Kelly Preston: The Doctors’ Exclusive
Hollywood actress, wife and mother Kelly Preston joins The Doctors to reveal her outlook on life, love and turning 50.
Kelly first graced the silver screen in the mid 1980s, after landing an increasing amount of television roles for the first part of the decade. Kelly met her future husband, John Travolta, in 1989 while filming The Experts. They were married two years later and have been Hollywood royalty ever since.
John and Kelly had their first son, Jett, a year after their marriage, followed by a daughter, Ella Bleu, in 2000. The family had a storybook life until tragedy struck in 2009.
During a family vacation in the Bahamas, the world was devastated to learn that 16-year-old Jett had suddenly passed away. Although there were many conflicting reports about the cause of Jett’s passing, it was eventually attributed to a head injury he sustained during a seizure; however, questions still remain about Jett’s underlying medical conditions – questions that Kelly is ready to address publicly for the first time.
Since the tragic incident, Kelly has become a strong advocate on a variety of children’s health issues. In a The Doctors’ exclusive, Kelly opens up about the untimely loss of her son, and what she feels contributed to his health complications.
“He was autistic and he had seizures, and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki syndrome,” Kelly explains.
Kawasaki syndrome, also known as Kawasaki disease, was discovered in Japan by Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967 and still affects more than 4,200 children per year in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of those children are under 5 years of age. The condition is more common in boys and is characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body, resulting in high fevers, swollen hands, feet and lymph nodes, rashes and bloodshot eyes. Serious complications of KS include coronary artery dilations and aneurysms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than .01 percent of patients succumb to Kawasaki syndrome, but without treatment, roughly 25 percent of children affected will develop coronary artery abnormalities. Kawasaki syndrome remains the leading cause of acquired heart disease in both the U.S. and Japan. Although KS is rarely fatal and most children recover after treatments, which typically include intravenous immunoglobin, aspirin and anticoagulant medications, the question remains as to whether KS could be a contributing factor to autism. Kelly speculates that, in Jett’s case, it was.
“I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism,” Kelly says.
Kelly explains how Jett’s diagnosis of autism came on the heels of his ordeal with KS, and feels that KS may have been one of the trigger points for autism; in addition, Kelly explains her belief that a bout with food poisoning during pregnancy, in combination with a drug to help expedite labor and antibiotic-induced oral thrush, all played a part in Jett’s developmental disorder and related seizures.
The latest statistics on autism show a 23 percent increase in diagnoses since 2006 and a 78 percent increase since 2002. A recent study out of Denmark reported how expectant mothers who had the influenza virus or ran a fever lasting more than a week had a significantly higher risk for their babies developing a disorder in the autism spectrum before age 3.
“In my professional life, really, I’ve seen [autism] just completely blow up,” explains pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears. “When I started as a pediatrician, it was almost unheard of. Everyone is different. You ask a hundred parents what their autistic child’s symptoms are and you’re going to get a hundred different answers.”
“It’s up 600 percent over the last 20 years,” Kelly adds.
Although no evidence has specifically linked KS or environmental toxins with autism or seizure disorders, ER physician Dr. Travis Stork agrees with Kelly that more studies need to be conducted on chemicals that come into contact with the body through various foods, products and ecological sources.
“We need to spend more money, more time researching, figuring out what in the world is out there that could be potentially triggering these increased rates of autism,” he says
Kelly’s Weight-Loss Secret
In 2010, Kelly and John began a new chapter in their lives when they welcomed baby boy Benjamin into the world.
After giving birth, Kelly has since dropped all 40 pounds of her pregnancy weight and more! Now, at the age of 50, Kelly looks and feels better than ever and believes others can do the same with simple lifestyle, diet and attitude adjustments.
“The whole thing was very easy, to be honest,” Kelly says about being pregnant at age 48. “I felt fantastic, I had a lot of energy, I had no morning sickness and I feel great now.”
Kelly attributes her post-pregnancy weight loss to Organic Liaison.
“It’s an entire program that just gives your body what it needs. All the foods are tailor-made to you – what you like, what you don’t like, and her supplements are unbelievable,” Kelly says about Kirstie Alley's weight-loss method.
Organic Liaison offers organic weight loss products, natural dietary supplements, and access to online diet and exercise tools. Kirstie Alley refers to the calorie-based program as “the opposite of deprivation,” and participants lose 2 to 3 pounds per week on average.
• Learn more about Organic Liaison's products.
“When it comes to knowing what we’re really putting in our bodies each and every day, it doesn’t end with just the food we eat or even the water we drink,” Dr. Travis says. “Some of the most common over-the-counter medicines we take, even those we sometimes give our own children, are proving to be more and more dangerous.”
Actress Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame joins the show along with her friend and pediatrician, Dr. Zak Zarbock, to reveal safer medicinal alternatives for children. As a new mother to 1-year-old Gemma, Kristin became concerned about her daughter taking traditional cold medicines when sick.
“We’ve really learned that these medications are just not safe for kids,” Dr. Sears says.
“There are 7,000 plus visits for kids going to the E.R. each year, and we’re not talking about broken bones; we’re talking about kids who have taken cough and cold medicines,” Dr. Travis adds.
“The key ingredient we worry about is Dextromethorphan, also known as DM or DXM,” Dr. Zarbock explains.
Dr. Zarbock adds that this key ingredient is not only dangerous, but has actually been proven ineffective in children. “In those same studies, they’ve shown that dark honey, specifically Buckwheat honey, was superior to the cough medicine in reducing cough in kids,” Dr. Zarbock says.
Dr. Sears notes that parents should never give honey to a child under one year of age due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by Clostridium botulinum spores, which naturally form in honey.
“We use the dark honeys that are high in antioxidants,” Dr. Zarbock explains. “They tend to coat the throat, they reduce irritation. It also increases salivation, so it thins out secretions.”
Dressing on the Side
If you’re a fan of Ranch salad dressing, it might be time to switch to a healthier vinaigrette! In order to obtain that milky white color, certain Ranch dressings will have added titanium dioxide, the same ingredient found in many sunscreens!
“Titanium dioxide – there’s not any proof that it’s actually harmful for you, but if you want to avoid it, read the labels,” Dr. Travis says. “Sometimes the product that looks cleaner, better, whiter may not be as healthy for you. Life’s little imperfections sometimes are ‘natural’”, he adds.
Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails
“They’re trendy, they’re enticing, they’re delicious, but are they also too dangerous to drink?” Dr. Travis asks
Hear about how one woman celebrating her birthday had to undergo emergency surgery to remove part of her stomach after downing one of these vaporous concoctions.
The Doctors explain how liquid nitrogen is a colorless liquid that is -321 degrees Fahrenheit and is being added to cocktails to create a smoky, sexy effect; however, the sub-zero infusion can cause internal cryogenic burns if consumed too quickly, before the liquid nitrogen has sufficiently evaporated, or without a straw.