Saturday, March 28, 2009

Supplements

Due to the stomach virus, it is too soon to determine whether or not these changes will make a difference. Kyan is the only one who has had a good number of his daily supplements over the last week, because he was not sick. I will say, though I am afraid to say it outloud, he has more peaceful moments than normal in the last couple of days. I am in no way willing to say that he is improving. It simply isn't consistent, and there are still far to many hitting and screaming episodes. But I will admit that there was a glimmer of hope last night when Kynsie was screaming her head off during dinner because we were having chicken hotdogs instead of beef ones, and Kyan sat calmly eating his dinner--not normal at all. Hope, however small it might be, is something to cling to. I can't say that I am not looking over my shoulder, and I probably will for a while, but at least today there is a fragment of hope. I couldn't say that yesterday.

So I thought I would go through and explain the supplements in the picture below.



Digestive Enzymes (Tri-Enza)

What does this supplement do? Well, digestive enzymes in general help the body do what it should be doing naturally-break down proteins in food for digestion. Lactaid is a common digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose for people whose bodies don't do it naturally. Well, these digestive enzymes are called 'broad spectrum' which means that they are engineered to break down a host of proteins that kids with autism and other auto-immune issues tend to have trouble breaking down on their own. For us, enzymes are a back up for the GFCF diet and they also just help the kids' compromised digestive system function better without taxing the body so much. You can read more about Enzymes & Autism here.

GABA

What is it? What does it do? "GABA also well-known as (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). It is an amino acid discovered in 1950. It is the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain derivative that functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. It balances the brain by inhibiting over-excitation." In short-it calms you down. This is actually the supplement that Kyan has taken consistently this week, and I honestly think it may be working. He was SCREAMING before dinner on 2 different occasions (pretty typical) and he tooks his GABA before dinner and then was as placid and compliant as could be. It was almost eery. You can find more info about GABA here.

Ora-Pancreas

What is it? What does it do? "Ora-Pancreas , by Douglas Labs, offers 325 mg of raw pancreas concentrate. Pancreas concentrates support the function of the pancreas, important for digestion, modulation of immune function, and balancing of blood glucose levels. The pancreas produces digestive enzymes which serve to break down complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into the nutrient forms required for proper absorption."

Nystatin

This is an anitfungal that will kill the yeast overgrowth in the gut. Yeast overgrowth is super common for kids with autism and asthma. Yeast in the gut is also a result of antibiotics. Most women know the effects of taking antibiotics-a lovely yeast infection. Many people also experience tummy upset. Usually with a healthy body this yeast doesn't set up camp in the intestinal tract. For my kiddos, yeast grows rapidly and puts down permanent roots. Nystatin will kill that yeast, and allow the gut to heal and function as it should. Yeast compromises the lining of the intestine causing it to be pourous and alloowing undigested proteins to seep into the body. This causes some nasty autism behaviors-like aggression, stimming, and spaciness to name a few. *Interesting fact about this prescription. We have to get it compounded because if we crush up a nystatin tablet and try to hide it in food it is SO BITTER that even Braylen won't take it. If we got to the regular pharmacy and get the liquid, it has sugar in it. Sugar feeds yesast, thereby defeating the purpose of the medicine. It also has artificial flavoring--again a problem. So, we have to get it compounded into a liquid that is palatable but also that doesn't feed the yeast we are trying to kill. So it has to be sweetened with Stevia. So, we have it called into the local compounding pharmacy and they call to let me know that it will be $100 per child for one month's medicine. The kids are to be on Nystatin for 2 months. So, $600! Not an option. I call another pharmacy in Alabama that we use and they told me the same price. Incidentally-insurance doesn't pay for this compounded medicine, so it's completely out of pocket. After talking with the pharmacist, and the pharmacist calling Dr. Bernui, they found a way to change the concentration and thereby cheapen the price to 'only' $39 per child for 1 month. So that $250 price sounds a lot better to me than $600. Good times.

Zinc

Zinc-as most of us know, it gives the immune system a boost. My kids need an extra dose of it--more than the average child-because they are immuno-compromised. Interestingly, Zinc in higher doses is supposed to help autistic kids eat a wider range of foods. I have not seen that in Kynsie, but I wish it would work.

Methyl B-12

What is B-12 and why do the kids need B-12 supplements? B-12 can help the following processes in Autistic children: executive function, speech, language, socialization, and emotion". You can read more about the use of methyl-B-12 in treatment of autism here. For us, B-12 does increase speech and language processing for Kynsie and Braylen. Kyan has been less responsive, but he also has the most issues with yeast. Yeast decreases the body's ability to process this B-12. So, we are hoping we will see more of a response in Kyan once his yeast is under control. Unfortunately, B-12 also can cause agression and we have noticed Kyan's agression issues became worse once we restarted B-12. We are hoping the GABA will help balance this out. In addition we are removing Soy from their diet, as it can also increase agressive behaviors.

Probiotics

What are probiotics and why do the kids need them? Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally live in the instestine. Unfortunately antibiotics are not able to tell good bacteria from bad, so they kill all bacteria, leaving the gut void of the good bacteria it needs to function properly, and to keep yeast from overrunning. Probiotics keep everything in the gut in balance. You will see them advertised all over TV these days. Most people wrongly assume that a little yogurt is just as good as taking a probiotic supplement. you would need gallons of yogurt to take the place of a probiotic supplement. Not to mention that even 'healthy' yogurt has a lot of sugar that you guessed it feeds yeast. Defeating the purpose of the treatment.

Folinic Acid w/ B12

What is Folinic Acid? Why do the kids need it? "Biochemically in the body, folic acid supports cellular perception and response, methylation processes and many enzymatic reactions. It is also linked to maintaining healthy homocysteine levels which in turn supports cardiovascular health." In English, it helps the body methylate (process/purge) toxins. Folinic Acid is a form of Folic acid that is broken down a bit so that is less taxing on the body to absorb and use the Folic Acid. B-12 and Folic acid work synergistically so this supplement combines them for added benefit. More about Folinic Acid with B-12.

PRX

What is it? What does it do? PRX helps digest protein and protein invaders in the body and supports immune function. PRX also helps treat low-lying, chronic viral infections. Unfortunately, such infections are not uncommon in kids with Autism. What's especially awesome is that often the strains of these viruses are vaccine-strain, not wild-strain. Nice, huh? More info on Viral issues in kids with autism.

Transfer Factor

What is it? Why does Braylen need it? Transfer Factor lowers the burden of chronic viral/bacterial infections (e.g. measles, streptococcus, etc. present in Autism Sprectum), correcting immune abnormalities (including auto-immunity) and lowering allergic tendency (foods, dust, molds, etc.). Though he does not have Autism, Braylen is more immuno-compromised than his siblings. If they get a sniffle, he gets the flu. His body reacted differently to the toxic overload. He struggles with asthma and allgeries and just gets sick much easier than they do. So transfer factor should boost his immunity and help his little body fight off the ickies better.

Magnesium Citrate

What is it, and why do the kids need it? 'Magnesium is an essential mineral that is necessary for the health of every cell in the body, including the proper functioning of brain and muscle cells. While, magnesium deficiency is rare, some research suggests that children with autism may have too little magnesium (2 3).'

Children with autism can have significantly lower levels of magnesium in hair and blood than non-autistic children (2, 3, 9). There is evidence that magnesium supplementation can have a calming effect on some children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (10). More info here.

Activated Charcoal
What is it? Why give it to children? "Activated charcoal is a low-cost over the counter product used by doctors ... for absorbing toxic substances that may be formed internally by food sensitivities, allergies or Candida (yeast) die off reactions (Herxheimer)." These new supplements are causing yeast to die. When yeast organisms die, they emit toxins that cause flu-like symptoms. Activated chocoal absorbs/binds to those toxins and help with the symptoms the toxins cause-such as diarrhea, crankiness, and flu-like symptoms. For more information on activated charcoal check here.

As if this isn't enough fun, we have to add Vitamin D drops in a few days because the bloodwork indicated that they are low in Vitamin D. This is just 3 drops per day, so hopefully we can hide it in juice and be done with it.

You might be wondering how we get all of these supplements into our kids. Most of them are capsules, and are sort of large. Our kids don't swallow pills, so we have to break them open and mix the powder either in juice, rice milk, applesauce, baby food, or something that we can draw up in a syringe and make sure they get the entire amount. Please imagine giving meds a bagillion times per day. My kids are pretty good, but they do get sick of having spoons and syringes crammed in their mouths. Charcoal is the worst because it tastes like a briquette and mixing it with juice does not help. Plus, we have to give it 2 hours after they go to sleep so it doesn't interfere with the bedtimes supplements. We also now have a new medicine giving option called "Josh's Syrup". We get this from Wellness Pharmacy. Josh's syrup has no medicinal properties. It is the texture of children's tylenol and is colorless, naturally flavored (tangerine) and sweetened with Stevia. It is basically a syrup we can mix the powder in and then draw up in a syringe to give like you would tylenol or other kid medicine. It seems to be a better texture than just juice and powder. it is smoother and less gritty. So, this is one more piece in our arsenal. Now for the schedules--in case you care.

Schedules



Braylen

BEFORE SCHOOL
Trienza 1 cap
Nystatin 1 mL


Lunch
Trienza 1 cap
Zinc 10 mL
Nystatin 1 mL


After Nap
Probiotics 1 cap


Dinner
Trienza 1 cap
Folinic Acid 5 mL
Nystatin 1mL


After Bath
B12 1 mL rubbed in
Transferfactor (1/2 cap daily
for one week then 1 cap daily



KYAN

BEFORE SCHOOL
Trienza 1 cap
GABA 1 cap
Nystatin 1mL

Lunch
Trienza 1 cap
Ora-Pancreas 1 cap
Zinc 10mL
Nystatin 1mL

After Nap
Probiotics 1 cap
PRX 1 cap

DINNER
Trienza 1 cap
GABA 1 cap
Folinic Acid 5mL
Nystatin 1 mL

After Bath
B12 1mL rubbed in
Magnesium Citrate 2 caps
PRX 1 cap

Before adult bed
Charcoal 2 pills

KYNSIE

BEFORE SCHOOL
Trienza 1 cap
GABA 1 cap
Nystatin 1mL

Lunch
Trienza 1 cap
Ora-Pancreas 1 cap
Zinc 10mL
Nystatin 1mL

After Nap
Probiotics 1 cap
PRX 1 cap

DINNER
Trienza 1 cap
GABA 1 cap
Folinic Acid 5mL
Nystatin 1 mL

After Bath
B12 1mL rubbed in
Magnesium Citrate 2 caps
PRX 1 cap

Before adult bed
Charcoal 2 pills


Whew! I'm tired from all of this typing. Gotta get some work done.

2 comments:

All About the Bailey's said...

Some of these look familiar:) I'm glad you talked about the yeast med, because after we hear our lab results Friday...I'm sure that is next on our list. I haven't checked on that syrup yet...but might be soon...I'm sure....my, you have got your hands full...I hope the kids are better soon.

All About the Bailey's said...

I also liked your idea of putting the supplements on your blog so people would understand..think I'm going to copy your idea!