Antibiotics and The Gut…again.

In society today antibiotics are overly prescribed. Most patients receive the advice to “take all medication as prescribed” however, in some cases that not be the case. It is ALWAYS imperative to discuss with the prescriber when changing a treatment plan but there may be more occasions than not, to discontinue antibiotics before the “last pill was taken”.

The failure of the medical community to appropriately utilize antibiotics in the 20th century has left us with many antibiotic resistant microbes plaguing patients at younger and younger ages.  Many prescribers prescribe to a “quick fix medicine” and in many cases abused and misused antibiotics in the name of “protocol”.  Of course this comes back to the fundamental disconnect between pharma and health. So it is imperative patients and parents advocate for themselves in these sorts of situations.

Antibiotics, like food are broken down and digested by the body. Long term or frequent use of antibiotics alter the proper digestive bacteria in the gut and reduce the digestion and assimilation of these pharmaceuticals. This means that active and Un-Metabolized antibiotic by-products, which retain antimicrobial activity, will be excreted into the environment compounding our issues with antibiotic resistance.  Even though an antibiotic is prescribed an for 7 days, does not mean that “bad bacteria” are only exposed to it for 7 days; normal gut flora (and potentially the pathogen) will continue to be exposed to the antibiotic and it’s by- products for some time after completion of therapy. The US contributes more than 17,000 tons of antibiotics into the environment every year in the United States alone (80% for agriculture, 20% for human use).

Compounding this issue is the antibiotics found in our food. This too builds resistance to microbes and accelerates the problems with prescribing. Be a savvy consumer and choose with your dollars. Buy local, organic and avoid processed or packaged products. Ultimately your gut and the rest of your body will thank you for it.

There is a time and place for all things medical, however the research over and over has shown that antibiotics as a first line of treatment may not be as effective or useful as previously revealed. Any and all pharmaceuticals will disrupt normal function of the gut, temporarily or permanently. Be sure to utilize them wisely and replete the gut with beneficial probiotics after use, discuss with your provider the shortest most optimal course of action for your condition and your lifestyle.

For more information and healthy recipes to heal the gut check out my book

 

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871856?src=WNL_infoc_161120_MSCPEDIT_TEMP2&uac=127670EJ&impID=1238355&faf=1

http://dhs.unr.edu/Documents/dhs/chs/NVPHTC/The%20New%20Antibiotic%20Mantra%E2%80%94%E2%80%9CShorter%20Is%20Better%E2%80%9D.pdf

Stay on track with your healing diet during the Holidays!!

 

The holidays can be a stressful time, both financial and emotional. Added to that is your new regimen of a healing diet to improve your lifelong health. Remember there gazillion foods that don’t contain any of your triggers! Focus on those and remember keeping with your healing diet will be worth it in the end.

Here is a list of pitfalls to avoid!

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  • Plain turkey is gluten free! Be sure it has not been seasoned or marinated with something that contains an allergen or trigger.
  • There are plenty of stuffing’s and gravies that can be made allergy free too!
  • Even though ham is usually gluten free, it can be very inflammatory and should be avoided during times of stress.
  • Try a beautiful slow cooked brisket. There are many traditional recipes that avoid many of the typical allergens.
  • Traditional mashed and roasted potato, turnip or sweet potato recipes are well tolerated on most healing diets.
  • Avoid or modify some traditional holiday recipes that contain allergens. Many wonderful substitutions are available to fool your family “not yet diagnosed”.
  • Potato, onion and egg (or egg replacer), salt and pepper to taste make an amazing allergy free potato pancake for anyone on a healing diet.
  • A great egg replacer is chia seeds or flax seeds mixed with water.
  • Just a reminder most Vegetables and Fruit are safe for healing diets and should be plentiful on your holiday table.
  • Be mindful about cross-contamination issues. Remember when healing the body can be more sensitive to allergens or “offenders”. Gently remind your family chefs to be cautious with cooking and utensils.
  • Always plan to bring something to eat to the party. It’s an opportunity to point out “healthy food” can be delicious (and you are sure to have something to eat).
  • Better yet! You host the dinner and be sure to tell your party goers exactly what to bring, most people appreciate the direction and organization tips!
  • Include “new and improved” tradition, a mild veer away from the typical but still about family, food and fun! It takes the focus off “your healing diet).
  • To simplify holiday baking, use simple mixes or no bake style desserts, most of your dinner guests will be too full to eat dessert anyway.
  • Remember food is for nourishment and eat until you are full not stuffed.

If all else fails remember

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  • Walnuts are a good antidepressant
  • Oatmeal contains natural calming properties
  • Almonds balance blood sugar
  • Blueberries strengthen your immune system in times of stress
  • Dark Chocolate protects your heart, and stabilizes your mood

Holidays are a temporary experience, staying on track to healing leaves you with a lifetime of benefit!

for more recipes check out my blog or book!

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Autism and the other A’s (allergies, asthma and atopy/eczema)

the-atopid-triad

Why is it that many autistic children struggle with a lot of other “A”s?

  • Statistics show 25% of kids with autism has asthma too.
  • Statistics show 60% of kids with autism has eczema too.
  • Statistics show 8% of kids with autism has anaphylactic allergies and 40% have seasonal allergies.

Although there are multiple mechanisms for these conditions individually, the focus for this article is the global impairment of the immune system that predisposes kids with autism to other conditions.

The research shows that autistic kids are overburdened with all kinds of immune imbalance. This immune system imbalance initiates improper reactions to toxicity and how the body attempts to make every effort toward elimination (of toxins). Autistic kids have impaired detox mechanisms and altered methylation pathways, which are integral for detox of harmful substances the body comes in contact with frequently. Methylation is an important step in the detoxification of the body, and requires active forms of certain B vitamins in order to function optimally. When methylation is impaired detoxification is impairs and the body is overburdened, sending out signals that the immune system must be prepared for attack. “Attack Mode” for the immune system causes a overwhelming immune response to a normal circumstance.

Allergies…It is not biologically normal to react to food. Food is nourishment and provides the body with essential building blocks for all components to body function. When the body starts to react to its environment (and food) MAST cells are released. MAST cells release histamine, a chemokine that activates gut and brain neurotransmitters resulting in an “ITCH”. Histamine’s job is to activate white blood cells (WBCs) to stop foreign invaders, but when histamine is released by MAST cells that are activated in the absence of pathogens, the body begins fighting its environment. This rebellion causes global histamine imbalance in the body which sends the “ITCH” everywhere!

Imagine if you had an itch in your brain or gut that you couldn’t scratch..that’s how I imagine autistic kids feel every day!

When histamine is high, life altering symptoms can occur, and let’s not discount that histamine has a very vital job in the immune system, but;

  • If histamine is high in the skin >> eczema
  • If histamine is high in the lungs >> asthma
  • If histamine is high in the brain >> mood changes
  • If histamine is high in the gut >> allergies

STOP THIS MADNESS and heal the gut!!

  • Start by removing any chemicals or foods that trigger imbalance.
  • Consider probiotics (but discuss which strains or formulations are best for you).
  • Consider the removal of any and all potential allergens like molds, yeasts, preservatives, chemicals and sugars (which paralyze the immune system, later causing an over shoot and furthering improper balance), for the environment. Of course in most cases this cannot be done overnight but slowly phasing out will improve symptoms quickly!

Once the body is healed, as each healing process is different; many previously offending agents may be able to be reintroduced back into the environment! Make simple and effective changes, support body balance and start your healing today.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997632

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721702_2

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/912781-treatment#d10

 

 

 

 

First Foods for Babies with MTHFR

 

In conventional medicine there is a gross disconnect between our health and our food.  It is always important to remember each and every thing we consume affects us in some way. This is ever so apparent in our babies, who have immature detoxification systems and immune systems. So why is the “general consensus” to offer complex nutrient poor foods, often times before the baby is even ready to digest them?

First foods are so important for baby! But “offering food before age one is just for fun” which means that the bulk of nutrients for babies under 1 year of age should be from breast milk (The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then concomitantly with nutrient dense food until the age of 2). Formula in many cases poses a problem for families affected by MTHFR, as most formulas are fortified with folic acid. Folic acid should be avoided in all individuals with MTHFR, since individuals with MTHFR lack the proper functioning of their enzyme to properly convert the synthetic folic acid into usable folate for the cells.  

Always look for signs of readiness in a baby to be sure their digestive system is ready for food.

A-Baby-Sitting

Be sure baby is:

        • sitting up nearly unassisted
        • Has teeth or is actively teething
        • Shows an interest in food or chewing
        • Has begun to develop a pincer grasp

Some of the best recommendations for first food are avocado and sweet potato. Avocado is a folate rich food, which helps the body methylate properly. Generally parents will alternate these foods for up to 3 months before introducing other foods. When a baby is teething or gets a cold they may lose interest in food and prefer to just nurse for a while. If baby is voracious and very interested in food then parents may consider advancing the diet slowly.

General rules of thumb for food introduction include:

  • Introduce one food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.
  • Be an example for your baby by also choosing these foods or offering them off your plate so baby feels included.
  • Start with Orange veggies followed by Yellow veggies followed by green veggies; fruits can be introduced as well after this time, avoiding the most acidic fruits such as oranges.
  • Of course, when the time is right lots of green, folate rich veggies can be delicious and nutritious for baby, Folate stores help the body methylate properly, reducing the complications with MTHFR.                                                                                                                 squash

Most babies tolerate high quality meats and fish with scales by around a year of age, which is perfect timing as iron stores drop as baby lays down muscle and brain tissue quickly during development; This can lead to a diagnosis of anemia.

With MTHFR food introduction may be a bit more complicated if a tongue tie has gone undiagnosed. These babies may show little interest in food or eat a lot and then appear to be in distress. It is always wise to have a tongue tie issue assessed and addressed as early as possible. Remember, tongue tie and lip ties are midline defects, defects that should be “prevented” with proper folate dosing, however in individuals with MTHFR, or who have been counselled that folic acid and folate “are the same” may experience these issues with a higher incidence; people with MTHFR have trouble converting their folate into a useable form.

In general supplements are not recommended for babies under the age of 2, however speak with your provider about individual needs.

What foods to avoid?

  1. Avoid offering any processed foods, many of which have added synthetic folic acid.  Instead eat  and offer whole foods to your baby with no added chemicals or preservatives.
  2. Avoid using plastics if possible, BPA is banned in baby products but that doesn’t mean it disappeared. It has been found in breast milk in multiple scientific studies.
  3. Babies with MTHFR often get diagnosed with reflux and are prescribed proton pump inhibitors, this depletes minerals, vitamin d and essential Vitamin B12 absorption. Visit your local chiropractor to get adjusted or visit your local holistic provider to have baby evaluated.
  4. If you do not have a MTHFR mutation but your baby does, parents should avoid synthetic folic acid and processed foods too. Folic acid can functionally cause you to have all the same problems as someone with a MTHFR mutation.

In closing, our genes (or mutations) do not define us; nothing beats a good diet, exercise, quality sleep and kindness, show this to your kids and your parenting investment will be returned in spades….

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime