Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good (Gut?) Stuff....

Adding links to a couple of *back in the early days* posts of mine (one, two, three). They provide a small window into the gut related stuff that started this journey.... And as I am reading them, it makes me sad that a lot of the same debates continue to go around and around and around (and that newly diagnosed parents/kids continue to have to deal with the same B.. S.. explanations I was fed).

What makes me happy though, is to realize how much Salamander has progressed since then...

BUMPING THIS ONE TO THE TOP. KATIE WRIGHT POSTED ON AOA TODAY ABOUT HER SON AND A HORRIBLE IBD FLARE TRIGGERED BY HIS ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES. IT FITS WITH THIS POST. And I know where Katie is coming from.. I was there between end July and end August (minus the diarrhea and the screaming, but plus, as is now very evident, the enormous *stool back-up* and the incredible mood swings/aggressive outbursts). Gut pain is the WORST.. and it doesn't matter if your child is non-verbal or verbal. Salamander is VERY verbal, but he still was not able to tell me that something was going horribly wrong inside of him....(not until now, as he's starting to feel better and is realizing once again, that how he felt is NOT how a person SHOULD be feeling).

And yes, I too was told, for many many many years BEFORE making changes to Salamander's diet, that all his gut issues were *behavioral*, and that he was *doing this to get attention* (and oh, do I remember the acid diarrhea and vomit...). I try to stay away from stating HATE for an actual living person. But I HATE that doctor for her ignorance and her blatant disregard for Salamander's suffering, and for what that ignorance and disregard ended up costing him...

As I wrote about here, Salamander and I are working on getting his gut bug situation back under some measure of control. And it hasn't been easy. He's taking some pretty powerful naturals, and he hasn't been feeling too good. I have tons of kidney and liver support on board too, but still, his body has had a hard time keeping up.

Sunday afternoon things looked pretty bad. His poor belly was so bloated, swollen and painful (inflammation? backed up with stool despite rigorous magnesium supplementation?) that he could NOT get the zipper of his shorts even halfway up. And his face looked puffy too.

So I spent quite some time researching on Dr. Yasko's parent board to figure out if there was anything I could do to, at a minimum, address the bloating. I found several suggestions, did some additional cross checking, and ended up making two changes in Salamander's supplement regime. I started these two changes on Sunday nite (and discussed with Salamander what the changes were and what I was trying to accomplish).

When he got up on Monday morning, I thought his belly was a little less protruding, and I asked him how he was feeling and how he had been sleeping. His answer: "I slept good, mommy, but I was sooooo gassy." [insert raucous laughter]

Made the same supplement change to the Monday morning batch. Salamander went off to school. When he came home, I again thought his belly was less protruding than it had been that morning. I asked him *the question* and Salamander told me he had been *pooping and tooting a lot* [I did ask him how the tooting bit went over in class. I was assured that all the boys in his class thought it was hysterical. Go figure]

Same supplement change on Monday nite. Tuesday morning, no doubt, Salamander's belly was a LOT less protruding. He now comfortably fit into his shorts!!!! Same supplement changes on Tuesday morning.

When I saw him this afternoon, his belly was almost FLAT (still a slight bulge just below the sternum). The difference in shocking. And the puffiness in his face is GONE! [and my dear friend C.R, who takes care of Salamander three afternoons a week after school, commented that Salamander had been *so good, the best I've seen him in a long time*]. And I too noticed a real difference in his demeanor tonite - very calm, clear, focused, helpful, cooperative, going with the flow, flexible ....[anybody else need proof of the gut-brain connection???].

As we went upstairs tonite, I asked him how his belly had been. And he reported on more *pooping and tooting*. I reminded him that if he feels the need to pass gas while he's in the classroom, he should make an effort to get to the bathroom to do so, and that, if that's not possible, he should try to minimize the noise. His response? "I try momma, but when it's gotta go, it's gotta blow."


Time for a little note to his classroom teacher, perhaps, eh? Don't want for Salamander to get labeled as *class clown*....

I'll keep the supplement changes going for a few more days. I hope the effects I'm seeing continue (I'll take the *pooping and tooting* any day over that big bloated, swollen, painful belly...)


At 12:37 AM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger daharja said...

My 3 year old son has just been diagnosed with mild ASD, and one of the things we have noticed but none of the mainstream docs seem to have a clue about is his poos (stools) are really runny, almost diarrhea all the time, and don't form properly.

We have him on the gluten free dairy free diet, which has helped his behaviour tremendously (which the mainstream docs also don't believe), but are running into brick walls about how to get his poos to normal/solid/properly formed.

Any ideas? Are we missing something? We're being very careful with the diet, and nothing is slipping past.

We're in a small city in NZ with few resources regarding ASD and treatments and cures for it, so any tips on what has worked for you would be welcome.

Also, if you know of any good online forums. We're just starting out on this journey, and everything is new.

At 9:19 AM, September 10, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

Petra, you said it! I'll never forget (after going to war against the yeasties) how Charlie's belly was flat - for the first time. He could move from elastic waist pants to snap or slide closures. It was amazing!

The latest attempts at the delicate art of balancing the gut issues (Dr. K) have been phenomenal. Charlie improves every day. I feel like this is one of the last few pieces of Charlie's "autism" puzzle.

Thanks for this post, I hope many people read it (I'm gonna put a link up on my site to this post, if you don't mind) and make the gut/brain connection.

:-) Happy Tooting Salamander!

At 1:15 PM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Jeanne - feel free to link/copy/steal/borrow this post in whatever way works best for ya.

Daharja - I will reply to your questions as soon as I have more time

(one of my projects blew up.. again..)

At 4:08 PM, September 10, 2008 , Anonymous Kimberly said...

Which two changes did you make to Salamander's supplement schedule? I am really glad the toxins keep flowing out through the poop and he feels and acts better. Oh yeah, gut/brain connection aint' no lie!!

At 9:13 PM, September 10, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Kimberly - I'll email you the changes off blog.

At 10:19 AM, September 11, 2008 , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Sweet boy!

The gut issues were so hard for us. Parents of typicals have no idea. You are a great mommy, listening to him, and to your intuition, and getting him on the right track.

The behavior is ALWAYS trying to tell us something. Any doctor who doesn't know that is not worthy of treating our kids.

At 10:20 AM, September 11, 2008 , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...


Have you looked into digestive enzymes?

At 10:38 AM, September 11, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Great suggestion on the enzymes, Michelle. Thanks!!!

And as to parents of typicals having no idea, you are so right. But the truly sad thing is that so many of the *typical* kids have gut issues too. But because their bodies are still kinda hanging on, and because there isn't substantial brain involvement (yet??), these issues get ignored or dismissed (my Potatey is a great case in point.. Completely NT, but definitely a MAJOR gut kid ..).

Frequent ear infections are NOT OK, frequent *stomach flu's* are NOT OK, frequent mystery viruses are not *because the kid's in daycare*. Nightime screaming sesssions for months on end are not a *night terror developmental stage*. Picky eating for months on end is NOT a *typical toddler behavior* developmental stage. Bed time joint pains, to the point of the child screaming in pain, are NOT *growing pains*. Seeing your child consistently hang with their lower belly over the edges of furniture is NOT a *sensory input seeking behavior*. Toe walking is NOT a *sensory behavior* either. If you have of this kind of stuff going on, INVESTIGATE THE GUT!!!!

(sorry for yelling, but I cannot stress this enough. I've lived the absolute horror of ignored gut issues and their far reaching consequences for far too long...)

At 11:05 AM, September 11, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

I'll yell...


At 10:01 PM, September 11, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petra i am also interested to know the two supplement changes u made , as i am also following yasko gut protocol and he does have a hard time with bloated stomach and jeans button not bucking

At 11:39 AM, September 12, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Ya know what? I'll post this story and the supplement changes I made on Dr. Amy's parent board. It'll be a longer post, as I need to provide some *this is the gut protocol we were following* context..He is on a LOT of naturals to deal with a variety of gut bugs..


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