February 22, 2013
by ERIN SCHUMACHER
If you had to guess - what would you say is one of the worst things you could do to a developing fetus? Smoking cigarettes? Drinking alcohol? Heavy lifting? Falling down a flight of stairs? Sure - these are all dangerous things to do while pregnant, but another thing that you may not have considered that is actually dangerous to a developing child - ultrasounds!
What do ultrasounds do? Boiled down, they do little more than inform parents about their child’s development and rarely lead to any meaningful action. The only time an ultrasound is actually required is when safety of the child (or mother) is clearly in question and when the results of the test would require action.
Studies published in medical journals Lancet and the Canadian Medical Association Journal show that an ultrasound may affect fetal growth, resulting in babies with lower birth weight. In addition, children are twice as likely to have delayed speech development if they were examined via ultrasound as a fetus.
In 1995, a study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that low-frequency ultrasound increases the permeability of human skin, allowing proteins to pass through more easily. Ultrasound definitely affects the body’s tissues, and especially more so to a developing and fragile fetus.
Furthermore, correlations have been shown between the number of abdominal X rays a mother had received in her lifetime and the birth of a baby with Down’s syndrome.
There is no safe level of radiation, no matter what your physician may tell you. Radiation levels from medical and dental X rays can contribute to cancer.
Dr. John Gofman, one of the world’s leading authorities on radiation damage, presents a compelling argument in his book Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease for reconsidering how we understand disease and death rates in our society. His years of research caused him to conclude that medical radiation was probably the single largest cause of cancer mortality in the twentieth century!
For example, Gofman found that in 1990, medical X rays were a causal factor in 83% of all breast cancer. In other words, chest X rays and mammograms are actually the leading cause of breast cancer! (For a safer alternative, look into thermography. Thermography measures temperature and appears to be a far more accurate way of detecting tumors as cancerous tumors are warmer than surrounding tissues.)
Modern medicine is responsible for about 90% of our exposure to radiation. And about 90% of that radiation is from diagnostic X rays. Could it be that by trying to diagnose a problem, we are actually creating a problem in that area of the body!?
X rays are performed with alarming frequency. Gofman estimates that more than half of all X rays are unnecessary. We worry a lot about nuclear radiation, but what about the smaller bursts of radiation we receive from X rays, cell phones , microwaves and the like?
Here is what I would suggest next time you go to your doctor for any reason:
1. Ask questions.
2. Ask what are the potential negative side effects instead of the potential positive effects. Many doctors downplay risks.
3. Avoid tests that simply provide information. For example, avoid ultrasounds during pregnancy.
4. If your doctor interrupts you within 60 seconds of talking about your issue - get a new doctor. Every patient is different and if your doctor is going to treat you the same way he did the previous patient with X complaint, then he really isn’t treating you as the unique individual you are. Studies have shown that most doctors interrupt their patients within 16 seconds of them presenting their issue. How much can your doctor really learn about you in 16 seconds?!
Every test poses some type of risk. Remember that many medical tests are inaccurate. Always get a second opinion or testing done. In 1975, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed medical testing labs nationally and concluded that more than 25% of all tests were wrong and in some tests, the error rate was above 50%. I don’t believe that a lot has changed since then.
Too often, we rely on the ‘experts’ to tell us what to do in regards to the health of our bodies. However, they do not know YOU better than you. It’s up to you to control the health of your body and to PREVENT DISEASE. Rarely do most people realize that certain aspects of medicine might harm their health, or that better alternatives might exist. When the correct choices are made, more times than not, we do not get sick. But if you do, you must take action in correcting your health as opposed to blindly following someone else’s advice.
Says Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, “The greatest danger to your health is the doctor who practices Modern Medicine.”
Get informed. Do the research. Take control of your health!