Do you want to start a gluten- and casein-free diet (GFCF Diet) for your child, but can’t figure out where or how to begin? I’m very pleased to introduce a new resource that may help get you started and your child on the path to healing. Dave Borden of I’m Simply A Dad, has put together a most excellent how-to guide to the GFCF diet. Having gone through the process himself with his own child, he is now sharing his wisdom and experience, as well as a ton of great information regarding nutrition, and how our bodies respond to the food we eat. Parents, I think this will be an invaluable resource for you – and I’d suggest any adults who are trying to go gluten- and casein-free read it too! Here’s an introduction from Dave, and you can access the full guide on his website.
Could pyrrole disorders be holding back your health? Pyrroluria is a condition in which the the body produces excess of pyrroles. Pyrroles are normally produced in small numbers as a byproduct of hemoglobin synthesis and excreted in the urine. However, some people produce an abnormally large numbers of pyrroles. These pyrroles then bind to pyridoxine (B6) and zinc, causing them to be excreted from the body, with deficiency states arising as a result.
Pyrroluria creates wide range of symptoms – physical, mental and emotional – but is particularly associated with emotional and psychiatric issues eg autism, ADHD, behavioral issues, depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, schizophrenia. Physical symptoms include poor digestion, poor appetite especially in the morning, low tolerance for protein, white flecks on the fingernails, tooth and gum problems, motion sickness, allergies and fatigue.
Neurofeedback is one of my favorite therapies, and I’ve seen it work wonders for an array of childhood neurological issues including ADHD, autistic-spectrum disorders, developmental delay and emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. I have also seen it successfully help insomnia, cognitive issues, anxiety and depression in adults. Neurofeedback is often an in-office therapy offered by doctors and psychologists, however how there are also home units that one can purchase to be able to maintain consistency of the treatments in a more time and cost-effective manner. I know for myself, when we first got our neurofeedback device in my practice and I did 20 sessions within the first couple of months, I saw a definite shift in myself. I feel like my level of emotional reactivity went way down and I just felt calmer overall. I have seen the benefits of neurofeedback in many people since then.
Welcome to Medical Monday!! I hope you’re getting ready for a great week ahead. Today I want to talk about a therapy that I just love, even though it’s time and money intensive so it is not accessible to as many people as I would like. It’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a therapy that increases oxygenation of the body including the brain. It is a chamber or tank filled with 100% pure, pressurized oxygen in which one sits or lies. The therapy is typically 90 minutes in duration, and there are different kinds of chambers. Some only fit one person (single place chambers), while others look more like a room and can fit up to 20 individuals (multi-place chambers).
I have heard more and more stories recently of people in my circle using essential oils to support neurological developmental, behavior and cognition in children, and I am using them with my patients with equally good results. I want to highlight a few of the oils and blends that I think are the most applicable and helpful for these children. These oils help with neurological development, act to support antioxidant activity (oxidative stress plays a big part in neurological problems), maintain healthy levels of inflammation, calm the nervous system for better emotional balance, and assist with focus and cognition.
Frankincense supports the central nervous system, and is good for anything neurological. It is great for emotional balance too. It can be applied on soles of feet, or base of skull. For older kids and adults, it can be taken internally – either under the tongue, or in a capsule and swallowed. Frankincense is also an amazing oil to help manage inflammation in the body and/ or brain.
This is a blend that already comes in a roller bottle, so it’s very handy. It contains Amyris Bark, Patchouli Leaf, Frankincense Resin, Lime Peel, Ylang Ylang Flower, Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood and Roman Chamomile Flower. Focus blend is designed to support focus and concentration, and mental acuity. It encourages optimal learning; while at the same time is very grounding and calming. It can be applied around the neck area, but it is very strong smelling, so many prefer it on soles of the feet. You could also apply it on the wrists or back of hands.
This is a blend for emotional balance and comfort. It contains Spruce Needle/Leaf, Ho Wood, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower, and Blue Chamomile Flower in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil. This is my favorite blend; it is very grounding and centering. This is because it contains mostly woods and barks – they contain a lot of base notes, which are long acting. It can be diffused or applied on the soles of the feet, and is not to be taken internally.
This is another blend for soothing and calming the emotions. It has more floral notes such as lavender scents than the Grounding Blend. It contains Lavender Flower, Sweet Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Ylang Ylang Flower, Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oils and Vanilla Bean. Calming Blend promotes relaxation and sleep and it is often used for this purpose; it is excellent to use in the bath and before bed. It can also be diffused overnight.
One of my favorite blends for kids, Cellular Complex contains Frankincense, Wild Orange, Lemongrass, Thyme, Summer Savory, Clove, and Niaouli essential oils. It has been shown in clinical studies to help protect cells against free-radical damage while supporting healthy cellular function. It is good for focus, cognition and emotional balance; it works on cellular repair and regeneration. Cellular Complex comes in liquid or softgel form.
This is an immune strengthening blend that helps to combat seasonal threats, which can often be a struggle for kids. It can be diffused or applied on the soles of the feet. It can also be mixed with water in a spray bottle and used as a cleanser/ disinfectant (we use it on high chairs at restaurants and on plane seats, tray tables etc). Protective Blend contains Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.
This is a blend to help settle most digestive issues. It also comes in oil or softgels. The oil can be taken internally, but it is better for kids to dilute in coconut oil and apply directly on abdomen. It contains ginger Rhizome/Root, Peppermint Plant, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Anise Seed, Tarragon Plant, and Fennel Seed essential oils.
The way I have been using these oils with Valentina is mostly in roller bottles. We have a roller bottle with Protective Blend (1 part) and fractionated coconut oil (3 parts). We have another one that has frankincense, Cellular Complex and fractionated coconut oil in equal parts. At night after bath we do one roll of each blend, one on each foot. Valentina is very healthy and she is neurotypical, but I still believe that these oils are so beneficial for supporting healthy cellular function and neurological development, they’re important for all kids to have. I have been hearing many stories of children being helped, transformed even, through using these oils. Their family life is improving, they are more social, they are performing better in school. It’s quite amazing and rewarding to see the difference.
* FDA regulations prohibit me from being able to use actual product names on this website. Please email me if you would like more information, I am happy to share it with you.
Autism and Lyme disease are two very prevalent health issues, with rapidly growing numbers in both categories … but what is the relationship between autism and Lyme disease, and is there a connection?
I believe that in some cases, there is a connection. [Read more…]
A couple of days ago, a lovely family came to see me at my office. They were struggling with their 7-year-old son, who had started exhibiting neurological symptoms including tics and tremors, as well as quite severe behavioral issues including aggressive behavior, self-injurious behavior and paranoia. He became agoraphobic, and had incredibly high anxiety. The first thing I thought about was chronic infections that could underlie these types of issues. I have seen various pathogens in the body create all of these things. Often when children start exhibiting traits like this out of the blue, we often think of it as adaptive to their life circumstances, often a manifestation of stress or unhappiness, or simply that they are going through a stage. I’m sure there are absolutely cases where this is true. However, I believe that in many cases there is a physiological reason that must be found and addressed. Here are five infections that can cause aggressive behavior in children and can be fairly easily tested for: [Read more…]
Now that I have introduced the concept of the biomedical approach to autism, I want to talk a little bit about my five favorite tests for autistic-spectrum kids. Honestly, these tests would be useful for a huge subset of kids, with anything from eczema to migraines to ADHD to autism. These are the tests I most frequently run on new patients of mine to get good information and help shape their treatment. They are all available from The Great Plains Laboratory, which is a lab that specializes in testing to support the biomedical approach to autism.
I thought since I do work with kids on the autistic spectrum that I would weave some of my experience with that in to my posts. So I’m starting with an overview of what the biomedical approach to autism actually is, and what it can offer. It burns me when pediatricians tell parents with newly diagnosed children that they can get therapies for their child, but that there is no real treatment or cure for autism, so just go home and learn to live with it. That’s simply not true and it’s doing a massive disservice to both the parents and the child. I have seen kids go from autistic to neurotypical using the biomedical approach. In other words, I have seen plenty of kids “recover” from autism, and every kid I have worked with has had significant gains. [Read more…]