A daughter’s story… How one mother who wouldn’t give up healed her child with SCD and went on to help countless others through her scientific research

Sometimes a true story is more riveting than fiction. The story of how SCD (and GAPS which is built upon SCD) came to be one of today’s most effective interventions for bowel and neurological issues is one of those amazing stories of science, compassion and perseverance.

Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas developed SCD in 1920.  He and his son wrote the book about SCD and used it in their practice.  In 1959, Dr. Haas was 94 and still practicing medicine.  His highly successful diet, SCD, would have been forgotten when he and his son died if it wasn’t for a patient’s mother who kept his remarkably effective diet alive.

His patient’s name was Judy Gottschall.  Up until she was seen by Dr. Hass at age 9, Judy had what she calls psychotic night terrors and ulcerative colitis with chronic, bloody diarrhea.  She had been to countless doctors, and her parents had tried every diet and every medication they could find.  Nothing helped.  Judy was dying.

Judy responded quickly to SCD.  Her night terrors were gone within weeks and her bowel issues started improving quickly.

10 year old Judy 1 year after starting SCD

Her parents couldn’t believe that such a simple diet could save their daughter’s life. Why hadn’t they learned of it before?

Judy’s mother, Elaine Gottschall, wanted to understand how SCD worked.  She completed degrees in biochemistry so she could look at the science of how SCD works, and she wrote the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which has become the definitive source for SCD and kept the work of the Drs. Haas alive.

Elaine’s book has been continuously in print since 1994 and has helped countless people with a variety of health issues.

For the rest of her life, Elaine studied the science of SCD and tirelessly promoted it. Over time, the news of the effectiveness of SCD with autism reached Elaine, and she spent her final years researching SCD for autism and actively supported parents in the autism community.  Elaine died in 2005, but many of the people she has helped keep her legacy alive, and Breaking the Vicious Cycle continues to be published.

Elaine Gottschall is my hero.  If it weren’t for her, my son and countless other people would not have the quality of life that SCD allows.

Check out the 15 minute interview I had with Elaine’s daughter, Judy Gottschall Herod above.  Judy tells her story of recovery and her mother’s real-life story of science and heroism.

Judy Gottschall Herod, now 65 has lived a happy, healthy life thanks to her mom’s persistence in finding a resolution to her health and neurological challenges.

Diets that Heal: What are SCD and GAPS?

You may have heard of the many children and adults with autism and related conditions who have made dramatic improvements with the SCD and GAPS diets, and you may be wondering how SCD and GAPS are similar and different.  In this post, I will outline how the two diets are similar.  In my next post, I will outline how they differ.

Both of these diets are remarkable in that they have helped children and adults:

  • Resolve digestive problems
  • Improve absorption leading to healthy weight gain (or loss) and in children, growth
  • Reduce/eliminate behavior, learning and mood-related conditions

In a broad sense, SCD and GAPS are the same.  The SCD diet was developed in 1951 by Drs. Sidney and Merrill Haas.   For many years, SCD was considered by many to be the most effective treatment for digestive disorders such as IBD, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis and Celiac.  However, with the discovery that gluten is a major contributor to these conditions and the myth that medications can “bring these diseases into remission,” SCD was almost completely eliminated from the medical texts.

SCD — The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

In 1958, Elaine Gottshall was able to heal her daughter’s “incurable” ulcerative colitis with SCD.  As she started seeing this amazing, effective diet being completely forgotten by the medical system, she became determined to keep SCD alive and wrote the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which has become the official guide to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

GAPS — Gut and Psychology Syndrome

In the 1990s, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride discovered the power of SCD in healing autism after using it to recover her son and other children in her practice.  Dr. Campbell-McBride developed a healing protocol built around SCD.  She called her protocol, GAPS, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, because she learned that SCD and the protocol she built around it not only improves autism, it also improves psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, bi-polar, and even schizophrenia.

How SCD and GAPS are the Same

SCD/GAPS allow all healthy forms of protein and fat as well as “specific” carbohydrates.  They eliminate sweet and starchy carbohydrates because those carbohydrates feed pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract that cause digestive, mood, and behavior problems.  The allowed food lists for these two diets are virtually identical.

Both diets allow certain dairy such as butter, cheese and fully fermented yogurt.  However, most children with autism start with a dairy-free version of the diet because of the high incidence of casein sensitivity in autism and other neurological conditions.  Casein is a protein found in all types of dairy from cows, goats and other mammals.

In addition, both diets have an optional “introductory diet.” SCD and GAPS’s introductory diets start with a small number of easy to digest foods and then add in a new food every 2 to 4 days.  This strategy of slowly introducing new foods is called an elimination diet, and it allows you to watch carefully to determine which foods are currently tolerated.  It will allow you to uncover sensitivities to some foods without the cost of food allergy testing.

Some people choose to start with the introductory diet and gradually move to full-SCD/GAPS.  Others choose to start with full-SCD/GAPS and may go to the introductory diet at a later time.  There are many benefits to the introductory diet besides the ability to determine which foods are tolerated as mentioned above.  The introductory diets also help users to heal faster because the easy-to-digest foods give the digestive system a rest and more quickly kill pathogenic bacteria.

Taylor’s mom described her as “The World’s Pickiest Eater”. As pathogenic bacteria starved, she began to enjoy a variety of healthy foods.

I also find that picky eaters respond very well to the introductory diets because the pathogenic bacteria that are a significant contributor to picky eating are “starved” by the introductory diet.  I find that within a few weeks, picky eaters open up to a wider variety of foods and even begin to truly enjoy healthy foods.  In addition, parents find the structure of the introductory diet helps them overcome their own worries about finding foods for their picky eater because the choices are limited.

We started with the SCD introductory diet and worked our way to full-SCD.  A while later, I wanted to experiment with the healing protocol of GAPS so we went to the GAPS introductory diet and gut healing protocol.    In my next post, I will share my experience with SCD and GAPS and explain the differences in the two.

 

How I Know My Son will Recover from Autism — Fully

Yesterday, I saw a glimpse of FULL recovery!  As I write this blog, tears of joy are flowing!

A little background before I describe what happened:

Five and a half years ago my son, Eli, emerged from autism when we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  His life and our family’s life was transformed forever.  Within a year, I considered him “mostly recovered.”  At that time, I was certain he would reach “full recovery” soon.

 

It’s been 4 ½ years, and the “full recovery” I thought was just around the corner has not happened.  I have never lost faith.  However, I must admit that I have been weary of working so hard with only a few new improvements in recent years.  It’s like losing a lot of weight but struggling to lose that last 10 pounds.

Since we started the The Son-Rise Program® with Eli 15 months ago, we have started to see those “last 10 pounds” melt away slowly but surely.  But in the past few weeks things have moved more rapidly.  Yesterday blew my mind and brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Here’s What Happened

Yesterday, I had a meeting scheduled to meet with an NC senator with my friend, Laura, and her son, Colson.  Laura, Colson and I make frequent trips to the NC legislature.  Eli has never chosen to join us.  Though Eli loves Colson, an extremely accomplished neurotypical 14 year old, he never chooses to join us for meetings with lawmakers.  In fact, until recently, Eli has refused to do much outside of his comfort zone which consists of our house and our neighborhood.

Yesterday morning, I was giving him the scoop on my plans to be gone to the legislature for a couple of hours – not even dreaming he would ever consider coming.  Then, he asked if Colson was going to be there.  I said yes, then he asked, “If I come would you give me a square of chocolate?”  (It was unsweetened baking chocolate btw.)

I explained that I’d love for him to come, but Colson and his mom have an appointment afterward, so we won’t be able to hang out with them afterward AND he would have to dress up AND he would have to let me talk about his vaccine injury and his autism with the senator AND he would have to make eye contact and shake the senator’s hand.  Normally these terms would have shut him down completely.

Instead, he said he’d agree to my terms IF I would also take him out to lunch afterward at our favorite restaurant.  We had a deal! (He has only willingly eaten out at a restaurant a hand-full of times in the past year and a half.)

I was wondering if this is all too good to be true when he returned to the room in dressy clothes he usually refuses to wear.  OMG!  He was doing it!  He even let me help him comb his hair, and he washed the chocolate (he’d already started eating) off of his face.

It was really happening!

When we arrived at the legislature, I was still pinching myself.  The cavernous halls were extra full with the noise and commotion of a group of elementary school kids and a group of high schoolers.

When we met up with our friends to await our turn with the senator, Eli was relaxed and chatted freely with perfect eye contact.  Laura said that she’d never seen him use such eye contact – even in the comfort of our home.

Then the senator came to get us.  Eli was prepared for a hand shake which he let me coach him on before we left the house, but the senator gave the boys a fist bump instead.  Eli went with the flow and fist bumped him.

After the meeting, Eli shook the senator’s hand and we retreated to a conference table in the hall.   This picture of Eli (right) and Colson was taken right after the meeting with a not-very-friendly senator.  As you can see, Eli was relaxed and not stressed by the meeting or all of the commotion going on in the hall.

We headed over to our restaurant and had a wonderful, relaxed lunch.  Eli told me, “I could tell you were a little nervous in the meeting, but don’t worry.  I could tell only because I’m your son, and I know you well.  You did a great job.”  My heart swelled with pride – not because of the compliment itself, but because he freely gave me such heart-felt, encouraging feedback totally unprompted.

Just a few months ago, the simple act of eating out in a restaurant with me was considered great progress!  Yesterday was so much more than that!

When I got home and received this picture of the boys and saw just how relaxed Eli was in the picture, tears poured down my face.  I had spent the day with a high functioning, neurotypical child.  And to add icing to the cake, last night at bedtime, Eli said to me, “Mom, we had a great day today!”

I know there are still ups and downs on the road ahead, but now I know for a fact that he is capable of a completely neurotypical life.

Want to know more about what’s been helping us move from “mostly recovered” toward “fully recovered”? 

We have continued with the SCD diet for 5 ½ years.  We have allowed in unsweetened chocolate and stevia, but otherwise, Eli and I continue to eat only those SCD foods that make us feel good.  The diet is our cornerstone for every other intervention we use.

We started The Son-Rise Program® from the Autism Treatment Center of America in January of 2016 and brought a Son-Rise teacher, Susan Humphries, to our home for 2 days in November of 2016.  Son-Rise was helping, but having Susan spend 2 days really getting to know Eli and helping us set goals and develop strategies was a turning point for us.

We have 4 wonderful volunteers who I have trained in the Son-Rise method.  They spend cumulatively 16 hours a week playing with Eli using the Son-Rise method.  They go with Eli into his autistic world and with their love, enthusiasm and joy, show him how awesome life can be in the neurotypical world too.

I am forever grateful to Raun K. Kaufman, the original recovered Son-Rise child who is now a recovered adult, for encouraging me to give Son-Rise a try.   Son-Rise and SCD are two of the most effective interventions we’ve tried.

XOXO,

Beth

P.S. The Son-Rise Program® has a friend’s referral program, so if you call them to inquire, give them my name, and you’ll get $350 off of their program.

 

Convenience Foods for Autism Diets

On September 10, 2016, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary of being on SCD!  The quality of my son’s life and the rest of the family’s life has transformed because of SCD.

Today, I’m preparing to send Eli camping with his Y-Guides troup.  I remember 4 years ago when I sent him on his first camping trip.  It was a lot of work to get his foods ready.  We were still eating everything homemade, and it was worth it.

Now, here we are 5 years later, and thanks to years of healing and new foods on the market, there are so many SCD “junk” foods I can send on his trip that he will love.  Other kids will love them too.

Packing foods this year was a breeze!  All of these foods are GFCF, SCD, and GAPS friendly (except for the cheese crisps — we added cheese recently with the help of our NAET practitioner.)

Except for the plain nuts, these foods are all special treats in our house because they are high in carbs, so Eli is totally pumped about having so many treats for his trip.  I’m happy that packing foods for camp has become so much easier over time.

I hope seeing how easy SCD, GAPS and GFCF can be will encourage you to persevere on your journey!

xoxo,


P.S.  A quick disclaimer. the pecans are roasted in soybean oil and the broccoli bites are made with rice bran oil.  I make an exception with these kinds of oil when eating out because they are fats, and fats don’t have the carbohydrates that are dis-allowed on SCD/GAPS.

Autism One — Bringing the Pieces Together

Beth Secosky is so excited to be speaking at the Autism One conference later this month in Chicago.  She’ll be giving away helpful tools for getting started on SCD or GAPS to every person who attends her session.

AutismOne is the world’s largest and most comprehensive annual autism conference and will be held May 25 through 29th in Chicago. The focus of AutismOne is to provide information to preserve and restore health and function to children and families, especially those affected by autism.  Teri Arranga, AutismOne’s executive director, said:  “This is an excellent opportunity for parents to choose from among renowned speakers including many medical doctors and credentialed researchers, in order to increase their knowledge toward helping their family.  The onsite networking and positive energy are empowering and energizing.”

In Chicago, Beth will talk about diets that heal and how to choose and start one that is right for your child.  Following is an overview of her presentation which will be held on Saturday, May 28th at 3:00 pm.  Hope you can come!

Diets that Heal: The Most Effective Intervention You Aren’t Using and How to Get Started  

Success Tools for Getting Started on SCD and GAPS Diets

Diet is one of the most important tools you have to heal the body, but with so many diets how do you choose the right one? Many top practitioners recommend the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or GAPS diets. Dr. Sidney Baker has said, “SCD is the best treatment that I have found so far for many children on the Autism Spectrum.”

How do you get started on one of these healing diets? In this interactive session, health coach, Beth Secosky, will give you tools and insights to get you started on the diets to improve your child’s health and quality of life – and your family’s too!

This session is all about helping make it easy for you to take action. Learn about:

* The difference between the SCD and GAPS diets

* How to choose the diet best for your child’s healing and health goals

* Overview of the “introductory” stages of diets, including detailed foods lists by stage

* Quick start tools for success including grocery shopping lists, essential kitchen supplies, and more

* Delicious, child-friendly recipes for the introductory stage of the diets (SDC and GAPS)

Health coach, Beth Secosky, will give you the tools to take action so you can more quickly improve your child’s quality of life – and your family’s too!

The 3 Best Autism-Friendly Treats You Can Give Your Child on Halloween

​Is your child on a special autism diet, e.g. GF/CF, SCD, GAPS, Paleo?  If so, you’re probably starting to think about what kind of treats you’ll have for Halloween.  Perhaps, you’re also concerned that the season of candy might bring on a regression.  I will share some of the lessons I’ve learned from Halloween and some specific treats you might want to consider to prevent a gluten/sugar-induced setback.

Several years ago my friend, Laura, and her family who were already on SCD  (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) went trick-or-treating with us.   At the time we were in denial about our 4 year-old being on the autism spectrum, and we had no idea that the “crazy” diet that our friends were on could transform our son’s quality of life and the rest of the family’s too.

I knew our friends were off of sugar, but I assumed that they would make an exception for their 6 year-old neuro-typical son on Halloween.  (Imagine having the moxie to put your family on an uber-healthy diet like SCD when there is no autism, no Crohn’s, and no other serious health issues.  I am blessed to have had them as role models.  But, I digress from my Halloween tale.)

The kids had a blast trick-or-treating.  Then, we came back to the house, and they dumped their stash on the floor.  What came next blew my mind.  Our friend’s son took 1 piece of candy and packed up the rest and gave it to his dad!  They explained that their son was getting a new toy when they got home.

I couldn’t believe it!

  • How could they deprive their son of his childhood right to gorge himself with candy?  (OK, I knew candy isn’t healthy, but I thought an occasional gorge was no problem.)
  • How could they put their son in a situation where other children are experiencing such joy that he couldn’t partake in?
  • How did they get him to be content with 1 piece of candy as he sat in front of a huge stash?

Fast forward almost 2 years to September.  My son’s behavior has become so severe (including 3-hour violent tantrums) that we can no longer deny his autism.  That September, we adopted SCD, the same diet my friends were on.

By the time Halloween came around 2 months later, my son had dropped 22 ATEC points and the violent tantrums were gone.  My daughter’s severe anxiety was completely gone.  Our quality of life was immeasurably better.  All of a sudden, I totally understood Laura’s approach to Halloween.

My son felt so much better, and the entire family was so much happier that I was not willing to give my kids even 1 bite of sugar.  I wouldn’t risk our newfound happiness just so my kids could have a “party in their mouth” and “fit in” with the other kids.  It simply wasn’t worth it.

So, I had to get the kids on board.  It wasn’t as hard as I expected because I had already taught them about the impact of sweet and starchy foods on our gut flora.  I had also made sure that they were clear that the disappearance of my son’s severe stomach aches and my daughter’s anxiety were directly related to our new way of eating.  They understood that sweet and starchy foods feed the bad bacteria and make them feel bad.

Their knowledge helped, but they were still kids.  They wanted to have what everyone else was having.  I had to sweeten the deal without using sweets!  So, I took a play from my friend Laura’s playbook and let them pick out a really exciting toy.  The deal had 3 parts.  First, I found some recipes for SCD-legal candy.  Second, I let them each pick out a really exciting toy. Third, they would give their candy to daddy so he could put it out in the break room at work.

On Halloween, I held my breath.  Was the plan going to work?

The kids snacked on their SCD legal treats while trick-or-treating.  Check.  Then came the moment of truth.  Would they turn over their stash for their new toy? … YES!  They did it.  They were so excited about the new toy that sat waiting for them when they returned, they ran to their toy and left the candy behind.

I share this story with you to encourage you that you can prevent gluten/sugar-induced regressions by staying true to whatever autism diet you are using – even during Halloween and other holidays.  And, in fact, you can turn Halloween and other sugar-filled holidays into a time for learning profound life lessons.

How to turn Halloween into a teachable moment AND Specific sugar-free treats to offer

Whatever dietary restrictions you stick to this Halloween, you are also teaching your children 3 profound lessons (treats) that will last them a lifetime:

  • The knowledge of true nutrition that will keep them healthier and happier for the rest of their life
  • The idea that they can set and achieve audacious goals (In this case recovery from autism and anxiety) but it will take sacrifices
  • The confidence that they can do what’s best for them even when everyone else is making different choices

I didn’t see the brilliant lessons my friend Laura was teaching her son.  Your neighbors, friends, and family may not “get” what a brilliant thing you are doing either.  That’s ok.  What’s important is that you “get” it.  You see that the profound lifelong lessons of Halloween are true wisdom that we autism parents have the privilege to pass on to our children.  Without autism, most of us wouldn’t know what we know and be able to pass this wisdom on to our children and ultimately future generations.

OK – Enough of the mushy stuff.  I promised you I would share the 3 best treats for Halloween this year.  Here’s what I recommend:

  • #1:  A toy in lieu of candy.

  • #2:  Fruit bars or fruit candy made without sugar

  • #3:  Honey-sweetened candy that is in compliance with your child’s diet.
    • Honey Delights — Pure Honey Candy  (The lemon is yummy!)
    • http://www.wellbees.com/pure-honey-candy-3806.html

I would never wish that autism had impacted my son and our family.  However, the lessons we are learning and the fortitude and strength we are building are truly a blessing.  May your family receive the same blessings.

Epsom Salt and Other Detox Baths Can Reduce Irritability and Even Prevent Meltdowns

Sometimes I find the best remedies for my son by observing what works for me.  I hate to admit it to you but I must be honest.  I can get really irritable.  Ever since I’ve started employing this simple habit, my irritability has gone down a LOT.  I’ve started using it with my son, and he is much calmer too.

Detox Baths Are Amazing!

I’ve started taking 3-4 detox baths a week, and I can’t believe how much calmer and easy going I feel!  I’ve taken detox baths for years, but I had never done them consistently enough to notice how much calmer they make me feel all week long!  I’ve found that my son is much calmer when he has regular detox baths too.

What’s a detox bath?

There are many things you can use for a detox bath.  Probably the most common is Epsom salt baths.  Some parents who are concerned about parasites are giving their children swimming pool salt baths.  I’ll say more about that later.

For now, let’s focus on perhaps the most common type of detox bath, Epsom salts.

Why Epsom Salts Help:

Epsom​ salt, magnesium sulfate, contains magnesium and sulfur, and just as with a medication patch, the magnesium and sulfur in a bath penetrates the skin and provides nourishment that helps us feel more calm and relaxed.

Magnesium:  Many of our kids are low in magnesium (and sulfur).   Magnesium helps with stress, anxiety, and concentration.  It even helps our body regulate blood sugar.  So, you can imagine how magnesium can reduce irritability.

Sulfur:  Sulfur is one of the most common elements in the human body and is associated with many important functions.  For our purposes, sulfur is especially helpful with Phase 2 detoxification of the liver.

How to take an Epsom Salt bath?

Fill your bathtub with the warmest water that is comfortable for your child.  Use ½ cup of Epson salt in your child’s first Epsom salt bath.  Let the salt dissolve and then let your child enjoy playing in the tub.  Ideally, keep your child in the tub for 20+ minutes.

Add Epsom salts to your child’s (and your) bath 1-4 times a week.

Gradually increase the amount of Epsom Salt to 1 or 2 cups per bath.

Where to Buy Epsom Salt

​Epsom salts are easy to find at your drug store, Costco and other warehouse stores.  Buy a large bag.  ​

Why Some Parents are Using Pool Salt Baths Instead?

If your practitioner is concerned that your child has parasites, he/she may suggest that you use pool salt baths instead.  This is because parasites feed on magnesium.  Pool salt, unlike Epsom salt, does not have magnesium and is a better option for children with parasites.

To make a pool salt bath, purchase a 40 pound bag of pool salt from a swimming pool supply store or your hardware store.  Put 9 pounds of pool salt in the bath.  (No, that’s not a typo.  I said 9 pounds!)  At first, I found it difficult to dissolve 9 pounds of salt in the bath.  Then, I discovered that the trick is to swish the pool salt throughout the entire bathtub.  I was just trying to dissolve it at the end of the tub under the faucet of running water.  Didn’t work well!

Your child won’t take a bath? 

If your child refuses baths, try giving him/her a foot bath using a smaller quantity of either type of salt.

Detox Baths are a Quick and Easy Way to Help Your Child Feel Better and Behave More Calmly

Whether you use Epsom salts, pool salts or other types of detox baths, you are going to be pleased to see how much better your child feels and thus, how much calmer he or she is.

Be sure to treat yourself to regular detox baths too.  You’ll feel the difference!

The Myth You Must Know About Lab Testing: Why Negative Results You Receive May Slow or Halt Your Child’s Recovery

We all know that lab results can never be 100% accurate.   Have you ever thought about the implications of a test result that says a child is free of a condition, but the child is not?  This is called a “false negative.”  Many people suffer for years because a false negative diverts them away from the actual cause of their condition.  This is especially true in autism.  Here’s what you can do to make sure a false negative doesn’t subvert your child’s recovery.

Two of the most devastating but treatable conditions that impact as many as 80% (or more) of people living with autism are Lyme and parasites.  Why are these two very different types of infections found together in autism?  A hallmark of autism is a weakened immune system.  Lyme and parasites are able to gain hold on people whose immune system is not strong enough to keep them out.

Though I will focus on Lyme and parasites, this advice about false negatives applies to any condition you are testing for such as food sensitivities, heavy metals, and other types of infections.

Lyme and parasites are 2 of the most difficult conditions to diagnose.  Lyme is difficult because most Lyme tests are looking for Lyme antibodies.  Unfortunately, Lyme severely impairs a person’s immune system to the point that the body often cannot produce sufficient antibodies to be detected on a lab test.

Parasites are difficult to detect too.  Most doctors order a stool sample when testing for parasites.  Parasites or their eggs will not be present in every stool sample so multiple collections on separate days are necessary.  However, even multiple samples may miss parasites.

Four Diagnostic Options 

Standard lab tests are not the only way to diagnose Lyme, parasites and other issues.  Here are four options to help you rule out a false negative.

Diagnostic Option 1: Look at Symptoms – Until recently, doctors didn’t have modern laboratories to test for diseases.  They had to diagnose and treat disease based on symptoms.  Lyme and parasites cause a wide range of symptoms that are also common in autism.  I have listed some of the symptoms of each here.

Symptoms of Parasite Infection:

o   Abdominal pain

o   Chronic constipation and/or diarrhea

o   Cravings for foods high in carbs and sugar

o   Distended belly

o   Eating more than normal and not feeling hungry

o   Nausea

o   IBS symptoms

o   Malabsorption

o   Inability to gain weight

o   Anger/irritability

o   Anxiety/depression

o   Brain fog/disorientation

o   Poor coordination

o   Obsessions

o   Joint pain

o   Seizures

o   Teeth grinding

o   Flapping

o   Slow growth

o   Headaches

o   Itching/burning/picking of the anus

o   Nasal itching

o   Candida

o   Bedwetting

o   Increase in symptoms around the time of the full moon

Symptoms of a Lyme Infection

o   Persistent malaise

o   Brain fog

o   Brain block when trying to focus.

o   Difficulty thinking, processing information, planning, organizing, problem-solving

o   Difficulty taking in the “whole picture”

o   Difficulty with judgment – inability to think things and their consequences through

o   Difficulty tracking objects in motion

o   Difficulty with focus or concentration – easily distracted (ADD/ADHD)

o   Racing Thoughts (OCD)

o   Difficulty with basics, social, and day to day functioning.

o   Dental problems; chronic gingivitis, receding gums, thinning enamel.

o   Painful/stiff jaw, mimics TMJ or jaw joint arthritis.

o   IBS-type symptoms

o   Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking.

o   Stomach pain

o   Bloated belly.

o   Constipation

o   Diarrhea

o   Sound sensitivity

o   Body temperature slightly below 98.6

As you can see, most, maybe all children with autism have symptoms of both Lyme and parasite infections.  I have heard some of the most effective practitioners say that their first line of diagnosis is symptoms, and a negative test result should never trump symptoms.

Many children see significant reductions in autism symptoms when they are treated for these two infections.

Diagnostic Option 2:  Treat and Retest

There are natural treatments for both Lyme and parasites.  For example, parasites can be treated with herbs.  Since these conditions can be treated, work with your natural medicine practitioner to start a treatment plan.  Once your child’s immune system is able to catch up, it will start expelling more parasites and create more antibodies for Lyme.  Thus, upon retest, you may get that positive lab to reinforce you are on the right track.  However, if the lab still comes back negative, but the treatment is helping, seriously consider continuing the treatment.

Diagnostic Option 3:  Muscle Testing

According to Dr. Dietrick Klinghardt, muscle testing is generally about 90% accurate.  He uses muscle testing in his practice and finds it very reliable.  I have taken my son to 7 practitioners on our healing journey, and the two who have been by far the most helpful both use muscle testing.

If you suspect something like Lyme or parasites and get a false negative, find a practitioner who is skilled in muscle testing.  Muscle testing isn’t 100% accurate, but it is likely much more accurate than lab tests for difficult to detect infections such as Lyme and parasites.

A couple of years ago my son had chronic nausea.  We saw many doctors and ran expensive (out-of-pocket) tests and found nothing particularly helpful.  Finally, I turned to a chiropractic internist and our acupuncturist.  Interestingly, both practitioners diagnosed the cause of the nausea as parasites.  As soon as we put him on herbs for parasites, his nausea began to fade.

By the way, muscle testing is a fraction of the cost of traditional lab testing.  Even if you are skeptical about muscle testing, it might be worth a try if it could save you hundreds of dollars in lab fees and multiple blood draws.

Diagnostic Option 4:  Conduct Multiple Tests

You can also opt to test and retest periodically in hopes of catching these guys eventually.  However, this testing option is likely to be time consuming and expensive.  In addition, your child won’t be happy to get frequent blood work!

Stay the Path!

If your child has autism, ADD/ADHD or another related conditions, don’t check off a negative lab test as something that doesn’t need to be addressed.  In my experience, the most effective practitioners diagnose first by looking at symptoms and use lab tests as a backup rather than the reverse.  Don’t let a false negative lab test divert your attention from what your child needs for recovery.  If you child has multiple symptoms of parasites, Lyme or other issues, continue on the path and consider gentle, natural remedies with no side effects.  Consider finding a practitioner who specializes in diagnosing parasites, Lyme, and other conditions.

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet’s Latest Protocol

As you may have read in my previous blog, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet was the guest speaker at Dr. Corbier’s open house last Saturday.  I am the health coach on Dr. Corbier’s team.  The open house was a lovely affair with an amazing​ aray of healthy foods and fun activities for the kids.

A small sampling of healthy foods.
Dr. Corbier answers Dr. Corbier’s questions.

As an aside before I go into Bradstreet’s talk, Dr. Corbier’s identical twin brother who is a doctor too was there.  They were incredibly similar — even as identical twins go.  They didn’t just look alike, they had similar voices, body language, and even their gentle, sweet personalities.  They did a cute skit with Dr. Corbier’s brother playing the role of the mainstream doc saying things like, “Where’s the double-blind, placebo …”  Dr. Corbier patiently answered all of his questions.  Eventually, Dr. Corbier’s brother “came around.”  It was a fun way to explain functional medicine.

Dr. Bradstreet’s Protocol

The event ended with Dr. Jeff Bradstreet’s talk.  If you’re not familiar with him, he is an internationally recognized autism specialist and researcher.  He discussed several of the core tools he is using in his autism protocol.

Diet

Of course, diet is a key feature of everybody’s protocol.  His point about diet was that it’s a critical tool for returning balance to the gut flora and microbiome.

Supplements

He briefly mentioned the basics such as vitamin D and 5MTHF then went into some less well-known supplements.

    • Palmitoylethanolamide (Brand: PeaPure) — According to Dr. Bradstreet, PeaPure treats inflammation as well as gut, brain and mast cells.  It stablizes the immune system.  Dr. Bradstreet takes it himself for his severe allergies.  He’s able to use it in lieu of allergy medication.  Palmitoylethanolamide  cannot be sold it the US.  You can have it shipped from Europe where it’s widely used.
    • Medicinal Cannabis  — Yes, that’s medical marijuana.  I’ve seen a lot of talk about cannabis at autism conferences but never delved into it because I know Dr. Campbell McBride says marijuana can trigger scizophrenia.  Dr. Bradstreet cleared this up for me.  He explained that one ingredient in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal psychoactive constituent that causes both the “high” and the risk of schizophrena.  Bradstreet explained that simply heating cannabis removes the tetrahydrocannabinol.  This heated version is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  He said, “Big pharma hates this stuff.”  🙂

Energy Therapies

Dr. Bradstreet is actively studying and treating patients with two forms of energy therapy:

    • Low Level Light (Laser) Therapy (LLLT) — LLLT is a form of laser therapy.  He listed several benefits of LLLT.  It decreases inflammation, decreases edema, decreases neuron excitotoxicity, decreases apoptosis (cell death), increases synaptogenesis, and increases neurotrophins (a family of proteins that support neurons).
    • Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT) —  MRT is aimed to activate reparative processes in specific cells and tissues.  Dr. Bradstreet treated Formula One racecar driver, Jeff MacPherson, with it with great success.

Dr. Bradstreet’s talk ended with a discussion of plans for Dr. Bradstreet and Dr. Corbier to continue collaborating.

Have you tried any of the therapies Dr. Bradstreet is using?  I’d love to hear your experience!

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet Coming to Charlotte/Dr. Corbier Open House

I am thrilled to share that Dr. Jeff Bradstreet will be speaking at the grand opening of Dr. Jean-Ronel Corbier’s Brain Restoration Clinic in Charlotte. Dr. Bradstreet is a renowned lecturer and researcher who specializes in cutting-edge therapies for autism.

The grand opening for Dr. Corbier’s Brain Restoration Clinic will be Saturday April 18th from 2:00 – 6:00 pm.  Dr. Bradstreet will be speaking around 4:00 pm.

Join them for a day full of fun!! Enjoy a health and wellness fair, tours, healthy food, music, activities for kids, local vendors, educational talks, and their wonderful staff!!

Here’s a little about Dr. Corbier:

Dr. Corbier is a Board Certified Pediatric Neurologist. While he is a generalist – treating all childhood neurological conditions – he has a special interest in working with children with Autism and related spectrum disorders and PANDAS.  He is presently conducting research in the area of speech-language delay. He is also dedicated to the study of nutrition and its role in brain related disorders.

Dr. Corbier has been recognized for his work both within the greater Charlotte community as well as nationally. He has been awarded the ‘Patient Choice Award – Favorite Physicians in NC’ for 5 consecutive years and the ‘Compassionate Doctor Award’ for 4 consecutive years. He has shared his work on TV, radio, medical conferences, and lectures/workshops.  He has authored several books and articles, including topics on autism, nutritional approaches to treatment, as well as his ‘Restoration Model’.

Here’s what I know personally about Dr. Corbier: 

Dr. Corbier is known for his gentle, kind bedside manner and his team approach to healing.  I’ve shadowed him in his office and seen first-hand the kind of empathetic and supportive care he provides for his patients.  He has also surrounded himself with a team of specialists who support his patients.  His team includes a nutritionist, an independent compounding pharmacist, a neuromodulation specialist, a behavior specialist, and a health coach.  I have the privilege of serving as the health coach.

Those of you who live in Raleigh may wonder why you haven’t heard of Dr. Corbier yet.  When I started working with Dr. Corbier a little over a year ago, there was no promotion of his practice because it was full, and he was unable to take new patients.  In fact, he filled his practice within a year of opening it which is pretty rare.  Now that he’s moving into a larger office and expanding his staff, he will be able to take on new patients again.

Here are the details for Dr. Corbier’s open house:

What:  Brain Restoration Clinic Open House

Special Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bradstreet

Who:  Patients, prospective patients, children, friends and family

When:  Saturday, April 18th from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Where:  1040 Edgewater Corporate Center, Indian Land, SC (a suburb of Charlotte)

I hope to see you there!

Beth