Someone asked me if I had a plan. For what? Getting rich and skinny? (HA!) Redecorating my home on a shoestring budget? What plan? She was talking about helping Nick. And, yes - as a matter of fact, I do have a plan. I am following a lot from this book, the 4-A Disorders, which I have mentioned before, and also doing most of the following, as recommended by Generation Rescue:
1. Bringing the toxin load down
2. Help the gut heal
3. Get the nutrients up
4. Get the metals and other toxins out
1. Bring the toxin load down. Toxins are anything that creates stress on the body because they are challenging for the body to excrete. The following list is representative of the things you can do to bring the toxic load of your child down.
a. Remove casein (dairy) and gluten (wheat) from the diet. The simple explanation is that wheat and dairy proteins are very hard for the body to digest, often permeate the gut of children with environmental toxicity, get into the bloodstream where they do not belong, and serve as a neurotoxin creating "brain fog". Most parents see faster results when they remove dairy. If this feels daunting, perhaps experiment with dairy removal first and see if you see any changes in your child. Removing dairy will not deplete your child of nutrition, particularly if you follow the guidelines under Step 3.
b. Remove other food allergens from the diet. The most common allergens are dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, and corn. Most children who are sensitive to dairy are sensitive to soy. (Use rice milk as a milk substitute, not soy milk). An ELISA blood test measuring IgE and IgG anti-bodies will help you determine your child’s food sensitivities.
c. Get rid of bad food and sugar. Trans fatty acids (anything with the word "hydrogenated" in it), artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, nitrates (in hot dogs), and aspartame (Nutrasweet) all add stress to the body. Switch to natural and organic foods and try to limit sweets as much as possible.
d. Remove conventional household cleaners. There is a natural version of every household cleaner you own available at Whole Foods or other natural food stores. Conventional cleaners like 409,
e. Add a HEPA air filter to your child's room. This will help keep toxins in your house down.
f. Cook to keep toxins down. Cook only on stainless steel (non-stick pans have aluminum). Don’t cook on or with aluminum foil. Never microwave plastic (it leeches into the food).
g. If your child needs dental work, never use "silver" fillings, as they contain mercury. If your child has mercury fillings, get them removed with a mercury-free dentist. A list by state is available at www.iaomt.org.
h. If your child needs a vaccination, ensure they are Thimerosal-free. Read more about vaccinations in On Vaccinations.
i. Don't renovate while you live at home. A renovation project in the middle of trying to reduce the toxic load will put a lot of stress on your child's body. New paints, new carpets, and sealants all produce Volatile Organic Compounds that are very hard for the body to process.
j. Use fluoride-free toothpaste. Flouride is a potent neuro-toxin. Natural toothpastes will do an effective job at preventing tooth decay without being poisonous. There's a reason fluoride toothpaste has to say on the label "contact poison control" if swallowed (see for yourself).
2. Help the gut heal. Environmental illness typically causes gastrointestinal distress and food sensitivities. When the gastrointestinal system is compromised, the immune system suffers as well. Some of the ways to help the gut heal include:
a. Removal of Food Allergens. Per the above, gluten and casein seem to be the most common allergens.
b. Cod Liver Oil. Cod liver oil is a critical supplement for that provides much needed Vitamin A and also helps to heal the sensitive walls of the intestine.
c. Probiotics. Probiotics are natural supplements that provide the stomach with "good" gut flora.
d. Digestive Enzymes. Digestive enzymes assist the body in breaking down foods, which can help eliminate large proteins gaining access to the blood stream.
3. Get the nutrients up. A broad vitamin and mineral supplement is critical for restoring health. Minerals are particularly important because many toxins like mercury directly impact mineral transport within the body. Zinc, Selenium, and Magnesium are particularly important for restorative health. Also, the use of certain chelating agents may deplete minerals which means the build-up of mineral levels in advance of chelation or other forms of detoxification is very important.
4. Get the toxins out. Detoxification is critical to restoring your child to proper health. Some of the more popular forms of detoxification include:
a. Chelation. Chelation requires the care of a qualified doctor and involves using a prescription chelating agent in an oral or transdermal form. The most popular chelating agents include DMSA, DMPS, and EDTA. Please note that EDTA can be purchased without a prescription. A popular form of EDTA is in a suppository, made by Detoxamin.
b. Natural detoxifiers. There are a number of natural products for removing heavy metals and other toxins including Natural Cellular Defense, PCA-Rx, and NDF. There are parent discussion groups online for parents using both Natural Cellular Defense here and NDF here. Anecdotally, we have heard of parents who have had great success with these products and there are some doctors who use one or more of these products within their own treatment protocol. There are also homeopathy remedies, which I intend to try.
Now I just have to explain all of this to the Hubs. I think it's time to let him in on just how much work it is to gather all this information. I mean, I sure feel exhausted. He's a total and complete believer in the GF-CF diet, because we've seen a huge change and it's been about 1 1/2 weeks of complete compliance. No cheating. All of nothing! I guess the sorta gradual giving up of wheat and dairy just didn't cut it. I couldn't tell anything. In the back of my mind I thought about those of us who have addictions... if we are abstaining from alcohol, or trying to heal/gain sobriety - then should we only drink 1 or 2 drinks instead of 8 or 10? Or if we are dieting, is only one Big Mac alright in contrast to a whole "value" meal? Duh. Of course not.
I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my child craves the very things he can't have: sugary desserts. Ice cream. Dairy and wheat. His poor little brain. And, if indeed he is also hypoglycemic (I think he is) the highs and lows... no wonder he has those highs and lows.