What’s Up in Our World of Supplements

Back in January of this year, I wrote a blog post on the supplements that Jake is currently taking (click here to read or if you need a refresher). I mentioned that I would be trying out some new supplements and thought I would give an update. Supplements are a huge part of our lives and something that I think has been an integral part of Jake’s success in having the capability to fight apraxia in a more efficient manner.

First, epsom salt baths …

I have read that the quality of epsom salt is very important and once upon a time, a research doctor that I was consulting with, recommended that I use Aaron Industries Epsom Salts. Jake’s eczema finally cleared up and at the beginning of the year, I started giving him epsom salt baths a couple of times a week.

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A few interesting things happened. On a positive note, Jake’s first bouts with imaginative play happened in these baths with the jets in my jacuzzi tub going full blast. But, there are cons to my story as well. While I had read that these baths should chill a kid out, it had the opposite effect on Jake. My child who loves to sleep got really hyper at bedtime and went to sleep much later than usual.

Also, he would get an extremely stuffy nose when his body would hit this water. At first, I thought it was me being over-analytical, but then after a couple of weeks of the exact same results, I decided that my highly allergic child must in fact have a little bit of an intolerance to magnesium sulfate. In the grand scheme of things, I decided a reaction of this nature couldn’t be good for his overall health and I stopped the baths.

Have any of you tried these baths with your child and had a negative experience? Just curious because I haven’t heard of anyone having adverse effects. Jake is absolutely a different type of child in the allergy department, so nothing really surprises me with him at this point.

Second, Nature’s Secret Fish-Free Omega Plant-Based Oils …

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Jake has a severe fish allergy and cannot take fish oil, so this was my attempt at trying to get omegas in him. The adult serving size for this supplement is 3 soft-gels, so I gave him 1. I poked a hole in it with a safety pin and squeezed it on his tongue. Jake is a little strange because he loves oily supplements that look nasty and will lick his lips to make sure none escapes!

Long story short, I stopped giving it to him after a couple of weeks. It may have been my imagination, but I felt like his speech would get worse on days that he took it. I was giving it to him when his speech was really surging, so if he regressed, it was very noticeable. I also decided since he was doing excellent, maybe I shouldn’t mess with a good thing. Our doctor has said from the beginning that if Jake is progressing to leave him alone and let nature take it’s course.

I have done so much research on fatty acids and I know they are important, but I also know that there needs to be the right balance of the anti-inflammatory omega-3s and the pro-inflammatory omega-6s. Fortunately, when he received his NutrEval test in August of 2012, his omega-3 and 6 levels were within normal range (huge blessing!) and although he was deficient in omega-9, for the past year I have given him olive oil every day to make up for his shortage in this area.

New supplement that is working for us … 

All of a sudden this year it hit me that Jake probably needs a calcium supplement. He hasn’t had milk since he was 1.5 years old (he HATES it) and has been casein free for the past year. I’ve never had this recommendation from a doctor before, which I am actually kind of puzzled by, but figured it couldn’t hurt, so I put him on  this yummy supplement …

calcium

It is vanilla flavored and he loves it! It is very allergy friendly – free of wheat, soy, yeast, milk, and gluten and it has been added to our cocktail of daily supplements.

Here’s the other supplement Jake is currently taking …

d-hist

Jake has a severe allergy to grass. (Are you tired of me talking about allergies yet?) So, when the spring hits and all that green grass starts appearing, his symptoms begin and don’t stop until the grass dies in the fall/winter. If he stays outside for a while, he gets itchy feet that have the potential to turn into nasty sores, a stuffy nose, coughing, and slight wheezing.

To help alleviate these symptoms, our doctor recommended that he try Springboard D-Hist Jr. He’s been taking it for a couple of months now and It is also very allergy-friendly. Quercetin is the main ingredient, which Jake took when he was two years old and did great with. I am a fan of this flavonoid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory found in fruits and veggies, and give it a thumbs up!

What’s coming up this month …

I’ve been on a quest this summer to expand Jake’s diet and fortunately, he’s been really cooperative. I’m going to take it easy the month of July and will be sharing the new healthy treats I’ve been able to incorporate into our daily lives. After all, who doesn’t like to read about food and see yummy photos?

Disclaimer: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Supplement statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or disorder. Always consult with a doctor before beginning any diet or supplement program.

Supplements

This month I have documented Jake’s journey with biomedical treatment. As I said last time, this is a three-part process and one component to the program is adding supplements to his daily routine. These are the supplements that Jake is currently on …

Supplements Jake is Currently Taking

Powder vitamin B from compounding pharmacy (B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, FA). Powder Coenzyme Q10 from compounding pharmacy. Glutagenics by Metagenics – main ingredient glutamine, an amino acid. Garden & Orchard Blend Juice Plus. Springboard FloraBoost Probiotic for Kids. L’il Critters Gummy Vites Complete.

1. Probiotic – FloraBoost is an excellent probiotic that Jake cannot live without. Last week I was out of it for four days and was going to wait until my follow-up appointment this week to pick up more. After just a couple of days without it, the eczema on his foot started to come back in the predictable places. I called my husband and told him to go pick up some on his lunch break asap! There are many probiotics out there, but quality really is essential. A good probiotic will have at least 5 billion units with 4-5 strains.

2. Glutagenics – According to the label, “Glutagenics features three key ingredients – glutamine, deglycyrrhizinized licorice (DGL), and aloe – that are designed to support the integrity and healthy function of the gastrointestinal lining.” According to Prescription for Natural Healing,”because glutamine can readily pass the blood-brain barrier, it is known as brain fuel. In the brain, glutamine is converted into glutamic acid – which is essential for cerebral function. It also increases the amount of GABA, which is needed to sustain proper brain function and mental activity.”

3. B vitamins – This is a prescription from the compounding pharmacy that is specially mixed to meet Jake’s nutritional needs. B vitamins are beneficial for the health of nerves, brain function, skin, eyes, hair, liver, mouth, and for maintaining healthy muscle tone in the GI tract.

4. Coenzyme Q10 – Another prescription from the compounding pharmacy. CoQ10 as it is commonly called, is an antioxidant that is necessary for the proper function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body.

5. Multi-Vitamin – From September through mid-November, I gave Jake Flintstones gummy vitamins. This was a problem. These vitamins have gluten in them and also gelatin. Jake cannot have either one. (Some gelatin is made from crushed pork bones and he is allergic to pork.) I was recommended L’il Critters from the GFCF Facebook group that I am a member of. Jake loves them and they are a great allergy-friendly product.

6. Juice Plus – Jake started taking Juice Plus in May of 2011 when he was 2.8 years old. I initially put him on it because he had been so sick with ear infections, fevers, colds, and asthma. I am proud (and a little surprised) to report that this coming up May will be two years since he has had a problem with any of these things. He got a stomach bug last January, but that is it! Zero doctor visits.

7. Epsom salt baths – According to Dr. Martha Herbert in the book The Autism Revolution, “Epsom salts, which are absorbed through the skin during a bath, are made of magnesium and sulfate, two substances very important to cell and detoxification biology. Many parents swear by them for helping their child calm down and sleep better, and for helping erase the dark circles under a youngster’s eyes.” I couldn’t wait to try it and while we have not been able to do it on a consistent basis because of his skin problems, our doctor has recommended that Jake take two of these baths per week. His skin is now beautifully perfect and I’m excited to add it to our routine.

When I first put all of these supplements on my countertop back in September, I remember thinking, ‘Wow! That’s a lot!’ Now, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. The first week or two was the most challenging. Books that I had read prior to starting this process said that at first kids put up a fight, but then they end up loving their vitamins. That first week when I had him pinned down in the living room, with my eight-year-old watching in amazement, I had my doubts. Now, however, he too, loves his vitamins and will not let me forget about them.

The glutamine and probiotic goes into his applesauce each morning at breakfast. I mix the B and CoQ10 into about two tablespoons of apple juice when he is done with breakfast; taking them with a big meal has decreased the crazed energy surge he was having. (I was giving him these at 10:00 a.m. with a snack and he’d be running around, energized and unfocused for about an hour). I give him the multi-vitamins and Juice Plus at lunch and dinner.

I have tried Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Kid Zinc Lozenges made with echinacea, olive leaf, and slippery elm, which he loved, but I stopped for allergy reasons. We have also tried vitamin E, but the pure form that we were using had almond oil in it and he is allergic to almonds. We had to stop taking it because of wheezing, runny nose, and red eyes. Jake has not been able to take omega-3 fish oil because of his fish allergy, but I’m about to start giving him “Fish-Free Omega Plant-Based Oils” omega 3,6,9 supplement by Nature’s Secret.

Sources:

  • “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” – Fourth Edition, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
  • “The Autism Revolution,” by Dr. Martha Herbert, Harvard Health Publications, 2012.

Disclaimer: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Supplement statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or disorder. This supplement program was designed to meet my child’s specific nutritional deficiencies. Always consult with a doctor before beginning any diet or supplement program.