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

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

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…

road to recovery sign

The “R” Word: Sensory Processing Disorder Recovery

road to recovery sign

You may or may not know my personal recovery story. I have recovered my 2 sons, now ages 5 and 7, from sensory processing disorder (SPD), asthma, allergies, acid reflux and eczema with a biomedical approach, which means correcting nutritional and hormonal deficiencies, removing toxicities and correcting gut dysbiosis. Most people don’t know that sensory processing disorder recovery is possible, but my sons have recovered from it. I’m still working on failure to thrive, mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism and persistent eczema in my older son. In addition, they both had developmental delays, and my older son had severe hypotonia as a baby. I have recovered from immune dysregulation, in which I had shingles twice, the worst case of poison-ivy ever, bronchitis (which I’d never had before), constant sinus infections and constant colds that would last 3-4 weeks at a time. My older son had immune dysregulation, too, when he was younger: he would go to preschool, get sick and be out…

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Because of my son’s failure to thrive, our pediatrician sent us to see Vicki Kobliner, a holistic nutritionist, who’s also on the board of Epidemic Answers with me. Given that Crane Man has constant fatigue and stomach pain, poor growth, mild sensory issues and developmental delays, Vicki suggested having preliminary tests for mitochondrial dysfunction done. Checking the levels of carnitine, lactic acid, pyruvic acid, alinine and lysine are easy preliminary screening tests that can be done from a standard blood-test lab like Quest Diagnostics. Having symptoms across 3 or more organ systems is suggestive of mitochondrial dysfunction. Crane Man’s developmental delay is a symptom of brain dysfunction; His GI problems and former acid reflux are symptoms of muscular dysfunction; His possible hypoglycemia is a symptom of liver dysfunction; His failure to thrive, fatigue and former unexplained vomiting are symptoms of system dysfunction. At this point, you’re probably scratching your head, thinking “Mitochondria, I vaguely remember something about that from high…

Failure to Thrive

Failure to Thrive

Failure to Thrive

“Failure to thrive” is when your child’s weight percentile falls to the 3rdpercentile or below or when it crosses 2 or more major percentile curves.  When either of these (or both, as in the case of my older son) happens, it’s an indication that the child is not growing as he or she should be. I could scream every time someone tells me that I’m not that big or my husband’s not that big, so my sons’ failure to thrive is something I shouldn’t worry about.  Or how about when I’m told to stop comparing my kids to fat American kids?  I’m NOT comparing my boys to other kids.  I’m comparing them to THEMSELVES.  That’s the point of a growth percentile curve.  A child is born at a certain height and weight, which puts them on a growth-percentile curve, and they should track that curve.  Otherwise, what’s the point of having these curves? For example, my older son was born…

How My Son's Sensory Processing Disorder Caused My Severe Health Decline

How My Son’s Sensory Processing Disorder Caused My Severe Health Decline

How My Son's Sensory Processing Disorder Caused My Severe Health Decline

Having a son with a developmental delay was very hard on me.  He didn’t walk until he was 20 months old. This was extremely hard for me because he didn’t walk until 3 weeks before his little brother was born, and I was having to carry him everywhere. I suppose the bright side is that he didn’t weigh a whole lot, given that he was also a failure-to-thrive baby. His sensory processing disorder turned him into a barnacle.  I felt as if he were permanently physically attached to me. It wasn’t so bad when he was younger, but after his brother was born, it was extremely difficult to deal with two small, crying children at the same time, who both wanted to be picked up and held at the same time. And then when our nanny left to have her own baby when my older son had just turned 3, his sensory processing and anxiety went full tilt. He was…

Acid Reflux in Babies:  Another Red Flag

Acid Reflux in Babies: Another Red Flag

Acid Reflux in Babies:  Another Red Flag

by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC, AADP Acid reflux in babies:  Both of my sons had acid reflux as babies.  Prevacid wasn’t the answer; undoing their gut dysbiosis was. When my younger son was born, he, too, was “fussy” and “colicky”.  He had an outright problem with nursing:  he refused to. When he would, he would shriek in pain or fill up so much (probably because he was starving) that he would throw it right back up. Again, this wasn’t a little “spitting up”; this was projectile vomiting and, by now, I had become used to having stains on the rug, chairs and clothes that simply wouldn’t come out. The pediatrician referred a lactation specialist who recommended that I cut out all dairy products from my diet.  She said that dairy was the most likely culprit in causing pain to my son. Probiotics Not Enough She also recommended that I take a probiotic, “the refrigerated kind, like they sell at Whole…

Failure to Thrive:  Red Flags All Over the Place

Failure to Thrive: Red Flags All Over the Place

Failure to Thrive:  Red Flags All Over the Place

Some of the first red flags I had from my older son were his failure to eat solid foods, his projectile vomiting any food or breast milk he did eat, and, later, his failure to thrive. It was so sad to watch my baby dwindle from being born at the 40th percentile for weight down to the 3rd percentile at the age of 18 months. He crossed three percentile curves on the way down; crossing two of them constitutes “failure to thrive”, but he also fit that definition by dropping below the 5th percentile curve. Where Were the Doctors? Where were his doctors in all this?  Again and again, different doctors told me, “He’s fine” and “There’s nothing to worry about”. They said this even when I told them that he would throw up after almost every meal and even though his weight percentile was declining.  They told me that because his height percentile was growing (for a few months)…

What Is Gut Dysbiosis?

What Is Gut Dysbiosis?

What Is Gut Dysbiosis?

Gut dysbiosis — this topic is the motherlode.  It’s one of the two core (in my opinion) reasons for the explosion of chronic childhood illnesses we see today. Gut Dysbiosis:  A Common Link Among the Epidemic of Children’s Chronic Illnesses First, let’s discuss the numbers behind this epidemic:  How many kids did you know when you were growing up that had autism, ADHD, acid reflux, allergies, asthma, developmental delays and/or mental health issues? I knew of only ONE child with any one of these in the whole time I went to school from elementary school to high school.  Now that I am a mom, I can tell you that it’s the rare child who does NOT have any chronic illnesses.  The statistics for today’s kids are staggering: 1 in 6 African-American children has asthma; 1 of every 8 children has it 1 in 5 children has allergic eczema 2-3 out of every 5 children have hay fever 1 in 3…

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Sensory Processing Disorder Symptoms

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

If I were to tell you that both of my sons have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), you might: a) ask, what is that? b) ask, how did you know that they have it? or c) not believe me unless you had met them – especially my older son – a few years ago. I believe that they are mostly recovered because of occupational therapy (OT) interventions over the course of a year and a half and because of ongoing naturopathic medicine and dietary changes. My goal here in this article is to help other parents understand what SPD is and what can be done about it. To answer the first question, people with SPD have a problem with the wiring from their nervous system to their brain; SPD is a neurological disorder.  SPD is usually more noticeable in kids; most adults have learned to compensate. Sensory Seekers and Sensory Avoiders There are two kinds of people with SPD: sensory seekers…

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Maria Rickert Hong‘s Children: Recovered from Sensory Processing Disorder, Acid Reflux, Asthma and Eczema, and getting healthier everyday! Let me tell you about my sons’ recovery from sensory processing disorder, acid reflux, asthma and eczema. I used to wonder a long time ago if these issues were related to each other and to their developmental delays, anxiety, failure to thrive and mitochondrial dysfunction, and now I know that they are. All of these issues are related to gut dysbiosis (in their case, a system Candida infection) and toxicity.  They are both full of heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium). My older son is at the 97th percentile for heavy-metal toxicity; my younger one at the 90th. They both got it from me when I was pregnant with them.  I didn’t find out until after my older son was over 4 years old that we were all full of heavy metals. My concerns about my sons’ problems were dismissed by all…