Category Archives for Kids health

When a child’s behaviour is unprecedented

When a child’s behaviour suddenly takes a change for the worse, first analyse the change as what it is, “sudden”. Look at what else in the child’s environment may have changed. This especially applies to children where the behaviour is not there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is now known that there are many forms of behavioural conditions in children.  It has also been researched and acknowledged that there are many environmental factors that can cause this, some that once eliminated or controlled will result in a reversal of those behaviours and an improvement in the level of social and intellectual development.

I have seen many children in the clinic whose parents are at the point of utmost frustration as the child’s behaviour is either out of control, or, when there is a change in that they are not making the milestones in terms of physical or intellectual development such as speech.

Child to child, while the underlying cause is varied, the nature and the timing of onset of symptoms provides the key to understanding the cause and thereby the treatment for each individual child.

Before we look to give the child’s behaviour a name, I suggest that we bear in mind the famous words of Hippocrates … “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.  When there is a change in brain function there has been a change in digestive function, the two are inextricably linked.

If the behaviour is “sudden” and “intense”, consider worms and parasites or a severe imbalance in the microbiome as a potential cause.  If the behaviour is worse on some days than others then we need to look at environment and dietary choices.  You may be following what you believe to be a healthy diet, however, person to person what the body is able to process and what it sees as the enemy can vary even with what would normally be considered to be a healthy food.

If you are at the point of not knowing what to do, which way to go, where to turn, I suggest that you journal the timeline leading up to the change and day to day, hour to hour if necessary, if the changes occur over the course of the day as this may highlight to you what is the underlying cause and if not, gives a great background and starting point for a health professional dealing in childrens behaviours to work from.

 

ASD – getting to the guts of it!

ASD… getting to the guts of it

We need to view these children in the light that they are our most sensitive children, similar in some ways to the canaries in the coal mines and like the canaries they are letting us know that the current state of our environment is much more toxic than is kind to us.

Although these children show us this in their own way, research tells us that most other disorders especially in children have the same underlying causes and contributing factors.

These being

  • Poor digestive function
  • Nutrient deficiencies or imbalances
  • Inflammation especially in the gut
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Poor detoxification and higher than ideal levels of toxicity systemically

The aim then is to improve all of these factors by reducing exposure, toxins and inflammation …and …improving gut, immune and brain function

Why the guts are important … diet affects body chemistry … either healing or harming

The “guts” are the main point of breakdown of food into nutrients and the main point of nutrient absorption, it is a Barrier of defence against bacteria, viruses and parasites and the largest contributor to immune system function.

In regards to Brain function and neurotransmitters, Serotonin, one of the main brain chemicals, is largely found in the gut and the GI tract and Amino Acids, the basis for all neurotransmitter production, are absorbed through the breakdown of proteins in the gut.

How to we effect change?

Removing from the diet that which annoys and upsets in these kids

  • Artificial additives, colours and chemicals
  • Gluten, casein, soy …. And for many, Corn, phenols, oxalates and starches
  • Sugars, processed carbs and refined foods
  • Removing /reducing phenolic foods

Removing toxins from their environment as much as possible. ..Avoiding environmental chemicals, sprays, fumes, skin products.

Repairing and replenishing … consuming food that assist in the repair and healing of gut function, reducing inflammation and providing the intake of  the most friendly and absorbable forms of nutrients.

  • Unprocessed foods
  • Organic where possible
  • Fermented foods and probiotics
  • Good quality proteins – meat and eggs – organic of possible or grass fed
  • Good fats in sufficient amounts …
  • Including probiotics and / or probiotic rich foods as well as sources of pre-biotics

Why not sugar?

It’s a natural food is it not?

Well, it’s a natural component of food in its natural state, ingested this way, as with all things in nature, it is in balance with the other components.   In vegetables and fruit, yes, there is sugar, mostly in the form of natural fructose where it comes in balance with other nutrients as is nature’s way.  Bananas for example, provide a good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and are a very good source of Vitamin B6.

Eaten as a component of a naturally occurring food and eaten in conjunction with a variety of other foods as part of a balanced diet including sources of quality proteins, fats and fibre, it does not then cause most of us a problem.

Taken in its highly processed, chemically laden form it does cause a whole heap of problems.

Sugar in isolation is an inflammatory substance, causing systemic inflammation through the body and providing a food source for ailments such as cancer, gut bacteria, candida and specifically of importance to these children, yeast over growth.

So what needs to go?

The very basics of what needs to change …. Then we can see what really needs to be addressed in each child and what is not simply food related symptoms.

What’s OUT

Where to look for it
Additives – artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, nitrates and sulphites, MSG All processed foods, including deli meats, dried fruits, take-aways, cereals, soups, sauces and gravy mixes
Sugars Especially high fructose corn syrup, processed foods and sweets
Trans saturated fats Margarine, canola oil, mayo, peanut paste, partially hydrogenated oils
Pesticides and chemical residues Non-organic produce and meat (refer dirty dozen)
Known food allergens and sensitivities Gluten and Casein products are a problem for all.  Next likely suspects are soy, eggs, corn, phenols, oxalates, starches.

 

These are wonderful sensitive little people, treating them with that in mind we will get to experience how special they are and they get to experience life to the full. 

Autism…what’s the guts of the problem?

And not just the guts   …  the workings of the whole body effect the brain .. How?

Here is a glimpse at the potential scenario of the internal workings of a person in the Autism spectrum   …

…Gut inflammation and dysbiosis and the associated inability of the body to adequately absorb and process nutrients, poor immunity, food sensitivities, imbalance of good vs bad bacteria, decreased liver function and associated inability to detoxify.  Now add the intake of food additives and exposure to toxins from everyday life.   These all impact neurological function by way of brain inflammation, excess microbial toxins, insufficient action of neurotransmitters and nutrient deficiencies all which impact on the body’s ability to manufacture neurotransmitters and supply to all biochemical pathways of the body leading to the many and varied outcomes in individuals in the spectrum.

With all this going on then, is there ways to lessen the impacts & improve the outcomes in Autism ?

How much difference can we make to their quality of life?  In some cases HEAPS! And in most noticeable improvement.

And How?

It is more important with ASD than almost all other conditions that each individual is treated as an individual person with individual symptoms and causes.  It is imperative that only practitioners who specialise in this treat them as there is potential to exacerbate the symptoms if they are not treated as individuals and the underlying biochemical causes addressed appropriately. The simple use of probiotics, which may help in one instance can spiral another if administered inappropriately.

In ASD the outward signs and symptoms differ person to person and so do the underlying reasons.

So, if you are starting on this journey and initially you want to go it alone …Start with the basics …

  • Remove as many toxins from their environment – food additives and colours, household chemicals, plastics … anything that is ingested, makes skin contact or is inhaled
  • Clean diet, non-processed foods, no sugar (YES , this sounds impossible to many, however the difference it makes to these kids is worth the effort)
  • Keep a food diary and look out for foods that seem to change the behaviour or cause stomach upset.
  • Ask your GP to do the appropriate blood tests so that a trained practitioner will be able to analyse them and address the biochemical imbalances … yes I know these kids generally don’t like needles, however, this step is key.

If you have any questions on how a registered practitioner can help, please call or email me. I specialise in working with children on the Autism Spectrum and look forward to supporting you.

My most recent training specific to this disorder.

Mindd Conference  May 2016 | MAPS Training 2013 |Mindd Masterclass 2013