Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The ironies of life

After graduating high school, I knew what my collegiate educational path was to be, Pre Med. I chose UC Riverside for its (at the time) very high reputation for their Biomedical Sciences program. I applied and even though it was one of the toughest majors to be accepted in, I made it! So off I went to Riverside, only to really dislike the city, living away from friends and family, and dorm life. And in the meantime, going through a bout of depression, I also convinced myself that Biomed was not for me, seeing as how I was not so great at math or physics which were kind of important to my major. I switched my major to Psychology and the rest, as they say, is history. And yet today I find myself inevitably drawn back into the life of biomed, specifically as we intervene with Matthew's Autism diagnosis. It is funny how life works. I guess after all of that, I DID end up with a major in Biomed, only from the school of life and motherhood, not a university.

Here's Matthew's daily regime:

Cal/Mag citrate (2 capsules) and Sonic Cholesterol (2 capsules) with breakfast
Nystatin (1 tsp) after breakfast
Theanine (2 capsules), GABA (2 capsules) and Folinic Acid (2 capsules) in the later morning.
Culturelle (1 capsule) in the late morning
Cal/Mag citrate (2 capsules) and Sonic Cholesterol (2 capsules) with lunch
Nystatin (1 tsp) after lunch
VSL #3 (1 capsule) in the afternoon
Theanine (2 capsules) and GABA (2 capsules) in the later afternoon.
Cal/Mag citrate (2 capsules) and Sonic Cholesterol (2 capsules) with dinner
Nystatin (1 tsp) after dinner
Cod Liver Oil (1 tsp) after dinner
Culturelle (1 capsule) at bedtime

The capsules we pull apart and dissolve in juice and administer with a syringe so basically the poor guy gets doses of chalky juice several times per day. But he's a trooper. He's working on a virus right now but I hesitate to add any other supplements since his immune system is working hard to bolster itself with the help of all the probiotics and other supplements above.

However, I too have been a bit under the weather and have been able to fight it off with high dose Vit. C, liquid Vit. A (great for respiratory issues) and Olive Leaf Extract (great for fighting viruses). I thought I had it licked but after a very restless night, I woke again with a sore throat. I reached for the Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). What is GSE? I consider it one of those miracle supplements that is a must have in our house. It really helps sore throats, upset stomachs, parasites (can clean impure drinking water and help with "montezuma's revenge" while traveling), yeast control, bladder infections, it can clean your fruits and veggies (most commerical "natural" fruit and veggie cleaners contain this), provide a natural solution to disinfecting your cutting boards and kitchen counters and the list goes on. It is safe for kids too! Here's a link for more info:

It seemed pretty pricey (to me) at about $11.99 for a very small bottle (a few ounces). It is in a glycerine base and seriously, you use just DROPS for effective treatment. We've been using the same bottle for a couple of years now and just need a new one now, pretty cost effective if you ask me! It is also a great general immune booster. And don't let the name scare you, if you are on statin drugs or any others that have contraindications for grapefruits or other citrus fruits, this is totally safe to take!! It is made from the SEED, not the actual fruit so it will not interfere. Although at the risk of offending, I would encourage anyone on a statin drug to try other means for controlling high cholesterol. Statins weaken muscles. One reason you need to lower cholesterol is for heart health. Well, the heart is a muscle. But that is a whole other discussion.

So, check out GSE, especially with school starting back up, sore throats, strep and tummy bugs coming our way. This is precious in our house and hopefully you will find it helpful in yours!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Matthew's update

So, after our trip to see Dr. Woeller in June, we've had "homework" to do. We've had to do lab work and start our Methyl B-12 shots. We actually bumped up the shots to every other day instead of every 3 days. That is going very well. Anyways, we got all of Matthew's labs done and the results came in a couple of weeks ago. We had our follow up call on Thursday to go over everything. As expected, Matthew has yeast, clostridia bacteria, and some viral exposure, both recent and long term. Dr. Woeller said Matthew has leaky gut and leaky brain. Basically the immune system is fighting his own body and he has brain inflamation. And his gut is not able to break down all the proteins in the food he eats so the large undigested proteins wreak havoc on his body and brain. He was also high in oxalates. Those are the things that bind with calcium and eventually can form the crystals that cause kidney stones. Oxalates can come from food (spinach, peanuts/peanut butter, and a whole host of other foods), can be a by-product of yeast or can be produced as a result of a genetic defect. Matthew's seems to be from yeast and food. We were recommended to put him on a low oxalate diet which will further restrict his food choices. Here's the run down on the treament plan: Treat yeast with Nystatin (probably for about 3 months), after starting Nystatin for 3 days then add Flagyl for the Clostridia bacteria. 3 days later add in VSL #3 as a heavy duty probiotic to help the good bacteria take control of his gut again. 3 days later add in culterelle, another probiotic that also is good at fighting the clostridia bacteria as well. 3 days later add in Theanine and then 3 days later start GABA, both for anxiety. 3 days later add in Cal/Mag citrate to help bind the remaining oxalates so the body can get rid of them and then finally add in Sonic Cholesterol since Matthew had low cholesterol and did show an intolerance to eggs. On top of this we are to cut back on high oxalate foods, that process can cause some negative behavioral effects as his body "dumps" the stored oxalates. Plus we will be having yeast die off when we start Nystatin which can be ugly too. It should be interesting. I am just so excited to have a plan and start. And the great news is that none of Matthew's issues were genetic in nature. He probably has a mitochondrial dysfunction though. The mitochondria are the power houses of the cell. What they have shown in the Hannah Poling case is that because she had a "rare" mitochondrial disorder, she was predisposed to injury from her vaccinations and that caused her autism. What the vaccine companies are trying to say is that hers was a very rare case. But what doctors are finding is that mitochindrial dysfunction (not disorder) is actually more common than it should be today. You are only supposed to have this problem due to genetics, meaning mom/dad have this too. What they are seeing is more kids on the spectrum have mitochondrial problems WITHOUT mom or dad having them too. Something in our environment is changing their mitochondrial function and structure. So, bottom line is Matthew's gut and brain are messed up with yeast, bacteria and viruses. But we will be working hard to fix him. And, there is great prognosis for getting these things taken care of. It could be interesting in the next month but we will get through.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Amanda Peet vs. Jenny McCarthy

So maybe you've heard about the latest celebrity feud. Is this one about who wore which dress on the red carpet first or who stole who's boyfriend? Not this time, it is about the very important topic of vaccines and children. Jenny McCarthy has a son who had been diagnosed with Autism. She researched and found ways to help her son and thankfully he is recovered. But he is just one of many children who seemed to regress shortly after a routine vaccine. Jenny is passionate about the issue of vaccine safety and brings to light all the chemicals in vaccines (including Aluminum and Formaldehyde which I HAVE read on vaccine ingredients lists). Amanda Peet on the other hand has one child, a girl, who does not have Autism and she is just as passionately in favor of vaccines.I was on the fence with this topic, even after we knew something was amiss with Matthew. I never noticed regression persey with vaccines but I knew that as of his 4 months shots, the child would not sleep regularly again from that day forward. In hindsight, that should have been a warning sign.Do I think vaccines are the root of all evil? No. Do I think they are 100% to blame for Matthew's issues? No. But, I think they are one piece in a very large puzzle of immune health and neurological development and disorder. I admire both women for their passion and their desire to speak up for what they believe in. Now, having said that, I personally think Amanda Peet need to sit down and shut up. Until you HAVE a child who gets the diagnosis of Autism and YOU wrack your brain trying to figure out what is going on and DO the research about what causes it in YOUR child, you cannot DARE call parents who choose not to vaccinate parasites as she did in a Cookie magazine interview. When I think of the various things we vaccinate our children against these days (chicken pox for example) that we did not when I was young, I think why is it so bad that they get that??? They actually are not 100% guaranteed not to get the virus just because of the vaccine and later in life that immunity wears off, leaving you more susceptible since the virus is more harmful as you get older (especially in men). Sometimes I think we care too much about how much time kids spend out of school ill because that is what this new vaccine schedule means to me. The schools miss out on too much money so lets try and vaccinate against "normal" childhood illnesses that serve to build immunity. That could be a very simplified view but it is mine so there it is. NJ is doing something similar with the flu shot, they are MANDATING flu vaccines for children because working single moms would miss too much work if their kids are sick. The flu vaccine still has the mercury component in it. That is dangerous and irresponsible to force that on all children just because of one demographic. I am not saying I am against ALL vaccines. But, if your child is one in 150 that will have Autism and you don't know whether they will react badly to is much harder to fix his neurological system and gut than to nurse him/her through the flu, whooping cough or chicken pox.I guess what I am saying is for someone who has NOT been touched by Autism, someone who has not cried tears of rage, frustration, confusion and sadness at what this disorder does to children and families should not be calling parents who choose not to potentially further damage their children names. Our recent tests with Matthew shows he has high levels of aluminum, a common ingredient in vaccines. These kiddos often have a tough time getting rid of the toxins so jamming more in just seems like the wrong thing to do to me. But, I have something to say to Ms. Peet. I too rode on a high horse once. I too thought I knew it all. I too believed in the AAP and the government to protect me. That was before I was a mom and I thought I knew it all. I then was given the gift of a child with Autism. It opened my eyes to what we are doing to ourselves, our planet and most importantly our children. Then I began to understand the depth of the pharmaceutical business and how keeping people ill and forcing drugs on us is very, very profitable to all involved (including doctors). Now my immediate response is not to vaccinate against all diseases. With Matthew, that stopped at 3 years old. With Emma that stopped temporarily at 18 months. We may choose to continue to vaccinate her once she is older and has a stronger immune system, the jury is still out. But, until you walk in someone's shoes who believes that vaccines are even a part of the cause for their child having Autism, you shouldn't condescend to know what is right for every child. Like breastfeeding, co-sleeping and discipline just to name a few, certain decisions should be each family's to make. Just because you are a celebrity and have access to a camera does not mean you have the right to tell others (who's lives and struggles you know NOTHING about) that they are parasitic if they choose not to vaccinate. Shame on you. She quotes vaccines need the "herd" immunity. Well Ms. Peet, maybe the herd is running in the wrong direction.