Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I get it now!

Andy Cutler has been quoted as saying that chelation makes you feel like you've been roto-rootered from the inside out.  I get it, I now know how my kids feel, why they don't want to eat sometimes, why they say their tummies hurt.

I've never had obvious problems with food (other than dairy which has been out of my diet for years now) before starting chelation.  And even on round I don't seem to have any issues, but now two days post-chelation I have been nauseous, light-headed when standing up fast and after eating, I am experiencing reflux and burping like a friggin truck driver!  This is something I have NEVER had other than during the later months in my pregnancies.  I don't know, if these new symptoms are in direct relation to chelation and redistribution or if I have suddenly developed new food sensitivities in the process. 

On a good note, we had visitors who had colds, which were passed on to the boys (of course, that isn't the good part) and I didn't catch it!  I started to feel a sore throat and swollen glands in my jaw for one day, so I upped the Vit D significantly and began taking oil of oregano every hour.  It never progressed!  In the past year, I've been catching everything they get, so this is a huge accomplishment, for me anyway!  Perhaps the Protandim I started before the dental revision is reducing oxidation enough to prevent me from getting sick!  The studies showed it to be 100% effective in reducing oxidation significantly.  I have read that people taking it weren't getting sick like they used to.  I wish I could give it to the kids, but it's ingredients are high oxalate.

Now with the boys getting sick barely one full week after having had the stomach bug, which was just one more of the illness, after illness trend we've been experiencing since November!  Yes, November!  They have been sick just about every other week since then, no joke!  I know school passes a lot of bugs around, but they shouldn't be catching every single illness they encounter, so we brought them to the DAN! doctor since insurance will cover a sick visit and we could use the opportunity to discuss why they are sick so often.  Of course, I know it is related to their immune system, but more importantly, is it something we can address?  Or is there some testing we should consider?  We already have two pages of blood work to have done on Grayson, for the viral titers and immune function testing, but our insurance company told us they needed "notes" from the doctor as to why we need it done otherwise they can't approve payment.  We spent a good portion of our visit addressing that little detail.  The doctor is going to call our insurance company to see what they need.  In the meantime, he suggested we start the boys on Thymucin which is a Thymus extract.  The Thymus sits below the thyroid and both are heavily effected by mercury, it tends to accumulate in the glands, causing problems with function.  The thymus is basically responsible for our immune function!  It educates the T-cells and taking thymus glandular has been extensively tested as regulating T-cell and suppressor cell balance. 

We will be doing two additional tests with each of the kids.  NutrEval from Genova Diagnostics is a nutritional evaluation which will look at so many things including dysbiosis, heavy metals, how the body is using nutrients, and many more things.  It provides a framework of core nutrients in 5 key areas: Antioxidants, B Vitamins, Digestive Support, Essential Fatty Acids, and Minerals.  We will also do another IgG food sensitivity test.  We've never done this with Gavin and I want to see, if it's involved with some of his mood swings lately, plus I'd like to get an update on Grayson.  We've changed a lot of the foods they eat, but I worry that they could be developing new sensitivities. 

As I am writing this, a light bulb went off about my own situation!!  Bloating, gas, indigestion, reflux and nausea are all signs of pathogenic overgrowth!!  I need to up my killers, PRONTO!  A friend also reminded me that H. Pylori symptoms are always GI related.  One round of chelation unleashed the H. Pylori in her, as well.  Oh goodness, this is going to be FUN!  I really do know how our kids feel now.  Please be patient with them when they don't want to eat or they are not themselves, they can't possibly understand why they feel so awful!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"This is the BEST play doh in the WORLD!"

Those were the words of my five year old after playing with his first home made "play doh" today.  Then he said, "You should put this in a store!"  They are both playing creatively in their own little worlds now, making "pizzas" and "cookies".

I never knew that I could make a play doh as good (better actually) as the real deal!  It's soft, fluffy, and pliable.  I didn't color mine, but I did scent it with pumpkin pie spice and vanilla though!  They don't seem concerned with colors, their creativity is running wild as it is.  Maybe the scent is bringing out the bakers in them.  And our two year old tried to take a big bite, ha ha ha.  You can color it with food color, or using something like peppermint extract will color and scent it at the same time.

The recipe
1 cup flour (I chose 50/50 garbanzo bean flour and white rice flour)
1/2 cup salt
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup water

  1. Stir ingredients together well in the pot you will use to cook the dough, but mix well before heating the pan.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the dough, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. When it starts to pull away from the sides somewhat  and clump together and most of the wet looking parts look dry, it's ready to remove from the pan.
  3. Knead the dough very smooth, but WAIT UNTIL IT COOLS!!  I made this mistake and it sticks to your hands, scalding the skin until you pull it off every finger!!
  4. If it's sticky, continue adding flour and kneading until it's less sticky.  It will be less sticky once it's completely cooled off.  I don't know if it was the flour combination I chose or if it was because I mistakenly didn't add enough salt, but it took a LOT of flour to get rid of major stick.
  5. Store in an air tight container or zip lock baggie.
I made a double batch, thinking my two boys would need more to play together and it was not necessary so I want to save you the trouble of making the same mistake I did.  One batch is more than enough.

It also was very hard to manage in such a large ball of dough, so I found it easier to break it into palm-sized balls while kneading it, I would just dip it into the flour and knead, repeat, until it was a good consistency. 

Since I just made it today, I don't know how long it will last, but I will report back when it has gotten too hard to play with. 

Enjoy the peace and quiet you get while they play endlessly!

UPDATE - Since the day we made this "play doh" it seems like keeping it in the closed container holds moisture and allows it to get very sticky.  You can probably add more flour and mix it in before playing, but leaving it to air out a bit before playing helps a little too.  I'm not sure, if my blunder of not adding enough salt caused this, since salt would absorb moisture, so carry on and I hope those who have tried it can give me some feedback on whether their recipe lasted after the first day or so.

The abyss, our lawn!

For the three years we have lived in this house, we have been struggling with what to do for our lawn care.  We have SUCH a disaster of a lawn: weeds, dandelion, just plain ugly.  We live in a neighborhood of pristine lawns so we feel the heat even more, but luckily we are at the end of a cul de sac so other than our immediate neighbors, we aren't really too exposed by traffic.  We've also been trying to talk to our neighbors (who ALL have kids) about the chemicals they are exposing their kids to, so we are slowly noticing that some people are doing less to chemical-treat their lawns.  Maybe this year we won't be the only lawn on the block with the all-natural look.

Last year we just avoided dealing with it and it got bad, really bad, as in knee high dandelions overnight.  This year, we are researching ahead of time and calling "green" lawn care companies to see what they can offer.  There is a lot of work associated with doing it ourselves, so we would LOVE to find a green lawn care company to do it for us, but every time I look at the MSDS sheets for the "green" herbicides they apply "only once a year" they include risks like damage to the liver and thyroid, carcinogens that cause tumors, danger to marine life when it ends up in the water table.  I am not prepared to put our environment and children at risk to have a perfect lawn.  I just don't know how these lawn care companies can call themselves green when they are putting chemicals into our earth, even if they are just "one application" per year (with each product I might add) with "1/3rd of the dose of chemicals".

So what if we decided to just give our kids one application of 1/3rd of the mercury in a typical vaccination....?  No thanks.  That doesn't work for me when I know there are other options out there.

Part of the problem here is people's expectations of what a lawn should look like.  Do we really need golf courses for lawns?  Why is clover unwanted?  It offers the ground nitrogen and it prevents weed growth, it's also soft and fluffy under the feet and grows slow and low so it doesn't require constant care.  Personally, I think this sounds fabulous!  Get over your golf-course image and consider natural alternatives.

We will be buying and applying organic non-GMO corn gluten first, then we will aerate the ground before over-seeding with organic seed including clover, fertilize a few times a year, then as long as we just maintain this plan annually for a few years, it should get to the point where it's very low maintenance long-term.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How many hats do YOU wear?

Mothers across the globe have worn multiple hats for centuries, each culture holding it's own special and unique roles.  If you asked me ten years ago where I pictured myself in ten years, biomedical mother would have been the furthest words from my lips.

I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mother, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind.  I expected to wear the hats of caregiver, lover, homemaker, peace keeper and role model, for sure, but my current list of "hats" far exceeds my wildest dreams.

My personal role as biomedical mother includes many hats of distinction that are often acquired by education, but I have earned mine the hard way, good old experience and old fashioned learning by reading.  To add to the list a mother typically carries, a biomedical mother is also an educator, spokes person, scientist, doctor, chef, nutritionist, pharmacist, homeopath, researcher, politician, frontline-man, chemist, master herbalist, psychologist, psychiatrist, writer (wink) and the list goes on!  We've been forced to break into the medical realm by necessity and it opens more doors than we even knew existed before our children were born.  We often learn more about ourselves in this process than we ever dreamed imaginable. 

I wear my hats with pride.  I'm a better person, because of them, not just in terms of being wise, but also because my own health was brought under scrutiny in the process of identifying our children's deficiencies.  I'd like to think I share the wealth too.  I look forward to guiding other parents who are new in their journeys.  Some just want a little direction and they hit the road running of their own accord, others prefer more hand holding and still others just bounce back to me occasionally looking for reassurance.

Thinking back to my first days of this journey, while I wish I had a person to hold my hand and walk me along the path I am on, I think I am also the kind of person who needs to feel the road under her, regardless of how bumpy it might be.  I believe that experience develops character and it solidifies my choices. 

I am who I am, because of where I have been.  My shoes may be a little big some days, but I walk in them proudly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


As I sit here listening to our two year old scream himself to sleep, I feel like I am drowning.  When he was born, we knew we would be doing things differently with him, we had hope, we didn't vaccinate and we began his life with a healthy diet from day one.  But we knew things weren't perfect from very early on when he reacted with eczema to milk and soy in my diet while breast feeding.  We've gone down the same path as we have with Grayson in the name of prevention, yet as he approaches age three, we are questioning our ability to prevent much. 

He was never as severe as Grayson as an infant, just a different and strong personality.  He never had colic and slept well from day one.  We knew he had GI issues and we thought we would be heading off anything further with our biomedicine routine.  Chelation definitely helps him, but we are only coming to round 23.  We still have a very long way to go.  In the meantime, we have found a parasite called Dientamoeba Fragilis and have been doing a parasite cleanse for 30 days.  Since we started the parasite cleanse, he's been miserable, MISERABLE!  I can't tell, if it's constant die-off, if he is reacting to an ingredient or if he is just reaching the same age Grayson started showing signs of sensory processing disorder. 

His sensory defensiveness is suddenly off the charts.  He's never been one to have sensory issues, until now that is.  Suddenly underpants, shoes, socks, his coat and the car seat straps are "TOO TIGHT".  Initially he freaks about it pretty venomously, but when I walk away, he tends to drop it.  I don't know, if this is normal two year old stuff or if the parasite cleanse is blowing things way out of proportion.  And of course, as I mentioned earlier, it could just be coincidental timing, because this IS the age a lot of this stuff begins to show in kids on the spectrum.  His moods are out of control, he is defiant beyond belief and he is testing every last nerve I have left.

For now, I am putting all my hope in the idea that the cleanse is causing significant die-off symptoms, because if I don't, my heart will break, again, all over again....for the second and last child we will have. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chelation status with the boys

I've been blogging about myself a lot lately, mainly because it's all new for me, a lot of firsts!  Now that I have had my own first round of chelation after the full dental revision, we can take the focus off of me until it's warranted along side the boys' progress.

We had a long 5 week chelation break with Gavin, because he was sick, then started a parasite cleanse for the D. Fragilis and we didn't want to overwhelm his system.  So for the last round, we did chelation just with Grayson and skipped it with Gavin until this past weekend.  Grayson went through round 47 alone and then we added Gavin back in for his 22nd round, during Grayson's 48th round.  I thought he would do worse, considering the break, but he actually did fairly well.  Usually when we skip weekends, the following round is a bit rougher.  We even increased his DMSA from 3.75mg to 5mg, and surprisingly, he did ok!  He still had periods of screaming instead of talking and he was a little emotional, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

They were both sick just before starting this round, but it's been so long that we couldn't risk skipping another round.  Grayson had some emotional moments at the beginning of the round and a bit of itching/swatting throughout the round, but his post-round behavior has been better.  I decided to use one dose of his constitutional homeopathic remedy as he was coming off chelation, like I used to.  I had taken a break from it, but I think it helps him ease off the round.  He's become compliant, more patient, happy and lively again.  While he was sick (for a full week), we lost a lot of that.

Even though we have to go through 100-300 rounds for full recovery, I am so excited to tackle round 50 soon with Grayson!!  There have been reports of the yeast and bacteria becoming much easier to maintain between rounds 50 and 60, so I am looking forward to reaching these milestones!  His yeast and bacteria already seem to be well under control, but I think it still requires all of his high-dose antimicrobials to do so.  I hope to see otherwise in the near future!  100-300 is a wide variance, so there is no saying, if we are reaching the halfway point, or if we aren't even close to a quarter of the way through chelation, but I am glad none-the-less.  We still have to hit and pass through a stall period which can last 3-6 months and 9 months for some.  This is the hardest part of chelation for most, because it means continuing to chelate without progress.  It's a necessary part of the process though.  Once a person pulls through the stall period, they reach the mercury from the deepest darkest places and progress picks up yet again.  Chelation should continue until well beyond confirmation that the mercury is gone. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mercury be gone!

I started my own chelation, round 1 of the Andy Cutler protocol on Friday afternoon.  It has been two full days so far and I have noticed a few random things, but so far, nothing traumatizing.  Although, I know that it can take some time to pull mercury from deep in the tissues.  It's possible I won't start seeing serious symptoms of chelation for a few rounds. Then when I add ALA (alpha lipoic acid) in three months, which is the only chelator that will cross the blood brain barrier, I'm sure things will heat up.  But for now, I am enjoying the ease of chelation.  Mood wise, I feel just slightly aloof, but no bad moods so far, thankfully!  That was the one thing I feared most, since I have to parent our two boys who are also going through chelation.  My poor husband is out numbered!  Thank goodness he's very calm and takes things in stride, without him, we wouldn't be able to keep it together with all the mood swings that often fly through our house any given day!

My mouth on the other hand, isn't handling the surgery trauma quite as well.  After a few days, the scab in the corner of my mouth was so tight I could barely open my mouth, the canker sore on the other side continued to grow in size and then to make matters worse, BOTH sides of my mouth developed huge cold sores that extend beyond my mouth!  On the right side I have the canker sore on the bottom lip with the cold sore directly above it on the top lip!  So they touch each other, which is lovely at night, it's like they literally try to heal together and I wake up with my lips feeling sewn shut.  This is definitely the worst part of the procedure, by far.  I think my stitches will heal up long before this mess is cleared up!  And talk about painful!!  So far the two bottom stitches have fallen out (dissolved) and chewing is increasingly becoming easier.  The part I expected to be painful hasn't been painful in the least!  I will still need to avoid crunchy foods for 7 more weeks.  I find myself learning the hard way which foods are considered crunchy.  I mean, it's obvious a carrot is crunchy, but a pancake, when it's toasted a tad too long, becomes a painful little "crunchy" item to chew. That is the only time I feel sensitivity in my teeth. 

As for symptoms during chelation, they are minimal and fleeting, but interesting to say the least...
  • Bone pain on the outside of my left wrist/forearm area, very distinct feeling like my bone was bruised, sensitive to the touch, but I didn't bang it.  About 20-30 minutes into this feeling, it started traveling up to my elbow and then it disappeared as fast as it came on.
  • Shortly after the forearm pain went away, I began to feel a throbbing deep sensation in the lower left side of my back, near my hip, but on my back not my side.  I immediately took some artichoke extract and the pain went away.  This happened again briefly today.
  • Immediately after my third dose on the first day, I got a few waves of dizziness, enough to make me feel like I could lose my balance, if it stuck around, but it didn't.
  • That first night, I had a LOT of sweating, enough to make me cold and wet!
  • Swollen glands under my jaw popped up after chelation started.
  • The numb/tingling sensation I was feeling in my left foot has returned full force today and, in fact, the right foot had a touch of tingling in it too!  I've never felt it in my right foot before.  The left foot was definitely much worse though, a lot like it was pre-surgery.  That pain had gone away since the day after I had the fillings removed and the cavitation cleaned.  It only returned when I started chelation, which I actually expected, since I am mobilizing metals.
  • Today I noticed that a large purple varicose vein that I have had inside my left knee since I was pregnant with Gavin is fading enough to be just a faded spot.  The vein itself isn't showing anymore, at all.
  • I also noticed that my left forearm, which had a very strange texture to the skin (almost like it was wrinkled along the entire forearm, as if I had been holding Gavin for hours and there was an imprint on the skin) is gone.  This is something I always thought was weird and again, has been there since I had Gavin.  When I first noticed it, I actually thought it WAS from holding Gavin too much, but it never went away, until now!  I tried lotions and hydration, nothing effected it.  I know it was there just two weeks ago.  I'm still surprised it's gone and keep looking at my arm to see if it returned.
Do you notice a trend with my symptoms above?  Dose anything in particular stand out?  Let me give you a hint, it involves my: forearm, foot/toes, wrist, vein, and hip/back.  Yup, that is just about every symptom.  They are all on the left side of my body!!  For years I also had issues with my left ear having pain and occasional tinnitus, which is now gone, so far anyway.  What I find interesting about this trend is that my largest filling (large enough to have been a root canal, but the dentist saved the nerve) was on the bottom left side of my jaw.  I also think the worst cavitation was the bottom left, the same side as that filling, not sure if that is just coincidental or if one had to do with the other.  That area where my wisdom tooth was removed had often become inflamed and irritated and it seemed to happen regularly.  I used to say it felt like I actually still had a tooth trying to come through the gums, that pressure you feel with a new tooth that makes you want to poke at and bite on the gum.  It was very strange, but I have since learned that this is a sign of infection.  This same location had problems immediately after my wisdom teeth were removed also.  A large shard of bone that was left in the jaw worked it's way to the surface and came through my gums.  It wasn't a fun experience at the time, it was shaped like a fish hook!!  Having dead bone in a wisdom tooth site is a sure way to end up with necrosis and infection!  My mouth in general had become a problem over the past year.  I was having a lot of swollen gum problems, although the dentist always told me that my gums were great and my teeth were the cleanest they have ever seen, so I couldn't make sense of this phenomenon.  Now, I get it!  And hopefully I will never experience this again, since the source is gone!  Cavitations and mercury!!

This is a very hopeful time in my life.  I've always felt good knowing I am helping my children become healthier, but my own health was always on the back burner.  I never had the time or energy for me.  Now, I am putting me on the front burner with the help of my supportive husband and I couldn't be happier about that!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Here goes nothing!

Down the first 12.5mg dose of DMSA!  Only time will tell what symptoms this will bring flooding in with it.  Ok, now that that is done, I am off to make my next 23 doses for the weekend.  Wish me luck!  I will be back to report, if there is anything to report. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Post dental revision update on me!

I did it!  It's done!  My mouth is officially mercury and cavitation FREE!!

My sister joked that I still have mercury in my eyes and thyroid though....hahaha, this is true!  I will start chelation with DMSA only this weekend, four days from the dental revision, as recommended by Andy Cutler.  I cannot go near ALA for three months, because it would force the free flowing mercury in my body from the dental revision INTO my brain, which means that Dave will need to prepare and dose all of the kids' chelation for the next three months, until I can add it into my rounds.  So I will be starting with my first round during Grayson's 48th and Gavins 22nd rounds.  Interestingly, we are each separated by about 22+ rounds.

Did it hurt?
The procedure itself was a piece of cake, and I am really still very surprised about that considering the amount of damage that was done to the back half of my mouth!  The body is truly amazing at healing itself.  Eight fillings (I know I said 7 previously, but it turns out that my one resin filling also had metal in it) were drilled out, a few were really deep and needed a calcium carbonate buffer before the filling was put in.  Grandio was the composite of choice.  It seems to have really good reviews as far as composites go and it was one of the composites in my "least reactive" biocompability results.  I was made to feel very comfy before they started work, they covered me with a warm blanket and gave me a heating pad for the hand that would have the two IVs (conscious sedation and vitamin C drip).  She did a GREAT job putting the IVs in, nothing like the delivery nurses at the hospital, lol!  Then I was draped from head to toe, literally, as we waited for the sedation to kick in.  She said they were going to see if I was a cheap date, they injected 5mg of the sedation initially, to see how sensitive I was.  I watched them as they covered every exposed part of my body, my hair with a shower cap, goggles over my eyes, draping over my body and the dam in my mouth to work around each tooth individually.  Some time after putting the oxygen in my nose and starting work, I remember hearing her say that I wasn't such a cheap date, lol, I was too aware still.  It turns out I needed 28mg of the sedation to keep me out of it.  I remember bits and pieces of the experience, the memories jump around a bit like I was in and out of it.  Before I even realized it, 9am quickly became noon and I was pulled out of my sedation to visit the ladies room while they grabbed a quick lunch.  I wearily hobbled my way to the bathroom and back.  I felt goofy like I had just learned to walk, lol.  I stole a peek in the bathroom mirror - WHITE TEETH, all white!!  My large filling was still half empty though, because it was going to be an onlay, where they fit a piece of the resin directly into the top of the tooth, based on a molding of my teeth done pre-surgery.  Twenty minutes later, I was back in lala-land and undergoing the surgical part of my procedure.  The cavitations!  In case you don't know what a cavitation is, here is a description.

A cavitation is a hole in the bone, often where a tooth has previously been extracted. Cavitations can occur in any bone in the body, but are most frequently found in the jawbones. The most common site is the wisdom tooth area.

Filled with Toxins
Recognized as far back as the 1800's, jawbone cavitations go by a number of names, such as ischemic osteonecrosis, neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis (NICO) , osteomeyelitis of the jawbone, jaw ostitis, and others. These lesions characteristically are not painful, tender or inflamed. They are silent, and thus often go undetected. These jawbone lesions are like cesspools; they become filled with toxins and even have been shown to store mercury. If your body can quarantine the toxins, you will be OK, but if they go out into your system, they can cause a myriad of symptoms.

Jawbone cavitations and their bodily effects are discussed in the book, Death in Dentistry, by Dr. Martin Fisher. He presents the research of world renowned doctors, including Frank Billings and E.C. Rosenow. Dr. Billings was head of medicine at Chicago's prestigious Rush Medical College. These medical doctors did years of research on health problems as they relate to the mouth. Recent research by Dr. Boyd Haley, Head of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, shows the toxins from cavitations to be more more potent than botulinum!

In order to address a cavitation, the doctor (this is where Dr. Grube truly stands apart from most doctors) cuts open the gums over the cavitation (in my case, all four wisdom teeth), pulls the skin back, drills a large hole into the jaw bone, cleans out the site really well and lastly cleans it out with ozonated water.  The bone will develop a blood clot where it is cleaned and scraped out, allowing oxygenation in the bone, for proper healing and ventilation.  She stitches it back up and sprays the stitches with the ozone water to make sure they are sterile.  I was pulled back out of my dreamland by 3:30 and sent upstairs for a one hour massage and accupressure!  I kept the oxygen, because that helps push the medicine out of my body.  I didn't even feel numb by this point anymore!  In fact, when I was back in the dental chair at 4:30 for the placement of my onlay, I could feel her shaving down the tooth a little, ouch!  By 5pm I was on my way to the hotel with my three favorite guys!  My whole day felt like it was only two hours long when I was actually there from 8:30 to 5pm!

The worst part of the experience was the corners of my mouth from having my skin stretched for about 5 hours.  They are raw and scabbing now.  I can barely open my mouth!  My teeth are slightly sensitive to biting still and I can feel the stitches hanging in the back of my mouth.  She leaves long-ish tails on the stitches, so I am sort of gagging on them, ick!  They should be dissolved within about 5 days.  One already fell out this morning.  I think they will heal faster, because I drink wheat grass which is VERY healing, so I let each sip sit in the back of my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing it.  I also do salt loading with my iodine doses, which involves using 1/2 teaspoon of Real Salt in some water and I drink it (YUCKY), again, I am letting that sit in the back of my mouth before swallowing too.  I probably won't be eating truly solid foods for a few days and I am not allowed to have anything crunchy, hard or hot for EIGHT weeks!  At first, I also thought my bite might have been changed, but as I allow my jaw to relax, I find my teeth settling in line again.  I have been too focused on my bite, the stitches and my teeth which tenses up all the muscles.  I can tell now that they are fine.  More than anything, the post surgery stuff is annoying.  Since taking three doses of Hypericum (homeopathy they gave me) the night of the procedure, I haven't had even a ting of pain, not one!  Dr. Grube ROCKS!!

Post-surgery, improvements?
So today is two days post-surgery and even with the disrupted sleep we've been having (kids are both sick and up a few times a night each), I feel pretty darn good!  I've already had two major improvements worth sharing.

For about the past 6-12 months, I have been experiencing pain in my left foot upon waking.  I would step out of bed in the morning and couldn't put my weight on my left foot, because of severe pain from my three small toes being numb.  It was way worse than pins and needles.  I would hobble over to my sock drawer to put on a pair of socks, then to the bathroom where the pain would finally start to go away.  The first morning after the surgery, I noticed I didn't have this pain, but I was also in a hotel and didn't know, if the firmer bed had anything to do with it...thinking maybe it was a circulation problem from a pressure point in my softer bed or something, I didn't want to get too excited.  But this morning, I couldn't wait to see what it would be like when I hopped out of bed...sure enough, I could step flat foot, no pain! WOW!  It's been a very long time since I could do that.  It now appears that I was either experiencing some form of neuropathy from the mercury or perhaps my circulation was effected by disruption to my meridian, who knows, all I know is that I am VERY happy it's gone!  I expect I may experience it again as I go through chelation though, since I will be forcing the mobilization of mercury through my body.  I did a brief search online for neuropathy causes and found this listed on Quest Diagnositics' website.

"Peripheral neuropathy may also be caused by several heavy metals. Lead toxicity is associated with motor neuropathy, whereas arsenic and mercury cause sensory neuropathy. The 24-hour urine heavy metal test is the most useful test for diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity."

This is from the Neurology Channel

"Some neuropathies develop suddenly; others progress slowly, even over a number of years. Severity varies among individuals and may vary in the same individual throughout the day. Symptoms of neuropathy generally are more severe at night."

The other interesting improvement, which I actually expected, has to do with an infection I was experiencing in the back of my throat daily.  I always had this constant need to clear my throat, even when I wasn't sick.  Taking GSE two to three times a day usually kept it under control, but if I missed a dose, it would start right back up again. I assumed this was yeast overgrowth, mainly because I know that many sinus infections are caused by yeast overgrowth and GSE addresses yeast.  When I was at my first exam with Dr. Grube, her husband who is a chiropractor, did some muscle testing on me and told me that I had a staph infection in my cavitations.  That would explain the throat clearing and why GSE helped it.  I haven't taken GSE since the surgery and I have had no need to clear my throat with the exception of waking first thing in the morning!  This was so chronic previously, that I KNOW now it was an infection in my jawbone.  Wild!! 

I don't really look forward to the joys of chelating, but I am hopeful that I will be headed down the road of aging gracefully and healthy with my mercury free mouth.  I already feel different, so I can't even imagine what completing chelation will do for me!  Stay tuned for my personal experience with chelation, I will finally know how my children feel!

PS - I found this great link which addresses cavitations in more detail.  If you have ever had a tooth pulled any tooth, even wisdom teeth, have amalgams or still use fluoride (have fluoridated water) and if all three apply, PLEASE read this!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hiding from my family today, literally!

I am hiding in my bedroom.  Sounds extreme, I know, but keep reading to find out why.  My dental revision is scheduled for tomorrow morning which is stressful in and of itself, but it seems like every possible thing that could go wrong before the big day, has.  It's been one exciting stressor after another.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I have been trying to have my amalgams replaced since before Christmas!  First, I put it off because I wanted to do more research into the Huggins protocol, then I found a Huggins dentist and scheduled my initial exam appointment to start the process.  I was thrilled, but hesitant about the cost.  It took some time for me to come to grips with the cost difference of using a Huggins alliance dentist.  My husband assured me that we cannot put a price on health, and that we would figure it out, regardless of what we had to do to make this happen.  The day before my exam with Dr. Grube, she called at 9:30pm to cancel, because of a conflict with her schedule, so the appointment was again  pushed off to a later date.

At that appointment which was in the middle of February, they gave me the biocompatibility blood test to have done between then and my dental revision date, which we scheduled for March 7th.  There was barely enough time to get the test done by their "emergency" turn around time of five days.  It normally takes two weeks!  So I knew I had to rush out to get my blood work done on that Monday (one week, five business days from my dental revision date).  The doctor told me that Quest won't do test kit blood work, LabCorp was their best recommendation, but ultimately, it was on me to find a lab that would cooperate with the detailed, lengthy instructions on the test kit paperwork.  After fasting through Sunday night into Monday, I promptly called the closest LabCorp number (a thirty minute drive away) and couldn't find any way to get through their telephone system to a live person.  Everything was automated about their location, hours, test info, etc.  I pressed every button trying to reach a live person, hahaha, with no success.  So I called the headquarters number from their website and spoke with someone there.  I told them that I had a test kit from my doctor who recommended LabCorp and that I had to confirm they could draw and centrifuge a blood serum sample.  She told me that they could, the charge for the blood draw would be $23 and she asked for the name of the Lab it was being done for (BioComp Lab) and she went to check to see, if they could do the shipment of the sample for me too since it was a 30 minute drive for me.  When she came back, she said they could do it and that they would be able to pull up the lab in their computer to find out what the FedEx charge would be, I would just pay them there.  Perfect!  I was on my way in no time.  Dave even took the morning off so I could leave Gavin with him.  And boy was I starving....go figure, the one day I needed to fast, I WOULD be hungry, wouldn't I?  Hunger pains and all, lol.

As my luck would have it, when I arrived at the lab, the lady had no idea what to do with the test kit.  I sat beside her as she read through the pages of paperwork and then called the headquarters and her direct supervisor who both told her she could not do the test.  WHAT?!  Are you freakin kidding me?  I was furious, hungry, 30 minutes away from home and had no backup plan, because I CALLED FIRST to make sure they could do it!  Luckily, just that weekend I had gotten the name of a generic lab in the area for Grayson's blood work from Dr. Schmidt and I called home for that info.  The lady there told me they could do it, I was so relieved.  So back towards home I went, starving by now since it was nearly lunch time.  The place I went to was called Any Lab Tests Now!....a little ghetto?  Yeah, it was.  They had two dogs walking around with no separation from the blood draw seating and when the girl (I said lady before, but she was a girl) was preparing to draw my blood, she was very unsure of herself.  She aimed at my vein three times, diving in like she was going to prick me, then backing up, diving in, backing up....she was clearly nervous.  But I was just glad to have it done.  There was still more though, the blood had to sit and clot for 15 minutes, then be spun (centrifuged) for 20 and frozen for 2-3 hours.  Dave went back to pick it up, he verified that it was frozen and was yellow (proper separation) and then he priority overnighted it to BioComp....$50, geez!

So you would think this would be the end of it....I was relieved to be on my way to the dental revision which was only 6 days away at this point.  Tuesday passes by, then first thing Wednesday morning when I am on my way out the door with the kids to play outside, a package gets delivered to my front door from Dr. Grube.  It's another biocompatibility test kit.  And why?  I hoped it had been an error.  I called the office and they told me the lab was supposed to call me the night before (which they did and I just never got the message, totally my fault).  I needed to do the test over!!  And since I never got the message from the night before, I never fasted for this test and couldn't do it today!  And it's now the Wednesday before my Monday appointment!  I called the lab (which is two hours behind in time, of course, just my luck) which is when I found out that the "problem" with my blood sample was actually that my blood reacted to just about EVERYTHING on the test.  I was even moderately reacting to gold, which is very rare. So he said two things were possible, one is that the sample was heat damaged in transit, although it looked fine when it arrived, and the other possibility is that I am truly reacting to everything, in which case, I would really need to get myself to a doctor, fast!  Great, like I needed more worries!  So the new plan was to redo the test first thing Thursday morning and overnight it to them for Friday morning delivery.  They would test it as soon as possible and e-mail the results to us (me and Dr. Grube) by mid-day....THEIR mid-day, which is two hours behind our mid-day, lol.  Talk about cutting it close, we had NO room for error this time.  And I still had to find a lab that would do my blood draw and properly.  I had a bad feeling about the lab I chose.  This also meant an additional blood draw fee and another overnight delivery.  But whose counting pennies now, right?  It's like buying a house and worrying about the inspection fees, just do it and shut up!  The cost of doing business.

Thursday morning, I happily did my thing, got the blood draw (at a WONDERFUL lab right around the corner from my house, I'm such an idiot), went back to pick it up from the lab, sent it out Fed Ex by 1pm (my best friend got me a 75% discount on Fed Ex!!), things were looking up.  I felt good about it all.  Sure enough, Friday I received a "normal" test by e-mail.  I was still highly reactive to some things, any dental materials that included: aluminum (so glad I make my own deodorant and stopped using make-up with aluminum!), copper, zinc acetate, beryllium, gallium, zirconium, bismuth, lithium (hmmm, I take this as a supplement), cadmium and molybdenum (something else I take as a supplement).  I was also moderately reactive to: lead, mercury (go figure) and nickel.  The majority of findings, luckily, were still in the least reactive category, which is how it should be, whew!

So back to why I am hiding in my room.  Thursday night the kids came down with an illness.  Grayson came home from school with a raw upper lip from a burning runny nose and Gavin couldn't seem to sleep a wink.  Now, Grayson is coughing all over the place and Gavin has diarrhea.  Being sick would NOT be good considering the stress I will be putting my body under for this procedure.  And to make matters worse, I was late with my period so I feared pregnancy, which thankfully has been proven wrong, although now...yes, I am going to be going through surgery on my second heaviest flow day!  So today I sit here in my bed, complete with stomach pains and a headache which are par for the course, but they also have me worried about possibly getting sick.  I have done everything under the sun to try to remain healthy amongst sick kids: 80,000IU of vit D3 a day, zinc, high doses of CLO for the increased vit A, vit C (although I can't use it 36 hours before the surgery), homeopathy, hydrogen peroxide in my ears, and washing my hands every time I go near the kids....the skin is practically raw.  I have been drinking wheat grass regularly, and using a super antioxidant called Protandim daily, so I hope they have boosted my health power!!  The stress can't be good, I have been so highly stressed since the shenanigans with the blood testing, I just hope the baths with epsom salts and deep breathing help fight this off.  I am trying to stay as calm as possible!! Writing is therapeutic for me! Just one more day, I keep telling myself, just one more day!!  By tomorrow this time, I will be in the chair and on my way to a healthier future!

PS - I want to also thank my wonderful husband who has been extremely supportive of this whole process along the way.  Right now, he is downstairs taking care of our sick kids and making a triple batch of pancakes to have ready for our long drive early tomorrow morning and then again for our return drive Tuesday morning (we will need to spend the night there after the surgery).  Without him, this would never have been possible.  He has assured me that we will do whatever is necessary, we want to grow old together!  This healthy husband of mine has no fillings, not one.  No one can tell me that mercury doesn't harm us when placed in our mouths, I am living with the proof in so many ways.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is it the chicken or the egg?

I have often said that I am learning more about my own health through my children, but lately, it seems to be the reverse.  In the process of preparing to have my dental revision (replacement of amalgams and cavitations cleaned out), I am learning more about my health status which is in turn, helping me understand the deficiencies in my children! For the first time since starting biomedicine, I really feel like I am coming full circle with the whole picture.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been found to have low sodium, am borderline hypothyroid, have an enlarged thyroid, my cholesterol is too low, my MCV, MCH, and BUN are high and as odd as it sounds my eyeballs and thyroid are holding onto mercury.  There were many other findings, but these are significant.

A huge piece of the puzzle comes into play with the thyroid which is often one of the first organs to be effected by mercury poisoning.  Even before I had my blood work done, I had ordered and started using iodine, based on symptoms I was having (especially being cold and tired all the time lately).  I also was able to tie it to the kids and their symptoms which includes pathogenic and viral overgrowth as well as an inability to detox, among many other things.  In the process of ramping up my dose, I began having odd sensations and a fogginess in my eyes along with frontal headaches.  The symptoms were often reduced quite a bit by doing something called salt loading (when I load up on a sea salt with high mineral content), and since I have found out I am low in sodium, this makes complete sense.  You can see the basic iodine protocol here.  I have also read that iodine encourages natural detox, hence the eyes burning and acting up!  I've read some truly amazing stories about others who have changed their lives by addressing their thyroid problems naturally.  What I also find interesting is most of us struggling with this are under the medical radar, because our test results put us in the "normal" range.  There is actually a "Type 2" hypothyroidism that is going undetected in a huge part of the population, because of doctors who primarily treat the test results rather than the patient and his or her clinical symptoms.  The reason it isn't showing up on tests, is because there are sufficient levels of thyroid hormones being produced, it's how the body is using them (or in our cases, not using them) that differs!!

"Type 2 hypothyroidism is defined as peripheral resistance to thyroid hormones at the cellular level. It is not due to a lack of adequate thyroid hormones. Normal amounts of thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) are detected by the blood tests; therefore, blood tests do not detect Type 2 hypothyroidism. Type 2 hypothyroidism is usually inherited. However, environmental toxins may also cause or exacerbate the problem."

Well that certainly makes sense to me.  These people tend to show physical signs as they progress with the illness, like puffy eyes and faces.  They retain weight regardless of their diet and work out programs and they often experience bouts of depression and fatigue.  Goodness, this sounds like more than half of America, if you ask me!  Check out this link for before and after treatment pictures that will blow you away!  I've been lucky enough to not have the puffiness or weight gain, but that is probably where another large part of my large puzzle comes into play....

Low cholesterol.  Society has been so brainwashed to think we need our cholesterol lowered.  This is not so, in fact, a healthy total cholesterol is 222mg/dL!! which is above the lab range of 125-200mg/dL. Yet again (surprise, surprise) the lab testing ranges are wrong!  People who have under 160mg/dL are predisposed to violent behavior, suicide, depression, anxiety, delinquency, bipolar disease, Parkinson's disease, manganese deficiency, celiac disease, hyperthyroidism, liver disease, malabsorption, and malnutrition.  This is because cholesterol plays an important role in many physiological factors in the body.  The formation of sterol hormones, cell membranes and bile acids, would not be possible without cholesterol!  I found this in a newsletter (again, the universe is speaking to me, I ALWAYS get ironically timely newsletters related to what is going on with our family!) from Great Plains Labs....tell me if this doesn't sound like autistic children?!

"lower cholesterol values were also found in chronic fatigue syndrome and in children with dyslexia, a difficulty in reading. More recently, it has been discovered that cholesterol is needed to activate a protein called Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) which plays a central role in neural patterning, mood regulation, and cerebral development.  This could be why individuals with cholesterol deficiency are more prone to aggressive behavior, lack of attention, increased number of infections, and motor difficulty. Cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of serotonin receptors which are responsible for good mood and oxytocin receptors needed for good social interactions and interpersonal bonding. "

Check out this article from Great Plains Labs

It goes on further to say, regarding medical grade supplementation of cholesterol

"Parents reported that their children were sleeping through the night, overcoming aggressive behaviors, learning to walk, speaking and becoming more responsive to family members.  Other parents reported a decrease in the rate of infections, reduced skin rashes, reduction in self-injurious behaviors, improved muscle tones, rapid growth and improved behavior overall.  It was reported that one autistic adult, without speech, even spoke for the first time. "

I tend to wonder if any of the autistic children out there are even being monitored for cholesterol levels?!  This make so much sense, especially since the foods that contain the higher amounts of cholesterol are shellfish/seafood, breads, soy, eggs, and dairy!  I know for us, we are avoiding all but one of those foods and most of these kids tend to be sensitive to eggs too!  Is it the chicken or the egg?

New Beginnings makes a medical grade cholesterol supplement that offers 250mg of cholesterol per capsule, that is equal to one egg.  It's called Sonic Cholesterol and requires a doctor referral to buy.

What does this have to do with my children?  For one, the low cholesterol....probably genetic, but also would make sense that children who do not eat the foods listed above (just about all kids using biomedicine) are on the low side.  Grayson's total cholesterol was 152.  Do you think ANY Doctor mentioned this to us?  All they did was look at the items that were "out of range" per the lab standards, and even those items were brushed off.  In fact, both of my boys had elevated MCH, MCV and BUN, like me!  I have read in Andrew Cutler's book, Amalgam Illness, that elevated MCH and MCV is very typical of those with mercury poisoning.

Symptoms of low iodine in children are: slow growth (bingo), low muscle tone (bingo), lack of stomach acid (bingo), frequent infections (bingo), overgrowth of yeast and bacteria (bingo) far five for five.  And, according to Ayurvedic practionner Dr Douillard, "iodine protects our body’s cells from Chlorine, bromine and fluorine that can be carcinogenic in high concentrations. Heavy metals, pesticides, pollutants, compete for iodine receptors in our bodies, and if our iodine levels are low, the receptors get filled with the toxins instead."  Ahem, need I say more here? 

I see now why the symbol for autism is the piece of a puzzle.  We literally have to take bits and pieces of information from varying sources to piece together our children's health status.  Only this will allow us to put it all back together, AKA - recovery!  There is not one doctor, that I know of so far, addressing each and every one of these topics.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure!!  I would like to reiterate to ANYONE trusting just one doctor to find all of the answers for you....DON'T!  Get out there and research, find your own answers, scour internet sites, forums, books, read about your specific child's test results, even if they aren't off the typical ranges.  We get so hooked on scanning down that column "out of range" and breathing a sigh of release when nothing is in that column, but look at their numbers, are there any patterns emerging, are they close to the edge of the range....if there are unanswered questions in your mind, don't wait around for someone else to answer them.  In some cases, even taking a look at your own (and your partner's) health can shed light on what is going on, after all they ARE our offspring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Essential nutrients for autism spectrum disorder

Below is an article that I found to be very thorough in explaining what is going on with my children.  It really sums up the whole autism spectrum in terms of deficiencies that are consistently seen with these children.  And please be aware that a child doesn't have to be on the spectrum to have these deficiencies, as illnesses like ADHD and learning disabilities are just a less severely effected individual.

I will bold the items that we have confirmed to be problems with Grayson, at minimum.  We have some blood work to do, now in fact, where we will actually find out which viruses (viral titers) have been mutating and actively living in him as well as to see what his oxidative stress looks like (transferrin).  You will read more about oxidative stress below, it's a huge factor for the biochemistry in children on the spectrum. 

Even though you may be convinced that your child isn't on the autism spectrum, that doesn't mean these things aren't going on for him/her.  They are with my child!  It wasn't until I learned to accept literature with the word autism in it, that I opened our door to healing.

Essential nutrients for autism spectrum disorder

Rosalba Maistoru M.A., BCBA

The incidence of early-onset-type autism has not changed since it was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943. At that time, the disorder was generally being diagnosed before the age of 2. Rather, it is the later-onset-type that has suddenly appeared and dramatically increased around the globe and across the country. Today’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children are being diagnosed at more advanced ages. Today, about 1 in 150 children are born with some kind of neurological developmental disorder. Clearly, the explosion of ASD is real, and the frightening rate of increase does not seem to be dropping off, leaving us with the responsibility to at least address what may be causing these alarming trends and what we can do about them.

While ASD presents as a complex clinical problem for many in the professional fields, parents of newly diagnosed children are baffled, because so many children on the spectrum present with coexisting medical conditions that are not explained by an ASD diagnosis. Physical illness symptomatology include ailments such as gastrointestinal problems, immune dysfunction, and/or recurrent infections. For several years now there has been a strong consensus among many scientists and practitioners that, while hereditary plays a vital role in the susceptibility for ASD, environmental factors (e.g., toxin exposures, infectious agents or other stressors) appear to contribute to the cause or triggering of ASD.

In the past, ASD has primarily been treated through educational, behavioral and psychosocial modalities. Advocates of “the new paradigm of ASD” propose that autism is not strictly an inherited disease, but that environmental factors contribute to its incidence and that dietary interventions, detoxification strategies and other medical treatments may contribute to the amelioration of ASD symptoms. One could reasonably argue that perhaps the most important reason to pursue the medical paradigm of environmental effects is the possibility of identifying underlying factors causing ASD and ultimately achieving successful treatments for those diagnosed with ASD.

Practitioners who treat children with ASD using biomedical approaches have been sharing data and several themes with abnormalities in related and overlapping areas have emerged, such as ASD and the role of oxidative stress (e.g. free radicals), immunological dysregulation and increased toxic burden (e.g., heavy metals). In addition, they have also noted that the extent of the nutritional problems in these observations include the following dietary abnormalities, such as zinc deficiency, copper excess, calcium and magnesium deficiencies, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, fiber deficiency and antioxidant deficiency.

Toxic chemicals, at any level of chronic exposure, affect human biochemistry. Fortunately, the body has mechanisms for transforming, eliminating or sorting out many toxic chemicals encountered over a lifetime. Nonetheless, these ‘safety’ mechanisms may be inadequate or even inappropriate in our modern industrialized society, especially for “at risk” individuals, such as the elderly, those with poor nutritional habits, or children who are born with a genetic susceptibility to having trouble detoxifying.

One class of ‘textbook’ toxic chemicals capable of subtle yet insidious health effects that may mimic other disorders, especially in children, is that of the heavy metals. Lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum and cadmium are well-documented examples. Chronic exposure to these metals often results in organ-specific accumulation, which compromises the physiology of that organ. Similarly, chronic exposure to organic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, industrial and manufacturing byproducts can have deleterious impact on the body’s biochemistry, resulting in decline of cellular function.

New research indicates that oxidative stress and free radicals (highly reactive molecules) may play a role in the development of ASD. Free radicals are submicroscopic damaging particles that occur naturally in the body during normal metabolic functions and may also come from other sources, including environmental toxins (e.g., ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking and air pollution). These destructive molecules are inherently unstable since they contain more energy than they need. To reduce their extra energy, free radicals react with certain cells in the body. This interferes with those cells’ ability to function properly, may alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA and even cause cell death.

Chronic illness is characterized by the presence of large numbers of free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals not only damage cells but also cause viruses living in a person’s body to mutate. Poor nutrition greatly magnifies this process, generating significant more free radicals and increasing the likelihood that the live virus will mutate to a more virulent strain (which can increase the person’s exposure to a very high risk of viral persistence). A number of new studies confirm previous studies showing a strong correlation between eating fresh fruits and high density vegetables (squash, onions, garlic, greens, broccoli and Brussels sprouts) and a lower risk of developing chronic illness, with incredible protection against many diseases associated with free radical formation.

Ensuring proper biochemical functioning requires a consistent balance among various essential nutrients. Nutrients are substances that are involved in the creation of every molecule in the body. The body needs more than 45 nutrients, and the ways that nutrients are used are as varied as the molecules, cells and tissues they help to create. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats (called macronutrients) are broken down (metabolized) to give the body energy. Vitamins and minerals (called micronutrients) are not themselves metabolized for energy, but they are crucial in helping the macronutrients convert to energy. Six macrominerals are required by humans in varying amounts. Four of them (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) are cations, and two (phosphate and chloride) are accompanying anions. Nine trace minerals (microminerals) are required by humans in small amounts including iron, iodine, fluorine, zinc, chromium, selenium, manganese, molybdenum and copper.

Researchers and scientists continue to uncover the therapeutic role of nutritional supplements in the prevention and treatment of disease. The term “nutritional supplement” refers to vitamins, minerals, and other food components that are used to support good health and treat illness. While all vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the body’s normal metabolism, growth, and development, some are pivotal and they do this by helping the body to perform various tasks. For example, vitamins B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folate) and B-12 (methylcobalamin), regulate a special series of metabolic steps in brain cells necessary for forming neurotransmitter chemicals and repairing DNA. When these nutrients are deficient, a special chemical homocysteine accumulates. Homoysteine is in a class of special brain cell toxins called excitotoxins. These toxins literally excite certain brain cells to death. Excitotoxins are considered a central mechanism in all of the neurodegenrative diseases and generate large numbers of free radicals in brain cells and brain cell connections (synapses).

Numerous studies have found that many children with ASD have elevated homocysteine levels, which is usually a sign of impaired metabolism. Many of the recent studies have also shown that the greatest risk is among those with impaired immunity. Protection against free radicals and excitotoxins can be achieved from dietary, supplemental and endogenous antioxidants. Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage - the common pathway for a variety of diseases. These molecules safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. They neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons. The antioxidant nutrients themselves don’t become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in either form. Instead, they act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cellular damage and disease.

Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle antioxidants are vitamins C, E, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) and curcumin, which increase brain cell glutathione levels. Vitamins C and E are thought to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals. Glutathione, one of the more powerful brain antioxidant systems, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Selenium is also included in this category, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body’s antioxidant enzyme systems. Additionally, the carotenoids and special antioxidants from plants called flavonoids all act together to protect the brain from free radicals and, hence, excitotoxicity.

One of the more common reasons for immune dysfunction is nutritional deficiency. It is known that even individual nutritional deficiencies can have devastating effects on the immune system, an example of this is exemplified with a deficiency in selenium which can impair cellular immunity. It is also known that vitamin E (natural E), selenium, zinc, vitamin C and flavonoids (from fruits and vegetables) are critical for normal immune function. These nutrients have been sited as common deficiencies seen in children with ASD. Severe chronic infections have been known to deplete nutrients and this worsens immune function. Immune-stimulant supplements and nutrients, such as mixed carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, canthoxanthin, lutein), most B vitamins, vitamins C, E, D-3, and the minerals zinc, selenium (as selenomethionine) and magnesium, taken together all support immunity.

Of the many biochemical similarities seen in ASD, one of the most defining is their limited ability to detoxify effectively. While hereditary plays a vital role in our ability to detoxify, it is now known that the most important factor is nutrition. Many flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables greatly enhance our detoxification ability. These include curcumin (from the spice turmeric), quercetin, hesperidin and luteolon. Special plant substances, such as indole-3 carbinol (broccoli), glutathione and taurine stimulate detoxification. In addition, the omega-3 fats, such as fish oil docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also improve detoxification.

Another deficiency which appears to be particularly common in children with ASD includes DHA. This nutrient plays a particularly important role in cellular membrane function, especially mitochondrial membranes, in synaptic membranes and reduces excitotoxicity. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first six months of life. Lack of sufficient DHA may be associated with impaired mental and visual functioning as well as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Low levels have also been associated with depression and Alzheimer’s disease in adults. Our bodies naturally produce some DHA, but in amounts too small and irregular to ensure proper biochemical functioning.

It is important to maintain an appropriate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet as these two substances work together to promote health. They make up the cells in the body and play a critical role in endocrine function, brain maintenance, cell function, immune regulation and controlling inflammation. While omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. Of particular concern are the omega-6 oils, which are metabolized in the body to produce a powerful immune-suppressing substance (PGE2) and thus interfere with immune function. Corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut and soybean oils are all omega-6 oils. The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids and many researchers believe this imbalance is a significant factor in the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States.

There have been numerous studies showing the health-promoting effects when combining fruits and vegetables, and increased intakes of omega-3 oils. Good nutrition can dramatically improve our detoxification ability and therefore prevent many diseases from occurring. Improving detoxification is especially important for those with chronic diseases, in such cases, regular measurements of detoxification should be conducted until normal levels are attained. Some authorities also suggest that before considering supplementation, one should have comprehensive testing for nutrition deficiencies, which should include all of the major nutrients listed for nutritional guidelines and exercise.
The idea that different disease diagnoses that occur at different points in the lifespan may share some common underlying mechanisms, is gaining more support. This means that more work needs to be done not just on the behavioral overlaps between ASD and other neurological (e.g., language impairment), but also on the physiological overlaps (metabolic, biochemistry, immune system, exposure history) between ASD and other disorders. This is relevant to developing treatments.
While skeptics and objectors will continue to insist that what we are witnessing is simply a shift in diagnostic criteria, the full complexity of all environmental and heritable factors drives our understanding of the clinical, research and treatment issues. In the meantime, mounting evidence shows that most children diagnosed with ASD can be helped. Many families are discovering that with the proper biomedical and educational interventions, coupled with hard work and dedication, children are leading happier, healthier and more independent lives.

Please note: All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Any references to treatment options, programs, or services are not endorsements and the author and any parties associated with the materials printed do not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds currently marketed or in investigative use. This material is not intended as a guide to self-medication. Nothing herein is intended to prescribe for, or to treat disease, but is intended to inform, and to recommend certain courses of action that may be viable to investigate further. In every instance, it is advised that these actions be undertaken with the advice and consent of your medical professional. The reader is advised to Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified medical provider for all medical problems prior to changing or starting any new treatment and to discuss the information provided here with a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other authorized healthcare practitioner and to check product information (including package inserts) regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed herein. We hope you will find the materials mentioned helpful as a means to begin learning more about ASD, Essential Nutrition & Biomedical Approaches. Some helpful resources can be found at the following web links: and,