I love summertime. No school, camping trips, vacations and of course, swimming. My sons are fishes and love to swim and play in the pool. The only downside is the chlorine and its effect on my son with autism. He can’t handle it; detoxing it is tough for him. It causes his emotion regulation to get wacky and by nightfall he is in tears. Crying (very sadly, not tantrums) about anything. He knows it doesn’t make sense and says he can’t help it and wants to stop crying.
See, his PST (phenol sulfur transferase) system is deficient. It doesn’t produce enough sulfates to remove toxins (like heavy metals, and phenols) from his body. Chlorine blocks sulfation, which just adds to his body’s burden. The supplement taurine helps his cells detoxify as well as being neuro-calming (inhibiting the excitation of nerve cells in the brain). But alas, chlorine will reduce taurine levels.
So do we limit his pool time? Never! We have taken steps to enhance his body’s detoxification of chlorine so he can enjoy all the summertime swimming available to him. First, we supplement with the amino acid, taurine. We give taurine with meals since it helps in bile production. Next, we have reduced chlorine exposure in the bath and shower by replacing our shower head with a “Showerwise” filtration system. It filters out the chlorine and other chemicals in our tap water. Then, we give him Epsom salt baths immediately following swimming. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and delivers the sulfate ions directly to his blood stream (via the skin) to assist in detoxification. Lastly, we have finally finished our backyard swimming pool project and have opted for a salt system which is a healthier alternative to utilizing a chlorine and bromine sanitation system.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get to the Epsom salt bath right away after swimming, so you can make your own Epsom salt oil by dissolving 1 tsp. Epsom salts with 1 tsp. warm water and add coconut oil. A fast, easy alternative to baths that I love is dissolving equal parts of Epsom salts and warm water, then put into a spray bottle. You can spray a person’s chest or back after swimming and let dry.
One more thought on summertime fun and swimming is the sunscreen. A lot of sunscreens have harsh chemicals in them that affect our children negatively. I like the California Baby sunscreen brand, but still prefer to use as little sunscreen as possible. One way is to purchase a rash guard shirt so there are fewer areas on the body exposed to the sun.
The lazy days of summer aren’t so lazy in the homes of special needs kids, but they have just as many fun-filled summer memories!
Filed under: Biomedical interventions, General autism info, Supplements | Tagged: Biomedical interventions, chlorine, Epsom salts baths, high functioning autism, Joanne Allor, phenols, pst enzyme, salt water pool system, summertime, sunscreen, swimming pools, taurine |