Finally some credible research that proves autism is linked to gut dysfunction. It’s the gut-brain-immune system triad that I keep going back to every time I research anything to do with treating autism bio-medically. We’ve got to heal our children’s gut in order to get the immune system and brain to function normally. They are interconnected.
I’ve been listening to so many stories from friends, acquaintances, and strangers that have experienced their child’s school teacher/psychologist/administrators either hint at or outright suggest their child be put on prescribed meds for their ADHD/autistic behaviors. I personally have felt the constant pressure that I should do more for my kids and the “he just doesn’t focus and that is his main problem” statements during IEP meetings or parent/teacher conferences.
Over the years I have presented my natural approach to my sons’ school and have also received tremendous support. But it seems lately with the school budget cuts, and teachers/staff stress over increased classroom sizes that the “quick fix” of ADHD drugs seems to be the popular method of controlling the kids in the classroom. I have always said that the decision to put any child on prescription medications is a personal family choice. One that should not be made without careful consideration as to the ramifications, side affects, and health and well being of the child. This is not something that others should put upon parents whether guilting them into it, or painting a scenario that “he just isn’t working at his full potential”.
One approach that helps kids with ADHD and autism (all kids for that matter) is physical exercise EVERY day. Good, aerobic, physical activity. School budget cuts have forced schools to eliminate regular P.E. classes at the elementary school level, and team sports in middle school at a time when children and adolescents need daily physical activity to help them grow and learn. Thanks to the advances in technology, kids now have more electronic devices to occupy their free time instead of going outside to run, bike, skateboard, and play. Parents seem to be at a loss for what to do for their child and prescription meds are a seemingly sensible solution.
What prompted me to write about this is an article I read today about how low-income kids are being prescribed ADHD meds to boost academic performance. I know this sound like an outrage and “how can anyone do that?!” To me it’s really no different than kids given this for ADHD or autism. Unless a family has fully tried all methods of helping their child with natural approaches like a healthy, organic diet, addressing food allergies, supplements, getting the right amount of sleep and enough daily exercise, just to name a few, then perhaps researching how prescription meds can help the child is in order. More often than not, the natural approach is not taken. Most of the time I see this because the parents don’t even know they had other options available to them besides prescription drugs. Thanks to their doctor and the pharmaceutical industry capitalizing on today’s fast-paced, quick fix mindset of overworked, overextended, stressed out families, prescription medication for ADHD is the go to solution.
The goal of my blog is to help educate parents that turn to their computer’s search engine for answers or ways to help their child. The results I’ve seen in helping my own children merits sharing and the extensive research I’ve done can help others to know that there are alternatives to prescription drugs for their child. I am humbled each and every day by the comments of parents and individuals that I’ve helped through this blog. Please spread the word. Biomedical approach works, heals, and offers a lifetime of health!
Did you know there is a safer, more effective option to the flu shot? A study published found Colostrum to be 3 times more effective than vaccination for flu prevention. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17456621
Colostrum boosts the immune system, has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. To learn more about Colostrum, read my post: http://healingautismandadhd.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/colostrum-isnt-just-for-babies/
To purchase the brand of Colostrum we use in our home, click here: http://kirkmanlabs.com/ProductKirkman/60/1/ColostrumGoldandtrade;Liquid%E2%80%93Unflavored%E2%80%93Hypoallergenic/
I’m not a fan of fluoride in our toothpaste and definitely believe it should not be in our water supply. When I take my sons to the dentist for cleanings, I skip the fluoride treatment. Their toothpaste is fluoride-free. Not one cavity for both of my boys! Their only source of fluoride is our drinking water. But that’s about to change since we just purchased a reverse osmosis water filtration system for our home.
Reverse osmosis is one of the only ways to filter out fluoride in your home tap water. EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends drinking filtered tap water. This is primarily due to manufacturers of bottled water are not listing water sources or purification methods on their labels. More to the point, tap water is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) under stricter standards than the FDA’s (Food & Drug Administration) regulation of bottled water. The FDA sends inspectors to bottling plants every 2-3 years. In 2009, almost 50% of bottled water sources came from tap water. I know that if I’m going to drink tap water, I would want to know how it’s filtered and also use a reusable bottle made from stainless steel or BPA-free plastic than buy it in a non reusable, non BPA-free plastic bottle. I digress…back to fluoride and it’s dangers of over-consumption.
Everything in moderation…but not in America. According to FAN’s (Fluoride Action Network) website:
Most developed nations, including Japan and 97% of Western Europe do not fluoridate their water supply. However, comprehensive data from the World Health Organization reveals that there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of western nations that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not. In fact, the tooth decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries are now lower than the tooth decay rates in fluoridated ones.
The most obvious reason to end fluoridation of our water supply is that it is now known that fluoride’s main benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion. Even the CDC’s Oral Health Division now acknowledges this. There is simply no need, therefore, to swallow fluoride, whether in the water, toothpaste, or any other form.
There are many health concerns other than dental fluorosis (excess levels of fluoride causing tooth enamel to mottle and discolor, then decay). Studies by The Lancet and National Research Council indicate that fluoride is a neurotoxin that interferes with the function of the brain and body and also reduces IQ levels, indicating that fluoride intake causes cognitive damage.
Fluoride also decreases thyroid function. Women are more susceptible to this and symptoms of low thyroid function are:
- Lack of energy
- Low body temperature
- Dry skin
- Not sweating well
- Tendency towards constipation
Fluoride exposure disrupts the synthesis of collagen and leads to the breakdown of collagen in bone, tendon, muscle, skin, cartilage, lungs, kidney and trachea. It also confuses the immune system (that can’t be good!) and causes it to attack the body’s own tissues. It will increase the tumor growth rate in cancer prone individuals and promotes development of bone cancer. Fluorides accumulate in the brain over time to reach neurologically harmful levels. And of course, fluoride causes premature aging of the human body.*
How Much is Too Much?
In 2003, the National Research Council appointed one of the most balanced and objective panels of experts that has ever objectively investigated fluoride. They spent about three years studying it and determined that the current “safe” drinking water standard of 4 ppm (parts per million) set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fluoride is too high and should be lowered. But in the four years since, the EPA has not completed a new health-risk assessment, and thus we still live with this outdated and unsafe standard, even though the NRC study was specifically requested by the EPA.
(Dr. Joseph Mercola; The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/warning-this-daily-habit-_b_741635.html )
The contents of a family-size tube of fluoridated toothpaste is enough to kill a 25-pound child. Even Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Crest, acknowledge that a family-sized tube “theoretically contains enough fluoride to kill a small child.”
So to answer my question, YES, we are getting too much fluoride and it’s NOT a good thing. Fluoride is toxic and you must have a prescription from a doctor to get it. But our municipal water suppliers are purchasing it and adding it to our water. Once it’s in the water, you can’t control the dose of any individual’s daily consumption. There is no oversight nor a doctor prescribing it for you and your family.
To learn more about your local water supply, log onto http://www.epa.gov/enviro/facts/sdwis/search.html .
Just about a week or two before school begins, I start to look forward to my kids getting out of the house (or my hair) and into a routine again. I crave the routine too, but not all of the obligations that go with it. The one I dread the most is packing lunches everyday for both my sons. It’s not only the chore of it, but it’s the pressure to come up with a variety of lunches so they don’t get “lunch burn out” by Thanksgiving. And I won’t cave to letting them buy school lunches until Jamie Oliver is the personal chef at my son’s school, so that’s not an option.
I’d like to share with you a simple idea I came up with that my son thinks is awesome. Now if your child is GF/CF, you’d have to come up with alternatives to replace the gluten and casein in my idea. I’m sure you have seen, heard, or perhaps bought Lunchables for kids. I happen to think its a genius of an idea for kids that are sick of sandwiches, but of course the packaged food industry takes a simple idea and adds a ton of crap to it. I don’t like any product that Kraft puts on the supermarket shelf. Even Lunchables “healthy” alternatives like their ones with fruit and 100% fruit Capri Sun has a ton of sugar and sodium in it, plus artificial colors, flavors and enough preservatives to choke a horse (has several plus that nasty one BHT), high fructose corn syrup, and American Cheese. American Cheese is not cheese in my opinion and it’s pretty gross. So I put together a clean Lunchables version for my kids.
- Crackers (your kids’ healthy, favorite choice)
- Cheddar Cheese (rBST hormone free dairy) sliced in 2″ squares
- Canadian Bacon (try to find a brand that is nitrite free)
- Green/red grapes
- 2 cookies (I like Trader Joe’s brands without all the artificial stuff, or no cookies if your child is sugar-free)
Now this is enough food for my 9-year-old but I do have to add more to the lunch for my eating machine 13-year-old. As for the cracker choice, read the ingredient labels and try to find one that is organic and GMO free. That’s a tough one to find when it comes to grains.
As for more ideas other than sandwiches, I’ve also switched out the Canadian bacon for slices of turkey. My youngest also loves hard-boiled eggs so I give him that with the crackers sometimes too. As you see here, my goal is to get healthy proteins in my kids at lunch without filling them up with a ton of carbs that will slow their brain down in the class after lunch. Protein will convert to the necessary neurotransmitters dopamine for cognition: focus and attention. Plus give them energy for the rest of their afternoon.
What healthy lunch ideas do you pack for school?
Triclosan has been in the news a lot lately and I thought I’d share the medical studies that showed it causes impaired muscle function along with other health concerns. This product is the chemical used in antibacterial products and is patented under the name Microban. This agent was introduced in the 70′s and we are just now hearing about it’s harmful affects on humans via the mainstream media. It’s excreted in blood, urine and breast milk, so newborns have been getting their unfair dose of it too.
For articles on the chemical read below:
For a list of products that contain triclosan, see link below:
Football season is here and our family loves the Dallas Cowboys. I love to watch football with the men of my house. The quarterback is the primary playmaker on the team and sets the game in motion. Digestive enzymes are like the quarterback in the digestion game in our gut. They get the ball rolling and involve the entire team in reaching the goal…digestion of foods so our bodies can get the nutrients to thrive on. Digestive enzymes are needed to completely break down the foods and peptides for several reasons: to reap the all the nutrients in the food, and so the bad bacteria or yeast don’t have more food to eat and grow on.
Our body naturally produces digestive enzymes to break down foods before they start their trek through the intestines. We have enzymes in our saliva that aid in food breakdown. These enzymes are amylase, which break down carbohydrates along with our chewing of the food. Next stop is the stomach where stomach acid, muscles and the enzyme pepsin, breaks down proteins and work on the food for approximately an hour before it continues to the small intestine. Our small intestines release enzymes as well as our pancreas. Enzymes released in our small intestines are lactase (breaks down milk sugars), DPP IV (breaks down the milk and other protein bonds), and disaccharides (breaks down starches and sugars).
You can see that digestive enzymes have a lot of work to do and without them, our bodies cannot function properly just like a football team can’t function without its quarterback. Enzymes are required for your body to function properly because without enzymes you wouldn’t be able to breathe, swallow, drink, eat, or digest your food. Our cells won’t get the glucose for energy, amino acids for protein and toxins wouldn’t be removed from our blood.
Some Digestive Enzyme Facts:
- Enzymes are proteins made by cells in our bodies and all living organisms.
- Enzymes exist in all raw food. All raw foods, including meats, have some enzyme activity.
- The more raw food you eat, the less digestive enzymes your body needs to produce.
- Cooking or other types of processing destroys enzyme activity.
- Digestive enzymes, used properly, can provide a substantial benefit to most everyone, especially those consuming a great deal of cooked or processed food.
Poor dietary habits, fast food consumption, and excessive intake of fat and sugars, all require excessive amounts of enzymes to digest our foods. Over eating foods that are void of enzymes (processed pre-packaged foods) and eating too much food results in a depletion of enzymes in the body. In particular, there is strain put on the pancreas to secrete greater amounts of enzymes than normal. The result is an exhausted pancreas. To reduce the load on the pancreas, the immune system lends its white blood cells which have stores of enzymes to aid in the digestive process. The result of this is impaired immune function. By ensuring our body has sufficient enzymes not only supports the digestive process, but the immune system as well.
Eating a food or food group too frequently will also contribute to an enzyme deficiency. Foods that are more likely to cause allergies/sensitivities are the ones that are consumed the most: eggs, wheat/gluten, milk, corn and soy. When these foods are consumed several times a day for years it creates an enzyme deficiency for that food and the body can no longer break down the proteins or starches and causes a reaction when the peptides enter our bloodstream.
When food is properly digested, it is broken down into substances that the body recognizes and can utilize. If food molecules are not broken down into their smallest form (by enzymes) when they enter the bloodstream the body recognizes them as foreign invaders and attacks. When the body no longer can handle the overload of food that it cannot properly digest and utilize, the result is food allergies and intolerance, indigestion, gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea. There are other symptoms of our body’s imbalance from incomplete digestion such as asthma, environmental allergies/sensitivities, candida over-growth, arthritis, obesity, eczema, fatigue, headaches, and hyperactivity.
One digestive enzyme that tends to be insufficient in a lot of ASD kids, as well as kids with ADHD, is DDP4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-IV). This enzyme is found in the gut and is responsible for breaking a bond between amino acids in peptides formed during protein digestion. Problems occur when there is a lack of DDP4 which causes incomplete digestion of the gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) molecules, leaving a mischievous peptide. In the case of damaged or leaky guts, these peptides called gluteomorphin (gluten) and caseomorphin (casein) can pass into the blood, where they do harm because they evoke an immune response. They can also mimic endorphins that cause changes in perception, mood, and behavior. This is one reason why the gf/cf (gluten-free/casein free) diet is so effective in reducing behaviors in kids with autism. It’s the elimination of the offending peptides from the diet.
Types of Enzymes
- Amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugars (found in fruits, vegetables, potatoes and a lot of snack foods)
- Protease – breaks down proteins (found in meats, eggs, cheese, and nuts)
- Lipase – breaks down fats (found in most dairy products, meats, oils, and nuts)
- Cellulase – breaks down cellulose, plant fiber
When one supplements digestive enzymes, plant derived enzymes are the most effective. They are obtained from the lysosomes of live plant cells. They are more effective because they can survive the acidic environment in the stomach and different PH levels in the small intestines. Animal derived digestive enzymes that mimic our pancreatic enzymes only survive in the alkaline environment of our small intestine.
Digestive Health & Foods That Support It
In order to keep our digestive and overall health at its best, eating more raw vegetables, nuts, and fruits is important. Papaya and pineapple are the best sources of foods that contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes. Papaya contains the naturally occurring digestive enzyme papain, which helps to digest protein. Pineapples contain the digestive enzyme bromelain, which acts as an aid for indigestion. Pineapples also contain multiple anti-inflammatory enzymes. Mangos, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries and grapefruit also contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes. Parsley, kale, broccoli, celery, cabbage and beets and beet greens are excellent choices for raw vegetables that contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes. Wheat grass and aloe vera juice contain a lot of enzymes.
All raw food contain digestive enzymes; naturally fruits and vegetables are excellent sources. Some smart fruit choices are fresh apples, figs, pears, cherries, peaches, strawberries and apricots. For vegetables, all of the bell peppers: red, yellow, green and orange, as well as tomatoes, are excellent choices.
Balancing your meal with raw foods in addition to cooked foods can assist your body in the digestive process, just as the quarterback balances out the game with running plays, passing or handing off the football. For example, a salad or raw veggies along with your steak or chicken breast will help ease the demand on your body to release digestive enzymes since the veggies in the salad contain enzymes. Same goes for the quarterback when he hands the football off to the running back; which saves his throwing arm and reduces the risk of interceptions.
For more information on using digestive enzymes for your child, refer to my page on enzymes.
Filed under: Biomedical interventions, Diet, Supplements | Tagged: animal enzymes, digestive enzymes, DPP4, enzyme pepsin, food allergies, health, Joanne Allor, pancreas, peptides, plant enzymes, protein, protein bonds, raw food, small intestines | 1 Comment »