Book: Feed Your Kids Right
Published in 1979, this book is a bit dated, but the basic principles are sound.
Dr. Smith – “The Children’s Doctor” has developed a complete, yet easy-to-follow, nutritional program that insures your child’s physical and mental well-being from infancy through adolescence. At the core of the program is the “Prevention Diet”, a general plan for eating that eliminates the “antinutrients” – foods that have been packaged, processed, added to, stabilized, colored, or preserved. With five health profiles, Dr. Smith shows how to recognize any fluctuations in your child’s condition. His comprehensive plan addresses the total health of your child. Most of us have deficiencies in nutrients from time to time. Requirements for various foods, vitamins, and minerals vary from person to person, depending on age and sex, on the season of the year, and on individual stresses and traumas. The demands of life are variable and it is not always possible to predict and prepare for them. The concept of optimum nutrition is based on the relationship between quantities required and quantities supplied.
At no time is the average person completely deficient in a needed nutrient; the problem is usually a lack of an adequate amount. Depending upon the importance of the particular nutrient that is deficient, our bodies function less than optimally. Since some of the needed nutrients are available in the foods most of us normally eat, we know we are getting some of them. But are we getting as much as we need? To encourage parents to use food as a supportive system of medical care, my nutrition program must be logical and fairly easy to execute-or it won’t be followed. There are general considerations and also specific recommendations for specific symptoms. The credo is “a specific treatment for a specific disease,” but we recognize that most tissues of the body require many varying nutrients to make them function properly; for example, skin health usually requires zinc, vitamin A, and the B complex. Thus the program aims at supplying nutrients in the right combinations and amounts to correct the patient’s particular problem.
It is, however, useless to attempt to try specific supplements when a brief review of the patient’s eating habits reveals that he is consuming large quantities of anti-nutrients. What’s an anti-nutrient? It is a substance that, when consumed, in and of itself increases the body’s need for more nutrients. Examples: refined sugar, excessive carbohydrates, artificial additives. Many times the mere elimination of the anti-nutrients will be all the help the body needs to raise it from one level to the next higher level (assuming that the anti-nutrients are replaced by wholesome food). In no way do I imply-nor should any reader interpret that the services of the medical doctor should be avoided; he is knowledgeable and eager to diagnose and treat the problem, especially if it is a life-threatening disease. But once you have found your child’s level and have determined the nutritional deficiencies, you should make some adjustment in diet and lifestyle or you will certainly be back in his office.
Children usually hate vitamins because the B vitamins, especially, taste like moldy dirt. Using cod-liver oil drops from early infancy might be a good way to start, rather than introducing it to the negative two-year-old. Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ mixed in with old-fashioned peanut butter or fruit is a useful suggestion. Vitamin C comes as a concentrated powder that can be stirred into juices. Calcium and magnesium come as powdered dolomite, which tastes like chalk. If one can banish anti-nutrients and get the whole family on a program of sound nutrition, within three or four weeks everybody should feel better and be more cheerful. Persistent rashes and watery noses should clear up. Head and stomachaches should be gone or be only mild. Tempers will not flare so easily. It is important that the whole family follow good eating habits. If father still puts sugar in his coffee and has a piece of pie for dessert in front of the five-year-old who loves pie but gets six grapes and a piece of cheese instead, the program will break down.
Try the new or increased amounts of the nutrients. Be persistent. Give each change a month or two. You have the ultimate responsibility for the health of yourself and your spouse and children. If you and your child are still sickly, or not feeling well, get a good checkup and a diagnosis from a reliable internist, family-practice specialist, or pediatrician. (I am assuming if you had something awful, you would have been there two or three months earlier.) If everything checks out all right-no infection, no surgical condition-it would be smart to seek out a doctor who is nutrition-oriented, whether a chiropractor, a naturopath, or a dentist. So-called orthomolecular doctors practice on the theory that if all the cells of the body are nourished properly, the body should be able to withstand a rather hostile environment-that is, stress and all its subdivisions, including infections, injuries, emotional traumata, and (up to a point) nutritional deprivations.
Biochemistry has now advanced to the state where all the important chemicals needed by the body and present in foods are known. The important variables that often make the services of a skilled nutrition-oriented therapist necessary are: (1) The food one eats; although carefully selected, it may not have its full complement of vitamins and minerals because of processing or growth in inferior soil; (2) a digestive mechanism that may be unable to absorb everything the individual eats; (3) genetic factors that cause one person to need a specific nutrient in amounts several times greater than the average; (4) a family history in which the mother (and perhaps the father) was not nourished properly prior to conception or birth. If a patient has really tried to get better-has taken vitamin shots, has fasted* for a few days, has seen two or three doctors who suggest psychotherapy (which can help)-but has not improved, I order a hair analysis.
The results will indicate if there is over-ingestion or under-ingestion or improper storage of one or more of fifteen to eighteen minerals and will tell something about exposure to poisonous heavy metals. A blood test for these elements is a good idea, but the body in its effort to create homeostasis will keep these important nutrients at a fairly consistent level even though some sacrifice is made (such as pulling calcium out of calcium-poor bones to keep the blood calcium constant). There is no reason you cannot lift yourself and your family out of your present level and enjoy the fun of sound health, the feeling of exhilaration on awakening cheerfully in the morning, the excitement of new experiences. The majority of symptoms that present themselves are the result of deficiencies in one or more of the various members of the vitamin B complex. Being water-soluble, these vitamins do not tend to accumulate in the body, yet they are so intimately involved in the body’s biochemistry that when trouble occurs it is the B vitamins that most frequently are the culprits.
At this point it will be useful to take a look at the various vitamins and minerals the body needs for healthy functioning. Fasting must be supervised by an interested physician. Usually plenty of fluids (tea or vegetable juice) and C and B vitamins are given to keep the patient from dehydrating. In about four to five days, if the patient feels renewed, cheerful, and symptom-free, it suggests he was eating something to which he was allergic (usually his favorite food). The guidelines that follow are brief. Try to commit them to memory. They will give you an understanding of the essential nutrients, some of the ways they interrelate, and some of the best food sources for obtaining them. In composing menus for family meals, keep this in mind: If the family feels better or is less sick after experimenting with vitamins and minerals, try to concentrate on the foods that contain the beneficial nutrient. For example, if vitamin C in large doses is helpful for colds and allergies, foods high in vitamin C should be emphasized daily. You may find that the supplements can be reduced as time goes by.
Food and Vitamin Guide
If one suspects a deficiency of the following vitamins or minerals, it would be worthwhile to ingest a concentrated form of the missing nutrient for four to six weeks and then try to use the food or herb that is known to be high in that substance -probably for life. If the symptoms or signs recur, it suggests that the body has higher than normal requirement for that vitamin or mineral and the concentrate is also required in the higher than usually recommended amount. We are all different, and each of us must find his own specific requirement, not just for survival, which is the value of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but for optimum health. Vitamin A is necessary for skin and membrane function, skeletal development, and good vision. Stress or infection to those tissues would suggest increasing the daily dose. 15,000 to 30,000 units is about right for most of us. (RDA is only 5000 units per day.)
If skin is dry and feels like a nutmeg grater and there is a susceptibility to respiratory infection and cavities, vitamin A should be increased. Vitamin E, B2, and zinc make the A work on tissues better. Bile salts, lecithin, and fats are necessary for the A to be absorbed. Un-concentrated cod liver oil may be the best. Respiratory, skin, eye, ear infections, colitis, gastritis, and genital infections all use up large amounts of A. Stress lowers protein and, since protein carries A to the tissues, protein and A must be increased during sickness and stress. Excessive menstrual flow may suggest a low level of A; double it for a month or add vitamin E to increase the efficiency of the A. Increased amounts of 50,000 to 150,000 units would be needed if there is constant eye use or strain, psoriasis, warts, eczema, gum disease, or alcoholism. (Infants should not get more then 20,000 units.) The liver turns carotene into vitamin A.
Carotene is plentiful in endive and the greens of dandelions, spinach, turnips, beets, lettuce, parsley, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, and peaches are good. Liver, eggs, and some dairy products are high in vitamin A content. (Certified raw milk comes from better-fed cows.) B complex vitamins are important for the conversion of foods to energy. Nerve tissue, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and the liver especially need the B vitamins to function optimally. And increased amounts are necessary for the stress of emotional trauma, infection, and during pregnancy and growth. Although they all should be taken together and best at mealtimes, each of the Bs has been found to have some specific effects. Good sources are brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, fish, meat (especially liver), nuts. B1, or thiamine, seems to be a nervous system equalizer, cheering the depressed, energizing the fatigued, calming the hyperactive; good for morale and in helping to control emotions.
A B, deficiency lowers thyroid function, causes loss of appetite, is seen in digestive disturbances, and can cause increase in pain and noise sensitivity. B, is most plentiful in pork, beef heart, and avocados. Most legumes and nuts have a fair amount. B1 minimum is 2 mg per day but up to 100 mg per day for a while may be necessary to correct a deficiency. Increased amounts are needed to counteract the effects of alcoholism, anemia, constipation or diarrhea (or indigestion in general), nausea, stress, rapid heart beat. B2, or riboflavin, aids vitamin A in controlling skin disorders (cracks about mouth, gritty sensation of eyelids, eye fatigue, and light sensitivity). Eczema may be calmed with B2, probably because it is needed by the adrenals to produce cortisol. B2 daily needs begin at 2 mg (RDA), but up to 100 mg per day might be necessary. Acne, alcoholism, arthritis, diabetes, any digestive disturbance, and, of course, stress would require these increased amounts. B2 is abundant in cheese, eggs, and oysters.
B3, or niacinamide, seems to elevate the depression due to hypoglycemia; those who suddenly stop eating sugar will find B3 helps during the withdrawal phase. B3 may increase energy levels and control some headaches. It may also improve concentration. B3 daily intake should be at least 20 mg (RDA), but some people require 200 to 500 mg a day. Some schizophrenics can be helped with up to 3000 mg a day. It may improve appetite loss, control canker sores, headaches, and even halitosis. B3 needs are elevated in stress, indigestion, leg cramps, and tooth decay. Seafood and dairy products are high in niacin. B3 is also found in legumes, mushrooms, fish, fowl, and pork. B6, or pyridoxine, has been used for adrenal gland exhaustion. It improves conditions for which cortisone drugs might be indicated (hay fever, asthma, and auto-immune diseases). It may prevent the premenstrual symptoms of acne, irritability, depression, and headache, as it allows the liver to metabolize female hormones.
It is also a safe diuretic and may prove dramatic for the morning nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Anxiety and craving for sweets can be stopped with extra B6 (50 to 200 mg per day). It is known to improve memory, so dyslexia victims might profit from this. Nocturnal aches and stiffness in hands, fingers, and feet may respond to B6. Oily scales, cradle cap, and dandruff on scalp, brows, and eyelids may disappear with B6. Three days of B6 before a trip may prevent seasickness. B6 intake should be at least 2 mg a day (RDA) but under the special situations mentioned above, up to 100 to 400 mg per day may be required. Some infantile convulsions may be stopped with B6. It is found in brewer’s yeast, meat, whole grains, and leafy vegetables. Pantothenic acid is a cortisone precursor and along with the other Bs, vitamin A, and C should improve an allergy problem, regardless of its cause. From 100 mg up to 3000 mg a day may be used. It can be effective against canker sores, if big doses are started early enough.
RDA is only 10 mg. Most intestinal disorders, including duodenal ulcers, may be helped. Allergic skin (eczema) and respiratory (asthma) problems may be attenuated. Some cases of alopecia areata may clear up. A week of 200-500 mg of pantothenic acid a day may ease sore and aching muscles. Some forms of arthritis may respond to large doses. Pantothenic acid is in fair supply in legumes, mushrooms, eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, pork, and beef. Folic acid is considered a blood builder. Only small amounts are needed. A lack of this may lead to fatigue, insomnia, constipation, and restless legs. Folic acid may mask a pernicious anemia produced by a B12 deficiency. As much as 0.1 mg is usually easily obtained from food; a prescription is necessary for the 1 mg size. RDA is 400 mcg. (0.4 mg). Some bodies may require 10 mg or more, especially in some forms of anemia, growth problems, alcoholism, stress, mental problems, and stomach ulcers.
If the concentrated pill or shot is helpful, the diet should be increased in amounts of green leafy vegetables, fresh cow’s milk, organ meats, and whole grains. (Dates and tuna fish have high amounts). B12 is essential for blood also, and is found in animal protein, so vegetarians usually need to take a supplement. A shot of B12 will sometimes stop postpartum depression overnight. Only 5 micrograms (RDA) should be enough, but 100 to 1000 micrograms occasionally may be necessary to get someone out of a nutritional hole. B12 shots might be helpful to control allergies, fatigue, insomnia, shingles, stress, and appetite loss. Blood-cell formation and a healthy nervous system require B12. Fatigue and weakness are frequently improved dramatically with B12; doctors should not be embarrassed to treat “hypochondriasis” with B12 shots, as this illness is frequently an undiagnosed B12 deficiency.
Biotin needs are easily derived from plants and animal foods. Biotin is manufactured by the intestinal bacteria in good amounts, so oral antibiotics, which tend to kill all bacteria in the body indiscriminately, might reduce the supply. If the vitamin bottle label says about 100 to 500 micrograms, it should be adequate. Extra amounts, up to 1,000 (1.0 mg), may be worthwhile for dry skin, eczema, and baldness. Inositol is easy to obtain from almost any food and a vitamin supplement may be redundant, but 1000 mg would do well. It is worth adding to the supplements if hair loss is the problem. It is involved in lecithin metabolism, so in families with cholesterol elevation foods with increased amounts would be worthwhile. Citrus fruits, meat, milk, nuts, and brewers yeast are good sources. Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) as a lotion is an effective sun screen and has been used to restore color to gray hair. Ten to 50 mg a day internally should be enough and is usually obtained with any fairly good diet.
This amount along with other B vitamins should help fatigue, constipation, depression, headaches, and irritability. Sizable amounts are found in organ meats, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Choline is usually found in B supplements but is more of a food, and is easily supplied by any reasonably good diet. Whole grains, brewer’s yeast, and liver are all good sources of B and obviously more complete than taking each B as a separate supplement. A few teaspoonsful of brewer’s yeast in a baby’s diet each day can change a thin, weak, pale, irritable infant into a smiling, pink-cheeked, hungry, active, fun-to-show-off-to-relatives baby. Vitamin C seems to hold the body together, detoxifies poisons, has antiviral and antihistamine properties, and is needed by the adrenal glands to produce the hormones needed to fight stress. Because we are all different in our perceptions of stress, everyone must alter his intake of vitamin C until stress appears under control-fewer colds, fewer allergies, fewer nosebleeds.
The daily dose of at least 50 (RDA) to 100 mg for a reasonably normal child should be increased by a factor of 5 to 10 times in anticipation of stress (trip, visit, party, holiday, school, immunizations, exposure to disease or prodromal symptoms of anything). Diarrhea would suggest that one has reached one’s tolerance. With some persons, canker sores may result from use of vitamin C; in which case sodium ascorbate might be tried. It probably works better if taken with rutin and bioflavonoids. (These are found in the white pulp of citrus fruits.) Oranges, grapefruit are good sources, but don’t forget parsley, green peppers, mustard greens, and watercress. Other vitamin C deficiency signs are a tendency toward bruising easily, dental caries, touchy gums, and poor digestion. Vitamin C by pill or foods with high concentration of C should be given to those with infections, hepatitis, sinusitis, arthritis, allergies, cystitis, and stress.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so it will be stored in the body and could be toxic. Sunlight on the skin is the safest way for the body to manufacture this, but fish-liver oil is the best assurance if sunlight is unreliable (northern climes or when the sun is screened out by pollution). 400 (RDA) to 1500 units seem about right as a daily dose. It would be wise to increase the dose of D and calcium and phosphorus (bone meal) after a fracture or bone injury and, of course, during periods of extra need: rapid growth in infancy, adolescence and pregnancy and lactation. Vitamin E, or tocopherol, has been described as a scavenger, as it has the ability of combining with and rendering harmless many pollutants and chemicals in the food, air and water. It is also an anti-oxidant. It has been used to reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids, the pain of exercise cramps, rectal cramps, menstrual cramps, and the pain of burns (when locally applied). It calms restless legs.
It may prove valuable in the premature to protect against retrolental fibroplasia and some of the lung immaturity to which these infants are prone. As it reduces the clumping of platelets it is considered important as a prophylaxis against clogged blood vessels. It makes for increased effectiveness of vitamin A. It should be increased with increase in exercise; and is best not given with iron. Children should get 200 units daily and adults 400 units or more. It is natural in many foods, especially whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Mixed tocopherols is the preferred form. The RDA is a paltry 15 IU. Vitamin K is easily manufactured by intestinal bacteria, and thus would only be needed as a supplement at birth before these bacteria have been established or after oral antibiotics that could interfere with the bacterial synthesis of this blood-coagulation vitamin. Fatty acids are usually manufactured by the body if there is some fat in the diet, but some essential acids must be provided.
Dry skin, eczema, brittle hair and nails, or weight problems may suggest a deficiency. Wheat germ, sunflower seeds, safflower, corn, or soy oils supply these. Two percent milk is better than skim milk for this objective. Calcium is required all our lives for bones, teeth, muscle and nerve function, and for blood clotting. A quart of milk has about 1000 mg. which is about the right daily dose. Pasteurization decreases the availability of calcium to the body which may explain why so many children who consume large amounts of milk have low levels of calcium in their hair and become calmer sleep better, and have fewer muscle cramps when dolomite, bone meal, or calcium tablets are added to the diet. A possible explanation may be that an allergy to the milk protein somehow prevents the absorption of the calcium through the intestinal wall when these two nutrients are present simultaneously. The prudent pregnant woman should ingest about 2 grams of calcium a day, especially if she cannot tolerate dairy products.
The bones store calcium under the influence of vitamin D and hormones regulate the calcium level in the blood by releasing or re-depositing the calcium as necessary. The blood calcium may not give an accurate clue as to a deficiency or overload in the body; a hair assay night be revealing. Muscle pains, cramps, twitches, and even convulsions may suggest a calcium deficiency. Menstrual cramps, “charley-horses” and shin splints suggest the need for calcium. Some hyperactive children are safely calmed with calcium; they- sleep letter and handle stress better with a calcium supplement. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of calcium. The American diet contains a lot of phosphorus (meat, cereal, soft drinks); the ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet is about three to two. Cutting down the amount of phosphorus and increasing the calcium intake should improve this ratio.
Infants should receive about 800 to 1000 mg of calcium; rapidly growing adolescents about 1500 mg, and pregnant and lactating mothers about 2000 mg. Milk may not be the perfect food, so dolomite (two parts calcium to one part magnesium) or bone meal (a source of phosphorus) might be best. Cod-liver oil should probably be taken close to the time of calcium ingestion. Calcium is also found in nuts, legumes, sardines, oysters, soybeans, wheat germ, cabbage, and turnip greens. Calcium helps to displace lead from tissues and bones; a good daily supply of calcium may prevent this common pollutant from becoming a personal problem. (Don’t use bone meal from old English horses; many have much lead in their bones.) Arthritis victims usually have de-mineralized bones so calcium supplements are wise. Many pregnant women take 1000 to 2000 mg of some calcium source just prior to delivery and notice decrease in pain but not in the force of labor.
Magnesium is also needed for teeth and bones but its action is more especially related to the nervous tissue reactivity. If the level of magnesium is low one becomes apprehensive, excitable, and may have muscle twitches or convulsions that are not responsive to calcium. Cow’s milk, meat, and eggs are low in magnesium; the higher the protein intake, the more magnesium is required, as it activates a number of enzymes involved in the metabolism of most foods ingested. Magnesium has a regulating or calming effect; it has been beneficial for the hyperactive, restless child. Along with B6, it may improve his memory, reduce his “goosiness” and startle reaction. It can fight the fatigue that accompanies nervous exhaustion. Teeth and bones are stronger if magnesium accompanies the calcium; calcium seems to need magnesium. Some persons find that they do better if half the daily calcium comes from bone meal and the other half from dolomite.
Probably 250 to 600 mg of magnesium a day is about right, but if the stools tend to be sloppy this may be cut back. The bedwetter who cannot hold more than 3 or 4 ounces of urine without jumping up and down may be helped in just a few days with magnesium. Magnesium helps to prevent kidney-stone formation as a diet low in magnesium lets more calcium go to the kidneys. Magnesium, in some, has a relaxing effect on the blood-vessel muscles (might lower high blood pressure). Magnesium is involved with the control of cell membrane electrical charge and, of course, with the nutriments getting into the cells. Magnesium may help the stressed person to cope; it filters out some extraneous stimuli. It is found in kelp and seafoods, nuts, whole grains, green vegetables, and apricots, figs, and dates. Phosphorus is abundant in wheat germ, seeds, ruts, and meats. It requires the presence of calcium and vitamin D for proper utilization, and should be taken in slightly smaller amounts than the calcium.
Bone meal is a good source. Iron is essential for the manufacture of red blood cells. Iron-deficiency anemia is a common ailment in infants and young children because of rapid growth and large milk (usually cow’s) intake. If a nursing mother is eating nutritious foods, her baby will get enough iron from the milk and may not need an iron tonic or iron-bearing foods to prevent anemia. But the rapid growth of the prematurely born baby plus the fact that his early birth cheated him from getting much iron in his storage depots make iron supplementation mandatory. In years past solid foods were introduced early to preclude the development of this anemia, but the risk of a carbohydrate and salt load and food allergies now make it wise to start solids-one new food a month-after six to eight months of age. But the prematurely born infant should probably have some iron drops daily after age three months.
Inorganic iron (ferrous salts) is poorly tolerated; diarrhea or constipation may result, so organic poorly are best. Liver, meats, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, eggs, seeds, almonds, parsley, prunes, raisins, and leafy vegetables are all good sources for the older child. Molasses contains iron but we try to discourage too much reliance on sweets. About 15 to 25 mg of iron a day is a good target-more, of course, for menstruating and pregnant women. But only about 10 to 20 percent of iron is absorbed. Vitamin C aids iron absorption. B, folic acid, cobalt, copper, and B12 are needed to put the hemoglobin molecule together. Desiccated liver is a good source for everything needed to do this. (Some authorities even suggest cooking things in iron pots.) Zinc is essential for a number of important functions. Zinc deficiency may account for eczema, acne, dwarfism, poor wound healing, white spots in the nails, and small testicles. Alcohol will remove zinc from the liver and it may be lost in the urine.
Sperm has the highest percent of zinc of any cell in the body; infertility in males may be due to a lack or loss of zinc. (Alcoholic males are frequently infertile.) An inflamed prostate may be due to low zinc levels. Also, low levels of zinc may cause fatigue and decreased alertness. Zinc is present in insulin and is a factor in at least 25 enzymes that do the work of the body: in the synthesis of nucleic acid, DNA, skin protein formation (hence the benefit for acne victim), adrenal gland function, taste bud activity and production of many of the brain’s chemicals. Zinc may reduce the ravages of stomach and duodenal ulcers, regional enteritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many stress-related diseases. Low levels of zinc may be found in those susceptible to infection. Zinc may stop body odors. Zinc and copper have a reciprocal relationship. High copper levels and low zinc levels may be seen in some schizophrenics.
High zinc levels, however, may decrease the copper with a possible anemia as a result. Zinc affects other vitamins too. For example, extra zinc may be needed if calcium intake is high; zinc needs vitamin A to function properly; zinc is involved with the function of the B vitamins. The body needs some of all the minerals. If they are supplied sufficiently and naturally, it usually takes what it needs and lets the rest go on through. It is usually easy to get the minimum of 15 mg (RDA) of zinc in a diet that contains whole grains, seeds, brewer’s yeast, liver, meat, and nuts. But 50 to 100 mg per day may be needed for a few weeks or months to correct a deficiency. Oysters are especially high in zinc, hence their reputation for improving fertility. Manganese has recently been found to be insufficient in some epileptics; added manganese (20 mg per day) has reduced the frequency of convulsions in many of those with low levels, This mineral helps to control an abnormal response to sugar ingestion.
In animals a low level can cause poor coordination and tremors. Soil studies show a gradual depletion. High phosphorus intake increases the need for manganese. Five mg of manganese would be a good place to start. It should be easily obtained from wheat germ, seeds, legumes, and nuts. Buckwheat is a good source, but much depends on the availability of manganese in the soil. Copper works with iron to make hemoglobin. Copper helps in the utilization of vitamin C. We need only about 2 mg a day but some people are getting far too much because of the use of copper tubing carrying the water supply. (An excess may cause psychosis.) Seafood, nuts, liver, and legumes should supply enough. The copper from these organic sources will not cause copper poisoning. Chromium activates the enzymes needed in glucose metabolism. Less insulin may be required to control high blood sugar if an adequate level of chromium is present.
Chromium seems to be deficient in our soil; one study indicated an increase in crop yield when chromium was added to the fertilizer. A milligram of chromium daily may be enough. Brewer’s yeast, liver, wheat germ, rye, and green pepper are good sources. Iodine, if absent from the diet, will lead to a goiter and decreased thyroid function. Iodized salt has cut down on this condition, but kelp and seafoods should supply the 0.15 mg per day needed. If oral temperature is below 97.5′ on awakening in the morning and fatigue is a consistent symptom, extra iodine may improve the function of the thyroid gland. Sodium, as in table salt, is present in abundance in foods, so the saltshaker should not be on the table. A teaspoon (4 to 5 grams) per day is easily ingested in the average diet. Excess sodium can lead to hypertension, and it also tends to push potassium out of the body. A craving for salt suggests that the craver is under stress or is deficient in a vitamin or mineral and is “!oolong” for it.
Within a week of supplemental vitamins and minerals the salt lover will usually not need to salt food. (low zinc levels make food seem tasteless.) Vegetarians (and cows) usually require more sodium because vegetables are low in sodium and high in potassium. Meat is already salty and should not be salted. Avoid salted nuts, potato and corn chips, canned meats and soups, and crackers. High salt intake can trigger migraine, seizures, and nervous tension. Potassium inside the cells balances the sodium on the outside of the cells. It is necessary for proper cell functioning; muscles are weak without it. Diuretics, salt, sugar, stress and cortisone drugs will flush it out of the body. The digestive tract needs potassium to function; low potassium can cause colic constipation fatigue irritability listlessness and depression. High environmental heat leads to potassium loss and salt tablets may make it worse. The body should get more potassium than sodium.
Nuts seeds and fruits are high in potassium; meats olives arid cheese are high in sodium. Kelp is high in both but has more potassium. The intake of 1 to 5 grams of potassium per day is about right; less than that amount of sodium should be tried for. Selenium sulfur molybdenum cobalt and some other trace elements are required but are usually included in the diet if the above-mentioned foods are eaten every few days. The intake would vary depending on the concentration in the soil in which the foods grew and the type of cooking used. (Steaming is best). A poor sense of humor may be the first clue of a vitamin B3 (niacin niacinamide) deficiency.
The Prevention Diet
Throughout this book you will see references to the Prevention Diet. This refers to general eating patterns every one should follow as part of a lifetime program of good nutrition. Where specific recommendations for specific illnesses are given these are to be followed in addition to the Prevention Diet.
1. Avoid the anti-nutrients. Among the sweet foods these include white sugar brown sugar even corn or cane syrup maple syrup molasses and honey (some people continue the latter two items for a while but their use should be minimal); commercial ice cream; boxed cereal (instead use only whole-grain cereals-it is best to grind your own); white flour (enriched is not good enough-grind your own or don’t bake ). Avoid as many commercial products as possible. Stop homogenized pasteurized milk. If a food has been packaged processed added to stabilized emulsified colored or preserved you know it is out of nature’s hands Read labels. These anti-nutrients require B complex vitamins in order to become digested and metabolized.
If the B vitamins are not thus provided the body will use the B vitamins destined for use in other organs or will be unable to metabolize food completely or properly. Soon a deprived organ will fall ill because of this lack. The anti-nutrients tend to cause a rapid rise in the blood sugar. Usually the pancreas responds by overproducing insulin and the blood-sugar level falls; this can cause tile sensitive person to become antisocial or develop depression or a variety of psychosomatic symptoms from allergies to arthritis. In general sugar and “junk” food when consumed without accompanying vitamins and minerals as found in the natural state will deplete the body until sickness waves a flag that the body has had it.
2. Eat natural foods four to six times a day small amounts frequently. Raw vegetables are best but steam cooked or stir fried (Chinese wok method) are satisfactory. Eggs are okay because the lecithin helps metabolize the cholesterol-unless one has the rare condition of hyperlipoproteinemia a rare genetic trait manifested by the inability to metabolize fats and cholesterol. (Have your doctor check your cholesterol if you like eggs.) White cheeses (jack Swiss mozzarella) are preferable because of lack of coloring. Nuts especially almonds or peanuts are good nibbling foods because they are almost complete proteins (they have all the needed amino acids [Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Some are essential and must be ingested almost daily.]) and can be eaten raw or as butter (make your own nut butters; avoid commercial varieties). Fish and chicken (if possible buy chickens that have been running around pecking at seeds in a farm yard or a garden). Legumes such as peas beans and lentils are both nutritious and inexpensive; refrying makes them less gaseous.
Fruits should be eaten raw but because of the carbohydrate content they should be eaten with some protein: for instance an apple with cheese raisins with peanuts dates with almonds. Dentists tell us children drink too many “liquid calories” and hence do not develop good jaws. Instead of apple juice eat the apple; instead of orange juice eat the orange including the white membrane to get bioflavonoids). This diet should give you a more even feeling of energy a desire to get out of bed in the morning and a more cheerful demeanor. Allow it about three weeks to work. Bowel movements should be pasty maybe even a little sloppy. Urination should take place three to five times a day. It has been estimated that daily protein intake should be close to 2 grams of complete protein per kilogram of weight for the growing child and about 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram for adults. This comes out to be about an ounce of good complete proteins a day for a 30-pound three-year-old.
3. Begin daily vitamins (which are really concentrated foods) assuming you and/or your children are behind in your requirements.
- Vitamins: A 5000-10 000 units. D 400-1000 units. C 100- 500 mg. E 200-400 units. B complex 25-50 mg of each of the Bs. (The label should say: B1 25 mg. B2 25 mg. B3 (niacinamide ) 25 mg. B6 (pyridoxine) 25 mg. B12 25 mcg. Inositol. 25 mg. Choline 25 mg. PABA 25 mg.
- Pantothenic acid 25 mg. Biotin 250 mcg. Folic acid 400 mcg. )
- Minerals: Calcium 500-1000 mg. Magnesium 250-500 mg. Zinc 15 mg. Iodine 0.1 mg. Copper 1.0 mg. Manganese 5 mg.
The Stress Formula
Stress can be an exciting challenge to some and puts others in bed with a migraine or asthma or fever. Stress comes in many forms: emotional allergic surgical physical ecological. When a person perceives stress of any kind the blood sugar falls which signals the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and adrenalin. Exhausted adrenal glands if not adequately re-supplied with all the proper nutrients will allow some genetic or familial trait to surface as an illness. When an allergy appears for example it suggests that the adrenal glands have not supplied the body with enough cortisol. Another factor that makes for adrenal gland exhaustion is the inefficient screening out of the victim’s environment. He may perceive a stress where the majority of his peers would feel comfortable. The world is too close and even threatening. The cortex of the brain reacts to overwhelming stimuli that other parts of the nervous system allowed to get through. The cortex assumes that attack is imminent and sends an SOS to the pituitary which sends an instruction to the adrenals to pour out their hormones to prepare the body for fight or flight.
What a waste! If stress cannot be avoided and if the diet is inadequate to build up the glands again the stressed body becomes the victim of a psychosomatic disease the type and location depending on genetic factors. Hay fever asthma colitis arthritis depression hyperactivity and susceptibility to infections could be the manifest evidence of an inability to handle stress because of a poor system for filtering incoming stimuli an over-responsive or sensitive cortex low blood sugar and exhausted adrenal glands. Once the disease is established and the diagnosis is made the symptoms of the illness can be alleviated but some effort must be directed to the nutrition of the adrenals the pancreas the liver and of course the brain to remedy the inadequacy hat allowed this sequence to get started in the first place. We know how to build up these glands so that they can function properly but we must alter the victim’s diet and lifestyle to prevent a recurrence of the exhaustion.
The program for adrenal support therapy called the Stress Formula throughout our text is as follows:
- Eat no sugar white flour packaged cereals or the like.
- Nibble nutritious foods every two to three hours so the blood sugar is maintained as evenly as possible.
- Vitamin C 500 to 10 000 mg per day.
- Vitamin B complex 50 to 200 mg of each of the Bs per day for a month or so then a lower dose perhaps for life.
- Pantothenic acid 500 to 3000 mg per day. This can be varied up or down depending on the severity of the allergy or other adrenal-related illness.
- Pyridoxine Bs in doses of 200 to 500 mg per day.
- Vitamin A 30 000 to 50 000 units per day for a month.
- Calcium as dolomite or bone meal or a calcium salt in doses up to 1000 mg per day.
Some doctors find they must give vitamin C and B complex injections to supply the glands with the wherewithal to put out their valuable secretions while waiting for the glands to function efficiently. It is important to build up the glands if there is time so that reliance on cortisone is not necessary. Cortisone replacement may be life-saving but because it causes a suppression of the already exhausted glands it may be difficult to get the patient off the drug. The whole concept of adjunctive therapy is to supply the missing ingredients so the body can effectively handle living. Antibiotics tranquilizers muscle relaxers anti-convulsants decongestants anti-wheeze medicines antidepressants and antispasmodics are all helpful but temporary stop-gap measures.
They work quickly. while the nutritional support program may take days or weeks to effect control albeit more safely and probably more permanently. Side effects of medicines are numerous and frequently stress-producing in themselves. Since medicines are foreign chemicals the liver must detoxify them; this requires still further nutritional supports. Transcendental meditation chiropractic manipulation acupuncture psychotherapy hypnosis biofeedback and exercise all have their advocates-but all require optimum nutrition for best results. The cortex of the brain and the adrenals must be supplied with adequate amino acids glucose vitamins and minerals to carry out their functions. The best foods to accomplish this are raw vegetables seeds nuts whole grains liver fruit fish fowl-all as unprocessed as possible.
The seed must be nourished properly or the plant will be defective in some way. We know a number of things about the beginning of life. The things we do for the unborn child will have an effect lasting his whole life. It is like the powder charge for a cannonball; if only a feeble amount of good nutrition is used the baby will be sick or have an allergy in the first few weeks of his life. But if the pregnant woman can nourish herself maximally and avoid stress she is more likely to launch a very content healthy child. It is best to space children at least two or better three years apart. A woman’s body even with good nutrition does not have enough chance to get its full vitality back in less time. And just having another child in the house perfect though he or she may be is a stress. The incidence of allergies is certainly higher in children born within one to two years after an older sibling.
During the early months of intrauterine life the brain cells of the baby increase numerically so constant protein nutrition is absolutely essential or this growing nervous system may not achieve its genetic potential. This is in contrast to postnatal brain development which is largely devoted to increasing cell size. In this phase protein is less important; temporary interruptions can be compensated for. Work by Dr. Tom Brewer reported by Gail Brewer in What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know indicates that an average pregnant woman should gain at least 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. A newly pregnant obese woman should not embark on a weight-reducing diet without very careful attention to protein and vitamin intake. Apparently the reason doctors at one time did not want their patients to gain too much was that sudden increases in weight suggest fluid storage or edema which could mean the possible development of hypertension toxemia and convulsions.
It is now known that this sequence of events is almost entirely a result of the ingestion of a low-protein diet. There is a normal increase in the volume of the blood circulating during pregnancy to serve the needs of the baby. If this increase does not carry an adequate supply of albumin (protein) then by an osmotic pressure gradient fluid will leak into the tissues. If enough fluid gets into the brain the tissues swell and the pregnant woman may experience headache and possibly convulsions. The answer is not to give her a diuretic (water-loss substance) but to assure an adequate protein diet. No pregnant woman should ever eat food that is not completely nutritious. It is natural for a pregnant woman to become somewhat edematous (water-logged). At the time of delivery this extra fluid goes to the breasts and the engorgement strongly suggests to the new mother that she should nurse her baby.
Stress can be just as devastating to a pregnant woman and her baby as an inadequate diet. If a woman says she does not feel well is nervous on edge depressed overly tired crabby or has frequent headaches something is wrong and remedial action must be taken to prevent her stress from affecting her child. Her stress can exhaust his adrenals too. The incidence of allergies colic infections and hyperactivity is high in children born from mothers who had an uncomfortable or stress-filled pregnancy. A pregnant woman must have her blood checked for severe anemia her blood pressure taken and an evaluation made of the stress factors present (unsympathetic husband and in-laws; other worrisome children; insufficient help money security). Some women can handle all these stresses if they are eating properly and adhering to the Stress Formula. Some cannot absorb these things completely so they need a vitamin B complex injection every few days to “prime the pump.”
These injections are a must for pregnant women who have stress plus negative genetic factors in their family background (allergies alcoholism obesity diabetes hvpoglycemia). A good diet a supportive husband and a sympathetic doctor may not be enough. Children who exhibit milk allergies ear infections tonsils and adenoids that require removal buck teeth mouth breathing under-slung jaw narrow face and tension-fatigue syndrome are more likely than not to come from mothers who had nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. This suggests that the mother was deficient in vitamin B6 because B6 is often curative for the nausea and vomiting. B6 is necessary for the optimism function of the adrenal glands and the manufacture of cortisol. It is also necessary for the liver enzyme that metabolizes estrogen. According to Weston Price in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration when a young female in a primitive tribe is married the assumption is that she will soon become pregnant.
The tribe provides her the best most nutritious foods that can be gathered from far and near mostly protein. These tribes know that if the baby is less than perfect he will be unable to take his place in their society. His weakness sickness allergy or imperfect skeletal structure will make him a liability to the tribe which cannot provide for infirm defective members. Too many of our children are sickly. We now know how to make the next generation healthy not with access to medical care and modern drugs but with simple fairly inexpensive nutritious food. If we build these babies properly they will be bright strong and healthy. Minimum requirements for any pregnancy would include the nutrients listed below. If a woman’s body has been insulted for months or years by junk food she might do well to increase the vitamin dosages for a few months prior to pregnancy if she can predict a future pregnancy. Good nutrition is important through the whole nine months but the first few weeks are vitally important.
Nutrients for Pregnancy
- No sugar except that in fruit.
- No grains except whole grains. Whole-grain bread or cereals for calories.
- 2 to 3 ounces of nuts and seeds a day.
- 2 ounces of good-quality protein (fish poultry meat eggs liver) four to five times a day.
- 2 to 3 ounces of cheese (unprocessed white is best)
- one half to one quart of rawcertified cow’s or goat’s milk per day (unless there are allergies).
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of fish oil.
- Vegetables-one leafy serving (lettuce cabbage parsley endive spinach).
- One root vegetable serving (carrots beets parsnips turnips) raw or slightly cooked.
- Fruit-one or two servings of apple bananas berries raisins. Best eaten with nuts or seeds.
- Vitamins: A 20 000 to 30 000 units. D 500 to 1000 units. E 400 to 800 units. C 500 to 5000 mg (depending on allergies and infections). B complex 3 to 4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast or 50 mg of each of the Bs. Folic acid 1 mg.
- Minerals: Dolomite (usually only available in 100 to 200 mg tablets) 1000 mg calcium 500 rug magnesium (double if subject cannot tolerate dairy products). Bone meal 500 mg. (All this can be adjusted with dairy intake to get 1500 to 2000 mg of calcium per day.) Kelp to get iodine zinc 30 to 50 mg iron 20 to 40 mg and trace amounts of all the other minerals.
Infections in children are common; but the fact that many children sail through the growing years without a cold sore throat or the flu has to indicate that there is a difference in susceptibility among individuals. We think that this difference can be explained by at least two interrelated factors: genetic differences and nutritional imbalances. This approach would help explain why some children in a family never get the flu that is sweeping through the house while another child who is well-protected and seemingly well-fed gets a cold with no apparent exposure. An allergy that runs in a family allows viruses to get a foothold. For example; an attack of hay fever allows the cold virus to invade the nasal-lining cells and because the area is a good culture medium the ubiquitous bacteria begin to grow there on top of the phlegm stimulated by the virus. Obviously a person is shack with his genes but it should be ease to figure out the child’s infection tendencies and take steps to compensate.
If allergies are rampant on both sides of a family the pregnant woman should fortify herself before conception (if possible) with the Stress Formula up to the point where she is comfortable stress-free non-nauseated and without allergies herself. She must plan to nurse the baby for six to twelve months and of course she follows the nutrients for pregnancy program. If the infant becomes sick with a lever cold vomiting and diarrhea croup wheeze colored mucus in his eves or nose he has slipped into a health level that may require treatment with antibiotics from a doctor but it also signals that some defense mechanism allowed the invasion of virus or germ. Exposure to the causative agent is a valid reason for the sickness but only a partial reason: a nutritional inadequacy facilitated the invasion. Many infections can be aborted if vitamin C is administered before the agent begins to overwhelm the host. The failure of ascorbic acid to be therapeutic is due largely to the fact that it is not given early enough or in big enough doses. We all have individualized needs based on genetics and prenatal diet and we have to experiment to find out just what those needs are.
If the child even looks like he is coming down with something or sneezes a few times or gets that pinched look or wants to go to bed or gets a chill don’t wait. Consult your physician and give the child approximately the following:
- Birth to 6 months: 50-100 mg vitamin C every one to two hours for the first twenty-four hours
- 8 to 12 months: 100-200 mg every one to two hours
- 12 months to 5 years: 500 mg every one to two hours
- 6 years into adulthood: 1000 mg every hour until the infection has slowed.
Taper off the dose after a day or so when improvement is obvious but continue big doses until all the symptoms have disappeared. If diarrhea seems to be caused by the vitamin cut back but remember many virus infections in children will soften their stools. Rarely does vitamin C cause blood in the urine canker sores in the mouth or stomachaches. Cut back to a dose that will not cause such problems-or change brands since it is possible that some impurity is causing the response. Many doctors now use 2-10 grams of vitamin C some B6 (500 mg) and calcium (500 to 1000 mg) intravenously for virus infections (flu mononucleosis hepatitis measles) with marked success. Timing is essential; the longer the virus has been allowed to propagate the more difficult it is to stop its progress.
Assuming that the infection got in because that particular body did not have enough vitamin C the infection itself acts as a stress and further depletes the vitamin C so bigger doses may be required to control the spread. When the infection is over a reappraisal of the child’s lifestyle food intake and vitamin supplements must be made. The disease has left the child susceptible to a repeat of the illness or may even have moved the child to the next lower health level where he surely will be more vulnerable. This vitamin C prevention program will not work for every infection or every child but it seems to be a safe option. Many studies indicate that mega-doses of vitamin C will at least shorten the course of many common virus infections.
Inability to prevent or attenuate these infections suggests underlying allergies (food or inhalants) low vitamin A levels or some trouble in the child’s immune system that requires investigation. Prudent parents who do not want their children to suffer will provide nourishing food and allow no sugar or white flour in the house. They will encourage exercise with a minimum of television watching and avoid exposure to pollution as much as possible. To seal the whole system together they keep the children well supplied with the vitamins that are essential to support the system against stress. Virus infections that can be helped with vitamin C include colds croup hepatitis infectious mononucleosis measles chicken pox mumps canker sores intestinal flu and influenza. Eat foods that rot but eat them before they do.
From the book “Feed Your Kids Right”
The word he used in these examples and throughout this book is of course the generic use still a kind of communication shorthand-and almost always really means “he or she.” The theory on which this book is based is that optimal nutrition will maintain a person in health that is optimal for his or her particular genetic endowment. We could all be healthier than we are and the failure to achieve an elevated plateau is directly proportional to the degree and significance of our various nutritional deficiencies. I am proposing here that the right food and appropriate nutritional supplements can maintain and improve health and forestall the development of illness. Picture a somewhat arbitrary division of humans into five levels of health to be described shortly. As you read on see where you and your family fit in this picture and consider what you might safely do to move your whole family up into a more comfortable disease-free existence.
At the top level a person is at peak efficiency and well-being. At the fifth level he is sick enough to be hospitalized on intravenous fluids three medicines an antibiotic or two maybe oxygen even catheters. We all know what the sixth level would be. Most of us live on the second to fourth levels often going up to a higher level but unable to remain for long in an enhanced state of health. Sliding down through the levels is all too easy if a combination of stresses and unlucky events occurs. Consider a baby nine months of age who has cut four teeth (a stress). His mother decides to stop nursing him (a stress). He develops a cold. In four days he has 102? fever and an earache (a stress). His doctor gives him a shot of ampicillin (a stress). After taking additional medicine orally for five days he develops diarrhea (a stress). His appetite is off (a stress). He can only drink sugar water (a stress). He seems symptom-free for three weeks (no stress).
The weather changes or his babysitter sneezes on him; he gets a fresh cold (a stress). He gets another ear infection this time accompanied by a febrile convulsion-a real stress. He gets a spinal tap more antibiotics and is placed on phenobarbital to prevent a recurrence. He has gone from perfect health ( Level I ) to Level III in six short weeks. Prophylactic medicines prescribed by the doctor will keep him from Level IV ( tubes in ears adenoidectomy allergy tests). A stress-free period of recovery and proper care should bring him back to Level I. These levels are not clear-cut. Health states are a continuum; one thing leads to another-for better or worse. The more you sink the more the doctor is required. The better you maintain your body the less likely you are to experience bouts of illness. Your family doctor can tell you what you need to know about the biochemistry and genetic predispositions of your family. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to follow an individualized program of nutrition and preventive maintenance so each of you can live at an optimum level of health.
This infant grows to adulthood free of illness rashes gas headaches fatigue depression insomnia. He* came from a stress-free comfortable full-term pregnancy and easy delivery. He laughs and smiles more than he cries and frowns. His hair and nails are glossy not brittle require a minimum of care and his scalp is smooth and clean. His bowel movements have an acid odor with little or no putrid nauseating smell. He’s never constipated (well hardly ever) nor does he have loose sloppy green BMs. He does not bruise easily nor can one raise a wheal easily by scratching his skin. When he cries his nose runs clear; he breathes easily with no hyponasal twang to his voice. He sneezes snores and coughs rarely. No blood is noticed from his nose unless injured and then it stops quickly.
He cuts teeth easily. He handles weather changes teething going to school learning new skills athletic exertion and other stresses with a minimum of psychosomatic symptoms. He can eat many foods and occasionally even junk food or sugar without a headache or fainting or fatigue. His permanent teeth are even free of cavities un-crowded and there is room for his wisdom teeth. No orthodontia is needed. He is likely to come from a family that seems calm and accepting. There is little or no obesity diabetes allergy alcoholism schizophrenia or depression in his family background. He is more likely than not to be brown-eyed (American Indians excepted) and he tans easily. He works up to his ability in school is not easily distracted learns to read easily finishes assigned work is usually compliant and easygoing. He makes friends easily and has a pleasant personality. He is adroit and coordinated. He is neither thin nor fat.
He has few extremes of emotional response-he cries or laughs appropriately. He enjoys doing things for others. He sails through his developmental levels in physical psychological and cognitive growth as if he had read the charts. He does not prolong bed-rocking thumb-sucking hair-twisting; he is able to abandon such behavior as he matures without fuss. He is easy to toilet-train; he almost seems to do it himself when ready for it. He enjoys pleasing his loved ones. He can also entertain himself. As he grows he can even laugh at his own human frailties. If he experiments with drugs it is only because his peer group suggests it; he abandons them because he finds his drug-free existence more comfortable. He is a satisfactory fun-to-have-around child. A joy. He even remembers your birthday and anniversary.
There is nothing very wrong here but the differences suggest a slippage that if unchecked could slide on down to disease and misery. Remedial action is called for. He still laughs more than he cries and in general is a satisfactory baby child adolescent adult parent but he has occasional moments of allergy discontent moodiness sickness. His nose may run when be is on the wool rug for more than three hours. He doesn’t sleep through the night until three months of age. He lollygags over breast or bottle and vomits once or twice a week when handled by a stranger. A cold develops only if someone brings it home-maybe two or three times a year and clears rapidly with nose drops and antihistamines without accompanying ear infection.
Bouts of gas and fussiness are rare but real and are dispelled by tea massage or a glycerin suppository. He is not completely satisfied on the breast and sometimes has gas if his mother eats beans garlic or onions. If overfed he will vomit. An occasional BM may stink. His development matches the standard charts but he is occasionally frustrated because he crawls under a table and can’t get out. He loves cuddling. He insists on sucking or rocking and needs a favorite stuffed toy at bedtime. Separation anxiety comes early-at seven or eight months-but he can be distracted out of it. Teething may be accompanied by a fever (100? to 101?) but aspirin is curative; no disease follows. He gets roseola but is not “sick”: he just feels warm and is irritable for three days and then has a body rash and resumes smiling.
He has food preferences but can be talked into eating almost everything except liver and spinach. Rashes appear (cheeks face buttocks) with some new foods but disappear in a day or so. He has a hard BM only with too much rice applesauce or bananas. Temper tantrums are short; he gives them up when his parents turn their backs. In a month he finds better ways to express himself: “No!” He cruises about the house touching things but seems careful and looks to his parents for approval. If they say no he understands and does not again touch the forbidden object. He has little trouble getting toilet-trained: a few dry runs and false alarms and several accidents. Girls are trained at eighteen to twenty months and boys by two and a half to three years.
Only one attack of croup per winter and only one strep throat in every two or three years; the former is assuaged with steam in two nights and the latter responds nicely to penicillin. School is a little scary for a day or two but when he gets his bearings he is cooperative a leader and has fun. He learns easily but occasionally goes off the page and writes on his neighbor. He is sorry if be hurts someone. Only a few accidents and never suturable cuts or concussions. He is careful with toys. Never sticks a bean up his nose. He waits to ride a bike until he is sure he can then he does it easily. Remembers danger when warned. Enjoys sweets but has no obvious food cravings. Accepts punishment if fair. Goes to bed with only a little reluctance.
Plays cooperatively with others. Likes to win but accepts a loss cheerfully. Doesn’t care if chosen fourth when sides are picked. Defends self in a fight but will not start one. Mood swings are slight and evanescent. Will not think of mean things to do to the losers in his class and joins in only reluctantly if his peer group picks on someone. Growth is even. During ages seven to twelve he enjoys his parents as much as his friends. Invites a friend over as if proud of his home and family. Would prefer certain toys or games on birthdays but appears pleased if relatives give shirts and pajamas. Only rarely does he awaken his parents because of nocturnal fears; may wet bed only after an exciting party or scary movie. Does his fair share of chores within twenty-four hours after the request rarely complains that he is a slave.
Adolescence is generally smooth since he has enough supportive friends and hobbies. Only twenty pimples in six years. Never gets mononucleosis. Only an occasional stomachache if he forgets breakfast or before a big game. Good at team sports; cooperative. A few muscle cramps after exercises. Sneezes for a week during pollen season. Gets athlete’s foot but it is easily cleared with an over-the-counter fungicide. Gets sweaty palms and rapid pulse on his first date. Masturbates once or twice a week and feels guilty but doesn’t lose sleep over it. Laughs when friends say he will get hair growing on his palm. Smokes off and on; enjoys beer with friends.
The mother of the child in this category usually had a stressful pregnancy: nausea and vomiting mild toxemia spotty bleeding prolonged or early or Caesarean delivery. The baby may have been premature was slow to breathe had to go into the incubator perhaps also needed oxygen. Because of these factors the mother and baby are not allowed to participate in early important mother-child interaction. She may be too weak to nurse and he may be too tired to suck so the “helpful” nursery team puts him on cow’s milk and she dries up. He picks up on weight and strength and things go well for about two to four weeks when colic eczema wheeze or vomiting gas and diarrhea push a barely Level I baby into Level II or III. The doctor is summoned and may be able to prevent a further decline to Level IV. But these are the babies who get colic medicines antihistamines antibiotics ointments and milk changes and whose families need tranquilizers sedatives and aspirin.
These children are touchy often uncuddlable-as if the world is too close. They may fight back or occasionally withdraw suck their thumbs or rock the bed with a determination that suggests they are trying to block out a sensory overload. We want to cuddle and comfort them but if we get too close they arch away or stiff-arm us or get so tense they will vomit the ultimate in body language indicating rejection of our advances. This hypertonic baby is the one who should have been nursed the one most likely to have come into the world with exhausted adrenal glands and as a consequence the one who would most likely develop an allergy to cow’s milk. As noted above one stress leads to another and he hovers between Levels III and IV. If the parents can hold him together he may outgrow his problems; but each new stress will surely overburden his weak defenses. Repeated infections intestinal upset rashes allergies force the parents to overprotect him and make a “hothouse plant” out of him.
Hypochondriasis and constant navel-gazing seem to be his lot. He overreacts to separation; has violent temper tantrums over the slightest insult; is noncompliant in eating toilet training. He feels put upon. Birthdays outings surprises are overwhelming invasions of his privacy or opportunities to become a tyrannical monster. He is accident-prone a bull in a china shop shows no remorse if he hurts someone does not seem to profit by mistakes and cannot seem to comprehend parental instruction. He is either terribly shy or a persistent approacher-he cannot ignore unimportant stimuli. Either environmental stimuli overwhelm him and he retreats in fear or has to attack everything that appears in his environment. Everything must go his way-no compromise no give and take-and when sick he expects to be waited on hand and foot. He has few friends in school but he may be the class clown. He makes the rules for the games; he needs to win and will cheat to do it.
He is a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of person showing wild swings of mood. He can be very affectionate if he wants something pouts or storms if he gets only a fair share. He has persistent allergies. He needs antihistamines and occasional shots of cortisone for bee stings or bad bouts of asthma or a completely plugged nose during pollen season. He is likely to have had his tonsils removed and had tubes in his ears; he may have been on prophylactic antibiotics to suppress infections. His attacks of colds usually last longer than those of his siblings and are more likely to go into secondary bacterial infection. Intestinal flu exhausts him. He is more likely than not to be hospitalized when sick because home nursing care never seems to be adequate. He dehydrates easily when sick. His nights do not seem restful. He may resist going to bed. He awakens screaming with a night terror once a month or he sleeps deeply and wets the bed. He is a grouchy bear in the morning and ruins whatever cheerful interaction his parents try to observe at breakfast.
He often refuses breakfast. You know that if he would eat properly he would feel better. It almost seems as if he enjoys feeling punk. He is sallow and usually has dark circles under his eyes. He gets head- and stomach-aches easily especially if he is asked to do a chore. He may wear a jacket when everyone else is comfortable in a shirt. When adults speak to him he sits impassively with his arms folded on his chest. He acts as if he wants people to dislike him. Adolescence is difficult. He tries alcohol cigarettes and pot at eleven or twelve years of age and drugs at thirteen or fourteen. His friends are often the losers. Acne is moderately severe and persistent. His hair is stringy or greasy. He doesn’t seem to care. He has a bad self-image. Teachers don’t like him and hope he will drop out of school; he hopes he will be expelled because he hates school anyway. It takes a lot of social parental psychiatric and medical help to keep him from juvenile delinquency. He could slip easily into a lifetime antisocial commitment.
Individuals unfortunate enough to qualify for this category require almost constant medical attention: daily drug therapy for epilepsy diabetes cystic fibrosis; gamma globulin and antibiotics to ward off infections; weekly allergy shots; anti-leukemia medicines; surgery for congenital anomalies twisted bowels kidney malfunctions tumors or blood clots; cortisone on a daily basis to control arthritis colitis nephritis asthma. All attest to the seriousness of this level of trouble. For many children however the bodies may have arrived at this level but the emotional and intellectual level may still be up at the I and II area. Some have bodies and general physical health that qualify them for Level I or II but their psyche is at the fourth level: depression phobias extreme hyperactivity belligerence migraine.
This category contains the bedridden terminally ill extremely retarded or malformed-the child about whom doctors become very depressed. We would like to help but the conditions seem irreversible. These levels are merely illustrative of a continuum of behavioral characteristics. Your child need not have all the characteristics of each level to force a label or cause needless concern. These profiles provide me with a general guide as to how heroic I must be with nutritional supports. Some children in Level II or III need only diet changes; others in Levels IV and V would more likely need high-potency vitamins even injections in high doses to reverse the rapid slippage. If school authorities want to stop discipline problems and vandalism in the classroom they must do away with sugar and junk foods in the hails and close the candy stores within two miles of the school.