My opinion on supplements has evolved over the years. When I first ventured into natural living, I thought supplements were okay. Then, I started feeling like you could get all the nutrition you need from food. Now, I feel like supplements are instrumental in healing and in many cases, needed. We did the GAPS diet for 9 months basically without any supplements at all and we did see healing. But I believe we can see optimal healing when we combine nutrition along with targeted supplements for whatever you may be dealing with. Basically, because of the way our food quality has diminished and the toxins which we are exposed to daily, our bodies often deficient in nutrients that are quickly remedied through a simple supplement. I do not think all supplements should be lifelong "prescriptions." Rather, I think that by eating a properly balanced diet, you can supplement until your body is back in balance and then cease supplementation. Supplements will help your body restore its natural levels and hopefully after a few months, you can rely on food for your nutritional needs. There may be some cases where supplementation needs to be on a long term basis. I also believe that there are some core supplements that everyone should consider taking.
Here are the supplements we are using at this time to help fight the overgrowth of yeast we are experiencing.
Olive and Maude are taking this herbal supplement for their yeast. It's natural and gentle. They get three dropperfuls in the morning and three in the evening.
This is a powdered multivitamin/mineral supplement made specifically for children on the autistic spectrum. I got it from my doctor. All of the kids get this supplement daily in juice. Store bought juice is not the healthiest but it is the only way I can get this supplement down my kids, as it isn't very yummy tasting. I just put it in a small cup of juice, put a lid on, shake it, and add a straw. I tried adding it to applesauce and smoothies but that didn't go over well at all.
This is the B vitamin supplement I take. You can find a great price on Amazon. I like that it is made from whole foods. I take two per day and feel like it is helping my energy. I am also going to continue getting B complex shots from my doctor as I really feel like the first shot I got made a big difference in my energy.
These are the digestive enzymes we take. Max gets a chewable before meals and I take a capsule before meals (the girls don't get them). This helps the body break down foods and helps the nutrition absorb better.
We take one of these per day to help with immune function.
This is the current natural antifungal I am using to help kill my yeast overgrowth. Since yeast adapts well and is hard to kill, it's important to rotate supplements. I will use this until it's gone (it's about a 3 week supply), then switch to another supplement.
This is the yeast control pack that I'm using for Max. Each of these is a natural antifungal which you rotate through every five days.
These are the various probiotics we take. We take them before bed, preferably a couple of hours after eating. We just started the Body Biotics for the kids because I have heard they have worked well with children with autism. So far I haven't noticed anything positive or negative about them.
Biotin is supposed to be helpful in killing yeast so we also take one of these per day when I remember. We already had this supplement so I figured if it's helpful, we may as well try it.
We are not currently using this, but it's great for killing yeast. I am going to use this next for myself.
This has probably been the best supplement so far! Max started taking these A&I chewables about a week ago and I have noticed that his hives have DRAMATICALLY improved. His skin has been practically clear since beginning this supplement which is an absolute miracle. It contains natural elements to help inflammation and histamine release. I have the capsules for myself and am going to start taking them (but haven't gotten around to it yet).
This is Medium Chain Triglyceride oil. It is the same fatty oil found in coconut oil, only this is more concentrated. We got this from a naturopath who told us it is really soothing and healing to the gut. I don't remember to use this every day but we try to use it when we remember.
Many kids with autism or similar delays have trouble converting their B vitamins. This is a folate supplement that helps with that because it's in a more easily assimilated form. I haven't started Max on this yet but plan to soon. (I am giving time between starting different supplements so I can see what is and what isn't working).
For awhile we did so well at taking our cod liver oil, then we got lazy. Then, we were testing sensitive to fish so I haven't reintroduced it yet. However, this is so good for everyone and is something every single person should be taking. I plan to start this supplement again soon (in fact, I took my capsules today - I am a wimp when it comes to the liquid). This is so great especially for neurological function.
This is an herbal supplement to help with urinary incontinence. Max, at age 5, has a lot of trouble staying dry at night. I don't remember to use this supplement consistently but I try to use it to see if it will help. Has anyone had success with ways to keep your child dry at night? I know it can be hereditary and I know that I had problems too as a child (it runs in my family, as well). I've heard that it can be linked to constipation but I don't think that's a problem for Max. I have also heard it can be associated with yeast overgrowth so perhaps in treating the yeast, we will see this resolve as well. I'd love any tips that anyone has in this area!
Since we are on a restricted diet, we are also taking this calcium/magnesium supplement. Maude is the only one who takes this well. It has a chalky texture which is difficult for Max.
There are times when we use Melatonin at night to help with sleep issues. This is liquid and the kids take it orally straight into their mouth.
And ta-da. It sure looks like a lot of supplements! We don't use these all every single day but the most important ones that we never miss are our antifungals, our probiotics, the kids' multivitamin, and Max's allergy chewable. The rest we try to do well with but obviously there are times when I am not as on top of things. So far I have noticed a lot of improvement due to supplementation.
I recently found this summary of biomedical treatments for autism that I thought was great. It is really comprehensive. I have said it before but I know that because of the diet changes we have made and the supplements we've used, our little boy has seen dramatic improvements over the years. I can only hope that we will continue to see more improvements as time goes on!
In fact, I just scheduled an early intervention screening for little Olive because she is showing some potentially significant developmental delays. At nearly 19 months old, she isn't walking and only has one clear word (dada). She also doesn't babble. Her screening is next week and I am just hoping that we can get some therapy services for her to help her develop appropriately (I am confident that she'll receive services, per my phone conversation, if a child is not walking by 18 months they typically qualify). Add it to the list of my worries! Although I am trying not to over-worry, I do get worried when I really let myself think about it. However, because of what we've already faced and the knowledge I've gained, I feel empowered and I know that we can tackle whatever will come along.