The plight of a four-year-old boy who virtually succumbed after his mothers dedicated him 12 alternative medications has inspired physicians to warn against the treatments.
Doctors at Newham Hospital in east London said the parents were “devastated” that their good aims had attained him so unwell.
The boy took a dozen supplements supposedly to help treat his autism.
The National Autistic Society said it was crucial for physicians to talk through the risks of alternative therapies.
The boy developed a potentially fatal condition after taking supplements from a naturopath( natural health practitioner) for a number of months, which included vitamin D, camel’s milk, silver and Epsom bath salts.
He was admitted to A& E after losing 6.5 lbs( 3kg) over three weeks, suffered by symptoms including vomiting and extreme thirst.
Dr Catriona Boyd and Dr Abdul Moodambail, writing in the British Medical Journal Case Reports , said it was not until the son had been at Newham Hospital, which is part of St Bart’s Health Trust, for several days that his mother told them about the holistic supplements.
Dr Moodambail told the BBC: “This happens on many occasions with other patients as well.
“Often the mothers is considered that these supplements are natural, safe and do not cause any side effects or adverse effects, but this is not true in many cases like this.”
He added: “The situation was stark because the child developed vitamin D toxicity leading to the highest calcium levels, stimulating the child quite unwell and this can even be fatal as well.”
The boy made a full recovery in 2 week after being treated with hyperhydration and drugs to reduce his calcium level.
What are complementary and alternative therapies?
Complementary and alternative medicines( CAMs) are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare Generally when a non-mainstream practise is used together with conventional medicine, it is considered “complementary” When a non-mainstream practice is used instead of conventional medicine, it is considered “alternative” Examples of CAMS include homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicines Some complementary and alternative medications or therapies are based on principles and an evidence base that are not recognised by the majority of independent scientists Others have been proven to work for a limited number of health conditions, such as osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture for treating lower back ache When a person utilizes any health therapy – including a CAM – and experiences an improvement, this may be due to the placebo effect Osteopaths and chiropractors are regulated in the same way as mainstream medical professionals “Were not receiving” statutory professional regulation of any other CAM practitioners
The survey, published under Friday, concluded that Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also harmful. Among the five merely YouTube was judged to have a positive impact.
The four platforms have a negative effect because they can exacerbate children and young peoples body image worries, and worsen bullying, sleep both problems and feelings of nervousnes, depression and loneliness, the participants said.
The findings follow growing concern among legislators, health bodies, doctors, charities and mothers about young people suffering damage as a result of sexting, cyberbullying and social media reinforcing impressions of self-loathing and even the risk of them committing suicide.
Its interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing. Both platforms are very image-focused and it is suggested that they may be driving impressions of inadequacy and nervousnes in young person, said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, which undertook the survey with the Young Health Movement.
She demanded tough various measures to stimulate social media less of a wild west when it is necessary to young peoples mental health and wellbeing. Social media firms should bring in a pop-up image to warn young people that they have been using it a lot, while Instagram and similar platforms should alert users when photographs of people have been digitally manipulated, Cramer said.
The 1,479 young people surveyed was requested to rate potential impacts of the five different forms of social media on 14 different criteria of health and wellbeing, including their effect on sleep, nervousnes, depression, loneliness, self-identity, bullying, body image and the fear of missing out.
Instagram emerged with the most negative score. It rated poorly for seven members of the 14 measures, particularly an influence on sleep, body image and anxiety of missing out and also for bullying and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness. However, young people quoth its upsides too, including self-expression, self-identity and emotional support.
YouTube scored very badly for its impact on sleep but positively in nine of the 14 categories , notably awareness and understanding of other people health experience, self-expression, loneliness, depression and emotional support.
However, the leader of the UKs psychiatrists said the findings were too simplistic and unfairly blamed social media for the complex reasons set out above the mental health of so many young person is suffering.
Prof Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: I am sure that social media plays a role in unhappiness, but it has as many benefits as it does negatives .. We need to teach children how to cope with all aspects of social media good and bad to prepare them for an increasingly digitised world. There is real danger in blaming the medium for the message.
Tom Madders, its director of campaigns and communications, said: Inspiring young people about heavy usage and signposting to support they may need, on a platform that they identify with, could help many young people.
However, he also advised caution in how content accessed by young people on social media is perceived. Its also important to recognise that simply protecting young people from particular content types can never be the whole solution. We need to support young people so they understand health risks of how they behave online, and are empowered to make sense of and know how to respond to harmful content that slips through filters.
Parents and mental health experts fear that platforms such as Instagram can stimulate young users feel worried and insufficient by facilitating hostile commentaries about their appearance or reminding them that they have not been invited to, for example, a party many of their peers are attending.
May, who has attained childrens mental health one of her priorities, highlighted social medias damaging effects in her shared society speech in January, saying: We know that the use of social media brings additional concerns and challenges. In 2014, simply over one in 10 young person said that they had experienced cyberbullying by phone or over the internet.
In February, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, advised social media and technology firms that they could face sanctions, including through legislation, unless they did more to tackle sexting, cyberbullying and the trolling of young users.
I have now spent ten difficult vacations without my late husband, and eight heartbreaking vacations without my son. The first few vacations after their loss were so painful that I dont remember much about them, other than I quickly understood that the holidays would never be the same. Holidays became something I dreaded and had to get through, rather than something I celebrated and enjoyed.
So, why am I still surprised a decade afterward, when my mostly mended heart, violates back open during the holidays like clockwork? Just what is it about the holidays that brings the ache of our loss back to the forefront of our hearts? And how can we be more prepared to deal with the unexpected pain?
Our society sets a lot of fund, feeling, and time, into the winter holidays. Holidays are advertised as joyous occasions where we gather together and celebrate with family and friends. Everywhere you look there are reminders that the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. But, after loss, holidays dont feel so wonderful anymore. In fact, they can be downright debilitating.
The reality is that there are very few periods during the year where our loved ones absence is more deeply felt, and mourned, than during the holidays.
We need to give ourselves a transgres during the holidays and recognize that 😛 TAGEND
This. Is. Hard.
Society sends us the message that we are supposed to be joyful and that the holidays are a hour for festivity and connecting with people we love. But, all we know is that we feel worse than ever. Nothing seem to be take out the empty feeling in the cavity of our bellies and the aching in our hearts. We are required to show up to family collects, with a vital part of our household missing, and feign that we are fine.
We are not fine.
We are grieving the fact that our loved one will never be a part of our household galas again. The reminder of our loss is never as obvious as when we are surrounded by our extended family and friends, their familys are whole and together. Our family has an obvious vacant spot and will never be whole without our missing loved one.
Just as the death of our loved one changed the style we look at life, the holidays will never be the same again without them there by our side.
All of these emotions and impressions can be rather confounding and catch us by surprise. While we know that we feel broken during the holidays, we dont fully understand why our ache is increasing during a day when everyone else is happy and seems to be enjoying themselves. Family and friends around us dont understand either, and they may feel uncomfortable being around our ache while they are trying to celebrate.
All of these holiday-induced feelings combine with our already fragile hearts to worsen our guilt, ache, and impressions of loneliness, putting us into an emotional fog that induces it difficult to find our route through the vacation. So, we stumble through the holiday blindly, hoping that we come out on the other side with our hearts still in one piece.
I am eventually coming to the conclusion that holidays will always be difficult, whether one year, ten years, or two decades after my loved ones died. This is the reality we must learn to live with. We will always miss them. We need to do a better undertaking of being more is conscious that the holidays are a trigger for our sorrow, and find ways to take special care of our wounded hearts during the holidays.
Here are some suggestions that helped me get through the holidays:
1. Be kind and patient with yourself. Know that you dont “re going to have to” do the hard work of healing during the holidays, you just have to get through them. We will pick back up on working to mend our heartbreak after the holidays. Understand that it is okay to be sad. You are in pain. The ache cuts deep. We cant move through the pain until weve honored the emotions that demand to be felt.
2. Listen to what your body and your emotions are telling you. I tried to ignore these feelings of loss and sadness, and focus on the festivals. But, when I ignore my emotions my physical body sends me a reminder that, ultimately, Im not the one in control. My body will shut itself down, building me feel physically ill and it will take days for me to recover my physical strength. Listen to the cues your body is sending you and recognise your emotions.
3. Appear for activities and/ or people that bring you some happiness. When I was in the trenches of sorrow, I discovered joy spending time with my two year old niece. Her infectious and innocent joy in life constructed me feel happy. Spending hour with her was more effective than any antidepressant could have been.
4. Avoid the urge to isolate yourself. Loved ones may not understand the ache youre “re going through”, but they still want to try to support you.
5. Dont overextend yourself physically or emotionally. You will find that you cant do as much as you could before. That is okay. Your priority needs to be doing injury control and protecting your emotional and physical health as much as possible.
6. Learn that its okay to say no. Some people wont understand, and you need to know that this is not your problem. You cant control what other people think or feel. Your priority must change to caring for yourself.
7. Find someone you can talk to about how youre impression. If there is no one, journal your thoughts. Sometimes writing the thoughts down on a piece of paper allows them to escape from our heads and offer some emotional relief when we are feeling overwhelmed.
8. Sometimes volunteering or helping someone else in need can bring pleasure to our broken hearts. If you find joy in dedicating, find a way to balance devoting to others in need, without draining yourself physically or emotionally.
9. Remember the beautiful vacations you were blessed to share with your loved ones before they died. What amazing gifts you were given. Remember and honor these periods. Life is about adjusting to change. You can still find bless in this vacation, and in future vacations. Look for those working blessings.
Give yourself a gift by taking care of yourself this holiday.
Remember, it is okay to grieve, even if others are celebrating. Find the balance of honoring your emotions and recognizing the blessings that are still right in front of you, waiting to be cherished. You can get through this holiday.
Sending you strength and bless to help you get through these difficult days.
You can find my volume, The Other Side of Complicated Grief, here.
You can find my Facebook grief supporting page, here.
This post is part of CommonGrief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative.Griefis an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t stimulate navigating it any easier. The deep regret that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a wedding or even moving far away from home, is real. But whilegriefis universal, we all grievedifferently. So we started CommonGriefto help learn from each other. Let’s talk about living with loss. If you have a narrative you’d like to share, email us atstrongertogether @huffingtonpost. com.
If the last few weeks have proven anything, its that being a trans and/ or gender non-conforming child is really hard, even in an age when trans people are gaining a small amount of greater acceptance.
On February 13 th, The White House decided to roll back President Obamas directive that encouraged schools to let students use the bathroom that aligns with their gender and threatened to cut federal funding to schools that failed to comply. In the wake of that decision, on March 6th the Supreme Court decided to send the case of Gavin Grimm, the teenage plaintiff in a transgender bathroom rights suit, back to lower court.
Less than two months into the Trump administration, and the attack on trans people, and especially on trans youth, has already begun.
But, another surprising dialogue on trans children has arisen from noted Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies recent comments on trans females. Adichie received criticism from the trans community after her BBC interview in which she made the argument that trans women and cis females should be categorized differently because they were socialized differently. Adichies commentaries hinge on the idea that trans women suddenly change genders at some point in “peoples lives”, meaning that until that magical moment, they are recipients of male privilege.
As a trans person who sometimes uses the internet, arguing with trans-exclusionary revolutionary feminists( TERFs ), or more pointedly trans girls exclusionary feminists( TWEFs) is just par for the course. A especially vocal group of internet trolls, TWEFs argue fervently that trans girls are not women and that popping out of the womb with a vagina is the sole criteria for participating in and receiving the protections feminism seeks to provide. Devoted their inclination for completely circuitous( il) logic and their incredible staman in flame wars, Ive mostly stopped arguing with them for the benefit of my mental health.
Something, however, was different after Adichies remarks. People whose opinions Ive tended to respect, even vocal supporters of the trans community came out in favor of Adichies comments. I felt compelled, is again, to take to my keyboard.
I dont need to and am, in fact , not capable of speaking directly to the experiences of trans women and femmes; theyve encompassed that ferociously here, here, oh and here. And, I dont wishes to detract from the questions at hand: that cis feminists are actively excluding trans women from their feminism despite the fact that trans women regularly face harsher violence and discrimination than their cis counterparts.
What I do want to do, given the fact that Adichies comments seem to hinge upon how peoples experiences in youth affect their worldview and how they navigate privilege, is make a few points about how we understand childhood socialization, particularly as it impacts transgender people.
First, the basis of our system of childhood gender enculturation is transmisogyny. Coined by Julia Serano in her 2007 volume Whipping Girl , transmisogyny is the assumption that femaleness and femininity are inferior to, and exist mainly for the benefit of, maleness and masculinity. Those of us who were socialized as girls experienced this in a somewhat obvious route. We were told regularly that there existed certain things we couldnt do because we were daughters. We had to work twice as hard to earn the respect of our both teachers and peers. We were expected to be quiet, docile, and submissive in the presence of men.
But, those trans and gender non-conforming people who were socialized as sons developed in the same exact system. They were also constantly reminded that femininity and womanhood were inferior, that their feminine traits or their identity as girls was deserving of ridicule and punishment. On top of that, we live in a culture that uses physical and psychological violence to rid people who are socialized as sons of their femininity and feminine traits. The disciplinary techniques by which we are forced into binary genders may be different, but the outcome is the same: teach children that femininity and womanhood is inferior.
Regardless of what the outside( cisgender) world may assure, that is not privilege. A main objective of our feminism should be espousing and lifting up femininity. It should be build space for gender non-conformity and repudiating raising our children to subscribe to a harmful gender binary rather than strengthening it by privileging certain experiences over others as Adichie did.
This is a point I believe a lot of people, including Adichie, are get hung up on or, given the general absence of representation of trans men and non-binary AFAB people, simply havent deemed: it can be both the instance that trans men who were socialized as girls are impacted by their childhood experiences of( trans) misogyny and that trans women who were raised as sons are as well. However, when it is necessary to our lives in and beyond transition, trans men do have male privilege and trans women do not.
Being a trans child entails attempting, from all angles, to navigate a world that degrades femininity and womanhood and disciplines us into a binary gender system.
Second, although many more trans children are growing up in a world where they can investigate their gender identity, they are still subject to the discipline and discrimination enacted by a transphobic society. Even those children who are being given the opportunity to transition have to contend with bullying and harassment from children, educators, and mothers alike. According to a 2011 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 82 percentage of trans students reported feeling unsafe at school.
Being a trans kid entails navigating a world that was never meant to hold you, protect you, and keep you safe.
Lastly, as someone who grew up in a period before trans issues were widely spoken about( at least outside of insensitive gags and television talk proves ), I had no idea that I was transgender as a kid. I didnt even know people like me could transition. All I had to go on was an incessant feeling in my intestine that something was deep incorrect with me and that I was different from other people in ways that I needed to overcompensate for or hide.
Kids today who may have access to more information about transition still have to contend with prevailing ideologies of gender and transition. Because our society privileges adult knowledge over kid knowledge, trans children both have to resist the norms that are being enforced on them during a very impressionable time in their development and prove to the adults in “peoples lives” that they have a firm and intimate knowledge of their own identities. This feeling of not fitting in with the world, of having to constantly resist what youre being told in the face of a pervasive, binary gender system can take an immense psychological toll.
According to the 2015 US Trans Survey, 40 percent of trans people have attempted suicide at some phase in their lives, while many more have experienced serious mental health concerns. I entered adulthood with a host of mental health issues that at one point resulted me to a stay on a psychiatric ward. Dedicating myself permission to pursue transition was the only thing that brought me back from the edge. And, I continue to suffer from social and general nervousnes, rooted in the trauma of dysphoria and discrimination.
Being a trans child entails arguing with psychological stress and trauma no kid should have to go through.
For Adichie and her supporters to insist that being raised a son ought to have experienced male privilege, is to ignore both the ways that transmisogyny impacts trans women and femmes throughout their development and the struggles that trans youth face when it comes to being believed, heard, and treated with dignity and respect. It uncritically centers people who were born with vaginas and it is completely dismissive of the mental and emotional toll that trans kids experience, whether they are out or not, whether they know theyre trans or not.
And, it stands in stark opposition to the various kinds of feminism trans people want to see: one that centers bodily autonomy and self-determination and one that uplifts femininity of all kinds.
Apart from other vectors of privilege including race, class, ability, religious affiliation that grant some of us easier passageway through trans childhood than others 😛 TAGEND