Tag: alternative medicine

Chiropractors on Vaccines

Most chiropractors list the same 9 to 11 anti-vaccine myths on their websites.

Are chiropractors anti-vaccine?

Although there is overwhelming evidence to show that vaccination is a highly effective method of controlling infectious diseases, a vocal element of the chiropractic profession maintains a strongly antivaccination bias.

Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective

It would be hard to find someone who says that they aren’t. Even their own professional association policy statements don’t endorse people getting vaccinated.

Since the scientific community acknowledges that the use of vaccines is not without risk, the American Chiropractic Association supports each individual’s right to freedom of choice in his/her own health care based on an informed awareness of the benefits and possible adverse effects of vaccination. The ACA is supportive of a conscience clause or waiver in compulsory vaccination laws thereby maintaining an individual’s right to freedom of choice in health care matters and providing an alternative elective course of action regarding vaccination.

That’s the public policy of the American Chiropractic Association that was revised and ratified in 1998. The problem though, is that even with all of their talk of vaccine choice, most chiropractors don’t seem to give their clients must choice, only talking about negative aspects of vaccines and the risks.

For example, many chiropractors:

  • don’t believe in the germ theory of infectious disease – they don’t think that viruses or bacteria actually cause people to get sick
  • think that vaccines are harmful and too risky
  • don’t believe that vaccines work or are necessary
  • think they can stimulate the immune system via chiropractic spinal manipulation, as an alternative to immunization

Of course, many of these are standard myths that other anti-vaccine groups use.

Surprised? You probably shouldn’t be, as many anti-vaccine ‘experts’ give talks at chiropractic conferences, from Sherri Tenpenny to Andrew Wakefield.

And with more chiropractors trying to do “pediatrics,” even seeing newborn babies to do craniosacral therapy, their anti-vaccine message could reach more parents.

We saw that as chiropractors tried to influence the passage of SB277 in California in 2016. Chiropractors overwhelmingly lobbied against the vaccine law.

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False Balance about Vaccines

We live in the land of free speech.

All of our opinions should have the same weight, right?

Well, opinions yes. Facts no. Too often now, people are given the opportunity to express their non-professional opinions as facts, often head-to-head with experts, falsely making it seem like those opinions are equally valid.

This type of false balance or false equivalency comes up when discussing many different topics, especially in science and politics.

For example, in a debate about science, you would be providing false balance if you gave an equal amount of time to those who believed that the earth was flat, that gravity isn’t real, or that the moon was made of cheese. Climate change is an even bigger topic that we still see a lot of false balance in the media.

False balance is especially common when the media discusses vaccines.

How often do you read an article or see a news report about a measles outbreak or an infant dying of pertussis, and then see it end with a parent who thinks vaccines cause autism?

Vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary. This has been proven time and again.

There are issues that are not a matter of free thought, on which all opinions have the same weight. This is simply because they are not just ideas, but facts. The safety of vaccines is a fact, as well as their importance for preventing dangerous diseases.

When you see Bob Sears or Jay Gordon or other ‘vaccine experts’ on the news, you aren’t hearing from doctors with an equally valid view, backed up with scientific research, as vaccine experts from the CDC, FDA, or AAP. Doctors who push parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules have anecdotal data and their own opinions, which many real vaccine experts view as dangerous.

False balance is dangerous. It not only scares parents from vaccinating their kids, but leads them away from standard treatments for asthma, eczema, and even cancer , often with tragic results.

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MTHFR Mutations and Polymorphisms

The MTHFR gene makes the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase that helps convert the amino acid homocysteine to methionine.

MHTFR gene mutations rarely cause homocystinuria. More common polymorphisms (a gene variant – not a mutation) may be weakly associated with cardiovascular disease, anacephaly, spina bifida, and some other conditions. It is even thought by some that these polymorphisms might be associated with recurrent pregnancy loss, psychiatric conditions, and thyroid disease.

These weak associations should not be used as a reason to undergo routine MHTFR genetic testing.

It is likely much more common to have a MHTFR polymorphism and no health problem at all. If you did a genetic test and found out that you have a MHTFR polymorphism, checking a homocysteine might be a good next step. Keep in mind that most geneticists think that routine MHTFR testing is not a good idea.

While MTHF gene mutations are real, they are not related to vaccine injuries.

Dr. Ben Lynch and others push the idea that all or many of the 30 to 50% of people with one of the many minor MHTFR polymorphisms will have health problems and that they shouldn’t be vaccinated.

The bottom line is that since these are common variants (not mutations that cause disease), you are going to find them associated with many other common conditions. That certainly doesn’t mean that they are linked.

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Homeopathic Vaccines

Homeopathic vaccines will not prevent any vaccine-preventable disease and are not a substitute or alternative for FDA approved vaccines on the CDC immunization schedule.

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