Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christy R: Mother Warrior

I took the post title from one of my fave authors/celebrities Jenny McCarthy's book Mother Warriors. It's a book about fighting autism, which I do not have personal experience with, but am still on a fight to help my child be the best he can be and live his life to the fullest!

I mentioned a while back that Braydon was diagnosed with ADHD, which many people are surprised by because he's quite young. The doctor we took him to was highly recommended, but in reality she's the only child psychologist in town. She's nice, but I just don't know. She wanted Braydon to be put on medication right away, and neither Kenney nor myself really felt comfortable with it. We chose to eliminate Red 40, and significantly decrease his sugar intake as well as his dairy intake.

We saw an initial improvement, but to be honest, we've been quite lax, and it's kind of difficult to keep his dairy intake down when he's a Pre-K. We've seen an increase in his behavior problems at school as well as a significant increase in anxiety. Kenney and I both thought we needed to get him on the medicine, and we thought we'd have our answer.

I just haven't made the call back to his doctor's office. Perhaps it wasn't by chance I didn't call, but somewhere in my Mommy heart, I just can't bring myself to call the office. There has got to be something out there that we're missing, and just like my "hero" I started working on my "google" degree. *You'll only understand what I mean by this if you've read one of her books or heard her talk!*

First of all, I've discovered that Duke Medicine has an ADHD center, where they can do all sorts of stuff, including behavior therapy, which I find really cool. There are also some doctors in Raleigh (about an hour away from us) that like to use biomedical interventions, which Kenney & I are really looking for.

Secondly, in my research, I've found some very interesting things, that have actually made a lot of sense, and have now given us a place to start, and none of them have to do with medicine to treat the ADHD at this point!

When a vaccine contains any amount of mercury *and YES, there ARE vaccines that still contain mercury in them, even though it was "technically" removed from vaccines*, the mercury settles to the bottom, and when a nurse inserts the needle into the vile and draws the material into the needle, the largest portion of the mercury will be injected into a baby. Often times, after these shots are given, some children develop chronic ear infections, which require the use of many rounds of antibiotics. These antibiotics kill off all bacteria in the child's system, including the good bacteria which helps the child fight off bugs, and leads to dybiosis in the gut. The dybiosis in the gut leads to permeable gut syndrome, which eventually can cause food allergies to arrise. On top of food allergies, an abnormal amount of yeast, candida, can cause acetaldehydes to be released, which can interfere with brain function.

Wow, that was a lot to read, huh?!? Basically, frequent use of antibiotics in a child that has not fully developed can (and I repeat can, it does NOT mean it WILL) lead to an imbalance and overgrowth of yeast which can interfere with food digestion and brain function.

Braydon had several shots (according to his shot record) that indeed had trace amounts of thimerosal in them. I have researched the exact name of the shots the manufacturer, and looked up the ingredients in them. He also had a ridiculous amount of ear infections even before he was a year old. He has an allergy to amoxicillin as well as an intolerance of eggs. He also has ADHD. I am not saying that him being vaxed has caused him to have ADHD, but I find that information very very interesting!

So here is what I think Kenney & I have agreed to do:

1.) We are going to have Braydon tested for allergies, so we can see exactly what he is allergic to.

2.) We will have him tested for the yeast overgrowth, which according to the clinic that we're leaning to says that it only requires a urine sample. If he indeed has a yeast overgrowth, he'll be given some anti fungal medication and we will begin a "yeast free" diet. According to the center, they have a 2-3 week waiting period currently, and they do not accept insurance, so it will be a "pay up front" and then see if you can get reimbursed by insurance.

3.) We will be looking into going fully into a gluten free casein free diet. This will be very limiting, and very extreme, but I honestly think that we looked into it before, and we just didn't do it. We saw an initial improvement, but have let up. It is now or never. Worst case scenario, we see that it didn't work for him, and we stop it.

4.) We will try to get into to Duke's ADHD program to have Braydon re-evaluated. They use all sorts of tests and have much more funding and capabilities than the doctor he saw here in Rocky Mount. I have no idea how long it takes for the process, other than once they do the testing, it takes about 4 weeks to get a written evaluation. I'm hoping that we'll be able to get him into some therapy. I'd love to find an art therapy or behavioral therapy.

Finally, we'll be looking into supplements for him that can help. I've read a lot about supplements helping quite significantly, so I'm hoping there is some truth to that.

So have you had an experience with food allergies, vaccines or ADHD? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!


RaIsHaWn'S MuMmY said...

My son is 9 months old. I am and always will be anti vaccine. Although i do agree that we as parents should vaccine our children against childhood diseases, in order to keep them safe and healthy. I disagree with the number of shots given in one visit. Its crazy to inject a child with 4 or more diseases in one sitting and expect it to not harm there little immune systems. I have been researching vaccines ever since my nephew was diagnosed with autism in 2007. Although the doctors state there is no link connected with autism and vaccines. I find it strange they make you sign a disclaimer before you vaccinate your child which in the case of a serious side effect Eg: autism. It releases them from any liability. My nephew was a bright inteliigent happy child, and a week after he recieved his 12 month MMR shot, he was gone. There was nothing behind his eyes anymore and that spark had dissapeared. As a prent and you childs greatest advocate, we have to keep them safe. I commend your plight in finding alternatives to treat ADHD other than dosing your son up with pills. I wish you the best of luck and may god bless you.

p.s. I had written a vaccine blog last year, it is one of the first blogs i wrote if you ever wanted to check it out.

Innocence Underrated said...

Kian and I take probiotics/acidophilus daily. I've also read that kids with chronic ear infections have yeast that thrives on the antibiotics given to supposedly help. I've only given Kian antibiotics once. The other times I've thoguht he's had a year infection I double him up on probiotics. He's also prone to yeast diaper rashes so I don't let him have sugary things. He only gets juice (like 3-4 oz) in the morning with breakfast, very little milk and mostly water to drink. I haven't vaxed him yet and probably wont until they take the garbage out (not just the metals, but the mouse tissues and aborted fetal tissues, etc.) and let him make that decision later.
I have personally seen tremendous changes in my Autistic clients with gluten-free diets, but they VERY challenging, thank God for WEgmans up here with all the alternatives. I have clients who had yeast overgrowths (documented by testing and peds) and just by treating the yeast, using probiotics and limiting the diet, behaviors are much improved, it's amazing. Our bodies were not meant to handle all thsi junk that Americans eat nowadays. Also, we take an Omega-3/fish oil or cod liver oil capsule too, great for brain health and development! I truly believe that small changes will make a difference for you guys, good luck and I'll pray all goes well. And it might be easy to just send him a snack/lunch daily so that they don't sabatoge him accidently at school. I do this to Kian, without any allergies, just because I only want him having Organic milk and certain snacks. Jeez i'm logn winded in my comments to you and your sister...sorry!

Innocence Underrated said...

Also, another thing you might notice and they find this happens, our bodies crave the things we are sensitive/allergic to or react to. So, if you limit dairy, sugar, etc. for the yeast you might find Braydon begging for bread, cookies and milk while his body detoxes it from his system. It's odd...

KT said...

I have a ton of experience with food allergies as k has a lot of them. He has a very strict diet...he does not eat sugar, dyes, eggs, nuts, soy, beef or seeds to name a few. I make him everything from scratch and I make him very basic meals. It is difficult as we can't go out to eat or go to people's house to eat, but I will do anything I can to keep him safe. I will say, he has always had a strict diet, as I suspected allergies from early he knows no different. He has never had a cookie...or anything like that so he doesn't even know what he is missing. I dread the day he starts school as I am sure he will begin to notice he eats very different than the other kids! He also has asthma and has been a long road, but we are continuing to trust the Lord for wisdom. I will be praying for you as well as you try to figure out what is best for your little guy!

Melanie said...

You'll see on my blog roll, my friend Jeanette. Her son is the same age as Dylan, and he has TONS of allergies- her blog is mostly about feeding someone with so many allergies.

There have been so many studies that have shown a marked improvement in children (behaviorally speaking) that have diet modification over medication. Dairy is actually one of the huge causes, gluten being next. Trader Joe's is REALLY good place to shop for foods free of both of these things.

I know personally, that I act much better when I'm feeling well- so of course that would apply to our children! I cut back on Dylan's dairy, and within a week noticed a HUGE improvement.

I also think that, unfortunately, some are quick to say ADHD, when a child is simply a child with excess energy. Boys have been like that for hundreds of years, and no one said they were ADHD, lol. Not that I don't believe it's possible- because I do- I just merely think that it's over diagnosed. I'm not crunchy about many things, but this is one of them.

Jenn said...

Going GF/CF may be extreme for ADHD. I'm a special ed teacher. I've worked with both autistic and ADHD kids, and my husband has ADD (ADHD without the hyperactivity... he has hyperfocus instead).

While GF/CF is often used as a possible diet to improve the behaviors of autistic children, it's not for every child or every family. If you think that a reduced sugar diet is hard, you may have a tough time with GF/CF. You'd have to read ingredients on EVERYTHING. You'd need to tell everyone that he is allergic, not just 'he shouldn't have it' - that way, they will be more vigilant with what he's given to eat.

Try being stricter with the reduction in his sugar intake. Switch to raw sugars rather than refined. Consider trying organic alternatives where possible.

Some the non-medical treatments that work well for autism will also work well for ADHD. Make sure he has a schedule of what is to happen each day, and stick to the schedule as much as possible. Tasks on the schedule should be divided into short (15 minutes or less) time periods. Redirect him as necessary to keep him on the task at hand.

I commend you for making medication a last alternative. If you decide to medicate, bear in mind that you'll likely need to try several different meds and dosages before finding the right one for your son, and that some of the meds may actually make him WORSE if they're not the right one for him.

Roop said...

It is important to remember that feelings of anxiety are normal and essential for living our daily lives. However, when these feelings become excessive and start interrupting a person's daily functioning, it becomes necessary to take treatment. If you feel you are experiencing unnecessary anxiety in your daily life take immediate help of your primary care physician. He or she can refer you to appropriate treatment centers or mental health professionals.