Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Prenatal Ultrasound is Not as Safe as You Think
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) Is diagnostic ultrasound the same as genetically modified food - enthusiastically put into service without the science needed to document its safety? Doctors who want to use it several times during a patient’s pregnancy say ultrasound is perfectly safe, but patients must take their word for it because no studies have proven it is. This sounds like what Monsanto tells everyone about their GMOs – they are safe because they say so. But truth always emerges eventually, as it did with the famous Seralini study of genetically modified organisms. In the last few years, the truth about ultrasound has begun to come out too, and it shows there are indeed many reasons to avoid them.
Ultrasound usually refers to a procedure during which live images of a fetus are produced. Its frequent use adds substantially to the bill when a fetus receives a medicalized gestation and birth. Because it has been sold to pregnant women as a completely safe procedure, ultrasound is used freely and without reserve. Ultrasounds have largely supplanted Xrays, which were also once sold to the public as “completely safe”.
Many animal and cell studies have highlighted the negative effects to fetuses from ultrasound, but these studies have been ignored because ultrasounds were easy to use and lucrative. In the Western world, there were no human studies available to contradict the idea that ultrasounds were harmless. There was only a 1984 Consensus Statement from the National Institutes of health that waved a red flag. Although this statement had the backing of the best American scientists of the time, the medical establishment was able to overlook it in their zeal for the procedure.
Today ultrasounds are used as a diagnostic tool, and also to satisfy any whim, such as to determine the sex of the baby before it is born, to get a head start on a photo album, or to track the growth of a healthy fetus. It is not uncommon for an obstetrician to send expectant mothers for an ultrasound after each visit, even when there are no questions about the health of the fetus. Pregnant women go along with this because they trust their doctors, and their doctors are telling them ultrasounds are completely safe.
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Truth about ultrasound finally emerges
The man now raising the shade on ultrasound is researcher Jim West, author of a recently released book titled 50 Human Studies Indicate Extreme Risk for Prenatal Ultrasound: A New Bibliography. As the title suggests, this is a seminal work with commentary, graphs and tables. It is the preeminent bibliography and commentary on the hazards of ultrasound usage. The book presents human studies conducted in China, examining results of in utero fetal exposure to ultrasound in more than 2,700 maternal/fetal pairs. Don’t think these studies are not valuable because they came from China. They far exceed anything done on the subject of prenatal ultrasound in the West.
These scientists measured damage to the brain, kidney, cornea, chorionic villi, and immune system. They found that the amount of ultrasound exposure required to produce damage to these areas in a human fetus was very low. Ultrasound hazards to those in the womb can no longer be denied as a result of this research.
Why is the West so far behind on this issue? Until Jim’s initial book was published and distributed, the Chinese studies which ran from 1988 to 2011, were unknown outside of China. Most of the studies on ultrasound in the U.S. national data base of medicine promote new medical ways to use ultrasound rather than challenging its safety.
Frequent ultrasounds during the fetal stage are now fairly common in most of the world. The health stakes are high for the physical and psychological health of the individual and society.
Jim also had a brainstorm in the form of the ideal modern ultrasound study that would play well in the West. It used a highly sensitive type of chromatography, known as electrophoresis, a tool used to analyze DNA and RNA. This can detect cell damage caused by ultrasound exposure, because it is able to move electric current through a sample of biological matter, drawing its various components through a gel-covered plate. The components then separate out through the gel, creating layers of visual patterns for analysis.
His idea led to a Chinese electrophoresis study of ultrasound causation for DNA fragmentation in abortive matter. The study was reviewed by Professor Ruo Feng at Nanjing University, who determined these guidelines from the results
These studies confirmed the findings from the National Institutes of Health in 1984. Their Consensus Statement can be found in the 4th link below.
According to highly esteemed, long-time journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Jon Rappoport, this ultrasound causation model is completely compatible with the vaccine model, as it includes the concept of toxic synergy, and ultrasound is an effective synergist. In theory, ultrasound is capable of initiating fetal vulnerabilities to subsequent toxic exposure.
“Thus the risk of subsequent exposure to vaccines, birth drugs, antibiotics and other environmental stressors would be raised by prenatal ultrasound, not in addition, but as a multiplier,” says Rappoport.
Mechanisms through which ultrasound produces injury in developing fetuses
Scientist Emily Casanova has published mechanisms by which fetuses may be injured during ultrasound. Here are those most striking.
Ultrasound is an auditory waveform that occurs above the upper limit of human hearing. Its flow of sound pressure occurs in waves of compression and expansion. Materials hit by this sound undergo alteration, meaning they expand and contract like an accordion would. This is one reason ultrasound is potentially dangerous, depending on the level of intensity of the sound wave and the duration of exposure to it.
In pure water, bubbles form at more than 1,000 atmospheres of pressure, which means that if you were to take pure water and subject it to the highest intensities of diagnostic or prenatal ultrasound, a bubble would not form because the intensity is too low. But this is not true for biological tissues. With almost every solid within a liquid, for example cells, small gaseous pockets hide within crevices. The pre-existence of bubbles essentially lowers the threshold for cavitation (the creating of a cavity) within biologic tissue compared to pure water, because gaseous cavities, though extremely small, are already there. When they are subjected to the force of ultrasound, the bubbles expand, just like they do during the first half of the waveform, and they compress with the compression half of the waveform cycle. This can be illustrated by blowing up a balloon and letting it deflate repeatedly. The problem is that with each subsequent cycle, the bubble compresses less and less, so that over time the size of it grows until it reaches a point where the surface area of the bubble can no longer withstand the pressure. When it is a bubble in liquid, it implodes and the water surrounding it rushes in, meeting with the gases once trapped in the bubble, triggering a violent chemical reaction and producing an exceptional nearby rise in temperature which is quickly cooled by the surroundings. When transient cavitation occurs more often in a local tissue, such that the rapidity of cooling is not as efficient, heat-induced damage to tissues can develop.
In addition, when a bubble bursts it can create a force of pressure in the surrounding medium, so that cells may be hit with high-pressure water jets. The jets of water may fatally damage the cell’s membrane and internal structures, leading to cell death. Water may also poke transient holes through the outer cell membrane, allowing it to experience interaction with sodium, calcium and various proteins. A rush of calcium can activate many downstream pathways involved in cell repair, growth, and cell to cell communication.
If extracellular molecules like calcium are not killed during this process, they will be there to feed cells the wrong messages and could alter the development of cells permanently, including stem cells which may pass down alterations through future generations.
In vitro studies have shown that ultrasound can promote chromosomal breakage in DNA.
“Think of it”, says Emily. “You subject cells to increased water pressure, and if the duration is long enough the threshold for transient cavitation may be reached. The potential for ultrasound’s teratogenicity is considerable and, in this scientist’s opinion, research has not been thorough enough to rule out possible dangers.”
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Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
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