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…

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The “R” Word: Sensory Processing Disorder Recovery

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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…

Nutrition and Autism

Nutrition and Autism

Nutrition and Autism

by Vicki Kobliner MS RD, CD-N Nutrition and autism:  Mention the words “nutrition” and “autism” and many people quickly but exclusively think of gluten and casein free diets (GFCF). While this diet has certainly helped to improve the symptoms of autism for many children, there is far more about nutrition and its relationship to autism that every parent should know before embarking on the complex and often expensive journey into the world of biomedical therapies. Good nutrition is the cornerstone of growth and development for all children, healthy or ill.  When nutritional status is compromised it will directly affect a child’s progress, and for a child with a chronic illness like autism, the lack of critical nutrients can have far reaching effects. Children with autism often exhibit a frustrating mix of picky eating behaviors and limited diets, bowel irregularities, food allergies or sensitivities and physical and behavioral signs of nutrient deficiencies.  A vicious cycle is created which goes something like…

How Not to Have a Child with Autism

How Not to Have a Child with Autism

How Not to Have a Child with Autism

by Jennifer Elrod, mother of a toddler boy who is in the process of recovering from mild autistic symptoms, speech delay and gross motor delay As the mother of a toddler who has developmental delays, ASD symptoms, 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”. Let me tell you how not to have a child with autism. 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…

Why Do 1 in 68 Children Have Autism Now?

Why Do 1 in 68 Children Have Autism Now?

Why Do 1 in 68 Children Have Autism Now?

Are you scared yet?  If you’re thinking of having children, you should be VERY concerned that the autism rate has gone from: 1 in 10,000 children in 1980, to 1 in 150 children in 2002, to 1 in 88 children in 2012, to 1 in 68 children in 2014.  That’s almost TWO PERCENT of the pediatric population! We’re not buying that this is due to better diagnosis.  Ask any teacher who’s been around for over 20 years, and he or she will tell you that, yes, children today have a far greater number of health, developmental, learning and behavioral issues than children did 20 years ago. We believe this is a profound epidemic affecting today’s children. It’s Not Just an Autism Epidemic We know that there isn’t just an epidemic of autism.  There are also epidemics of PDD-NOS, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, developmental delays, mitochondrial dysfunction, asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases and neurological, behavioral, digestive disorders. When will you wake up…

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…

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Getting Started on Recovery from Autism, ADHD, Allergies, Asthma & More

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How can I help my child get started on recovery from autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma and more –  from a chronic illness or underlying gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation? To get started, consider taking the following actions: Connect with other parents who are in the process of healing their children.  Other parents who have been through the healing journey can be the greatest of resources. Find a healthcare provider who understands this epidemic and can help you heal the underlying biological dysfunctions present in your child’s body.  Most providers experienced in recovering children from chronic illnesses come from the fields of functional, integrative, complementary, or natural medicine. Ask your provider to order diagnostic tests or biological analysis panels. Often, providers will start by ordering particular tests such as comprehensive IgE or IgG allergy panels to screen for food and environmental allergies and sensitivities.  Some providers suggest ordering diagnostic tests that look at various metabolic functions within the body. Ask your…

What Causes Autism?

Autism Causes

What Causes Autism?

Autism is a term used to describe a spectrum of disorders that are characterized by abnormalities in communication, socialization and behavior. Autism is still believed by many to be a psychiatric or behavioral disorder–a disorder whose origin is in the brain. In fact, autism is actually a medical disorder linked to severe impairments to both the immune system and the gastrointestinal system (among other biological impairments). The profound biological impairments found in the bodies of children with autism correlate with neurological and behavioral symptoms. Thus, by addressing the underlying biological impairments in a child with autism (especially with regard to the immune and gastrointestinal systems) improvements in neurological and behavioral function can be seen. What are autism causes? While no group of scientists, physicians or researchers claim to know “the” cause of autism (especially since it is likely to be many variables that are different for each child), many autism experts are beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle into…

Immune Dysregulation

Immune Dysregulation

Immune Dysregulation

Although there are many environmental factors that contribute to chronic illness in children, one of the most important outcomes of all these environmental influences is a dysregulated immune system. A dysregulated immune system simply means that an individual’s immune system is not working properly.  Here are some examples of what happens when an immune system malfunctions: It can over-react to innocuous stimulus (like cat dander) and cause symptoms like sneezing or itching. It can attack its host’s own cells and tissues (like what happens in an arthritic joint).  This is called autoimmunity. It does not have the ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful substances that enter the body. It cannot effectively combat pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes (germs!) that invade the body. It can keep the body in a heightened state of “attack” causing inflammation and oxidative stress which can lead to disruptions in cellular functions and operations. The immune system is how the body defends itself from harmful substances in the…