Why Is Digestion Important?

Why Is Digestion Important?

Why Is Digestion Important?

Understanding the process of digestion is necessary before understanding what goes wrong in children with chronic disorders such as autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma. Digestion starts in the mouth. Each bite of food that enters the mouth mixes with saliva and is swallowed. A process of muscle contraction called peristalsis moves the partially digested food into the stomach, small intestines and colon, where enzymes and other juices work it further.    Enzymes, which are proteins responsible for many essential biochemical reactions, are vitally important for proper digestion. Enzymes act as catalysts, breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into simple forms that the body can absorb, burn for energy, or use to build or repair itself. As the body absorbs nutrients, toxins and other waste products finish the journey, exiting through the rectum as fecal matter.    How Long Does Digestion Take? This very complex process could take hours to days, depending upon many factors. Ideally food should not tarry too long in…

What's for Breakfast?

What’s for Breakfast?

What's for Breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! We’ve all heard that maxim. Manage Glucose Levels What is a “good” breakfast, and why is it so important, especially for kids with neurodevelopmental disorders and mood disorders? It’s all about glucose levels. Fasting for 10-12 hours between dinner and awakening in the morning triggers hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and acidosis. The Body Ecology Diet’s fourth principle is that too much acid encourages yeast overgrowth, viruses, parasites, and other unhealthy cells to thrive.  Prepare Children for Learning Research now proves the importance of a good breakfast to prepare children for learning. One British study explored the performance of 19 children, aged six to seven years over a four-week period. The children ate meals offering similar calories but different glycemic loads. (Glycemic load is how much a given food causes blood sugar to rise sharply.) Two to three hours afterwards, those who ate a low-glycemic breakfast performed significantly better on the tests…

The Folate Deficiency Connection

The Folate Deficiency Connection

The Folate Deficiency Connection

Laurette Janak discusses the connection of autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer and depression in this post about methylation and folate deficiency. Do you have a child with autism? A history of depression? A parent with Alzheimer’s?  Some discoveries I made might interest to you.  When I adopted my daughter, she was simply the girl I had always wanted. Little did I know what adventures her complicated medical issues would lead me into. Folate Deficiency My son Steven had been conceived through the help of nutritional therapies. I knew that because Emily had Down syndrome, vitamin therapy would be crucial for her. I read everything I could about her condition. Kent MacLeod at Nutri-Chem, the Canadian company whose nutrients for Down syndrome are known world-wide, called me a “one-woman research institute.”  I learned that children with Down syndrome have weakened immune systems and impaired folate cycles. Folates are products of complex biochemical reactions through which our bodies convert a vitamin found in green…

A Unique Approach to Healing

The Documenting Hope Project:  Grassroots Initiative Tackles New Childhood Epidemics by Beth Lambert One of the greatest paradoxes of our times is that the most affluent, resourced and medically advanced societies in the world also have the highest rates of chronic childhood illness. Obesity and diabetes, autism and neurodevelopmental delays, and digestive and allergic diseases were rare just a generation ago. Today those illnesses are impacting our children in epidemic numbers, and the social, economic and human costs are staggering. Our children are the “canaries in the coal mine” of national health. For their sakes, we must take action now. “The Fierce Urgency of Now” Some startling statistics: Rates of autism have risen over the last few decades from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50 children. Autism costs the United States $126 billion per year. Asthma affects 1 in 8 children, and as many as 1 in 6 African American children. Asthma costs the United States $56 billion per…

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Three years ago Jake’s parents sought out a clinic offering neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback that involves displaying a person’s brain waves on a computer screen and helping him control them. Jake would sit at a monitor with a sensor on his scalp, and whenever his brain achieved the calm, steady rhythms that normally eluded him, a Pac-Man would start gobbling black dots and beeping. Soon he was controlling the screen action at will, by recognizing the way it feels when the Pac-Man goes to work, and his brain was growing more stable. “It took care of his teeth grinding and sleep problems in two sessions,” says his mother. Within a week Jake was using scissors and developing a range of other fine motor skills. The number of seizures dropped, and his schoolwork improved dramatically. Benefits of Neurofeedback Called neurofeedback (or EEG feedback, because it uses an electroencephalogram), researchers in clinics, universities and even NASA are now working to refine…

Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Finally Connect the Diverse Medical Symptoms We Now See in Children With Various Health Problems?

By Alyssa Davi, Parent Advocate What is mitochondrial disease and why may it be important to my child with developmental delay, low tone, GI problems, seizures, feeding problems, failure to gain weight, autism, diabetes or neuro-psychiatric symptoms? Research connecting mitochondrial disease and many diverse medical problems is increasing.  Dr. James Anderson, the Director of Program Coordination at the National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that the NIH currently funds more than half a billion dollars in mitochondrial research. Researchers are linking mitochondrial disease with everything from diabetes, autism, mood disorders, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers. Why would mitochondrial disease be involved in such a vast array of disorders?  The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation states, Mitochondrial diseases are not one disease, but a group of metabolic diseases.  These diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized organelles present in almost every cell of the body Mitochondria are responsible for providing more than 90% of the energy needed…

Curious How Our “Evening of Inspiration” Went?

It was fabulous!  The Harmonie Club is a beautiful venue, and it was a fantastic setting for our “Evening of Inspiration”, which benefited the making of our Canary Kids Film Project, in which we will be taking 14 children with a known diagnosis of autism, ADHD, asthma, atopic dermatitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders and type 2 diabetes and providing free healing and recovery services to them while we film them for 18 months. You can check out pictures of the event here and here. We honored Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group, Deirdre Imus and Harvard pediatric neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert, author of “The Autism Revolution”, for their work in protecting the health of children.  Dr. Herbert and Dr. Russell Jaffe will be heading up the film’s medical advisory board.  Ken Cook wasn’t able to attend in person, but he made this thoughtful thank-you video for us that we are proud to share. Many members of the film’s…

Biomedical Testing for Autism, ADHD, SPD and Chronic Disorders

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder, Developmental Delay Resources Medical testing has changed dramatically over the last few years, despite our attempts to cling to the illusions of the past.  The familiar family doctor, who knew which test to order, to evaluate every possible problem, is long gone.  This blog post is about biomedical testing for autism, ADHD, SPD and chronic disorders such as asthma, allergies and mood disorders. Today, often a harried stranger is trying to serve too many patients while being relentlessly pressured by laboratories, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms to run tests, prescribe drugs, and save money, all at the same time. For the families of children with developmental delays, seeking medical care is more complex because there is no standard protocol for such a diverse population.  The tests sold to insurance companies-and, therefore, to you through your doctor because they are reimbursable – are useful for only a small percentage of the developmentally-delayed population. For instance,…

Preconception: Reflections from an Autism Mom

Preconception: Reflections from an Autism Mom

Preconception: Reflections from an Autism Mom

Jennifer Elrod, mother of a toddler boy who is in the process of recovering from mild autistic symptoms, speech delay and gross motor delay, tells us about the importance of preconception in this blog post. As the mother of a toddler who has developmental delays, symptoms of autism, and signs of mitochondrial dysfunction, when I look back at the year before I became pregnant, I have a list of “I wish I had dones” and “I wish I had knowns”. Many of the items on those lists can probably be dismissed. But even after weeding out the less rational fears and doubts, a few things remain. These remaining items can be dismissed on the basis of “don’t feel guilty” or “move forward”. But they can’t be dismissed on logical grounds as opposed to psychological grounds. My goal in looking back is to help somebody else. I have seen the women in the online forums asking other women what they wish…

Mia: Recovery from Autism

I am releasing this story here as a means to get this story out to as many people as possible.  I am a physical therapist for 14 years, a healthcare provider; I am a husband and a dad. I do not work in pediatric physical therapy.  That particular patient population is not my clientele, and I do not plan on specializing in pediatric physical therapy in the future. I have nothing to gain from this at all except for my colleagues in health care and the doctors who refer to me to think of me as a quack or a nut. That being said, I feel that it is my moral and ethical duty to share this story to you and anyone willing to take the time to read it.  It may help them or someone that they know. My wife’s sister’s son is autistic, I had an entire pediatric internship in pediatrics dealing with developmentally delayed children, some who…