When your child gets diagnosed with a chronic health condition like asthma, ADHD, allergies, autoimmune disease or autism, you will often be asked if someone in your family also has the disease. This is because since the mid-20th century the dominant lens through which we look at health and wellness is genetics. People assume that whether you are sick or healthy is due in large part to good or bad genes.
Times are changing. Did you know that the scientific community is beginning to coalesce around the idea that chronic health conditions may be due in large part to external factors including environmental and other everyday exposures rather than genes? Is it possible that conditions once thought to be lifelong—conditions like asthma, allergies, ADHD, autoimmune diseases and more, might actually be reversible?
It’s true — the things that we do or are exposed to in our daily lives may be much more influential than our genes in creating these widespread problems. This means that many of the root causes of chronic illnesses may be within our control. If so many causes are in our control, could removing the causes be a way to help people get better?
This is what I want to know.
My name is Beth Lambert and I am the creator of the Documenting Hope Project. A number of years ago I began to write down stories of children who were diagnosed with chronic health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or life threatening food allergies who seemed to miraculously improve. These children were getting better from conditions considered to be lifelong illnesses. I wanted to know how these children got better and what might have made them fall sick in the first place.
At a time when 1 in 2 American children have a diagnosed chronic health condition in the United States we can’t afford to wait the 20 or 30 years it usually takes for treatments or prevention strategies to become widely known and available. It is time to act now.
So I pulled together a team of parents, researchers, physicians and health experts to design research studies that would help to identify the root causes of the these “new childhood epidemics” and document how and why children get better.
Today I am excited to announce the launch of the first of several important research studies we’ve designed to more fully understand and address the chronic conditions affecting our children in epidemic numbers.
And the best news is this: YOU can participate in our studies and YOU can be part of a growing body of parents and concerned practitioners who are passionate about ending this health epidemic. By sharing YOUR experience, you can help us answer some of the most pressing questions about chronic illness in kids today.
Our first study collects information about daily life for our children in the modern world. Our children live very differently than their parents, grandparents and ancestors further back. How many of our children’s new activities and exposures are associated with being healthy? How many with being sick?
We aim to ask lots of questions, taking a 360-degree all-round view, to let people tell the full stories of their children’s development and health. Then we will analyze the data. We want to know how much the real-life details support the story that we are destined to be sick our whole lives because of our genes – and how much they support a different story: that we – and our babies and children – get sick over time based on the accumulation of experiences, stressors and exposures.
We’re doing a study calledCHIRP™, which stands for Child Health Inventory for Resilience and Prevention, because we’ve already talked with thousands of parents, and have dug into these details – and these conversations support the latter story. That’s why we want to look into the situation more rigorously and systematically by doing a formal research study. If the latter story is supported by our study findings, this will give further support to our conviction that there are lots of things we can do to make our kids healthy again.
We truly hope you will choose to participate in this study. When you do, you will be asked many questions about your child’s lifestyle – the foods they eat, the products they use, the kind of sleep they get – and also about their health and development – and the health of the family. In return for participating in this study, you will receive a personalized health report for your child that highlights the very specific things in the environment that may be negatively affecting his or her health. This report is a gold mine for parents and practitioners because the key to improving children’s health is to start with a comprehensive look into each particular child’s medical and lifestyle history. You will have in your hands a powerful tool for unleashing your child’s full health potential and all the good things in life that being truly healthy allows.
So, we hope the reports we give each family will strongly increase their motivation to address actionable issues and turn around their child’s health problems. And we hope that if or when the data shows what we are predicting, we will strongly increase the world’s motivation to turn around this epidemic of childhood illness.
To learn more or to sign up for the study go to https://documentinghope.com/chirp-study/