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Vaxing a child with diabetes?

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone- My 5 year old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Wednesday. She has not been vaxed since her 12 month shots. The doctor highly praised vax. and gave me a handful of reasons to get her up to date-especially with flu. My gut says no- I feel like the diabetes is already a symptom of a weakened immune system and to load more into her would just weaken it further. That being said, I'm not 100% sure, I would love some of your opinions, advice or comments. I'm pretty wrung out emotionally over the diagnoses and not thinking with my whole brain. Please help!!! I don't want to do something neglegent and I don't want her at risk. Thanks everyone for your input.
post #2 of 89
I think your gut instinct is right, that the vaccines would further weaken/damage her.
post #3 of 89
I would discuss with her dr the implications of getting a VPD for a child with diabetes.

I think it's important for your daughter (and your peace of mind) to research this thoroughly. You may still decide not to vax but at least you've made that decision based on something more than gut instinct.
post #4 of 89
Hugs to you.
The early days of diagnosis are hard and I remember my head spinning with information. How is your daughter doing?
My dd8 was diagnosed with T1 2 years ago and FWIW we've chosen to forego the flu shot - this will be our 3rd flu season without it.

The challenge with flu and diabetes is that if a child begins to vomit and/or becomes dehydrated they can end up with severe ketones which requires a hospitalization. DKA can happen fast, especially in children and is nothing to fool around with.

The second complicating factor is that "unstable" blood glucose (which is common to people with diabetes) can make it harder for the body to fight off infection (initial and secondary).

For our situation we are comfortable with our decision. We homeschool which allows us the flexibilty to manage health situations (our daughter's as well as community ones like this flu) and gives us the opportunity to deal with illness immediately before it can get out of hand. We also see a naturopath who has diabetes herself and we are working on dd8s immune system and overall health. We are currently putting our flu plan in action and although it has gone like wildfire through our friends and my husband's office we have not had it yet.

The vast majority of parents of children with diabetes choose to vaccinate and I can completely understand why. The overwhelming majority of HCP advise vaccination. To manage diabetes during the flu season requires a huge amount of diligence, a fair amount of flexibility and commitment (to stay home, to use homeopathics, to alter your environment/diet to help manage the risk, to react quickly with insulin to keep ketones under control etc). It's not something that is easily accomplished for most families.

Just to clarify - an automimmune diagnosis is actually a sign of an overactive immune system. Most kids with diabetes I know are quite healthy otherwise. However, like you, my instinct is not to mess around with my dd's (or her siblings') immune systems.

Good luck with your decision.
feel free to pm if you want.
Karen
post #5 of 89
Did you ever read the following?

http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?Id=2984

http://www.*********/v/coulter.html

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/319/7217/1133#5075

There is lots of other evidence that vaccines may actually be the cause of diabetes in young children. I would not take a chance with any further vaccines.


Also, please look at this -

http://www.doctoryourself.com/diabetes.html
post #6 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
I would discuss with her dr the implications of getting a VPD for a child with diabetes.
Would you also discuss with her dr the implications of getting the vaccines for a child with diabetes?

There are no studies of that sort. They only use perfectly healthy children as test subjects for any and all vaccines. Never a child with diabetes or any other disease. So the dr would have nothing to back up whatever he would be telling the mother (although I am sure he would say "definitely" get the shots, the more the better...bla bla... ).

Just thought you should know this.

The following is from Albert Einstein:

"Examine the decisions you’ve made in your life. When you’ve acted on pure intuition and a gut ‘knowingness’ you’ve enjoyed good results!"

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitti View Post
Would you also discuss with her dr the implications of getting the vaccines for a child with diabetes?

There are no studies of that sort. They only use perfectly healthy children as test subjects for any and all vaccines. Never a child with diabetes or any other disease. So the dr would have nothing to back up whatever he would be telling the mother (although I am sure he would say "definitely" get the shots, the more the better...bla bla... ).

Just thought you should know this.
Gitti - do you or your child have diabetes?
I ask because the decision to vaccinate for flu is a very complicated one when it comes to handling diabetes. There is a real, immediate risk of severe complications when it comes to contracting the flu when you are dealing with diabetes. And so while we choose not to vaccinate, and we probably agree on vaccines in general, what I personally, previously thought were cut and dried decisions pre-diagnosis become much more challenging with Diabetes in the picture.

OP - I think this will come down to a few things: your instinct, how your daughter is doing (if she's honeymooning you will have an easier time managing sick days than if she's not), how much flexibility there is in your life to hunker down, what other risk factors are at play, etc.

One of the most challenging things for me as a parent of a child with diabetes is finding reliable non-hysterical information that gives me the real risks for my decisions. We have a fabulous naturopath and a family doctor who have been a huge help. But it is still a struggle to make these sorts of decisions.

Hang in there - what you are experiencing is normal. It can be overwhelming but it gets better and you and your family will adjust to a new normal. Diabetes can be hard - but it also brings its own gifts.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
There is a real, immediate risk of severe complications when it comes to contracting the flu when you are dealing with diabetes.
The risk are at least the same with the flu vaccine.
Then it all boils down to:
a. inject the flu shot and bringing the risk about immediately
b.take a chance with maybe getting the flu

I, personally, would alway come down on the side of nature (not to vaccinate). The child may not get the flu at all, ever.
post #9 of 89
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your support and information. My daughter is doing very well so far and we seem to be adjusting ok- although grocery shopping today took a really long time. Karen, I appreciate your thoughts and your experience- I know I have a lot to consider and you brought up some points I had'nt thought of- so thank you. I have been pretty anti vax for so long I never expected that an event would come along and make me consider them- it is odd. Gitti- I appreciate the links I will def read them- I am information hungry right now. We have not had our first out of hosp visit with the doc yet so I'd like to arm myself before that. Thank you again- I really appreciate all of the info and opinions.
post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitti View Post
The risk are at least the same with the flu vaccine.
Then it all boils down to:
a. inject the flu shot and bringing the risk about immediately
b.take a chance with maybe getting the flu

I, personally, would alway come down on the side of nature (not to vaccinate). The child may not get the flu at all, ever.
We choose not to vaccinate so I understand where you are coming from. We've probably read the same literature. And yet my never-vaccinated, vitamin-D-supplemented, breastfed-til-she-was-4, sugar-avoiding, whole-foods-eating, athletic-active-fresh-air-breathing, beautiful daughter still contracted diabetes.

And having lived with this disease for the past 3 winters, and having had long conversations with a very naturally inclined family doctor and a wonderful naturopath, I disagree that the risks are the same for diabetic and non-diabetic children. I think having a child with diabetes quickly shifts your perspective on what is theoretical risk. DKA is serious and is a real, immediate, serious risk for people with diabetes and a likely one for children who develop ketones easily (and that is an assessment that the OP doesn't have enough info to make yet). Have you researched DKA? Do you understand the role of insulin, dehydration and ketones for diabetics? Do you understand the very real increased risk of contracting the flu and of developing complications when you add diabetes into the picture? I ask because when you have to weigh those real life everyday risks in the vaccine decision, the decision is no longer simplified, theoretical or as clear cut as you are trying to cast it here. The OP asked for and deserves some measured thought on this issue.
post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjenny View Post
Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your support and information. My daughter is doing very well so far and we seem to be adjusting ok- although grocery shopping today took a really long time. Karen, I appreciate your thoughts and your experience- I know I have a lot to consider and you brought up some points I had'nt thought of- so thank you. I have been pretty anti vax for so long I never expected that an event would come along and make me consider them- it is odd. Gitti- I appreciate the links I will def read them- I am information hungry right now. We have not had our first out of hosp visit with the doc yet so I'd like to arm myself before that. Thank you again- I really appreciate all of the info and opinions.
Greenjenny, two of the things that would come into play for me in this decision right now would be
1) is your daughter honeymooning. Honeymoons mean that the pancreas is still producing and secreting some level of insulin. The quick test is whether your child is receiving less than one half of a unit of insulin per kilo of bodyweight (which would mean she's honeymooning). You are still in early days but in a week or so you should have a better idea about whether you are honeymooning or not. This is important because the real concern with the flu is vomiting, dehydration and ketones. The presence of natural insulin can dramatically reduce your daughter's risk of developing ketones.
2) how comfortable you are with the idea of managing diabetes, sick days and requiring your daughter to eat and take shots if she isn't feeling well. This was one of the hardest things for me as an AP parent - overriding my daughter's will about what was happening with her body. It's heartbreaking but a necessary part of this.

The other thing to consider is how supported you will be with your medical team if you choose not to vaccinate. You will need to lean on this team, particularly if your daughter gets sick. And while I would never advocate vaccinating because of this, it may make the early days of figuring all of this out much more challenging if you have to clear this hurdle with your medical team on a regular basis. Do you have a naturopath or a trusted family doctor who can give you some guidance and support?

There are some great resources to read for general info as well as sick day management:
Think like a pancreas by Gary Scheiner
Using Insulin by John Walsh
Type 1 Diabetes by Ragner Hanas

There is also a forum for parents of children with diabetes called -lol- children with diabetes. It is very mainstream/pro-allopathic medicine, pro-typical SNAD etc and I find that part of it challenging but there are people on there that really know their stuff and they can be a great emotional support as well if that is something that appeals to you.

let me know if I can help at all.
Karen
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
I would discuss with her dr the implications of getting a VPD for a child with diabetes.

I think it's important for your daughter (and your peace of mind) to research this thoroughly. You may still decide not to vax but at least you've made that decision based on something more than gut instinct.
A mothers gut instinct is always right, IMO.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristiaz View Post
A mothers gut instinct is always right, IMO.
What if your gut instinct is to vaccinate?
post #14 of 89
I have no experience with T1 diabetes in children, but when it comes to vaccinating any child, irrespective of their health condition, I think it is prudent to ask the following questions:

What evidence is there that the vaccineis effective for those children with the same health issue that your child has?

What are the safety studies on the short and long term effects of this vaccine on the child population with the health issue that your child has?

For instance, if the vaccine is not very effective in that child population, it might not be such a good idea to take the risk, for little 'pay off' so to speak. And if there is no information on the long term safety of the vaccine in that child population, how can you know what the risks are?

I did come across this article while looking at something else. You might find it interesting or helpful.

Innate immunity and intestinal microbiota in the development of Type 1 diabetes
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
What if your gut instinct is to vaccinate?
I'd call that indigestion.
post #16 of 89
P.S. I'm kidding...sometimes sarcasm comes to easily to me.
post #17 of 89
we have a child with diabetes, and we do vaccinate. For a pp, until you have a child with diabetes I don't think you'll ever get it. Ketones are scary, like hello ICU scary. It can happen real fast no matter how on top of things you are.
Also have a child who was nursed, never vaccinated (selectively/spaced out after diagnosis), and he still got it. I don't see how links to how it was caused will help someone who already has it. Unless you are looking into preventing it in other children, which is understandable, but she is already there. A lot of people sent me links to this and that for preventing and causes soon after my son was diagnosed, I'd read it for hours, and pick through all the things I did wrong and was a mess. Years later, I've realized children from all different walks of life get this. It's not fair. It's an autoimmune disease, not a weakened immune system-but with illness comes DKA, like Karen stated.
Anyways, we choose to slowly vaccinate here and there. Our son has been hospitalized a few times for something that he could have beat with no problem if he didn't have diabetes. Also, hospitals are very unknowledgeable of type 1 diabetes, so a lot of times if a child with diabetes is sick that further complicates things. If something happens, it takes a lot of convincing of an ER doc that you know what they need, it is very frustrating and scary when your child is in crisis and they are taking their sweet time or argue over things you know you are right, soon you will be the expert. They also push a horrible type 2 diet full of artificial sweeteners while the child is recovering. Our local hospitals suck in diabetes care, we travel to see the endocrinologist. I'd probably feel more comfortable with vpd if we lived closer to a childrens hospital with an awesome endocrinologist team on staff 24/7.
It's amazing how a diagnosis like this made me rethink so many things I was previously dead set on. We waited a good 6 months before any vaccination, it seemed like every little variable threw us for a loop with blood sugars, so I was scared to add a vaccination into the mix. Now we've never noticed a change in his numbers after a vaccination.
post #18 of 89
Hi. I am really sorry about your daughter's dx.Don't forget to ask the endo about "sick day" management.

I snickered when I read that your grocery store trip took long. Not because it is funny but because it brings back so many memories of EVERYTHING taking longer. Counting up the carbs, weighing food, calculating the insulin ... my poor boy would have to wait sooooo long to eat while I tried to figure things out. Then I would get paranoid that I made a mistake and do it again. That first year was TOUGH. I know you have prolly heard this but it does get easier. You'll start to remember how many carbs things are, get faster at things and overall just will become more confident managing your dd's D.

My husband and my son both have type 1. We never get the flu shot because up until this year, none of us got the flu. I did consider getting the H1n1 for my daughter (asthma) and son, who even though he had never gotten the flu, I was concerned with the rapid spread of H1N1. Even though we decided against it, it was a moot point because my daughter got it before the vaccine was available. I got it too. I started everyone on echinachea/goldenseal, except my husband (he won't take it) and no one else got it. My daughter and I took some other stuff and were better within 48 hrs.

My husband got it this past week. He was REALLY sick. He refused any medicine until the third day when he was wishing for death. Then he was humbled and gratefully took everything I had to offer. He was better a couple of days later. The others and myself did not get it (immunity?) He was vomiting the first day. he didn't develop ketones, but becase he was havign trouble keeping food down, I was concerned about him going LO. So while his belly was uncooperative, he did not take insulin until after he ate, and had a feel for whether it was going to stay down or not. Ginger tea, helped with the nausea. He is fine now.

These are the things I took into consideration. My son is not honeymooning anymore, but his bg is managable and he always responds to insulin.There have been one or two occasions that a high was a little stubborn, and I would have him take a hot bath to help absorb the insulin faster and that would do the trick. He rarely develops ketones, only testing "trace" once and he rarely gets sick. I understand, that he mighjt get the flu one day. I am prepared to deal with it. Hopefully, he won't have to ever be hospitalized, but if he is ... I am prepared to deal with that too.

We can't see around corners, mama. We can only do the best we can, and I KNOW you will do the best you can for your daughter.

(((((((((HUGS)))))))))

I wanted to second the "childrenwithdiabetes" website. These people know their stuff. The help I have received from them has been INVALUABLE and I consider them more helpful than any doctor we've had. They respond quicker too. By the time the doctor calls me back, with the help of those parents it is usually already taken care of
post #19 of 89
...sorry
post #20 of 89
I just read through this mothering article here http://www.mothering.com/health/show-us-science that someone posted in another thread. It says:

Quote:
"We are killing about three kids for every one kid that would benefit from the vaccine....The more vaccines you are exposed to, the greater your risk of diabetes. It's more than just an association, because we can give these vaccines to animals and cause diabetes...I am very confident that we have proven that vaccines are causing diabetes.

"According to Classen's data, 79 percent of insulin-dependent diabetes in children under the age of ten is due to vaccines.
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