing a deep dive into the health of a small group of children with chronic health conditions to identify the root causes. Each child is then placed on a customized 18-month program to reverse their condition and their progress is documented along the way.

“So, we’re not only trying to understand what is causing these conditions, but what we can do to reverse them,” Lambert says.

“We know we need to gather the evidence, because for over 10 years, I’ve been talking to physicians who will say, ‘Well, there’s no evidence that autism is reversible. That’s only anecdotal.’ Well, if it’s only anecdotal, why aren’t we doing research to demonstrate that it is possible? Why don’t we pull together some evidence of hope for these children who are impacted?”

Lay of the Land

As explained by Lambert, in the 1980s, a movement of parents who suspected their child’s autism was not necessarily genetic and irreversible started gaining traction. Physicians also began asking questions, wondering whether it’s a systemic problem as opposed to just a brain-based one, and started opening to the possibility that it might be reversible.

“They started looking into the GI tract, they started looking into toxicity and nutrition — all these kinds of things … Defeat Autism Now was one of the first physician and parent movements where they got together and had conferences. AutismOne was another.

I would say the biggest legacy of that movement right now is probably TACA, which used to be called Talk About Curing Autism … They are looking at the root causes of autism and provide resources for parents that … are looking for nutrition changes, how to detoxify a child, and how to approach it from a biomedical perspective.”

Unfortunately, many autism organizations have struggled to gain traction because the only autism treatments that are reimbursed by insurance are applied behavioral analysis (ABA), physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT).

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