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…).
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