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January 2008 Feingold Email Newsletter
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Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,
- Do good with Goodsearch
- Feingold and autism
- News in autism
- Watch a video for autism research
- Lyme Disease, ADHD, and Autism
- Fearsome footwear from China
- Fearsome drugs from China too?
- Bamboo cutting boards and formaldehyde
- More on formaldehyde and you
[ ] DO GOOD WITH GOODSEARCH
Goodsearch, powered by Yahoo! pays a penny for each search done through them. See more at www.goodsearch.com.
At their website, add Goodsearch to your toolbar or make it your home page. Designate the Feingold Association as your "designated cause" -- just type "Feingold" into the space provided and they will fill out the rest of the name. For every search you make, the Goodsearch (Yahoo) people will donate a penny to FAUS. And you can see your pennies add up when you click on the "amount raised" link. Moreover, you will be amazed at the number of companies willing to donate a generous percentage when you make on-line purchases through Goodsearch. Even Ebay!
I just bought a book for $4.99 at Ebay, and Ebay donated 19 cents to FAUS. Okay, that's not a lot, but then again it cost me nothing! There are 20,000 of you on this list, and hopefully some of you will send our eNews on to all your friends ... the possibilities for raising some serious pennies for FAUS is awesome!
[ ] FEINGOLD AND AUTISM
We occasionally get emails wondering why we talk about autism when Dr. Feingold himself never addressed it, and very little research has ever actually been done to show a connection between the Feingold Program and autism itself.
One of the things that has changed since Dr. Feingold's death is the autism epidemic. At the time he lived - just 25 years ago -- autism was rare. At that time, psychotropic drugs for toddlers and babies were hardly ever considered. We can only speculate how he would have responded to this and to the issues of the drastic increase in the number of mercury-containing vaccines, the corruption alleged in the promotion of the vaccines, etc.
The world is a different place now than it was in the late 70s. Although we want to stay true to Feingold's vision, when new issues arise we have to do our best to guess how he would have responded to them, and we also have to look at how we, as an organization, should respond to them. This is not a simple thing.
Over the years, parents who tried the Feingold diet for their children with autism - over our own warnings that it may not be helpful - found that it IS helpful.
The late Dr. Rimland of the Autism Research Institute documented in his surveys of thousands of parents of autistic children that the Feingold Program is one of the most helpful of all treatments, as well as the gluten/casein free diet (we believe that they can and should be used together). See the survey results and scroll down to the bottom of that page where you will see each diet rated separately.
Research showing that such children are low in an enzyme called Phenol SulfoTransferase (PST) lend further credibility to the assumption that a diet low in phenolic compounds such as the Feingold diet would be a reasonable first step to take. Other research claims that autism, Aspergers, PDD, ADHD, etc. have overlapping symptoms and may indeed be on the same spectrum, called Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Indeed, the same types of drug treatments as well as alternative treatments have been shown to be helpful to some children in each group, irrespective of the diagnosis.
[ ] NEWS IN AUTISM
For those of you with an interest in the news about the controversies surrounding autism, this is a web site worth looking at: www.vaproject.org.
[ ] WATCH A VIDEO FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
The band "Five for Fighting" is generously donating $0.40 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funds raised will go towards research studies to help find a cure for autism. When you have a moment, please watch the video called "Changing Her World" featuring touching photos of a beloved daughter and her family. You can see other videos as well - each time you view one, the band donates money to the charity listed, at the web site called What Kind of a World Do You Want?
The offer is rated TRUE at Snopes.
[ ] LYME DISEASE, ADHD, AND AUTISM
Some researchers are finding that some children with ADHD symptoms actually have Lyme Disease - commonly thought to be caused by a tick bite. Other researchers have found that children with autism appear to be infected with the same bacterium, as well as others, and most have never knowingly been bitten by any ticks.
Read the 28-page document called Lyme Disease and Associated Diseases: A Plain-Language Introduction to Tick-Borne Disease (it is a PDF document) and then visit the web site of the L.I.A. Foundation (Lyme Induced Autism Foundation), to see what this nonprofit organization is doing. If you have children with autism or ADHD, this may interest you.
[ ] FEARSOME FOOTWEAR FROM CHINA
Yes - it says "foot" not "food." Since many of our members have skin problems, I wanted to pass on this warning about sandals made in China and sold at WalMart which can give you a chemical burn. If it has happened to you, this is not a Feingold reaction, and not a rash - it is a chemical burn and you will want to get more information, call WalMart to make an official complaint, and probably call a lawyer.
I understand that the sandals have been pulled from the shelves, but individual stores are still selling them. You may find them at a yard sale this summer so learn to recognize them. They are cute - I remember almost buying them myself.
The story is linked here and it is rated TRUE on its Snopes report.
[ ] FEARSOME DRUGS FROM CHINA TOO?
Here is yet another good reason to try diet first and use drugs only as a last resort: Many of the drugs in use today in the United States are made in foreign countries, and our FDA is unable to guarantee their safety. According to a New York Times report last November, "While foreign companies manufacture as much as 80 percent of all ingredients used by American drug makers, the drug agency’s record keeping is so poor that it cannot say which of those have not been inspected." The article also quotes a previous New York Times article reporting that "China’s drug regulators did not certify or inspect chemical companies that often made and exported drug ingredients." See more.
[ ] BAMBOO CUTTING BOARDS and FORMALDEHYDE
Because bamboo is very porous, cheaply made bamboo cutting boards may be glued using formaldehyde. While that is not a chemical specifically eliminated by the Feingold Program, it is a toxic chemical that everybody should eliminate. The FDA classifies it as a human carcinogen. It is the chemical used to preserve frogs to be dissected in biology classes, and has a distinctive unpleasant odor. (Biology classes in modern schools use special suction tubes or hoods to remove the formaldehyde gas released during dissection.) See more information on where to buy a safe bamboo cutting board.
[ ] MORE ON FORMALDEHYDE and YOU
Formaldehyde is the same chemical you smell when you buy furniture made with pressboard; if you must use such furniture, let it air out to "gas out" with all drawers open until the smell is gone, or buy it as used furniture so it has already gassed out in someone else's home.
Besides causing symptoms of burning eyes, flu-like symptoms, and respiratory symptoms, formaldehyde can apparently also cause ADHD-like symptoms. Whether it is because it directly affects the brain, or simply makes the child uncomfortable enough to be unable to concentrate, is unknown.
In my own experience, when my son was in second grade - and in a special school for ADHD and learning disabilities (before Feingold) - his class was moved from the main building to a trailer. Starting from that moment, I noticed a distinct difference in his ability to do the 5-minute math tests which they performed every day. There was none of the dramatic progress he had always made from level to level. His daily chart went down to the 20% level and stayed there. When I went to school to discuss his work with his teacher, I noticed an odor in the trailer rooms, and my eyes began to burn within a half-minute. The teacher's eyes had a funny, watery, look. I asked her if other children also were accomplishing less than expected, and she said that ALL of them were doing less well than expected. When I mentioned the obvious chemical smell, and that perhaps that was a problem, she looked puzzled. "I don't smell anything," she said. I didn't know - then - that the olfactory nerves fatigue very fast, so that when you are in a smelly room for a few minutes, you stop noticing the smell. That does not mean it's not there, of course.
Well, this happened long before we found the Feingold Program, and I didn't know what to say. I called OSHA, but they said that they would not investigate a building unless an employee complained. Students and parents are not employees. When I think back, I am appalled that I gave in and let him continue at that school - in fact, I was paying quite a lot per month for the privilege of exposing him to that stuff. What he will pay for it in later life, I have no idea.
Information on formaldehyde can be found at the following links:
- Reference Data Sheet on Formaldehyde
By Meridian Engineering & Technology
- US EPA Indoor Air Quality: Formaldehyde
- Dangers of Formaldehyde in the Home - article by a Home Loans organization