Read the Transcript Below the Bio
What’s Making Our Children Sick? is a radical rethinking of the relationships between our children’s food, medicine, and health in the twenty-first century. Michelle Perro, MD, a veteran pediatrician with over 35 years experience successfully treating children, and Vincanne Adams, Ph.D., from the University of California, provide a clinical and scientifically sound explanation of the pediatric health crisis the agrochemical industry has helped to create, and present a food-focused, go-to resource for parents, practitioners, and health educators to follow. This book explores the links between GM foods, pesticides like glyphosate, and the emerging science around our gut health and offers a path forward to help heal our kids and reverse the compromised health of our food supply.
Michelle Perro, MD is a veteran pediatrician with over thirty-five years of experience in acute and integrative medicine. More than ten years ago, Dr. Perro transformed her clinical practice to include pesticide and health advocacy. She has both directed and worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth Pediatrics. She is currently lecturing and consulting as well as working with Gordon Medical Associates, an integrative health center in Northern California. Her new book, which she co-authored with Dr. Vincanne Adams, is What’s Making Our Children Sick?: How Industrial Food Is Causing an Epidemic of Chronic Illness, and What Parents (and Doctors) Can Do About It (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018).
Vincanne Adams, Ph.D. is a professor and vice-chair of Medical Anthropology, in the Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Adams has previously published six books on the social dynamics of health, scientific knowledge and politics, including most recently, Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina (2013), and Metrics: What Counts in Global Health (2016). She is currently an editor for Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the flagship journal for the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. Her new book, which she co-authored with Dr. Michelle Perro, is What’s Making Our Children Sick?: How Industrial Food Is Causing an Epidemic of Chronic Illness, and What Parents (and Doctors) Can Do About It (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018).
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Reena Jadhav: Hey everyone is screened here. Of and. Healthier. So today we’re talking about what’s making our kids sick. And on this show, we have two amazing scientists researchers doctors I want to welcome you Dr. Michelle Arrow and Dr. Vincent Adams who are the authors of what’s making our children sick. Welcome doctors. How are you?
Dr. Perro: Well thank you for having us. Glad to be here.
Dr. Adams: Yes thank you for having us, Reena. Good to be here.
Reena Jadhav: How did you decide or why did you decide to write this book.
Dr. Perro: OK well I’ll start with you and then let Van Sant jump in.
Dr. Perro: RENA I have been on a journey for care children for nearly four decades now and about twenty-three years ago I had a son. He’s 24 now. My son had some health challenges and I had a serendipitous encounter with a homeopath. And she’s an M.D. homeopath and she literally changed my son’s life and she changed the path of my own career. I studied homeopathy and eventually got into integrative health. That world led me into some other types of people doing activism stopping the spray of pesticides. About 12 years ago and these moms here in Marin County in Northern California needed a pediatrician on their board and I would love deadly fighting kicking and scream joined in you know small kids. Medical practice the whole deal. And these gals literally transformed Northern California with stopping the spray against a light brown apple moth which actually turned out not to be a pathogen.
Dr. Perro: But these gals one of them, in particular, asked me about GMO Riina and I didn’t know about GMO. And she forced me and very tactful ways a guy would read Jeffrey Smith’s book Seeds of Deception. And this was in 2006 and when smart women speak I listen I read that book and Jeffrey’s amazing well-researched book I learned about the work of a researcher who first studies gamers in Europe named Dr. Arpad pistes. And when I understood his work light bulbs went off in my head to understand the relationship. What about genetically modified food and the rising health crisis that I was starting to see in children which I first noted about 15 20 years ago and it all came together and it literally transformed my clinical practice.
Dr. Perro: And then I went to write a book what about you and yes so I.
Dr. Adams: My path was not so direct as Michelle’s to this book.
Dr. Adams: I’m a medical anthropologist by training and I’ve written many books. This was my seventh book I think and I spent many many years working in Tibet working with Tibetan medical doctors on issues of Safe Motherhood and alternative approaches to health and healing that the Asian Medical Systems offered. And my field was one that had always been sort of position in some critical relationship to mainstream medicine I would say. And so we were very I was always very interested in and have taught for many years on the politics of healthcare. The politics of knowledge around healthcare and when I met Michelle about I guess it’s around five years ago almost six years ago now we started taking walks together. She was my neighbor and I started hearing her tell me these stories about these sick kids and some of the stories really rang true for my own children as well.
Dr. Adams: And I thought this is a really interesting story. She’s talking about this rising epidemic of children with chronic disorders that aren’t being helped by mainstream medicine. And I thought there’s something really interesting here and there’s a story to be told about integrative medicine. That was the thing I first thought I would want to read a book about. I was not so on the page with her about the idea that genetic modification of foods had anything to do with the health crisis. I was skeptical like a lot of people and when I first went to the internet I just thought like a lot of people do. Yeah, this is kind of a conspiracy theory and I’m not sure I believe it. However when I started to dig in and when I started to interrogate Michelle a little bit more about the science that this was based on and I realized how controversial it was and how fascinating it was but also how scary it was because if any of these controversial sciences were actually right then we were facing an epidemic.
Dr. Adams: And so at some point, I decided well this is a really interesting topic as well. And I remember on one of our Heitz I said to her you know you make a great book and she said she’s been wanting to write a book for many years and so I said OK I think we can do this. And I began interviewing her on our hikes and I began. We set up to interview a lot of her patients. I started digging deep on the science and digging and deep on the context of the crisis that we were facing which was not just about GMO foods and pesticides it was also about the crisis of medicine and the inability of mainstream that is to really deal with one the problem of food in relationship not to the normal culprits but the foods that we thought were healthy that may not be because of the pesticides but also the models that are being used in medicine to take care of people that just weren’t able to get at the root causes. And so that’s how I ended up working on this book together with Ensal and it’s spent a great great experience.
Reena Jadhav: And thank God you did. Because I think this is a book that’s much needed at this time. You know you talk about it being sort of a chronic epidemic of children’s illness says a little bit about what are we seeing and how bad of an epidemic is you want to start Michelle.
Dr. Perro: So yeah I certainly can talk about that I live it. I walk the walk. I see it almost daily because I still do a kind of good practice and I can tell you since Vinson and I wrote the book which we finished about a year ago over a year ago things have gotten worse and it’s manifested in clinical medicine just every day. And it’s not a day that goes by that I see some very alarming kids. And as Ventana mentioned without the tools to manage them. So what we have is a situation where one out of two kids now has a chronic disease. And that in itself is shocking. That’s about 51 percent of children. And by definition chronic actually means a disease that happens for more than three months and has no treatment and Western medicine that’s the actual definition of chronic. Just for your listeners the types of illnesses on the rise which is essentially all of them.
Dr. Perro: I could start with neurocognitive disorders which are the types of diseases like autism Autistic Spectrum Disorder are now affecting one in 34 Bwaise one into children. And when we wrote the book it was 143 boys 1 in 68 kids. So it’s gonna get worse. Asthma very common. One in eight American children that are white. One in six African-American children and Latino children is kind of varied. I mean if you look at issues regarding food allergies, in general, I spend a lot of time talking about food and got in the book. There are some really good chapters too which is very interesting because there are severe types of food allergies affecting about 1 in 13 kids and low-grade chronic food sensitivities or intolerances which are debatable in Western medicine are affecting about 40 percent of kids. As far as we can tell but in my own clinical practice of kids with chronic complex health issues, I saw 95 percent of my patients had evidence of chronic food issues intolerances or sensitivities.
Dr. Perro: And we can talk about. I think it’s very important to talk about mental health issues because mental health issues in Western medicine it’s the brain is cut off from the rest the body at the neck as if these two things aren’t related and they are. Affecting a shocking 46 percent of kids where diagnoses such as anxiety and depression OCD eating disorders can bring sleep disorders that are rampant that are now affecting children as well. And so this extends into endocrine issues autoimmune obesity. And we go into the book and right in our introduction about all these statistics it’s all science-based. We intend I think like 260 citations. We really were careful to document scientifically what we were reporting on. And so by definition, you have to understand the definition of an epidemic is under one and a hundred people. And we clearly have matched that in the majority of childhood issues. And so this is what we’re looking at now as parents as clinicians as educators etc.
Reena Jadhav: such as having doctors develop as you mentioned to me that she saw her first child case of a mess. So we’re starting to see episodes of diseases like amass that are showing up in children which is third of what age are you seeing kids having chronic illnesses. What’s that age group like.
Dr. Perro: So the age group is it’s all over the map. The most common is the most common ages that we see really. You know I’d say they start entering kindergarten. But the truth be told it’s about five years old. It’s way younger than that. And I have now. There are what we call soft signs when kids are born already with issues that are already concerning. So, for example, I’m seeing kids clearly infants who are covered head to toe on eczema. We have a kid like that in the book. But babies are born with severe eczema within the first few weeks of life. There are babies who are able to tolerate any feeding breastmilk anything that moms eating Mom’s or on the severe food restrictions. And these babies are suffering which could secrete severe crying and stuff like that constipation starting in infancy. Soft signs babies with sleep disruption and can’t get themselves to self soon or these Locky stormily patterns of behavior starting in infancy.
Dr. Perro: So we have these soft signs that these kids are not right early don’t know quite what to do with them. And then as children get older they start to evolve into more classic clinical diagnoses later on in life. But there are soft signs in infancy. We’re seeing it early and earlier. All the other stuff I. My biggest fear right now is if you know autism is not bad and chronic infection are pandas and other immune diseases related to the brain. So this autoimmune issue like the M.S. that you are bringing up so rightfully Riina is very concerning. And we’re now starting to see more and more.
Reena Jadhav: Yeah when you see a 10-year old I think it’s horrifying. You know it should be out having found out more about health issues of assumptions and Matt and the rest of it correct. So what is causing this? What started this.
Dr. Perro: Well I know that you can jump in here.
Dr. Adams: And then you can follow up because we all wore the same sure. But you know like the way we talk about it in the book is that we do a lot of case studies in the book.
Dr. Adams: So the goal is to have readers be able to identify with some of the stories that maybe are familiar to their own stories as well. And I would just add as a footnote on the last comment that what Michelle was talking about of these things showing up in infants. I mean she also did does point out and we talk about it in the book that parents who are exposed before or during pregnancy to some of these problems you know produce children who are homeless as well. So there’s a lot of discussion of the problem of epigenetics and genetics in the book but in a way that is legible to the average reader. So I mean what we say in the book is that it’s is probably the case that our kids are getting sick and it, by the way, it’s not just kids.
Dr. Adams: I mean adults are getting sick too. But kids as Michele’s often want to say are going to show the signs very early. Their cells turn over faster so they’re likely to show the symptoms earlier and possibly get sicker. Plus they’re starting at a younger age looking to have sicknesses for longer anyway. People are getting sick from exposure to a lot of things the chemical exposure level endocrine disrupting toxicants things like PCBs they lights parabens. From the built environment in the household even from the hygiene and beauty Project’s products that are in use today by a lot of people also have an impact on health. So these are there’s a sea of chemicals that are out there. We in the book just focus on one possible route and that is the food route because it’s the one thing that people put in their mouths or throughout the day or three times a day or several times a day.
Dr. Adams: And it’s the most potent source of health and disease. So we specifically focus on the problem of modern food and what we mean by that is modern industrial food. So since the dawn of agriculture men have been humans have been changing the way we grow things and the DNA of food that’s without a doubt. But what we did in the 1970s is we start some companies started to figure out how to modify the DNA of plants into ways that are the most prolific of the crops that are grown today. One of these was to create a plant a seed that could withstand the spraying of Roundup or the use of glyphosate which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup The second type was a modification that would enable the plant to become a pesticide in its own right. That is inserting the DNA the protein that would kill insects into the plant itself.
Dr. Adams: Well originally these companies thought that these would be safe for humans. One life essay they thought didn’t have an effect on human cells that it was only effective on plant cells because they have the enzymatic pathway that humans don’t have. Well we now know that our microbe biome does have that asthmatic pathway and so the question about whether this product the life of say in the roundup and in other herbicides that have Glaive for sale is having an impact on the gut is huge and we take it up very seriously in the book can go into the evidence for the harms of glyphosate and the risks of life of saying that is available now. The other type the inserting of the pesticide or the thing that will kill insects in the plant itself. It’s it’s a technique that has been used historically by farmers to spray on plants that would kill insects.
Dr. Adams: Now we the GM technologies enable farmers NABL companies that make these seeds to insert the protein right into the plant itself which means you can’t wash it off it’s in the plant no matter what part of the plant is eaten it will have this protein and the way it kills insects is it goes in and pokes holes lining up its gut and kills the insect by way of a kind of septicemia. The assumption on this one too was that it was not harmful to humans because the pH of the human gut is different from that of an insect gut. We now know that the active activation of the protein which is what is required of that ph of the insect gut doesn’t matter because these proteins are pre-activated and most of the crops that are grown with them. So there are studies out there that show that there is there is plenty of evidence to show that BT is also a likely harmful agent to humans.
Dr. Adams: What the way we approach it is through this whole model of how the gut is a new piece of the puzzle that enables us to connect the dots between the science and the evidence that’s out there from the clinical world of sick kids. And you know so part of what we have to do in the book explains what do we mean by the microbiomes and what are the kinds of diseases that disrupt the microbe that we’re talking about we’re talking about a disrupted microbiome. And I’ll turn it over to Michelle because she can explain those things better than I am.
Dr. Perro: What then Santa is referring to is now children. Adult dogs are affected by what we’re seeing are two main issues. There they’re more than two lead me but we focus on two and we go into it. We have a couple chapters on the book. One is called a leaky gut or intestinal permeability and the other is called despite AOSIS or imbalance microbiomes. So let’s go into some depth on what and for your listeners on what these two issues are because most of us have it and we explain why Leekie got. Normally we have these really tight junctions that line and test them our intestines are not like a cement wall things have to pass like nutrients to feed our systems our biologic systems. So there is these little kinds of modulators in modulating by this protein Cozart Yulan that tells the cells when to open it shocked based on what needs to pass.
Dr. Perro: But what we now know that these little Zombieland soldiers have been affected by GM food genetically modified food and pesticides so that they are disrupted. And for many of us they are leaking show that proteins for example before they’re incompletely broken down into their little molecules are being passed in too big of proteins and this is one of the reasons why we think there are so many issues regarding what’s gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. These molecules are large our immune system there is one cell away sitting on the other side of this leaky God is seeing these I’d say for example large protein molecules as foreign invaders and we’re mounting an immune response which is then become something called inflammation and it will come when it goes on and result in that becomes chronic inflammation which is one of the root causes of many of the disorders that we are seeing now.
Dr. Perro: But what we have to appreciate is that many things are passing through our gut our gut begins with our mouth and with our tushy that it’s got. People treat this like oral cavity as some dental issue. Oh no no no it’s not a dental issue. This is the beginning of your got so many issues started here. Someone also passes through the air. Well, how about Frankie toxicant seeing light gas and you know Peyton’s and God knows what kids are putting in their mouths. Art supplies. There are so many toxic things going in there pesticides people are spreading at their homes. Not all pesticides come from the food a lot of them are being sprayed in home gardens right in the mouth. So all these things are passing as well and this toxic soup is passing into our children our dogs and ourselves. There are no studies looking at the effects of the toxic chemical soup on health.
Dr. Perro: We barely have enough on one chemical we have over 80000 chemicals now on the market. So now we have this passing. It causes chronic inflammation. It travels throughout our bloodstream. It can also be our biggest nerve the main Nergal nerve highway into our brains cause a leaky blood-brain barrier and get into our brains leaky gut leaky brain. These are related and we have a great kid in the book we talk about one of my great patients and Zed and I talk about so that’s Liiga. The second thing that been said and I really go into a lot adapt and boy this is the fiend cutting edge of medicine integrative and Western is the microbiomes and the microbiome is the collection of the organism as a bacterial viral fungal that make up this organ in itself. We have many microbial organisms in our gut that stay in and are the harmonious balance.
Dr. Perro: These microbes are responsible for many functions in our body. And the biggest one that I would focus on right now is immune function and what a healthy microbiomes your immune system can go astray. Vitamin production goes astray detoxification goes astray. And what we know is and we’ll get into this in a bit that Clay phosphate which is the main ingredient in Roundup which is the most ubiquitously sprayed herbicide in the world 700 compounds contain goit glyphosate derived as base herbicides. Although there is a problem now going on we know that later and glyphosate is also an antibiotic patented by Monsanto. Now bear so there are disruptions happening and so that disruption in the microbiome affects our immune function or by new production detoxification and hence this is how so many of us are starting life right now and we have a very poor inadequately robust microbiomes which is setting us up for later disasters and there’s a lot of good research on this now so you did a ton of research into what might be out there that’s trying to kill us.
New Speaker: Now what that research did you find shocking or horrifying where you felt people need to know this and we need to be the mouthpiece for each share with our audience about those shocking facts that you found out.
Dr. Adams: What I can jump in with a couple that I that shocked me right off the bat and know the science on this is not very clear but the fact that glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic early on in its use it’s not considered it’s not something that’s been studied much to see what the actual impact is of having a ton of Goliah say ingested in our bodies and the impact that might be having on our gut. But there’s a lot of that is shocking to me to realize that that is the case that it is an anti-microbial and so antibacterial so you know the question of whether with a lot of the okay. The second thing that really shocked me was that the regulatory agencies have always relied on industry produced results in order to determine whether to regulate a chemical or not. That was surprising to me.
Dr. Adams: I mean ignorant I was but it was shocking to find out that they don’t do their own studies. They also don’t rely on research that’s Nessus that is truly independent. So there’s a revolving door between a lot of these regulatory agencies and the companies. There’s also a huge revolving door between the academic institutions that are doing this research and the companies that are paying for it. Monsanto was a huge player in all of this since the 1970s and it certainly played a huge role in the ease with which these foods were brought in and not regulated because they were considered the equivalent to other foods or generally recognized as safe foods and we don’t test all of their foods so they were grandfathered in or they were allowed in under that rubric. So the lack of actual testing on humans of these foods which really aren’t like other foods was shocking to me.
Dr. Adams: And the third thing I have been repeatedly shocked about is the degree to which the people who have done really good work in the science community to try to document what the impacts are of these foods on animal studies. The degree to which they have been attacked and forced out of their jobs and you know whose reputations have been destroyed was really shocking to me. I know I again I thought it was a conspiracy theory and then I started reading about and I realized oh my God what are they. You know it’s almost as if that is evidence in and of itself that there is some kind of corruption going on. And when you look at the kind of money that has been garnered by the agrochemical industries to produce not only the seeds but also the herbicides and the fertilizers that go along with growing foods this way it starts to all make sense.
Dr. Adams: You know it calls it a conspiracy but it’s definitely a bit of a Gordian knot of control over this industry in ways that really couldn’t risk having any bad press. And so you know there are a lot of good books out on those whose politics there’s a great book by Kerry Guillem called whitewash about the relationship between sento and it hiding truths about life of say a great book by Stephen Drucker on the politics and the legal issues surrounding the regulatory processes and regulations around or lack of regulations around GM foods. And so you know I mean this is part of why I was so motivated to help write this book because well it’s that the you know the missing piece in this whole story was around how given this whole set of arrangements around the politics the regulatory agencies the attacks on science what wasn’t becoming obvious was what actually is happening to people who are eating these things and that’s the piece that Michelle brought in that she had this knowledge about got this clinical evidence and then we put it together with these stories from the lab and stories from the scientists who’ve been attacked in the kind of starts to make sense.
Dr. Adams: And one way it makes sense is as she said through studying what’s happening in the gut. You know I will say scientists don’t know that much about microbiomes. They are learning more every single day. But we do know one basic thing and that is that the food you eat has a serious impact on your gut. So if the food you’re eating contains a lot of pesticides or things that are potentially harmful to your gut you should be worried about it.
New Speaker: And to me, this all sounds so obvious the fact that we need to do research to prove it itself to me is mind-boggling to me. Would it make sense that whatever you eat impacts your entire body including that or the fact that if you’re going to spray something that kills insects there’s a high probability it’s going to hurt you too? Because at the end of the day we are insects to people. You know we can’t be out there as someone with GOP say to me you know you can’t screw nature and not expect to be screwed like that. And I thought wow that makes sense right. We think we are above the law with respect to what we can do with what’s around us and not be touched by it. But I think. I was equally horrified when I read about the fact that recently there was another study out of MIT that MIT researcher either if you’re similar with where I’m going with this but it was a study in autism.
New Speaker: And there was a forecast of I think 1 in 3 will be autistic in the next couple of decades. And there was such a revolt against that information that that research studies. Now. I’m there’s it’s difficult to get a hold of it so there’s so much pressure against people that are out there the lone voice trying to be heard with the message of buyer beware. You can see him a buyer you need to be where you need to be in charge of your own health and your child’s health. And don’t believe what you’re reading because it’s so industry-sponsored research. So thank you for coming out and sharing this. You know very loudly. Michelle anything to add to this. What horrified and shocked you that you want our listeners and readers viewers to see that Vince did a great job.
Dr. Perro: And my viewpoint. There are so many things that have shocked me over the past 20 30 years of being in medicine. My biggest shocks Demings this topic is that there were no studies on humans and the effects of GM most number one. Number two that when these topics were first considered both genetically modified processed and Glaive to say both were found to have carcinogenic potential. And industry can the research we’ve known as early as 1983 that climate change was carcinogenic. The original researcher on GM Dr. Arpad pussies showed changes in the gut there were potential carcinogenic lesions. And his research was squelched immediately and as Ventana already alluded to what happened to scientists who dared to speak out and had concerns. So this whole carcinogenic concept. And then one when the IRA through the World Health Organization announced quite pesetas a carcinogen Class 2A in March of 2015 that the wrath of industry fell upon them and how there was a well-crafted response to bring them down which has come out now through carrys work.
Dr. Perro: As you’ve heard a whitewash. And with the recent trial against Monsanto here in San Francisco a few weeks ago 2080. This idea that labeling scientists who are concerned to label us as anti-science and the manipulation regarding that by industry is very concerning and has literally created like our sealed our mouth shut with duct tape. Because there are so many people are afraid to speak out for fear their careers their families or their own lives which is shocking that we no longer can speak out and this idea that we should not be practicing the precautionary principle that our children the universe bees or your dog are not of concern that profit has trumped a health is you know as a practitioner I can tell you it’s always shocking when profits trump health and that our children aren’t so undervalued that we would bring this stuff forward and the worldwide devastation that has been caused for the name of profit the idea to you cannot patent food but you can patent a seed.
Dr. Perro: And that industry wanted to own food production is so nefarious it sounds so conspiracy provoking. But in my own life this is what I have come to a conclusion but I would also say that been said and I do it and I cannot do this any longer. If I didn’t see the strains with Sterm courageousness of women I say most women because those were my people I see mostly moms that were out there hello dads. But are the women who are who are battling those that are for once and for these moms fighting this battle. I’m not so sure I would continue because they are so strong so ferocious fighting for their offspring for their kids that they enable us to keep doing what we do because of the strength of their character. And it is the moms in my opinion. Even though I keep saying I want to get the diet involved who are going to change this conversation.
Reena Jadhav: I couldn’t agree more. As a mother of two teenagers I feel outraged but I also feel helpless and I feel confused and I feel frozen in terms of what do I do. Where do I start? Because the groundwork that you’ve laid in terms of sharing the critical information which translates into basically anything that’s a genetically modified crop or a grain or a food item, as well as anything that’s been sprayed with like the state, is toxic it’s going to hurt me it’s going to hurt my baby and if I’m going to get pregnant then it’s going to hurt flying by fetus. So where do we start? Because there’s so much misinformation out there. You know who do you believe. And then there’s of course confusion because you know on one side you read something and then with another very well known renowned health speaker you’ll hear a different perspective. You’re right on live 8 right. Is it good is it bad? I you’re right. You can google and find both sides of the same page 1 of Google. So where should a mother who either has sick children and she’s trying to get them while or is worried about her child falling sick? What can she do today? Starting right now.
Dr. Perro: OK so I think being sad and I can both agree that if we just create doctors doom and gloom here we’ve done nothing. If we create a level neurosis frozen mother syndrome then we’ve done nothing.
Dr. Perro: This situation is fixable. Children get better. Ninety percent of my patients got better. There are some issues you know you can’t.
Dr. Perro: But the majority of kids get better because the body has an innate ability to heal itself. If you give it the right tools. So let’s just start there that people do get better. So what can moms do? And hopefully Dads please step behind your wife. Don’t argue with that.
Reena Jadhav: Thank you for saying that because I know at least a few families where the father is fighting the battle against doing what we would call integrative.
Dr. Perro: Right right here my own house. My husband can take his shoes off at the door and he still sneaks junk food into his closet. I’m sorry honey I just throw my husband under the bus but I’m OK. Now everyone buys organic food and Vincent can go into a whole course that she’s setting up to do more than that. If we just start with organic if people can’t feed their children organic I know we know about the expenses and moms and dads and children having to get into the kitchen. This is not just mom’s job by the way of getting in the kitchen. We have to get off processed foods. We have to get cooking again and we have to really understand the need for organics. I tell people to do that. It may take a month it could take six months it could take a year.
Dr. Perro: Don’t beat yourself up. You make mistakes. You may have bad days. It’s OK. It’s a journey. We are on a health healing journey. It’s not one day you know that Rome was built. Number two can they get a simple or more complicated water filter. I believe filtering the water. And 3 if they could reduce the toxic load that Sam was referring to before the cleaning products their personal care products. You know all that and the House if they can decrease the load so kids aren’t so toxic so they don’t have such a toxic allostatic load or they have to keep up their shoulders. We get help kids to ease the burden of toxicity. You know let their little bodies heal themselves so decrease the load. And I would say if you can take your shoes off at the door because when the most toxic things in your house is house dust and all that stuff you’re bringing in and the dog and everybody else. And so that is a guideline for people to start and look and see what happens to your own kids. Do that for at least a month. People say Oh I did three days there is no change. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. It takes some time to get the body back healing and then there are other things we do like probiotics multivitamins etc. and then we start to layer in. But those are the basics and they’re doable.
Reena Jadhav: They’re very very doable. You know I had for those few who 3v before you know I will in cancer 35 in an overwhelming crisis 10 years of at 40 by ten years later and I had to do everything you just mentioned Michelle and more. And yes it was a 15 months journey. But guess what. I rehearsed every one of those 28 and I am healthier today than I ever wants. So but what I also realized is that when I got healthy and I sort of got back into eating a little bit of Junsu processed foods and it just doesn’t seem that nature right. We’re lazy at the course that we don’t need to do something we don’t. I went right back to that. So to me, I’ve been a personal experiment one proving that when you take things out you get a perfect meal. But if you bring it all back right and you can go back to being sick again.
Reena Jadhav: So it works. It’s doable it’s very doable and in fact that those a few were listening and we are going to be offering a three-day free boot camp just to help you ease your way into the process. And if you’d like to continue their infosphere longer you can but I just want you to know that we are here at help who gets to help you make this transition. Children should not be sick children should be out there playing. Having fun living their lives are you not visiting hospitals. What did I want to ask you another question? So as a parent I’ve heard that’s not going to go to my doctor and my doctor is going to say what most right. Go ahead.
Dr. Adams: Going to say so the take home I mean first of all you say what can we do about it. Well in the book, please. Yes please read the book your arm yourself.
Dr. Adams: We wrote the book as a resource for people like you who need to be able to convince others that there might be something going on here that they should pay attention to. You know the people who roll their eyes when you say oh I only eat organic or who the doctor should say there’s nothing true about leaky gut. So give them a copy of the book as well. Buy one for yourself one for. But you know what we do spend a fair amount of time in the book. At the end, we end on a positive note in that we look at different ways in which we could think about attacking this problem. One is we take our hats off to the moms we call them warrior moms as you both talked about the ones who are there in the trenches generally more women are taking care of their kids and husbands who are doing it.
Dr. Adams: We take our hats off to them too but they are not only fighting the fight in their home sometimes at their schools sometimes in their own families against the indulgences of grandparents who don’t believe there’s anything to worry about when they feed them packaged and sugared and you know GM foods. But we also then moved beyond that to talk about how we really need to convince the reluctant constituencies and by these people, I would say the scientists and doctors who really don’t know that much about this topic but who have jumped on board the bandwagon of reading it as a conspiracy. And so to that end we say we really need to get these people to pay more attention to the evidence that’s out there and to really think about this in a new way. And finally and here’s where I do see more men involved.
Dr. Adams: You know this is not just an issue of clinical care or of household kitchen habits and eating habits. This is a global problem and it has to do with climate change as well. We know there’s plenty of evidence that organic farming reduces the carbon load it produces healthier foods and there are debates within the organic community as well around whether it’s standard industrial organic or whether it’s regenerative farming, of course, the best is regenerative farming that packs those soil full of nutrients and reduces the carbon footprint. But those that is also why we need to be on board the organic bandwagon and we need the government to subsidize it instead of subsidizing Monsanto so you know we do try to reach all those levels. We talk about this thing in the book called Eco medicine which is an approach to medicine health and planetary survival that connects up the all these pieces into an entire ecosystem and thinks about the saving of the planet by way of organic foods and not just the saving of our guts then we can’t actually have healthy guts unless we have healthy soil. So all those things are part of the story as well and you know that there is also a resource page at the back of the book for people who are interested in getting involved in activist efforts that makes a lot of sense.
Reena Jadhav: Now how is your practice different from other practices that are out there that teach your children.
Dr. Perro: Michelle So my clinical practice the way I do it is you know it really knows I take a very long intake. It could take an hour and a half to do an intake. Most of the kids I see are complex chronically ill children and their families because you wind up seeing mom or dad or grandma eventually. So it’s a long interview and the and the history also often begins prenatally. What was Mom exposed to what was that exposure to and genetic patterns and epigenetic patterns so all that has to be filtered and this really matters particularly in terms of homeopathy you know because we treat the state of mom during the pregnancy you know and before? And so these are all factored in. We also we do a lot of dietary history and in a lot of very specific Sterling history and infancy history and sibling relationship history and how is a child doing a socially all these things are factored in. I do you know the way I’m looking for very different things on the physical exam when I even do work in urgent care which is what I do now. I’m a pediatric emergency physician by training. I like acute care. I’m just shocked how many people tell me our doctor never even examined my kid. I hear that shocking.
Dr. Perro: You know just to physically examine children and I’m looking at the usual things your doctor checks your ears and your throat and your lungs and your time you know that. But I’m also looking for signs of nutrient deficiencies and toxicity. I’m looking at hair quality. I’m looking at the quality of the tongue I’m looking at the nails and many Western practitioners. We are not trained in tunnels and nail assessments by the way such as with them. You know oftentimes in eastern medicine there’s a lot of arm on tongue nails pulses cetera. That’s right. And then the lamps are different. I use a functional medicine approach and I look at the usual routine battery of labs that we do in Western medicine.
Dr. Perro: But in addition of looking for food antibodies I’m looking at the microbiome I’m looking at Marmaris of information. I’m doing nutrient levels toxin intoxicant levels and then I’m looking for things that are often debated in Western medicine although I can’t even figure out why such as chronic infection why Lyme disease Epstein Bar Virus etc etc.. Herpes TMD Bardella you pick it. I’m looking for those infections as to why and then I’m looking in addition to what’s in the home. You know we asked parents to take pictures of what’s in their pantry. You know what their cleaning closet. Let’s see what you’ve got so it’s very more holistic. Find the root cause we don’t treat the symptoms. I’m a biologic systems ace approach and it’s based on functional medicine integrative medicine holistic medicine. There are many terms to express this and then we as integrative practitioners have a very expensive toolbox that we use.
Dr. Perro: I often will use some drugs but I really prefer homeopathic remedies herbs. A lot of supplements mind-body techniques and a lot of manipulative types of medicine such as cranial osteopathy right key acupressure biofeedback hypnosis or whatever their child may need. There are many ways to heal children. There is not one way to do it. There are many ways so these are some of the ways that we assess a kid and we proceed with healing. Parents are the main doers of these complicated protocols we try to keep it simple it can get complicated it can get a little expensive. Which I am not. Happy about. And people have to be in for the long haul. This is not a two-week program. These programs can take months to get kids reversed. So parents have to be willing to be participants change to make changes. As you said kids will relapse. If parents have made the fundamental changes in the diet they will relapse and go in for long. This is a long game short game.
Reena Jadhav: Well it’s a game to live a long life healthily right. That’s what the government has to get. Oh right. That’s right. Right.
Reena Jadhav: The goal isn’t just to be healthy for two weeks. The goal is to be healthy for life and to live a long life. And for the first time ever last year as you know we saw a raw and longevity in the United States so it’s it’s clearly something that I think everyone needs to be thinking of this as a parent how fiercely are you protecting their child. And next how fiercely are you protecting your family your spouse your self because of your sex. Then of course who’s going to take care of the family. Right, so that becomes obvious when he falls I did.
Reena Jadhav: There are children who are healthy and who don’t show symptoms and I think you talk a little bit about what parents of even seemingly healthy children need to reach but need to take charge share a little bit about that so you can have some things that are brewing and have no clinical manifestations or very mild symptoms that everybody writes off constipation occasional bloated tummy. Not so nice smelling gas little Salk’s symptoms. And if we correct those early and those are the kids who are often just corrected by diet the kids who really don’t have significant pathology get with organ issues. And that does have simpler disruptions which are more easily reversed. Those kids are some of my favorites because when you change them of their diet or give them some simple things like probiotics those kids reverse easily.
Dr. Perro: So what you can recreate a healthy terrain. And remember we know this is what we’re trying to do we’re trying to recreate a terrain that is healthy and supports better health and gives the body the tools it needs to do the systems it knows how to do. That’s all we’re trying to do. If the terrain is unhealthy and that usually resides around the cells it’s called the extracellular matrix and that’s what we try to clean out. Kids have a less risk of developing these issues later on. Many diseases take a long time to develop like cancer like an autoimmune disease. So we can set this healthy terrain to give the kids the tools they need to stay healthier and they do better parents really ask the parent. And what I tell parents is you judge if you don’t, believe me, you’ll be the one doing the experiment at home and come back to me for three months and let me know Argo’s.
Reena Jadhav: That’s all great. Also is a good example. So if somebody there’s a child who has constipation you mentioned a really good one which is the child for almost constipated to some extent. What do you typically recommend as a protocol? Is its probiotics. What else do you do? Are there tests involved. And it’s a wonderful test.
Dr. Perro: It is a big question right now. And you know goes into some specifics because it depends on the age of the child how they’re being fed where they live mother’s health history. But if you’re talking infancy the first thing you do is ask the mother what she’s eating. And you correct the mom’s diet. If the babies actually eat and you get foods that are more fibrous more water. If that doesn’t correct it the first line I’ll bring in is homeopathic remedies simple one single remedy and I have about 15 that I might use for constipation and see the K will get reversed with just one simple remedy. If that doesn’t do it I’ll bring in more complex remedies based on something called German and biologic medicine. And if that doesn’t do it I’ll start running test. So the idea is simple first correct what’s obvious start digging deeper and you might have to start digging to get to a root cause of things don’t simply correct you haven’t got to the root cause.
Reena Jadhav: I love it. You are amazing Michelle immense at last question. So mother listening to you. What is the first thing you want to go do right now?
Reena Jadhav: To fix it. I think it’s been said by all.
Dr. Perro: If I could give a mom if I say there’s one thing you could do they say give me the one thing to do. Guess right now. Right now I’d say from now on in every time you go into the supermarket the grocery store wherever you shop is to look for the organic option.
Dr. Perro: If you could just do that if you are going to buy organic eggs or not organic. If you can just simply make those changes one by one. That would be my wish.
Reena Jadhav: Beautiful beautiful and all share one which is if you think it’s too expensive. Go to Pasto. It is not expensive. I go to Costco I get my organic berries and eggs and milk and so much more. And it is not that much more. It’s pennies more maybe sometimes you need at the same price as an honor.
Reena Jadhav: Canning food item might cost them so I don’t mean to Turkey but 11 cents. But also doctors like us often don’t take health insurance and we are way more expensive than those aches and if little Johnny or little Susie is homesick. Ten-twenty. Twenty-eight days. You’re like my son was 28 days a year. Mom or Dad is missing work. Yes. And if you factor in the amount of time that parents missed from work staying on this ticket it will compensate for those organic free range eggs.
Reena Jadhav: Oh absolutely thousand times over and time is over just the fact that you won’t have a kid that has to go to the hospital a lot more. You’ll save all those prescription drugs where the price keeps going up. Clearly one of those old adages right a shoo-in tonight. What was that? I’ll edit this for info. The stitch in time saves nine soda. Right. That very old adage that I throw a wet stitch in time saves nine perfectly applies to the US. Do what’s right now so you’re not going to be having incredibly large expenses later on in life. More importantly much more important a forum other senior child smiling versus seeing your child upset angrily depressed anxious in the hospital getting tests. There’s just there’s no money. There’s nothing that’s so expensive that is not worth seeing your child smile. So with that said Michelle once and thank you so much for writing this book it truly is an eye-opener. We’re going to be putting the links to the book and show notes everyone please please read the blog. We will be launching a three-day free bootcamp to help you parents out their transition into keeping your child’s healthier. Please check it out and horses always stay smiling. Thank you, Reena.
Michelle Perro, MD
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Book on ChelseanGreen.com
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