Saturday, February 28, 2009

MMR Update Over at Age of Autism

I don't know why I do this, but - I do; I stay up all night reading about all the different factors that have contributed to Nick's illness, up until his MMR shot last July.

A whole new sad and toxic world has opened up to me, since Nick's "incident", a.k.a. the MMR. I can't ignore the fact that my child is no longer the same... and that we have bad days, and some ok days. Never good days. Never. Yet! I have to think positive.

Our time is coming - and I am working to heal him, help him and just pretty much do what home educating parents do: homeschool their kids. It's just in an unusual way and there are no "normals" anymore. I think I have come to terms with that too. And, it's kinda tough, knowing Nick's condition could have been prevented... however, I do still have a child, even - if he has a "condition" but - I am not depressed... I am tired. I am frustrated... It's work, you know.

I will hang in there and until then, I will also keep posting on this blog.

Some blogs and websites I can't pry myself away from. Here's one of them:

Age of Autism

Head over there and check out today's page - February 28th - and know that you will be reading information that is a little hard to take in... especially the last 2 paragraphs...

"Two additional points worth noting: After the increase in 1990 and decrease in 2007, there is still more than twice as much mumps virus in the MMR as there was in 1990.

The changes in the mumps virus component of the MMR serves as a potent reminder of something else: MMR is not one thing but three different exposures. And over the period 1980-2009 the MMR has changed significantly at least twice, making epidemiological studies even more difficult to interpret."

It's even harder to think that parents will not be able to split up the MMR anymore. Our poor children...

Sami's Bakery Day & Some Sarcasm

Bread... yummm...

Do you eat a lot of bread? Does it taste good? And what about the texture - does it stay together or does it crumble apart? Hmmm? What about gluten-free, casein-free and yeast-free bread? Did you know that such a bread exists?

It does!

We've tried at least4 different GF-CF-YF breads. Nick's favorite is a millet and flax bread from Sami's Bakery in Tampa, Florida.

I can't take the credit for finding this awesome bread though... a curly-haired friend gave me the tip. And, she was right. We've tried others and always come back to Sami's.

I recently placed an order, late on a Monday night. It shipped out on Tuesday and on Friday morning, guess what came?


* ~ G L O R I O U S ~* - * ~ B R E A D * ~

Nicolas has learned to like foods that are new to him. Just because we didn't eat them in the past doesn't mean that they are a new food. Just new to us.

Since eliminiating yeast from the diet -- this also means no peanuts, amount other things. We are using organic sunflower seed butter on toast, as a healthy alternative to peanut butter. It's not bad, not bad at all. It's different. Different is not bad.

Honestly, Nicolas has done really, really well adjusting to our new lifestyle of healthy foods. I used to think that we ate healthy; what a joke. Unless it's organic, it's not healthy. You do know that - right? Oh, excuse me... that is unless you consider eating pesticides and insecticides as well as toxic chemicals the "new healthy"!

Wow - I am really feeling sarcastic this morning. Sorry. It has been a week of discoveries and that made it a very, very hard week. MMR's, MSG, yeast... yuck. Maybe when I wake up later today, I'll have a better attitude. No promises though.

I never intended for this blog to be a cheerful, warm fuzzy and cute chat room. It's my outlet and I can vent however I feel like it. After all, I need to cope and heal too. I recognize this. Accepting that your child isn't "perfect" can be hard. Accepting that your child is "different" can be a challenge as well. But, understanding that the things that have happened to Nicolas have affected him - affected his little boy body to the point where he is telling us that something is wrong, by his behaviors... and it's called autism... now that digs in deep. And it sucks. A lot.

That it! I'm going to be rich! The new autism slogan: Autism sucks.

Nice hey?

There are some nice slogans... but - since I am trying to heal my son and get him back, we are going to stay slogan-free; I am not going to label us either.

It's really allergies. Allergies suck.

Oh, would Hubs be mad if he heard me saying "sucks" all the time here. It's one of his pet peeves. That's ok, he says "shut" instead of "close". I know what he means. And I am not swearing. I do not curse. (Much...) or often. Wanna know why?

It's because I don't want to do anything to make Jesus sad. He gave me an autism-free brain and I have just enough intelligence to find synonyms that aren't curse-words. I need God in my life and He is. I also want to set a good example for our children - all three of them. Cursing not allowed. Bad attitudes... well, once in a while. Especially after a week like we just had.

Time to get my boiling organic chicken bones off the stove! I am making chicken broth for Nicolas, which I do on the weekends. Lots of cooking for the boy. Do you know how hard it is to find a chicken broth without yeast, MSG, wheat or dairy? I don't think it exists. So - I make it.

If you ever find some though - let me know? - Thanks...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Holler, Shut, Too Foofie

When some people speak, my children become confused. My children because confused when some people speak.

Some people confuse my children when they speak, especially Nicolas. Do we speak unclear? Is our speaking unclear? Is it unclear when we speak? Do we speak unclearly? ("Unclearly" just looks wrong and sounds wrong, doesn't it?) None of this is clear. It's unclear. Our talking, that is. Or is it our speaking? BLA!

Nick often interprets things as he hears them - which is, as they are said, which is very literally. It's not necessarily wrong, it's just that in today's world, we rarely say what we mean. Or do we rarely mean what we say? Yeah - that's it! Jargon, slang, text messaging, IM-ing, etc. - these have all replaced proper grammar. Does this mean we are now "improper"?

Our kids all have a humorous side and Nicolas can have a great sense of humor... and I often have to make a joke out of what he is upset about or point out the humor in the situation that is causing him distress. Generally speaking, people who are sarcastic do not earn Nick's trust. I can understand why he has that hesitation


Here's a few things that I try not to say, that I can think of off the top of my head:

Ha - that was one.

  1. Off the top of my head...
  2. You're pulling my leg...
  3. You're kidding me...
  4. No kidding?
  5. Well, that's just great...
  6. Oh wonderful!
  7. Oh joy...
  8. Goodie.
  9. I just can't wrap my head around it...

And, for some silliness...

Antelope - to run off with your mother’s sister, running away to marry your aunt
Boomerang - what you say to frighten a meringue pie "boom"
Pasteurize- too far to see, past what your eyes can see

For more than 20 years, columnist Bob Levey of The Washington Post has been inviting readers to submit new definitions for pre-existing words.

Some memorable contributions:
(n.), a person who is coughed upon.
(adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
(n.), that nice sensation you get when drinking soda.
(n.), a humorous question on an exam. (Sorry, I couldn't resist...)

And who could forget about homophones! Homophones - we love learning about these in our homeschooling adventures and they fit right in to our chaos. For example:

  • The noun meat (edible flesh) and the verb meet (to come together).
  • The noun peace (freedom from chaos) and the noun piece (a part of a larger thing, such as pecan pie or cheesecake!).
  • Bee - bumblee, be, the 2nd letter of the alphabet, the letter "B"
  • See, sea and the letter “C”

I say a couple of goofy things too…

  • Foofie or too foofie: When something is just a bit too much, not quite the right look, it's foofie, in a negative fashion sense
  • Oogie - something yucky or icky

And if someone is yelling and I want them to stop, I tell them to “quit hollering!” Holler? What exactly is holler? If you want to know, go to the urban dictionary.

  • Shut - this one is my pet peeve! I don't like it when Hubs says, "Shut the door!". I ask him if he would like me to close the door... he doesn't usually think it is as hilarious as I do though.

And, I found some of these online and shared them with Nicolas, just so he could have another good laugh. He sure was big-eyed for some of them!

Doctor's office, Rome:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

Information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner, Japan:
Cooles and heates: If you want condition of warm air in your room, please control yourself.

Car rental brochure, Tokyo:
When passenger of foot have in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigour.

On the grounds of a private school:
No trespassing without permission.

In a cemetery:
Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

Hotel elevator, Paris:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

A laundry in Rome:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MMR & MSG - MMMCrazy!

I KNOW that Nicolas changed after his MMR last summer. I know it. I know they said that there wasn’t any mercury in his shots… I know. But – I know that he changed. We all know he changed. He knows he changed.

Taken from "Educating Instead of Medicating"...

Although we have not reviewed all vaccines used on infants, we have found one or two sources of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in those that we have information on. In discussion with a retired executive of a company that produces vaccines, he suggested to me that all viral vaccines would have free glutamic acid, used to feed the live virus.

The glutamic acid in vaccines are often described as "stabilizers," i.e., ingredients to keep the virus alive. We describe them as a hidden source of processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

An example for you would be the Chickenpox Vaccine by VariVax -- Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck). This vaccine includes "L-monosodium glutamate" and "hydrolyzed gelatin."

Another example would be Merck's M-M-R vaccine. The product insert states that the growth medium for measles and mumps includes "amino acids" and "glutamate." It is also stated that the medium for rubella included "amino acids" and "hydrolyzed gelatin." Finally, it states that the "reconstituted vaccine" for subcutaneous administration includes hydrolyzed gelatin.

We have no way of knowing which amino acids are used in Merck's vaccines, but we do know that the amino acids "glutamic acid," "aspartic acid," and "L-cysteine" are neurotoxic.

We have found that major brands of infant formula, if not all infant formulas, contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG). The hypoallergenic soy formulas contain very high levels of MSG. See for further detail.

I can't do it to her too!


Apparently, Merck is now only manufacturing the MMR all together, not as separate vaccines. Head over to News Anchor Mom’s blog to find out why and read for yourself about “No More Separated MMR Vaccine”.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup Update

Old news... this is old news. Although this is several weeks old, somehow I missed posting this.

I think I was probably learning about gluten, casein and rice milk. I should be in bed. I'm not, obviously. Can I just tell you my old news? (Please?)

There's mercury in high fructose corn syrup.

I keep thinking back to all the caramel corn that Nicolas and I used to eat...

High fructose corn syrup is contaminated with mercury.

Check out this list of mercury detected in 55 brand name foods and beverages high in HFCS. Look at the BBQ sauces... I made home made BBQ sauce tonight with organic agave nectar to sweeten some tomatoes. I am 99% sure we didn't ingest any mercury.

For ASD kids, this is bad news... most of them are already battling an overload of toxins.

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal. The American Academy of Pediatrics says mercury also is an “ubiquitous environmental toxin that causes a wide range of adverse health effects in humans. Three forms of mercury (elemental, inorganic, and organic) exist, and each has its own profile of toxicity.”1 In other words, any form of mercury is toxic and the safest exposure to mercury is none at all.
Read more in the Washington Post.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hidden Sources of MSG

Before I post this list -- of hidden places to find our newest enemy (MSG), I hafta share this:

Hidden Sources Of MSG In Foods

From the book 'Excitotoxins - The Taste That Kills'

By Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD

What if someone were to tell you that a chemical (MSG) added to food could cause brain damage in your children, and that this chemical could effect how your children's nervous systems formed during development so that in later years they may have learning or emotional difficulties?

What if there was scientific evidence that these chemicals could permanently damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones so that later in life your child might have endocrine problems? How would you feel?

Suppose evidence was presented to you strongly suggesting that the artificial sweetener in your diet soft drink may cause brain tumors to develop, and that the number of brain tumors reported since the introduction of this widespread introduction of this artificial sweetener has risen dramatically? Would that affect your decision to drink these products and especially to allow your children to drink them? What if you could be shown overwhelming evidence that one of the main ingredients in this sweetener (aspartate) could cause the same brain lesions as MSG? Would that affect your buying decisions?

And finally, what if it could be demonstrated that all of these types of chemicals, called excitotoxins, could possibly aggravate or even precipitate many of today's epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease? Would you be concerned if you knew that these excitotoxin food additives are a particular risk if you have diabetes, or have ever had a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, seizure, or have suffered from hypertension, meningitis, or viral encephalitis?

Would you also be upset to learn that many of the brain lesions caused by these products in your children are irreversible and can result from a SINGLE exposure of these products in sufficient concentration?

How would you feel when you learn the food industry hides and disguises these excitotoxin additives (MSG and Aspartate) so they can't be recognized? Incredulous? Enraged? The fact is many foods are labeled as having "No MSG" but in fact not only contain MSG but also are laced with other excitotoxins of equal potency and danger.

All of the above are true. And all of these well known brain toxins are poured into our food and drink by the thousands of tons to boost sales. These additives have NO OTHER purpose other than to enhance to TASTE of food and the SWEETNESS of various diet products.

If MSG wasn’t harmful, it wouldn’t be hidden.

I can’t believe it, but – I couldn’t believe mercury and thimerosal in vaccines were considered to be “safe” either. Below is a partial list of the most common names for disguised MSG. Powerful excitotoxins, aspartate and L-cystine, are often also added to food, and according to FDA rules, they require NO LABELING AT ALL. I really want someone to prove me wrong on this! (Please?)

Hidden Sources of MSG

* Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG *

Monosodium Glutamate

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Hydrolyzed Protein

Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

Plant Protein Extract

Sodium Caseinate

Calcium Caseinate

Yeast Extract

Textured Protein (Including TVP)

Autolyzed Yeast

Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

Corn Oil

* Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG *

Malt Extract

Malt Flavoring





Natural Flavors/Flavoring

Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring

Seasoning (It just sounds vague, doesn’t it?)

Spices (I see this one a lot. When in doubt – I throw it out, or don't buy/use it)

* Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins *



Soy Protein Concentrate

Soy Protein Isolate

Whey Protein Concentrate

We are gluten-free, casein-free, yeast-free and now MSG-free. Our menu is changing, drastically changing!

I - myself, am not feeling too good right now, after reading all of the above... and I've read it at least 10 or 15 times, from several different medical doctors and on many, many websites, blogs and in books. Yeah - I am feeling rather discouraged, as a matter of fact. Where's my hope? Where's my comfort? Where's the protection that I want? Where's the protection that my children deserve?
Where is God in all of this?

Once again, I am in a place where I
often find myself ... without answers. I think money has something to do with it, to be honest. Those with the power do usually have the money... I do not have the answers nor do I know why I am on this journey. I know that I may not ever have all the answers and I am not going to waste my time trying to figure this out. I need to focus on getting Nicolas healthy and at least I have a place to start! I am so much closer to helping him than what I was 3 months ago. Still, we're just in the beginning... and we have a long way to go.

I really want to say, "Why is all of this suddenly happening to me?" It's not happening to me; it happened to Nicolas. As his mother, it is affecting me. I only have my human, mortal, maternal perspective. I never dreamed that this is what I would be doing, every day - reading, researching, looking for answers, treatments and clues that will lead to helping my son. Our son. Hey - I do have a husband! Sometimes I feel like I am all alone in this battle for Nick, but - I'm not. Hubs may not be the one discovering all these different things that have happened... and he may not be the one running around to doctors, appointments, etc. But - he is willing to do what we have to, in hopes of regaining OUR son. He's learning to read labels! He cleans our cast iron skillets and he sees little tiny signs of improvement in Nicolas. I am sooo thankful he listens to me rant on about vaccinations, fluoride and mercury... and I think he even hears me! (ha!) I am ok with Hubs... he's a great guy and I need his support. I have it too.

I am not ok with finding out that MSG is toxic for my child though. I am not ok with knowing that fluoride is harmful to my child. Gluten, casein, Teflon... Aspartame... yeast, thimerosal, mercury, bla-bla, bla... the list goes on and on... It's created chaos, is what it is. When will it end?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I've Been Holding Back... On MSG

I have been intentionally delaying these posts about MSG, because I knew it would consume me. And, it has. I thought I knew about MSG, after eliminating (or when I thought I had eliminated) it from my diet, in hopes of reducing my migraines.

I was not aware of the additional dangers of MSG. Not theories, but - facts. Truth. Remember when I said that "the truth can set us free"? The freedom to be healthy! I'm referring to Nicolas, my son - and the toxic world that he is now trapped in. I am not playing with words from the Bible - and (just for the record) I do believe that Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life - so, don't misinterpret me - here... BUT - there is so much information on the evils of MSG, that it will shock you. IT SHOCKED ME.

There are several websites which I often refer to, when I need information regarding MSG. I will refer to them as needed:

I knew I was in the right place, the first time I visited - when I read this:

If MSG wasn’t harmful, it wouldn’t be hidden.

MSG is a food additive that enhances flavors in food. It is almost flavorless and I remember my Grandmother using a little red shaker of Accent – a “special seasoning” when she cooked, to often bring out the flavor in meat. That little shaker did do something, by neurologically causing us to enjoy a more intense flavor from the food.

For consumers like us, it means experiencing an adverse effect (even if we don't notice it right away) from the additive and possible adverse health effects in the future. For babies and preemies, like Nicolas, I believe it contributed to his ASD. (Keep reading to find out how and why.)

For the food industry - $$ Increased profits (Cha-Ching…$$) and seemingly simple (cheap) way to balance taste in foods and mask unwanted tastes in order to make non-tasty (nasty) or undesirable foods taste good and be acceptable. Sounds innocent enough… MSG helps replace flavor lost by elimination of fat in many low-fat and no-fat foods. It is far from innocent.

“Autism is directly impacted by genes that affect the nervous system and the neurotransmitter glutamate according to research reported in Scientific American February 17, 2007. However, because vaccines, and processed gluten and casein (wheat and dairy), are high in the amino acid glutamate in its free form, we firmly believe these items WILL affect a child's brain during development - prior to age 7.”

Autism has been described as a hyper-glutamatergic disorder. In words that I can understand… in autistic individuals, ADHD or those in the spectrum -- glutamate is in excess in the nervous system.

We also know, based on scientific information, (that even most doctors believe) that children with ASD or ADHD ... should be avoiding ALL sources of excess glutamate found in PROCESSED wheat, dairy, soy, and corn and VACCINES with any hydrolyzed protein or gelatin in them. I know, that is one long explanation… I’ll say it again, a little shorter – just in case I lost you: I avoid glutamate in Nick's diet. I am now avoiding all forms of MSG use in and for all of us– with the same attitude that I have towards Aspartame. "No thanks."

Tomorrow - hidden sources of MSG.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Peking Acrobats...Late

Last week, I took the little kids to a performance of the Peking Acrobats. I ordered our tickets last fall and should have been prepared, after knowing about it for months... but - before I knew it, we were running late.

I hate being late. Hate it - always have. I don't like rushing my kids and walking like a maniac! Someone usually has to use the bathroom, which would make us more late and I simply do not like the way I feel or act, when I am stressed from rushing, from being late. So... I do what I can to prevent us from being late by planning to leave early; however, we had a little trouble finding a place to park in the parking ramp and we were late. I am especially keen about the fact that Nicolas seems to go or become so slow, when we need to hurry. Being late can often produce some loud drama. Nicolas kind of drama... and once it starts, it's hard to stop it, if it can be stopped at all. But - I had a gift the day we went to this performance. The gift of everything turning out ok, even though we were late.

You know what? It worked out. Our seats were great!

I was surprised, actually. Although the performance had already started, we only missed less than the first 10 minutes and as soon as we were seated, both of my kiddos were quiet and just staring in utter amazement. They were mesmerized and I was smiling. I know I was; I had to be! Nicolas just sat there and was so entertained. It was great. The music, sound and colorful visual effects were good and -- not too loud or bright for an over-sensitive boy. Whew - that was a huge relief.

Every once in a while, Nicolas would glance over at me, to see if I had just seen whatever awesome stunt had just happened... and then he'd smile. He was certainly wide-eyed, no doubt whatsoever - he was enjoying himself very much. He was not distracted, crying, angry, fighting with me or his sister... he was just a little boy who was enjoying a show. Wow...

The time went fast and before we knew it, the performance was over. I was kind of surprised at how well the show was put together and we had never seen the Peking Acrobats before - so it was a nice treat, even for me.

The kids were hungry and we left rather quickly, as I needed to stop and see a newlywed friend at an art gallery. Of course, I got her attention through the glass walls and windows, so she came outside to us. She cracked me up... thinking I could bring Nicolas in to an art gallery. I didn't even want to be in there, without them. It was beeeeeutiful - all modern and contemporary art, but definitely NOT a place for hungry kids or their mother who didn't have time put make up on! The ponytail rescues me every time!

Towards the end of the performance, Nicolas counted 14 people all riding this bike.
He was impressed. I was impressed; and I didn't even count the number of people!

I had apples and organic blue tortilla chips waiting for us in the car. Before long, we were all merrily crunching our way home. I mean it - we were happy and crunching.

If I ever have another opportunity to take the kids to see the Peking Acrobats, I will. They held Nick's attention and I do not remember the last time he was so intent or focused, while enjoying himself. For that, I am rather happy... and thankful.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever..."
~ Pslam 118:1

Friday, February 20, 2009

Math, Money & Spanish

I am a little behind on my bloggy reading and net-reading. Today is not the day to get caught up though; but - tonight might be. There is little time to be online and we are going to make a strong effort to get through some math today. Home education can be flexible, but - we don't need to push it today... geesh, we have other things to push! The kids will usually try to get out of their chores, and I don't like that. Not because it gives me more work to do; but - because I want them to learn responsibility. I want them to comprehend "family" and "community" and "selflessness"... For some odd reason, Nicolas is consumed with learning Spanish. I think the underlying reason is that he wants things (mostly pets) and he is asking for them in Spanish, or so he thinks he is. We need to lean English, grammar and composition and just phonics for goodness sakes! Spanish? Not now. I don't know if I can get him off this Spanish infatuation or not AND I don't know if I should. Is it necessary for me to try to control what he likes all the time? Would I still feel this way, if he hadn't "changed"? Would he still be this way, if he hadn't changed? None of these answers are available - and it does get tricky, trying to decipher what is him and his personality, his own likes and preferences and what is just Nicolas obsessing... Wish me luck and pray - right?

Nicolas wants el pez de colores. I say "no", which translates to "no" in Spanish and in English. We have enough. It's been 17 years since I took a Spanish class, but - I will attempt to say, "No - no mas los animals en me casa." - Or something like that...

We use Math-U-See and we like it, not just because they've received awards -- but because it makes sense! If you've never seen Math-U-See, take a minute and view their videos! I have to be honest... I am re-learning how to understand math. Pretty neat. Actually, Nick is very good at math, but - claims he hates it. Wait - he screams that he hates it! Yeah - that's it.

If you want to know more about why we like and use Math-U-See, go check it out for yourself. Be sure to read the user comments and parent testimonials page. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Math-U-See's Manipulatives

I did briefly pop over to Adventure's in Autism's blog and then I had to fly over to the Age of Autism's daily news site. Go - see - be shocked. Money talks...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taming the Yeast Beast III

Why are so many kids on the GF-CF diet and the anti-yeast? Well, hang on and keep reading... I will say it again, in a different way...

The history of this diet came from research on schizophrenia, in which these gluten and casein protein fragments were found in the urine of schizophrenic patients. Similar urine profiles were later found in the urine of autistic children. That's something to take notice of - hey? Anyway...

Opioids and autism -- Milk and dairy contain these proteins, called casein and wheat contains a protein called gluten. Inside of both casein and gluten are structures which are difficult for the body to digest completely. The "structures" or "peptides" that remain or are left over after digestion of casein and gluten react at certain sites in the brain called opioid receptors. These sites are so named because these sites are where opiate drugs such as morphine act. The internal chemicals which react at the opioid receptors in the brain are called endorphins. These peptide structures from the diet have several names, one of which is "opioids".

In experimental studies, opiate drugs such as morphine have been found to bind to brain opioid receptors and this binding leads to decreased glucose (sugar) utilization and decreased metabolic rate. In other words, structures which bind to opioid receptors in the brain slow the brain down. As already noted, the one finding that stands up in the brains of autistic children is that the brain is slowed down (metabolically less active) as shown by decreased blood flow, especially in speech areas.

These casein and gluten protein fragments also slow the brain down. This has led to the treatment of excluding casein and gluten from the diet of autistic children. There are many commercial products available to support such treatment.

So, just how good is the gluten-free casein-free diet? The main studies show that children do better. The gf-cf diet is not an anti-yeast diet. The gf-cf diet allows some major yeast offenders such as vinegar, ketchup, malt, pickles, chocolate, peanut butter and corn. Both peanuts and corn are often contaminated with mold. Chicken are fed much cottonseed and cottonseed is contaminated with mold. Grapes and blueberries have skins that are eaten along with the fleshy part of the fruit and are often mold carriers.

So - if a child is taken off gluten and casein but keeps eating foods with vinegar and is put on more chicken, peanut butter and corn, what good will it do?! It seems to me, that whatever benefits there are from removing gluten and casein will be taken away by adding (to the diet) more mold in the form of chicken, peanut butter and corn. Don't even get me started on the chicken thing! Another bloggy topic, for another day.

The intestinal yeast is still in the kids, and in there making toxic chemicals. ((Ugh...)) Kids then will show little improvement and the improvement and behavior will fluctuate with ups and downs - the usual predicable unpredictability, depending on what the kiddo has eaten. Not fair! I work so hard to made food he can eat. I work hard at buying food he can eat. I work hard at being patient and understanding when he whines and complains about all the food that he CAN'T eat... It's not fair. Where have I heard this before?

I just might try the anti-yeast diet... it's been buzzing through my head this week. I didn't just confess this - did I?

The anti yeast diet is especially helpful for anyone suffering from any of these health conditions: Headaches, including migraine; fatigue; chronic ear infection; Fibromyalgia; chemical sensitivity; depression; abdominal pain; bloating, diarrhea; constipation; eczema; psoriasis; rashes; hives; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Crohn's Disease; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD); Autism; pain or numbness in hands or feet; Multiple Sclerosis; Rheumatoid Arthritis; and many more.

I have the pink conditions...and I eat a lot of salads, with salad dressings - ALL of which have vinegar, which is forbidden on the anti-yeast diet. Don't you think I could do this? Ok - I do have the ability to do it, but - will I?

I found a new book that I want. I am praying it will fall out of the sky and into my lap! It could really help us right now. Funny thing is that the doctor who wrote it, isn't very far from where we live. Isn't that interesting? And Dr. Rimland wrote the forward. THE Dr. Rimland, who founded the ARI (Autism Research Institute)

Ah, I just gotta have it! Mostly wheat and dairy free... it's calling my name. Hubs - if you've ever read this blog, now is the time to take notice (hint-hint).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taming the Yeast Beast - II

As I mentioned yesterday, we're taming the yeast beast.

I first learned about Candida many years ago, when a friend's child got thrush after being on antibiotics for ear infections.
Then she had to treat the thrush/yeast infection. It was a cycle of circles and she took preventative measures against further ear infections by elevating her babies' crib slightly on one end (which we always did by placing a pillow under the crib mattress), taking her baby off milk-based formula and by not laying her flat on her back after drinking her bottle or nursing her. She went through quite the ordeal as I recall, with those ear infections and then thrush. And, then it all just disappeared...

But - what about prevention and treatment of yeast infections? Why can't our immune system simply fight back to health or self-adjust? Sometimes, from what I understand, it could happen, but - when it comes to yeast, we need to understand that it is a BEAST and it needs to be tamed, or it will wreck havoc in the body! Here's more
info about treating ASDs with an anti-yeast diet.

Why can the body's immune system not clear Candida? The Candida has many tricks to evade the body's immune system. The immune system then calls in the reinforcements. These immune cells attack the yeast and generate the signals for inflammation. Inflammation is a defense, like a wall to keep out the Candida. The Candida is still there, which means the inflammation remains.

In the intestine, this continued inflammation leads to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Sometimes these immune cells circulate and find yeast cells in other places. There is yeast on the skin. Again the yeast is evasive and the immune cells generate the signals for inflammation. The yeast is not cleared and the inflammation remains. This leads to skin problems from itching and eczema to psoriasis.

The Candida has also evolved to look like our own cells. Candida has the body's own connective tissue receptor on it, which it uses to anchor itself into our tissues. Sometimes the immune cells, as they attack the yeast, attack anything which looks like the yeast. What else looks like the yeast? Body cells which have the connective tissue receptor. This attacking of body cells leads to "autoimmune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In these diseases, the body's immune system appears to be attacking the body's own tissues. The immune cells are attacking the yeast and then attacking anything which looks like the yeast.

The yeast chemicals slow the brain down. The gut has its own brain to make sure all the food goes through the intestinal tract at the right rate. What will happen if yeast chemicals put the gut's brain to sleep. The result will be constipation, sometimes very severe. Diarrhea is the body's attempt to clear the yeast. The diarrhea can be present at the same time as the constipation, which is why they can alternate.

What happens if the yeast chemicals slow down the body's nerves and put them to sleep? Then the child can't feel anything or nothing feels right. The hardest parts of the nerves to numb up are the parts which carry pain. This is why light touch, instead of feeling pleasant, now feels painful. If the nerves are numb, sometimes pain feels better than nothing at all. This is why these children bang their heads. Even the pain feels better than numbness.

The lack of proper sensation in the mouth is a reason why these children can become picky eaters. Foods, especially new ones do not feel right to them. The picky eating improves with anti-yeast treatment.

For most of us who have kids in the spectrum, any improvement - not just related to picky eating, is worth the mere consideration of doing the anit-yeast diet.

Taming the yeast beast and getting my boy back is worth it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taming the Yeast Beast

For last 8 weeks, we have been:

  • Gluten-free
  • Wheat-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Casein-free
  • Mostly soy-free
  • Low sugar
  • Red #40 free
  • Artificial sweetener-free
  • MSG Free
  • Mostly fluoride-free
  • Teflon-free
  • High fructose corn syrup-free
  • Toxic metals, such as copper and aluminum - free
  • Avoiding added folic acid

...and it was tricky, especially the first 2 weeks. I had to re-learn how to plan menus, shop, buy and store food and how to cook. Yes - I said how to cook. Recipes and foods that I had already converted over to being (what I thought was) healthy... well – those foods were now no longer healthy for Nicolas. In fact, the food I was giving him was bad for him - and that's an awful fact and feeling. But it’s the truth… and the truth, in this case – will set him free.

I won’t lie - it was a discouraging and frightening discovery, when I realized that his poor little body could not handle certain foods and that he really was "imbalanced". I didn’t want to believe it. As a parent, it was my "job" to care for him and obviously, I wanted what is best for him... and I couldn't provide it, and I didn't know how. Clearly God intervened in our lives by guiding us and providing us with tools (books) and friends with similar situations. That's another bloggy subject for another day! I
have a lot to say today.

We have added a new component to Nick's diet - but just for a month 0 I hope. We are going to tame the “yeast beast” inside our son by going...(ta-da) -- yeast free. No yeast or yeast foods. The anti-yeast food list is long and might surprise you!

Once again, I am glad to (attempt to) explain why we are doing what we are doing. By going on a GF-GF diet, we have been able to experience first-hand, some improvement with our son. Simply put, the gluten (wheat protein) and casein (milk protein) are improperly digested by Nicolas’ body; they then break down into opiate peptides, and subsequently cause a drugged/zoned-out demeanor, which is behavioral. I don’t know how else to keep saying it.

Kids “in the spectrum” or that have an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) have “allergies”… to certain foods, which cause a cerebral allergy, with behavioral effects. When the opiate "high" effect wears off, the kiddo feels bad and craves more of the offending food or the very food that they shouldn't have, same as an addiction. These foods do become addictive to an ASD child and... when we started, I realized his favorite foods were ALL foods that he should not be eating (and that we no longer eat). I do not see this as giving them up, but – rather, simply replacing them with other healthier choices. And yes – our
emergency travel food that it readily available at most gas stations is - Frito’s -- which are now “healthy”. (Check the label on a bag of Frito’s the next time you buy some; you’ll be surprised, especially if you compare it to the labels of Cheetoh’s or Doritos!)

Most ASD, ADD and ADHD kids have other food sensitivities or allergies that we do not see the physical signs and symptoms of: hives, rashes and swelling; but what we do see are: body aches, headaches, mild diarrhea, disorientation, irritability, depression, hyperactivity and unpredictable behavior. Without knowing that food allergies and improper digestion are causing these symptoms, I do understand why parents automatically choose medications for ADD/ADHD to deal with the symptoms - without treating the cause.
We are not doing that. By using biomedical DAN! treatments, we are treating the symptoms by treating the causes. Slowly, and with God's help, we will get our son back.

I will attempt to explain the yeast connection more tomorrow. Here is one attempt...

The antibiotic connection to the anti-yeast diet - Why so much interest in antibiotic use history? Because antibiotics help the yeast Candida albicans grow in the intestinal tract. Candida albicans make toxic chemicals which harm the brain.

The yeast Candida albicans can be found inside of our intestinal tract, mouth and in the female genital tract. Sometimes this yeast overgrows and the doctor recognizes this overgrowth of yeast as a yeast infection of the female genital tract or in the mouth, where this infection is commonly called thrush.

Bacteria also reside inside the intestinal tract, sharing space with yeast. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not yeast. After the use of antibiotics the yeast grow to fill in the space left by the removal of the bacteria. Yeast make chemicals which kill bacteria, which enables the yeast to grow at a higher level, even after the antibiotics have been stopped.

Yeast make a number of chemical compounds which are then picked up and absorbed into the body. These compounds are toxic to the nervous system. These chemicals slow the brain down (so that the brain no longer works correctly); and - these chemicals should be cleared by the liver so that these chemicals never reach the brain. However in some people, these chemicals are apparently not cleared, reach the brain, and cause mental symptoms.

There are also chemicals in the diet which slow the brain down. Barley malt, the raw material for making beer, contains twenty chemicals which slow the brain down. Vinegar also contains such chemicals.

The combination of chemicals from internal yeast and from food could partially account for brain slowing in ASD children.

The important reason to look at yeast as a major contributor to autism and ASD's is that yeast is easily and safely treatable.