Archive for the ‘Biomedical’ Category

Remove, Replenish, & Repair = Recovery! PART III

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

REPAIR is the topic today!

I discussed Remove and Replenish in the last 2 posts.  Repair can happen in two ways.  One is a passive way…in other words, providing SUPPORT to the body’s natural detoxification process and natural methylation pathways.  The other way is more active and is usually in the form of CHELATION THERAPY.  The goal of REPAIR is DETOX!

There are many ways to support your child’s natural detox process.  One way is to stimulate the organs responsible for detox, which are, Liver, Kidneys, Colon, and Skin.  Simple and obvious steps to take are to drink more fresh pure water, and provide daily opportunities for your child to sweat.  Also, making sure that your child poops everyday keeps toxins in the colon from re-entering the bloodstream (the recycling of substances from your digestive system back into your blood stream is called ENTERO-HEPATIC circulation).  Another way to increase sweating is with an Infra-red sauna.

One of the fastest, safest and easiest ways to support detox is Methyl B-12.  Basically this “skips” the weakened methylation step( often weakened by Mercury itself OR a genetic mutation) and provides your child’s body with plenty of PRE-Methylated B-12 in which to perform its many and varied functions (neurotransmitter production, glutathione production, cell membrane function, hormone production and neuronal healing).  Methyl B-12 has a definite healing effect and has been responsible for my own child’s recovery!  The protocol I follow was developed by Dr. James Neubrander and consisits of an injection 3 times per week for 8 weeks with no other changes, to determine improvement in your child’s symptoms. If improvement is detected, then I advise staying on MB-12 for at least 18-24 months.

I usually start MB-12 early in the treatment regiment of my patients for 2 reasons. Number 1:  I LOVE IT!  I like to get the most improvement ASAP, so that all other therapies that your child participates in can be fully utilized.  My son looked at me in the eyes and told me he loved me for the first time, unprompted the day after his first MB-12 injection!  Number 2:  Most tier II and III supplements get MORE fully utilized if there is plenty of MB-12 around, and who wants to waste good supplements?

Other great detox support supplements are Folinic Acid, DMG, TMG, N-acetyl-cysteine, amino acids (Taurine, Leucine, Iso-leucine, Valine), Coenzyme Q-10, all antioxidants (vit D, C, E, A).  Other liver support supplements are Silymarin (derived from Milk Thistle) and others.

Another modality which really worked on my son is HBOT–Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Basically, a child, and usually a parent gets into an airtight chamber, and then a pump increases the air pressure inside (it’s like being in a pressurized cabin on an airplane).  There usually is an Oxygen concentrator pumping in more O2.  You lay in the chamber for 1-2 hours at a time, while watching your portable DVD, and then decompress.  That is called a DIVE, and usually the protocol is set up for 40 hours in 4-6 weeks, with a month “rest” followed by another round of 40 dives.  If you want more info, please read The Oxygen Revolution, by Dr. Paul Harch.  Basically, at a higher pressure, more O2 is dissolved into your bloodstream and increases perfusion to the brain, while reducing oxidative stress to the brain and whole body.  Mostly HBOT is used for poor wound healing and SCUBA decompression sickness, but HBOT is commonly being used off-label for strokes, brain injury, peripheral vascular disease, and autism.  Check out the before and after PET scans, which show huge improvements on brain blood flow after only 40-80 dives.

Lastly and most powerfully, is CHELATION THERAPY.

No other intervention is rated as high in biomedical treatment as CHELATION.

A chelating agent is a medication that, when given, binds to heavy metals and excretes them from the body, either through the liver (via bile and poop), kidneys, or skin.  Chelation therapy has been successfully and safely undertaken by biomedical MDs on thousands of autistic children with fabulous results.  I will repeat the above statement….

No other intervention is rated as high in biomedical treatment as CHELATION.

I could and should write a whole blog on this topic…but for now I will tell you that if you get to this point, you should have many things in place…such as a great and trusting relationship with your doctor, your child should be on a whole host of supplements to support the removal of heavy metals, and your child’s nutritional status should be top notch.  Sometimes a child is so toxic, that I use a shorter, pulse type chelation protocol to “open up”  metabolic pathways that are blocked.  This treatment is like all other treatments, and is totally tailored to your child.

A word of caution is that you must use an Experienced Biomedical doctor to get the safest and best results for your child.

I hope this helps guide you on your path to RECOVERY!

Your, Dr. Girfriend

Remove, Replenish, & Repair = Recovery! Part ll

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Today I am blogging on Replenish!

Actually Replenish and Repair ( and Remove for that matter) almost always overlap. And that makes sense, because most people will REMOVE and start supplements at the same time.  But for today, I will focus on Replenish!

So, today I will go over supplements and how to REPLENISH your child’s body.  There are many great books on this subject, for example, Children with Starving Brains by J McCandless, and Unraveling the Mysteries of Autism by Karyn Seroussi.  There are many more great books and articles, but to get the most reputable, I would check on the ARI (Autism Research Institute) website.

Most research shows that spectrum kids have many nutritional deficiencies in Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, and Essential Fatty Acids.  Almost always Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, B-12, B-6, and Selenium are low.  These nutritional deficiencies cause disruptions or “slowing” of cellular activity.  The Krebs cycle, Neurotransmitter production, and ATP production (energy) and …well everything depends on having enough substrate (building materials).  Ideally, we would all like to get our nutrients through our fabulous, well balanced, organic diet!  And that is what I plan for, but until your child is eating THAT DIET, he/she will need supplementation.

Every child’s supplement regiment is different, but there are several basic supplements that I think all would agree are Tier One.

Tier One Supplements

Multivitamin–Many of our kids do not eat well.  In fact, most of our children will cut out an entire food group (or two!).  I have MANY patients who only eat french fries and chicken nuggets.  A good multivitamin  is so important and there are so many great bio-available choices out there now!  GF/CF, non corn, non soy, Vegan, not to mention no artificial colors or flavors, pills, powder or liquid!  I stock Kirkman’s and Integrative Therapeutics brands in my office, but there are so many others that are just fine!  I even have some formulated at Pure Compounding.  Whatever you have is fine, just read all the ingredients and then give it!  I recommend dividing the dose between the day for a better absorption.  Our bodies can only absorb so much of a  vitamin at one time, and we don’t want to feed our gut flora too well!

Essential Fatty Acids–Yes, I am talking cod liver oil or fish oil.  EFAs (essential fatty Acids) are supposed to be abundant in brain cells, but are commonly low is ASD kids.  There is plenty of documented benefits from Omega 3, 6, and 9s.

Digestive Enzymes–GI disturbance is common in ASD–from reflux esophagitis, to gastritis, malabsorption, diarrhea, and /or constipation.  There are many choices and some are expensive.  My recommendation is to start with a basic DE and monitor your child’s response, then change to a different brand to get a better response if needed.

Extra Zinc–Helps with immunity, and with digestion from the taste buds ( helping kids expand their range of foods) down to absorption of foods, and also aids brain function.

Extra Vitamin C–Powerful antioxidant, helps with detox, helps with neurotransmitter balance in ADHD symptoms, modulates immune system, relives constipation, just to mention a few attributes!

Calcium–good for growing children with bad diets and poor absorption and has a calming effect as well.  The best calcium supplement is one with a variety of calcium forms, especially calcium carbonate, calcium citrate and calcium ascorbate.

Probiotics–Bowel dysbiosis is SO common in ASD kids.  The first goal that MUST be accomplished in RECOVERY is healing the LEAKY GUT!  Probiotics lead the way in this endeavor by promoting good digestion and controlling yeast over growths.

Tier II-III Supplements

There are numerous other supplements, and I could go on and on with lists and descriptions!  Just know that other supplements are added by combining blood and urine TEST RESULTS with OBSERVATION of your child and RESPONSE to the current supplement program and any new or unresolved SYMPTOMS.  My goals are usually the same with every child…1. restore methylation, 2. support liver detox, 3. correct deficiencies, 4. lessen hyperactivity, and 5. improve cognitive function (language, understanding and more awareness), and 6. improve other physical illnesses (asthma, allergies, eczema, chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, chronic constipation etc…).

What next?

Supplements are expensive and I always consider the cost.  This investment in your child is critical.  Children on the correct supplements usually progress FASTER in their therapies (ABA, RDI, PT, OT, SpT, etc…).  These supplements need to be PURE and therefore need to be obtained from a reliable source.  Also, blood and urine testing of these levels should occur periodically.  Sometimes children do not want to take supplements, and we have to be creative to ensure delivery!  We can give some supplements orally, by nose, sublingually, by injection, rectally, or transdermally.

I hope this helps on your QUEST for the RECOVERY!

Yours, Dr. GF

Remove, Replenish, & Repair = Recovery!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

One of my patient’s mom asked me last week about my PLAN for their child and his recovery.  I paused, then answered…”My plan is the same for every child, but each child takes a unique path to get there!”  (“Clever,” I thought!)

We all want RECOVERY!  But, how to get there?

Laura (Dr. Moore) and I have coined the THREE R’s to Recovery.

Remove, Replenish, and Repair= Recovery! How easy does this sound?  Simple, until I explain the system to you.

I will elaborate on REMOVE today!  Replenish and Repair to follow…

Remove

Remove means remove all harmful elements from your child.  This is by far the most time consuming and frustrating step.  Environmental toxins are everywhere and you may go through a period of distrust of our own Government and Corporate America…did I say Conspiracy Theory?

Environmental toxins are chemicals and other materials produced by industry and carelessness.  Most of these were not known to be harmful at first.  But these chemicals have saturated our water, food and air.  No one can see or smell most of these toxins, but we feel the results only years later in the form of a chronic disease.

Diet is important and  for your child that may mean the Gluten Free/Casein Free diet or the SCD ( low carb diet) or Low Oxalate Diet or simply a fresh Organic Diet.  No more RED DYE!  I usually outlaw tuna, and all non organic meats ( no antibiotics, hormones or steroids).  I may recommend food allergy testing and then recommend an avoidance or a rotational diet.  I always recommend drinking/eating nothing with artificial color or flavor OR out of an Aluminum can.  I like to store left overs in glass containers only to avoid reheating in plastic (Phthalates).  Please cook in stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or cast iron.  I use a stone muffin pan and cookie sheet ( not aluminum).

Make sure the air is clean and pure in your house.  Avoid fumes around you and your child.  If you are re-painting, investigate different types of paint.  Check out what chemicals are being put out on your lawn.  One of my parents got water test kits and toxin test kits off the internet and found interesting results….some of her plates tested positive for lead.  We wondered where his high lead level was coming from.

Here are some other tips to avoid toxins:

1. AVOID processed foods…processed means chemicals were used

2. SWITCH to natural cleaning products in your home

3. USE natural brands of toiletries

4. REMOVE metal fillings by a qualified bio-medical dentist

5. BOOST your vitamin D level and your Immune system with safe amounts of sun light

6. AVOID using artificial air fresheners, fabric softeners and dryer sheets or other synthetic fragrances

MOSTLY…I recommend no more VACCINES…at least until recovery is complete.  (by then, you parents are much more militant than me and would never dream of risking re-injury of your precious child!!!  HaHa!)  Who knows…maybe we will have better, safer vaccine choices soon!  I believe that we are getting better food choices at the grocery stores now!

Now, I will say that this is a process.  I am still removing or replacing things around the house.  You will go crazy if you try to REMOVE all at once.  First, focus on the food issue, then just make a list of the big offenders and work your way down.  Like, mattresses…I have covered all of them, but I have not found a better choice.  Does anyone have any ideas for an toxin-free mattress?  Oh…organic cotton pajamas!  I buy from Hannah at www.hannaandersson.com.

Replenish & Repair–to follow!

Yours,

Dr. GF


Toxins…Sources and How to Avoid Further Exposure!

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Many parents ask me why OR if I think their child is/was exposed to toxins…OR should we test their child for toxic exposure..OR how did this exposure happen?

My answer will not be comprehensive as there are entire books devoted to this subject…but here is a thumbnail with some pointers of how to avoid further exposure and what to do next.

Sources of Exposure

Mercury in seafood, dental amalgams, environmental pollutants, and vaccines.

Tuna is the most commonly consumed fish in America…especially among children.  Tuna fish contains such high levels of mercury now that the federal government recommends only one serving per week, and that no tuna should be consumed by pregnant women.  I would like to add that I LOVE tuna fish…white albacore!  YUM!!!  But I have not bought OR eaten tuna since I began biomedical treatment for my son several years ago.  I would like to add all Autistic spectrum children and ADHD children to the list of tuna NON consumers.

Other seafood to avoid would be swordfish, sea bass, and shark.

Silver Dental Amalgams need to be avoided!

Do not get you or your child’s caries filled with “silver” amalgams.  NEW FLASH…these fillings are not really silver, they a “quick silver…AKA Mercury!”  These amalgams are 50% mercury by weight are are very toxic to put in and continually release small amounts of mercury daily with normal wear, eating and teeth grinding!  There is ongoing controversy about how harmful these amalgams can be.  Please contact me if you are interested in having them removed.  There are 2 dentists in Atlanta who have  proper training and equipment needed for safely removing dental amalgams.  I will design a removal protocol for you as this can temporarily increase you toxic load.  Apparently drilling out these amalgams can vaporize the amalgam and CAN do more harm is precautions are not taken.

Environmental Pollutants

Toxic Exposure occurs every day for all of us.  Protect you kids as much as you can by avoiding the common daily exposures.  This can really add up over a year or a lifetime!  Think about your air…do you live near a coal burning plant?  Any treated lumber on an outdoor deck or play equipment…or treated mulch?  What about the food you grow or buy?  Is it organic or has it been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides?  What about your pots and pans?  Are they aluminum?  Do you let your child drink out of aluminum cans?  Do you microwave your food in plasticware or glass?  Have you tested your water for purity?

Vaccines and Heavy Metals

A comment on vaccines.  I feel that we need some vaccines to protect from Polio and Lock Jaw(Tetnus), and Whooping cough(Pertussis) and Diphtheria and others.  I WISH that all vaccines were GREEN.  Bur for now, I recommend that if your child is on the spectrum OR has ADD/ADHD symptoms, avoid all further vaccines until neurological development is complete.  I have an extremely modified schedule for Neurotypical children either with affected siblings or without affected siblings.  I have different Detox protocols that I use while administering my modified vaccine schedule.

Arsenic in chicken

Kids love chicken nuggets!  I love chicken nuggets!  Inorganic chicken will likely have arsenic in it. Tyson has stopped using arsenic, so if you do not go organic, at least chose Tyson!  Please see this article from the NY Times for more info.  You may want to borrow my tinfoil hat after you read this.  Who in the government gets and approves these great ideas?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/dining/05well.html

Here is another great article…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070409115746.htm

Happy reading…

Yours,

Dr. GF

Curcumin

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a substance derived from the spice Tumeric and is responsible for giving curry its yellow color and delicious flavor.  This spice is from the Curcma Longa plant which is native to Indonesia and South India.    Curcumin was first used as a spice and then was found to have fabulous medicinal qualities.

Has Curcumin been proven to help anything?

YES!  In many studies, Curcumin has been proven to fight cancer and inflammation.  Curcumin possesses anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial properties.  WOW!!!  This herb contains important phytonutrients as well as natural COX 2 inhibition.

Are there any other medical benefits?

YES!  Studies show many other benefits as well.  Curcumin improves cholesterol by lowering LDL and raising HDL.  It also preserves kidney function, protects against Alzheimer’s disease, improves indigestion, fights Chron;s disease, and decreases liver inflammation.

Are there medical benefits specific to Autism?

YES!  In autism, Curcumin has been shown to reduce gas and bloating, while aiding in the absorption of protein and the ability to digest fats.  Curcumin maintains and improves GI flora and supports liver function and the body’s natural Detox system.  Many Biomedical MDs use curcumin to reduce gut inflammation and thereby, healing the “leaky gut” phenomenon  (this is why our kids respond to special restrictive diets).  I have seen Curcumin heal several children’s inflamed GI tract enough to allow resumption of a regular organic diet. Once the tight junctions in your child’s gut heal, your child can eat gluten and casein again without the terrible side effects (because the excitotoxins will not be leaking anymore)!!!

Many Biomedical MDs report that Curcumin helps with kids that are suffering from bloating, gas, reflux, diarrhea OR constipation.

If you think you would like to try Curcumin, then do this simple test on your child…give motrin once daily for 1 week and if your child seems improved, then Curcumin will likely work for him/her!  Motrin and Curcumin are both anti-inflammatory and work by COX 2 inhibition.

What is the safety record?

FDA trials prove that Curcumin is very safe.  Humans were given up to 10g of curcumin daily and the FDA found no evidence of toxicity.  Some cases of contact dermatitis and mild stomache upset have been reported.  A rare case of liver toxicity has been reported in someone with liver disease who was taking high doses for a long period of time.  .

How do I get Curcumin?

You can get Curmcumin just about anywhere.  It is available in healthfood stores and widely on the internet.  I would caution everyone to get Curcumin from a reputable source as it is an herb and could have any number of toxins sprayed on the leaves…etc.  I recommend Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy because they constantly test for purity and they offer Enhansa–the most potent curcumin available.  Some insurances are covering Curcumin if you have a prescription.

DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE/HAVE:

…pregnant, gallstones, liver disease, or are a heavy drinker.

Drug interactions:  None.

Caution: Please stop taking Curcumin at least 7 days before surgery and it may thin the blood.

I hope this helps everyone understand Curcumin.  I am very excited about this herb and am using it more and more.  My own son, Sam, is taking it now and is doing great!

Questions are welcome!

Your Dr. Girlfriend:)

What about TMG?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

TMG is composed of three methyl groups attached to a glycine atom. It can “donate” methyl groups.

TMG is a metabolite of the B vitamin family product called Choline. Choline has 4 methyl groups, TMG has 3 and DMG has 2. These substances plus Folic acid, Vitamin B-12 and SAM-e are all methyl donors. Methyl donors can contribute methyl groups to biological processes such as liver function, detoxification and cellular replication (production of new cells). Methylation protects the kidneys and stimulates production of the fat-transporting molecule l-carnitine.

TMG helps the liver metabolize fats, preventing the accumulation of fats in the liver. It also helps to detoxify chemicals in the liver, while protecting the liver from being damaged by those chemicals.

Methylation with TMG helps to convert the dangerous, inflammatory chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. TMG may lower homocysteine when B-6, B-12 and folic acid cannot.

TMG is also known as Betaine.  TMG may be useful for autistic children, along with B-6 and magnesium. It may also be useful in strengthening the body’s immune response against pathogenic bacteria. There is very preliminary evidence that TMG and methyl donors may help against some forms of seizures.

TMG is 50% more effective than DMG in any application where the methyl groups are useful. Otherwise, they can used interchangeably.  Most Biomedical MDs will start with TMG and if no response or a hyper response, will switch to DMG.

Personally, if I get “hyperactivity” as a side effect of TMG or DMG, I always go back to the GUT!  What am I feeding down there?  Yeast or a bacterial imbalance?  It may be time for a stool culture!

Otherwise, I am looking for increased focus and attention and language as the child makes their own neurotransmitters.  The Detox that occurs in the liver is an added benefit, but one that parents can not “see” right away.

I hope this helps you all to understand TMG and Methylation!

Your Dr. Girlfriend,  Jennifer

PS…let me know if any of you have a supplement that you want to know more about!

So what is Taurine?

Monday, August 24th, 2009

What is Taurine anyway?

Taurine is one of those 3rd Tier Biomedical supplements and is used by some in the Autism world for a calming effect, or as a detoxing agent, or to decrease diarrhea by increasing digestion of fats or to relieve constipation.

Taurine is an amino acid and a major component of bile.  Taurine is derived from cysteine and methionine.  It occurs naturally in food, especially seafood and meat.  Normal consumption of taurine ranges from about 40 to 400mg/day depending on how much meat you may consume.

How does Taurine work?

-it is a potent antioxidant and helps with digestion of fats and detoxification

-on a cellular level, Taurine keeps potassium and magnesium inside cells

-stimulates the GABA receptors along with GABA and produces a calming effect (funny that Taurine is a component of RED BULL!)

DOSE:  Speak to your MD about Taurine dosage, but…I’ve seen up to 2,00mg used in divided doses daily.  The dose needs to be titrated up over time though.

EXCRETION:  Taurine is water soluble and is excreted in urine by the kidneys.

SIDE EFFECTS:  If over-supplemented, stomach acid production increases which causes diarrhea and even peptic ulcers.

SAFETY:  Overwhelmingly safe!  Still use only as advised by your MD!

I hope this helps!  If you have any other questions, please ask.

About Sam

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Sam Duke’s Time line

November 22, 1995–normal birth

March, 2000, age 4 –Referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by preschool teachers for extreme activity, impulsive behavior especially in large groups, speaking out of turn, avoiding eye contact, transition difficulties, and gross and fine motor skill delays.

Found to be with in normal limits.

March 11. 2002, age 6–referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by kindergarten teacher to assist behavior control, especially with self control, over-activity, intense tantrums and inability to coordinate with classmates.

Found to have ADHD, Anxiety, and Gifted Intelligence.

March 2004–referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by 2nd grade teacher for intense tantrums, over activity, and social isolation.

Found to have Aperger’s Symdrome, ADHD, Dysthymia and Anxiety, fine motor dyspraxia and sleep disturbance.