**SEE UPDATE FROM SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 BELOW!
Mud pies and probiotics
These micro-organisms prevented the growth of anything harmful in the soil and ironically, they can do the same in our bodies! The data is overwhelming and I will share a few links below, in case you want to read more, but before we get to that. Let me share the results of our last five weeks using SBOs (soil-based organisms).
We started them on very low doses on a Friday so that we could spend the weekend observing. We didn't need to observe much though, because their uncontrolled yells, fighting and screeches could be heard from anywhere in the house. We are no stranger to die-off and anything that results in die-off usually tells me that we are on the right track, but holy cow!! But just like any other successful intervention, we also saw TONS of improvement.
Why the new probiotic?
Just prior to starting the SBOs, Grayson had been going downhill, symptoms resembling his dark Clostridia-riddled days. It was slow, but it was mounting. He had begun to wake grumpy and irritable and this was quickly appearing to be the new norm, the OCD was trickling in and he had a new snort-tic, which we were trying to determine, if it had been related to the mold exposure he had at school (yeah, nice right? A topic for another day, we are now homeschooling). The symptoms were picking up speed and intensity. Gavin on the other hand, had become a handful long before this. Things had been going SO well, then suddenly we felt like we were hit by the pathogenic school bus from hell again. I was increasing their three-times-daily natural anti-microbials without success. Vague memories of Clostridia creeping back in, giving me nightmares!! So we started the biofilm program back up and included Lumbrokinase this time. It was going fairly well, but we were creeping back up the hill to better. It wasn't fast enough for me. I like to run when there is a hill on my horizon!
In my usual nightly research mode, I came across a probiotic that was similar to some mentioned in our FB groups here and there. I was intrigued, to say the least, because intertwined in the overgrowth madness, I felt like all I was doing was killing (the microbes, not the children). This seemed to spur massive oxalate dumps. Was it the chicken or the egg. Were the pathogens causing the oxalates to build up or was the oxalate dumping causing the PH shift enabling the overgrowth. Regardless, I needed to find out how to encourage the growth of the good guys. Maybe in this way, we could salvage the few oxalabactor formigenes (the specific bacteria solely responsible for degrading oxalates from the diet) we have left. Feed them, let them grow!! If we can't buy them and put them back into our intestinal terrain, we needed something to protect the ones we have left. I had personally begun to have oxalate dumps in this time period too, which had me seriously reconsidering the role of killing off microbes daily, even with the natural stuff, because this didn't start for me until I began the same regimen my kids were on. I never had problems with chocolate, nuts, or carrots before. But it wasn't long before I too was following in their footsteps. Anytime we are killing off massive amounts of anything, we should question what else could be impaired in the process. I knew it was the lesser of two evils at the time, but now I can say that I know differently. But how would we do this successfully with such overgrowth challenges in the picture?
Jagged path to the finish line
As with anything else that sets our body straight, we experienced a healing crisis in the first weeks on the SBOs, plus to muddy the waters, we decided that giving the anti-microbials was counterproductive and would kill off these essential bacteria, so we stopped everything other than their supplements, camel milk, Lauricidin and nightly probiotics. While ramping-up the SBOs we had incredible challenges. There were days I was running toward the kitchen cabinet that holds our natural anti-microbials....running. My husband had to stop me! Thank goodness he had done as much research as I had done on the SBOs and believed in the science behind them. He was much stronger than I in the moments of question. As we foraged through the "symptoms" it began looking more like we were seeing a healing crisis, as defined here. Here is a description of healing crisis from Shirley's Wellness Cafe -
"Healing Crisis: As with all true natural cure, the road to better health may begin with a healing crisis. As you move toward better health with natural healing programs and better nutrition, healing begins to occur. As part of the healing process the body will begin to discard toxic residues which have built up in your body over the years. The healing process usually does not occur without repercussions. During the initial phase of healing, as your body begins to clean house, (detoxify) and your vital energy begins to repair and rebuild internal organs, you may experience headache, uneasiness, flu like symptoms and fatigue. This is called a healing crisis. You may feel worse before you feel better. As you continue to improve, you may begin a process called retracing. For example, if you used to get skin rashes, the rashes may reappear or get worse for a period of time as your body eliminates toxins through the skin. You may also experience an initial increase in urination, or you may feel more nervous. In actuality, you are not getting worse, you are actually getting better. Eventually you will reach a plateau of better health. During the healing crisis, it is important to not suppress these temporary symptoms with drugs or the healing process may become interrupted."
"One crisis is not always enough for a complete cure. The person in a chronic "locked" disease state will often have to go through cycles of healing crises, with each one improving the condition some. It has taken time to develop a chronically diseased state, and time is required to let go of the "locked" energy, piece by piece. It's like peeling the layers off an onion.
Often the crisis will come after one feels their very best and most energized, setting the stage for the elimination. The whole body gets into action. Most people feel an energy boost at the beginning until the toxins start dumping into the blood stream for elimination. Go as slowly as your body needs so your elimination is gradual and comfortable.
With a more serious condition, there may be many small crisis to go through before the system can become healthily balanced. Everything must be considered and given its proper place in the build-up to a healing crisis. One should expect it and work with the body, not resentfully against it."
What did our healing crisis look like? In this order...
- Better connections with both kids, but more-so with Gavin, including significant eye contact
- Spontaneous singing from Grayson (who is normally extremely shy when it comes to performing in any way)
- More affection
- Grayson's snorting and Gavin's defiance significantly increased in frequency and intensity
- Sensory defensiveness increased then fluctuated off and on for a few weeks
- Anger and irritability
- Both became clumsy, knocking things over, bumping into things and hurting themselves
- Disproportionate reactions to anything frustrating
- Yeast symptoms including: hyperactivity, mood swings, emotional liability, anxiety, sensory seeking and defensiveness
- Many bowel changes (I won't gross you out with the details)
- Repeated hiccup episodes, from both boys
- Familial awareness in Gavin that never existed before (ie - one night he wouldn't let me in the kitchen while he surprised me with cleaning off the entire kitchen table from dinner, he's only 3)
- Longer periods of the boys playing together
- Gavin lost two chunks of hair from the scalp which is smooth where the hair was
- Lack of focus
- Explosive behaviors
- Pain in ears for both (severe, like ear infections) which only lasted a day for each
- Incredibly fidgety
- Grayson began exhibiting tics we haven't seen in a while like head-tilting, jaw stretching and ear and head swatting
- More irrational anger and hyperactivity
- Gavin randomly experimenting with unknown foods and eating veggies
- OCD in Grayson
- Increased cooperation with both boys listening to me without argument
- Increased hitting from Gavin
- Bedtime routine more streamlined, less frantic
- Sporadic sleep disturbances (not able to fall asleep, waking in the night, early waking)
- Moods becoming more consistently happy with less of the above intermittently
- Physical symptoms coming and going in Gavin: significant bloating, increased keratosis on arms, red spot like an inflammation under one eye, very dark circles under the eyes, broken blood vessels in one eye which increased when dose was increased, and eye pains for about a week
- Grayson's tummy remaining flatter than ever
- Increase in die-off symptoms appearing 45 minutes after dose, this increased to an hour and then it went away completely
- Still seeing disproportionate irritability in Gavin and randomly with Grayson
- Unsolicited report from school about Gavin having a "great day" and he's never really had a bad day
- Grayson's snorting decreasing after going through a clear runny nose that burned his nose and lips for days
- Increased cooperative play between the two boys
- Grayson's mood consistently improving, only appropriately proportionate moments of frustration which diffuse easily
- Gavin's BMs still changing, but many great ones in between
- Gavin responding well to our requests
- Intermittent yeasty signs coming and going, but since adding in Allimax (liquid garlic) this has tapered off quite a bit
- Sensory defensiveness in both is gone
- Intermittent bloating as doses are increased for Gavin
- Old scar on Grayson's face fading, not as pink as before
- Still seeing some random die-off symptoms, but less frequently and shorter in duration
- Gavin expressing himself more vocally and clearly
- My requests are met with a simple, "ok"
- Consistent happiness all day, in both
- Appropriate irritation for age of boys and tied to specific events
- Gavin's keratosis is slowly clearing up
So what does this mean exactly? Well first I must say that we have gotten past many of the above symptoms. Considering we've spent over a month with our children off of anti-microbials completely and we've seen incredible improvements says a lot more than my words can ever spell out here.
** UPDATE - To see our OAT results after a month and a half on these probiotics (with NO antimicrobials or antibiotics), click here.
Now I would like to share some links with you about SBOs.
Soil-based organisms and immune function
22 Ways soil-based organisms build dynamic health
Collective writings of SBO probiotics by Dr. Rosthschild
I've chosen a particular brand (Body Biotics), because of it's pure ingredients. There are only a handful out there to begin with, but many are made with maltodextrin (made from corn and I would guess probably GMO), and contain traces of soy and dairy. Some contain ingredients like chlorella and spirulina which are unsafe for mercury toxic people. Body Biotics is the brand that Jordan Rubin used to heal himself from death's door, when Crohn's Disease had taken the best of him. He went on to create his own product, but Body Biotics remains to be the purest formula my research has found.
**UPDATE September 14, 2018 - I have since found a probiotic that we like even better than the Body Biotics. You are free to try whichever brand resonates with you, of course, but if you have a child with potential histamine issues, Body Biotics will aggravate things, even though they bring healing, as well. We have been using flourish by Entegro which is never frozen, freeze dried or powdered. This probiotic is also a consortium like Body Biotics and it contains soil based organisms, but the kicker with this one is that it doesn't contain any histamine. When I contacted the developer, Jarod Work, to ask about histamine, he informed me that they had third party lab testing done to confirm that there are no detectible histamines in this probiotic! This was quite evident to us when for the first time, we were able to give a probiotic without ANY negative effects. We went slow with the introduction, because historically, my kids have always reacted to probiotics (as many kids on the spectrum do) and I have since learned that this may be related to histamine. They don't tolerate fermented foods well either. My husband and I began to notice subtle changes that were happening pretty early on. We saw this immediate calm come over both boys, their edge was gone!! They weren't fighting and bickering constantly like they had in the past. Their hyperactivity calmed significantly and even more impressive was the focus and maturity that we witnessed as we began to increase the dose to the recommended dose. I was so impressed with this probiotic that I have decided to become a consultant for the company (it's free to sign up as a consultant, btw!). You can find these amazing probiotics here. You can click on this link to join my Facebook group to learn more, as well as hearing about special promotions that they run frequently.
**UPDATE January 2019 - Since having conducted a handful of UBiome tests on myself, I have discovered that the only probiotics to sway health from an overall perspective, is flourish! My testing spanned the timeframe from June 2017 to January 2019 (so far, as I have another in the pipeline, pun intended!). In that time, I methodically changed things to see how the testing would respond. Three tests were conducted while taking various probiotics and my test in May of 2018 even had me taking 4-5 SBO capsules, Seeking Health histamine blocker probiotics AND a prescription strength Oxalabacter Formigenes probiotic! The only testing that shows improvements in my bowel disease ratios and bacterial diversity are the tests post-flourish and it began within just months of taking flourish.
This test is from three months before starting flourish. You can see that my gut condition was souring into the red zone! This meant my microbiome was prone to bowel disease and at the time, I was having some abdominal pain randomly, especially after eating. My stools were inconsistent too.
This test was conducted less than 2 months after starting flourish and you can see the incredible improvements already documented! I had dropped all the other probiotics I was taking and had started dosing flourish slowly so for the first month I wasn't even at a full dose!
And here we have GREEN! Two of the markers are in the green! Under 5 months on flourish.
June of 2017 levels of Akkermansia
January 2019 levels of Akkermansia!
We can all use a little GABA. My mood has been incredibly consistent since starting flourish. I can be a better parent now that I don't explode over every little thing!
Did you know that probiotics produce nutrients that are absorbed in the colon which effects systemic vitamin levels, as opposed to supplemental vitamins which are absorbed in the proximal part of our small intestine? It has been proven that probiotics produce a huge number of vitamins, such as:
Additionally, probiotics also increase the digestibility, bioavailability and processing of a large number of nutrients, including:
A tablespoon a day can keep the doctor away (wink)
My probiotic levels only reached "moderate" after starting flourish!
To read more about flourish - https://jessica.entegrohealth.com
To join my Facebook group where I post a lot of studies and members share their experiences - https://www.facebook.com/groups/letsflourishjessica/