Alcohol and Pregnancy

It seems that it needs to be much more widely recognised by the general public what an extremely damaging substance alcohol can be, especially to the unborn.

Limited growth, facial deformities and mental retardation are well known features of full blown Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) but less well recognised is a tendency to allergy, obesity, depression and an IQ deficit of about 7 point in IQ. This is what we know about from research that has been done world-wide, but even this may not be the full picture.

Dr. Anne Streissguth, in America, studied the whole gamut of FAC and FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effect) in a whole cohort of children over many years, and found the amount the mother drank during the pregnancy was commensurate with later difficulties in careers and relationships.

Drinking prior to conception has been linked to difficulties with conceiving. A major part of all this may be the fact that alcohol dehydrogenize is a Zinc dependent enzyme, so any amount of alcohol will lower the level of available Zinc in the body, and this in turn can disturb the digestion. The small intestine is lined with alkaline phosphate throughout, which is another Zinc dependent enzyme. Anything that incommodes the intestines is basically bad news for the whole body as nutrients are not taken on board in an optimal way. Two of the most vulnerable areas to nutrient starvation are the brain, and the unborn child.

In effect, the more alcohol taken on board the less intelligent and organized people become, and the more the unborn child suffers.

When people are drinking alcohol their hair may show a low level of Zinc, which is very slow to rise if they do not at first drop the alcohol. This will postpone conception, as was probably Nature’s intention.

For those who find it hard to desist from alcohol there are five main areas of concern:

  • Hypoglycemia. When either sugar or alcohol is taken on board, the blood sugar rises – this gives the feelings of euphoria, infallibility etc. etc. The pancreas sends out chemical balances to try to bring the blood-sugar back under control, but it can rather over-do this, and the result is a very precipitous fall in blood-sugar, and hence in mood, leaving the drinker feeling hard-done by, put upon, let down by one and all, and generally disillusioned.

    To help with this, a gradual reduction of the intake of both sugar and caffeine as well as alcohol will lead to a happier pancreas and a more stable personality. Benefits all round, also financially!

    B complex vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc and Manganese, also Chromium and Cobalt to help the pancreas can all be of benefit.

  • The essential fatty acids are essential for brain and central nervous system function, and so flax seed oil, and fish oils can have a role to play.

    Interacting with Zinc, they can make for better brain function and this can also be of huge benefit in avoiding mood swings.

  • When people have been drinking daily the liver can have been somewhat overwhelmed, and we often see high levels of the toxic metals, lead, aluminum, cadmium and/or mercury.

    We cleanse the liver with Vitamin C, garlic, milk thistle and B complex vitamins as well as the programme to normalize the other minerals. People then tell me they are amazed how well they feel and how on top of things they are at work!

    Why do people spend so much money on stuff that makes them so ill and so irritating?

  • Dr. Theron Randolph, a great American allergist, maintained that people craved the food(s) to which they were allergic.

    He had observed in his own patients that they craved the drink made from the substance to which they were allergic. i.e. Whisky drinkers were allergic to grain, Vodka (and presumably Irish whisky) drinkers were allergic to potatoes. (Probably some reacted to the whole potato family, which includes tomatoes, peppers and aubergine?)

    Wine drinkers were allergic to grapes, cider drinkers to apples. After that it gets more difficult! some reacted to the whole potato family, which includes tomatoes, peppers and aubergine?)

    Are gin drinkers allergic to juniper berries, or beer drinkers allergic to hops? Well, we will never know I guess.

  • Empty Calories. Drinking alcohol causes the body to use up precious nutrients in order to metabolise the alcohol. If nutrient levels are high, then the occasional drink may not utilize much of the bodies nutrient stores. However when alcohol is consumed on a regular basis we find that nearly always nutrients are noticeably depleted. This indicates that during metabolism, nutrients are being lost, and these are so necessary for the production of healthy sperm and ova. When contemplating pregnancy, it is imperative to stop alcohol and become as nutritionally sound as is possible to aid conception, pregnancy and the delivery of a healthy baby.

    It all begs the question of which came first the chicken or the egg? Was the former generation whisky drinker a closet grain-allergic, or did the fact that the grandfather was drinking alarming quantities of whisky pass a grain-allergy on down the line?

    It is all worth far more study. I find if I ask the mothers of very allergic children if the grandparents were quite heavy drinkers the answer is often yes.

    I think we have to factor all of this in, and take huge care of the little people we are creating, so they are not dogged by misfortunes not of their own making.

    I hope all of the above makes dropping alcohol easier. If so, conceiving them will also be easier.

New research figures now available