Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Special-Needs Kids Eat Right

I recently read this book:

I really enjoyed it. For the purists out there - no, this is not a GAPS compliant guide. But it still has given me a few new ideas as to what might help Juliana. This book is geared towards kids with autism, but I think anyone with a leaky gut could benefit from it. I also think that anyone interested in preventing a leaky gut could learn from it.

In a section titled "The Reflux Kid" the author discusses "children who got off on the wrong foot from day one." (Hello, Juliana - never had even a second to get off on the right foot).
Typically there was a neonatal situation that meant bowel flora was never imprinted properly on the child's gut and immune system: a C-section delivery, early or repeated antibiotics in the first weeks... A merry-go-round of illnesses, growth problems, and developmental quirks or delays often ensue. The baby often cannot tolerate even breast milk and attempts at various formulas come next.
...Reflux begins early and persists... Medications that are meant to be used for a few weeks at most become long-term crutches... Candidiasis becomes an entrenched nightmare.
What to do: reboot bowel flora. It never got situated in the first place, and this set off the downward spiral of intolerance and sensitivities, allergy and reflux.
This section was a light bulb moment for me! I have always suspected that the antibiotics Juliana received (for sepsis) made a negative impression on her gut. She also had x-rays, ultrasound and CT scans - all of which can negatively impact bowel flora. It took her a couple of months to get over obvious signs of yeast in her mouth and in her diaper. But this was the first time anyone has suggested that antibiotics could be the major player in her gut issues. I am sure that Kabuki syndrome also plays a role here, as Kabuki kids tend to have GI issues (diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption...) Add in the antibiotics and you can see why this put Juliana in a bad spot.

Back to the book. The author proceeds to give recommendations on how to do this. I recommend this section of the book for anyone dealing with reflux and all that comes along with it. While the GAPS diet will get you to the same place more effectively, I appreciated the concise directions that are aimed at the pediatric patient. These instructions relate to giving rounds of antifungal medication, giving probiotics, weaning off of reflux meds, and using herbal support to help the child with digestion.

If you're not ready for GAPS, or if you're skeptical that diet makes a difference, if you want ideas on various nutritional tests or if you would like to know which supplements can help with which issues - this is your book.

After finishing the book I was really excited to meet with our new nutritionist - which we did last week! More on that next time.

1 comment:

  1. Antibiotics were an issue for SOphie as well. In my view probiotics shoudl be given to all babies born by c-section, and all babies given antibiotics in the first few weeks of life, and alll babies whose mothers are on antibiotics in thw first weeks of their lives (as the breastmilk is then lacking the flora that helps to "back-up" the flora that the babies usually get into their guts when passing down the birth canal.)