Author: Susan R. Johnson MD, F.A.A.P.
Published: May 28th, 2010
Updated: Feb 3rd, 2014
I) Restore normal beneficial intestinal bacteria and get rid of yeast
Read my article on the, "Leaky Gut Syndrome", as well as the excellent book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride from Cambridge, England. In my article and her book she discusses how our diets high in processed sugars, the use of frequent antibiotics, and chronic stress all destroy our healthy intestinal bacteria and allow yeast to excessively grow. The yeast steals and absorbs valuable minerals and vitamins from our food so we crave salt and it also absorbs simple carbohydrates (i.e. glucose) from our diet so our brain does not get as much sugar (glucose) for energy, causing us to crave sugar. We also crave sugar when we are B vitamin deficient. Because the yeast can burrow into our intestinal lining, it causes inflammation and therefore stomachaches after eating, drinking, before having a bowel moment, and/or when we are experiencing stress. This is because waves of contraction move along our small intestine and colon and if part of these intestines are inflamed, we experience pain when that segment contracts.
Certain unhealthy bacteria can also produce an endotoxin that destroys our intestinal lining and/or for some people, gluten proteins from wheat, rye, barley, and corn can directly trigger inflammation of the intestinal lining. This inflammation of the intestinal lining allows undigested food proteins and other foreign substances inside our intestine to move directly into our bloodstream, generating an immune response (i.e. allergy symptoms), and when severe, brain inflammation. Receptive and expressive language, as well as other sensory processing and learning pathways, also can be disrupted from this inflammation in the brain.
1) Take a good quality probiotic like Bio-Kult capsules (www.GAPSdiet.com) for 4 to 6 months at bedtime (especially after taking any oral antibiotic) to restore beneficial intestinal bacteria. The treatment dose is 2 to 4 capsules/day for children 2 to 4 years of age and 4 to 6 capsules/day for children 5 to 10 years of age. Older children and teenagers can take 6 to 8 capsules/day. This is an excellent probiotic formulated by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and can be ordered on-line by calling 800-899-3413 or going to the web site www.GAPSdiet.com. For adults I recommend taking 8 to 10 capsules of Bio-kult at bedtime, 1 capsule (30 to 50 billion organisms) of Trinity probiotics by Natrens, or 1 capsule (80 billion organisms) of Critical Colon probiotics by Renew Life.
When taking Bio-Kult, start with just 1/4 to 1/2 of capsule for the first week and then increase to 1 capsule at bedtime for the next week, followed by 2 capsules at bedtime for the subsequent week. Continue increasing the number of capsules each week until your child is taking the appropriate treatment dose at bedtime. It is best if your child can swallow the whole capsule with water or buried in applesauce since the stomach acid often destroys most of the bacteria if the probiotic is in powder or liquid form. If your child can't swallow the capsule then you will just have to open it.
2)Eat fermented foods like raw organic sauerkraut (containing cabbage, beets, carrots and ginger and sea salt). See the book, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon for recipes.
3) Make your own yogurt (see my "Leaky Gut Article") or Kefir.
II) Decrease the simple sugars in your diet that promote intestinal yeast growth
1) Avoid pasteurized fruit juices (eat whole organic fresh fruits instead), sodas, energy drinks, candy, muffins, processed flour etc.
2) Stop milk products for at least 1 to 2 months and see if nasal congestion, eczema, serous otitis, chronic sinusitis, mouth breathing, snoring at night, emotional reactivity, and/or behavior improves. Then add back milk products slowly (starting with yogurt) and see if nasal congestion returns, eczema worsens, snoring increases at night, or behavior changes. If you notice any changes, then stop all milk products for 4 to 6 months to give the "leaky intestinal lining" more chance to heal. Be sure and take probiotics at bedtime during this time. Make homemade almond milk to provide calcium. Also use ghee (butter without any milk protein) instead of regular butter. When restarting milk products start with yogurt and Kefir, since they are easier to digest and the casein protein is already partially broken down.
3) You may need to also stop all gluten containing grains as well, such as wheat, corn, rye, and barley, for 4 to 6 months since the gluten protein is very processed and therefore very hard for digestive enzymes to break down. Undigested gluten and casein (milk) proteins both can enter the bloodstream via an inflamed intestinal lining and their toxic breakdown products can trigger allergies as well as cross the blood-brain barrier and create speech, behavior and developmental challenges. Read the wonderful book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride called, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. In this book she recommends taking probiotics (containing beneficial intestinal bacteria) and going on a gluten-free (wheat, rye, corn, barley) and mostly casein-free (milk products) diet called the GAPS diet for at least 6 months to heal the intestinal lining (some children and adults need this diet for 1 to 2 years).
I recommend her maintenance diet, but be careful with the intro diet, which can cause children to go into ketosis and lose muscle if they are not getting enough sugar by eating juiced vegetables before fruits are added. This diet, along with taking probiotics, juicing vegetables and drinking lots of chicken mineral bone broth will usually stop all stomachaches in 1 month. Expressive and receptive language should also start to improve. It usually takes a little longer for eczema skin rashes to go away, tonsils to shrink, and/or serous fluid behind the ear drums and sinusitis to resolve. There are several web sites with great gluten free recipes. Also see the book called, The GAPS guide-Simple Steps to heal bowels, body and Brain" by Baden Lashkov at www.gapsguide.com.
4) Avoid all soy products unless they are fermented. Unfermented soy is also hard for the body to breakdown and causes many mineral deficiencies, including magnesium deficiency, thyroid abnormalities, and unhealthy estrogen effects. (See www.westonaprice.org)
III) Strengthen the Immune System so it is not so reactive
1a) Increase alkaline-forming foods (ie foods containing lots of minerals) in your diet. Especially eat lots of organic/biodynamic raw vegetables and pre-soaked, slow roasted almonds, since they have a high mineral content that neutralizes the acid that is generated when eating processed or sugary foods. Raw vegetables also contain enzymes that help to break down proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates.
b) Juice 12 large organic carrots, 1 organic green cucumber, 1 organic red beet with beet greens (leaves), 6 organic stalks of "dino" Kale (if available), 1 to 2 organic red apples, 1 peeled lemon and 1 peeled orange. Sometimes I add 2 to 3 large stalks of organic celery, but make sure the celery is not bitter because the bitter celery will really ruin the flavor of the drink so children won't drink it. Have children drink 8 to 12 ounces of this juice at least 3 to 5 times a week or even daily. I recommend that adults drink 16 to 32 ounces. This juice will provide lots of vitamins, mineral, antioxidants, and raw plant enzymes to better digest your food and even help to get rid of excess intestinal yeast. Drinking this juice will provide so many minerals for the body that the saliva pH will stay alkaline (7.0 to 7.4) the entire day so energy level will be high and the immune system as well as your brain will function more effectively.
Taking in lots of vitamins and minerals usually will stop the craving for sugar. We often crave sugar when we are B vitamin deficient. Most of our breads and sugary foods are depleted in vitamins by over-processing and cooking (cooking inactivates most vitamins). Whole Foods store has a juice bar where you can order a 16 oz drink containing beets, carrots, cucumber, parsley, apple and lemon (they sometimes have kale). On days that you juice your child does not need to take the Oxylent supplement containing extra vitamins and minerals (see #5).
c) Make a fiber smoothie by freezing the above pulp from your juicer overnight and blending it with fresh orange juice and a banana. Eat with a spoon. This fiber helps to get rid of intestinal yeast and nourishes the beneficial intestinal bacteria.
d) Eating lots of pre-soaked, slow roasted almonds (recipe in my book or on the web site) and turkey will increase serotonin levels, the good mood neurotransmitter. Also give your child a hearty protein/fat-containing snack, like almonds or turkey every 2 to 3 hours between meals to stabilize his or her blood sugar levels. Eating healthy fats will slow the emptying time of the stomach and therefore slow the rate and the amount of sugar that is absorbed into the blood stream via the small intestine. This lowers the amount of insulin secretion by the pancreas and lessens the chance of low blood sugar and cortisol secretion. Having yeast in the intestine and being in the fight/flight portion of the autonomic nervous system also cause the brain to rapidly use up the sugar in the bloodstream. Low blood sugar (i.e. low sugar to the brain) makes adults and children more irritable and tired and therefore less able to focus and pay attention. It also increases the likelihood of having "meltdowns" since it stimulates cortisol and other stress producing neurohormones from the adrenal gland.
e) Eat grass fed beef and free range, organically fed, chicken and turkey meats. These meats have more minerals and are less acidic.
f) Make organic, free-range, chicken bone broth soup (see the recipes in my book or on my website) to provide your child with lots of minerals (especially calcium and magnesium). The bone broth also helps to heal any inflammation in the intestinal lining. Usually if adults or children have stomachaches it is recommended that they drink about 1/4 cup before meals, or mix the broth into the food you are cooking. The chicken bone broth can be frozen in ice cube trays and then easily used when cooking. If you make the chicken-vegetable soup using the bone broth, the soup has lots of garlic and onions that also help to discourage yeast growth in the intestine.
g) Drink caffeine-free herbal teas (especially Liver Tea from Uriel Pharmacy) and drink lots of good quality water between meals. If you drink a lot of water during a meal, the water will dilute the stomach acid so you can not break down proteins that are in your meal very well.
h) Avoid or greatly reduce the highly acid forming (and mineral deficient) foods that are fried, overly processed, sugary, or microwaved. Also avoid most canned foods and foods containing high fructose corn sweetener, white sugar, or artificial sweeteners as well as coffee (use organic coffee and organic, water processed decaf instead), alcoholic beverages, and all soft drinks that consist of chemically derived substances or promote water loss. (According to an article I read, it would take 32 glasses of water with a pH of 7.0 to neutralize the acid created in our body from drinking one 12 oz can of Cola). Many soft drinks also contain phosphoric acid, which leaches out calcium from our bones.
i) Keep the pH of your saliva between 7.0 and 7.4 for good health. Test your saliva upon awakening and/or 2 hours after eating for a baseline reading. I use Vivid pH paper with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 that can be ordered from Micro Essential Laboratory in New York. Their phone number is 718-338- 3618 (www.MicroEssentialLab.com).
2) Increase Omega 3 fatty acids in diet, especially DHA and EPA. Many of us are deficient in these fats, and they are needed for brain development and myelination. When deficient in these fats, our hair is often dull and coarse and our skin is dry with "sandpaper-like bumps" along the upper arms. Eat wild salmon (avoid farmed fish). Take Nordic Naturals Arctic D3 cod liver oil or Nordic Naturals Fish oil, 1 tsp/day in the morning for adults and children, 6 years and older, and 1/2 tsp/day for children ages 3 to 5. I recommend Barleens flax seed oil for toddlers and infants. For both flax seed oil and fish or cod liver oil, one can mix the oil with softened organic butter/ghee and make a spread. I also mix cod liver or fish oil with 4 to 5 tablespoons of organic grape juice and stir vigorously to make "sparkle juice". (Nordic Naturals 1-800-662-2544).
If taking capsules containing the oil, make sure the concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin D 3 are fairly equivalent if these vitamins are added to the oil. Also make sure the capsules contain both DHA and EPA as omega 3 fatty acids. Be sure and have your child consume a few teaspoons of organic butter, Factor x butter (Weston Price recommended), and/or ghee (butter without the milk protein), during the same meal when taking the oil, since it helps the body absorb this oil. We need extra Vitamin D3 during the winter time in Northern California even if it is sunny outside since the low angle of the sun does not allow our body to make it easily.
3) Read the articles on my web site or in my book on nutrition, especially the article "More About Nutrition" that talks about cooking with healthy fats like coconut oil and ghee while avoiding partially hydrogenated (trans) fats, like corn oil, and cooking with canola oil. Even olive oil should be used cold and not for high temp cooking. The cookbook Nourishing Traditions is also a great book to read. Just reading the first 75 or so pages of this book in addition to the pages about wheat give an excellent review of nutrition. My entire 6 week course in Switzerland, covering nutrition, is covered in this book. This book also discusses how to soak and prepare grains so they are more easily digested, and how to ferment vegetables like cabbage and beets to provide beneficial intestinal bacteria, and provides homemade yogurt and kefir recipes.
4) Increase magnesium in your diet by eating soaked/slow roasted almonds, green colored pumpkin seeds, kale, seaweed, spirulina, and mineral bone broth (See my recipes for chicken vegetable mineral bone soup and detox vegetable bone soup as well as Nourishing Traditions. Magnesium along with Vitamin D3 is required for calcium absorption in the bones and teeth. One of the main causes of dental decay is magnesium deficiency. Magnesium also calms the nervous system. The production of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters is dependent on magnesium as well as other minerals and vitamins. Magnesium also supports adrenal gland function.
Magnesium deficiency can cause increased anxiety, fears, panic attacks, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, coronary artery spasms, and even seizures. Magnesium deficiency also causes constipation because it slows down intestinal peristalsis. It contributes to attention problems and mood swings, and magnesium is crucial for detoxification of heavy metals like mercury, lead, and aluminum. Leg and foot cramps, "growing pains", and the restless leg syndrome also result from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supports sugar metabolism and insulin secretion, and therefore magnesium deficiency causes insulin and glucose to build up in the blood, contributing to diabetes types I and II. Fatigue is one of the earliest symptoms because magnesium is a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions throughout the body and in the immune system. Therefore, magnesium deficiency can predispose us to infections and even cancer. I sometimes recommend the supplement "Calm" (containing ionized magnesium only). Usually I recommend 1 generous tsp/day for children and 2 tsp/day for adults, mixed in cold or warm water and taken orally in the afternoon. Another way to get extra magnesium into the body is to take a bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate crystals) or magnesium chloride crystals.
5) I usually recommend that children and/or adults who are vegetarians take a sublingual (dissolves under the tongue) Vitamin B12 (methyl and not the cyano form), Vitamin B6 and methylated folic acid combined pill, 2 times a week if a child and daily if an adult. Wellgenix makes the best tasting combined, dissoluble Vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid pill. Even If children drink juiced vegetables several times a week, I still have them take this Vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid supplement under their tongue because juiced vegetables/fruits usually do not contain Vitamin B12. If children will not drink the veggie juice then I have them take Oxylent, instead, which also contains Vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
While children are gluten-free or if children are in their stressed nervous system or have clinical symptoms for having lots of yeast in their intestines (which act like parasites and steal all their vitamins along with the minerals from their food), I recommend that they take the powdered vitamin and mineral supplement called Oxylent for several months. I usually recommend that children drink 1/2 of the adult packet/day mixed in 8 to 12 ounces of water while adults can take 1 whole packet/day mixed in 16 ounces of water. A full packet of Oxylent (by Vitalah 877-699-5368) contains 1000 IU of Vitamin D3. It also contains the methyl form of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Folic acid and several other B vitamins. I would not exceed 1500 IU of Vitamin D3/day in children (remember taking 1 tsp of Arctic D cod oil will provide 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 and 1/2 of a packet of Oxylent provides an additional 500 IU of Vitamin D3, which is fine).
6) Do Therapeutic Eurythmy movement therapy, specifically the Allergy Sequence ("T", "S", "R", "M", and Curative "Ah") to strengthen the immune system and metabolism.
7) Biodynamic cranial osteopathy treatments will help children drain fluid from the middle ear (serous otitis) by relieving any cranial compressions that are compressing the Eustachian tubes or altering the angle of the tubes so they cannot drain adequately after a cold. This is what causes serous fluid to accumulate behind the ear drums (Check the website www.JamesJealous.com for osteopathic physicians in your area that do biodynamic cranial treatments).
8) Consider trying NAET (an energetic elimination of the immune systems allergic response to specific proteins in our food and environment).
9) Try Myristica Sebiferra pillules to prevent sinusitis and Levisticum pillules to prevent ear infections, both from Uriel Pharmacy. Uriel Pharmacy,Weleda Pharmacy, True Botanica, and Standard Process all have good products for supporting the immune system, liver, and adrenal glands and for preventing and treating allergies and their complications (See my "Home Remedy" article and LILIPOH's Home Remedy Guide).
IV) Children may need a dental consult for an "ALF" appliance
An ALF appliance acts to re-expand the upper jaw since chronic allergies cause the adenoids and tonsils to enlarge which can obstruct air flow and cause mouth breathing. Breathing through the mouth will cause the upper palate to arch up, narrowing the jaw and crowding the teeth.
Finally, get plenty of "liver" sleep before midnight (so the liver can store the sugar that your brain needs in order to function well the next day and to avoid the second wind of energy that depletes the sugar stored in your liver that night); walk or hike 45 minutes in nature every day; do relaxing rhythmic movements like swimming, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, or Eurythmy; meditate; read inspirational books (such as Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson et al. or Parenthesis in Eternity by Joel Goldsmith) and poetry; practice Rudolf Steiner's, "First Steps in Inner Development" exercises; do the things you love such as art, music, handcrafts etc.; put your life into rhythm and develop healthy routines (read Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for ideas); practice being in the present moment by spending lots of time in nature and learning to say "Yes to what is"; listen to Eckhart Tolle's wonderful CD's called "Entering the Now" or the "Findhorn Retreat" which can be ordered through www.soundstrue.com; All of these things along with keeping your body warm, keeping your sense of humor, connecting with others, focusing on gratitude and positive thoughts, and eating healthy foods will decrease stress and strengthen the functions of your immune system, liver, adrenal glands, heart, and the clear thinking of your mind.
Just for your information: You can see why I recommend taking Oxylent for a few months when you read the article, "Violence and Nutrient Deficiencies" in the journal, Wise Traditions, Spring edition, 2013 (published by The Weston A. Price Foundation).
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 (which is made by our intestinal bacteria if our intestines are healthy) causes irrational anger, fatigue, weakness, amenorrhea, soreness in arms and legs, diminished reflexes, mood changes, mental slowness (Alzheimer's), a red sensitive tongue, tingling and shooting pains in extremities, numbness, sensory hallucinations, paranoid symptoms, ringing in the ears, headaches, irritability, memory loss, nervousness, and palpitations. Vitamin B12 is in grass fed meats (assuming the animal has healthy intestinal bacteria to produce it), brewers yeast, egg yolks (lightly cooked since heat denatures the vitamin), alfalfa, raw organic milk, and miso. Deficiencies occur in vegetarians and vegans with low animal protein intake and individuals with the "Leaky Gut Syndrome."
Vitamin B6 is involved in the "metabolism of amino acids and for maintenance of the immune system. It is also necessary for the process of methylation, which is critical for mental health." A deficiency of Vitamin B6 causes acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, carpel tunnel syndrome, depression, seizures (epilepsy in children), crohns disease, cracked sores on mouth, dandruff, headache, irritability, violence, fatigue, hyperactivity, calcium kidney stones, learning disabilities, muscle fatigue and pain, nausea with pregnancy, neuritis, PMS, schizophrenia. stress ulcers, toxemia during pregnancy, joint pain, water retention, infertility to name a few. Vitamin B6 is needed to make serotonin, the good mood transmitter along with the mineral magnesium. Avoid any deficiency by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Folic acid deficiency causes acne, anemia, canker sores, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, sore red tongue, irritability, hostility, headaches, immune weakness, neuropathy, periodontal disease, poor appetite, restless leg syndrome along with magnesium deficiency, seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) along with Biotin deficiency, poor memory, growth impairment, insomnia, weakness, and digestive disturbances. Microwave cooking destroys this vitamin along with many others. Avoid any deficiency by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) deficiency impacts the hypothalamus and impulse control. "Symptoms of deficiency include depression, irritability, confusion and loss of memory. Chronic deficiency results in paralysis and insanity. Marginal deficiencies cause impulsiveness, high irritability, aggressiveness and sensitivity to criticism. People who eat foods with mostly empty calories such as sodas, fast foods, snack foods and alcohol are at risk for B1 deficiency. Thiamin is found in animal foods and selected seeds."
Niacin (Vitamin B3) deficiency, also known as pellagra causes "diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia-The three D's. The psychotic (schizophrenic like) symptoms are variable and sometimes can precede the diarrhea and dermatitis. Subclinical (mild) symptoms include anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, fatigue, headaches, insomnia and hallucinations. Niacin is found in fish, liver, meats and bacon. It is also now added to processed grain products." Our bodies can synthesize niacin from the amino acid, tryptophan, which we need from our diet. Good sources of Tryptophan include cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, shellfish, peanuts and eggs. The whey component of raw milk is an excellent source of tryptophan because the protein has not been denatured (i.e. destroyed) by heat (i.e. pasteurization)."
Zinc mineral deficiency (or copper excess) will cause white spots in the nails, frequent colds, sore throats, hypertension, fatigue, memory impairment, infertility, environmental sensitivity, impaired night vision (along with vit A deficiency), slow growth by interfering with growth hormone production, weakened muscles, slow wound healing, and impair the senses of taste and smell among many other symptoms. We need about 15 mg/day and 50 mg/day to make a sore throat go away if you catch it early enough. I don't recommend more than 50 mg/day and usually recommend 25 mg day if a child or adult is deficient.
Zinc occurs in grass fed beef, organ meat and the dark meat of chicken or turkey. It also occurs in egg yolks, salmon, sardines, oysters, crab, unsweetened cocoa powder, raw wheat germ, dried yeast, cashews, pecans and dates. During the winter or at the first sign of a cold, I recommend sucking on Elderberry/Zinc herbal lozenges by Zand with 5 mg of zinc gluconate/lozenge. Oxylent also contains 15 mg of zinc. Zinc can upset an empty stomach so have after food and don't take it the same time as an iron supplement (which is why Oxylent does not contain iron).
According to Weston Price Journal, "Vitamins A and D3 support the absorption of zinc and zinc supports the absorption of all the fat-soluble vitamins. Many of the proteins involved in Vitamin A metabolism and the receptors for both vitamins A and D3 only function correctly in the presence of zinc." Zinc is also rapidly depleted if we are consuming lots of breads, pasta, sugar or other simple carbohydrates since it is a cofactor in sugar metabolism pathways along with the mineral, magnesium and several B vitamins.
Vitamin C deficiency causes nose bleeds, sore gums, slow wound healing, weakness, mouth ulcers, loose teeth and decrease bone growth. Orange juice that is pasteurized will deactivate the Vitamin C so unpasteurized orange juice from Trader Joes or freshly squeezed orange juice is the best. Vitamin K2, which is produced by the beneficial intestinal bacteria along with Vitamin B12, is involved in the formation of myelin in the brain and cell growth. It can affect psychomotor behavior and cognition.
According to the Weston Price Article, "Vitamin A deficiency results in problems with spatial learning and memory and may lead to dopamine receptor hypo-activity and typical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as flat affect, apathy and lack of insight, as well as hallucinations and delusions. Low levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with increased risk of depression and panic...Vitamin D3 affects portions of the brain involved in learning and memory as well as motor control (since there are many Vitamin D3 receptors in the brain). Vitamin D3 is very much involved in production of serotonin, the molecule of will power and delayed gratification. Decreased serotonin activity can lead to an inability to create and act on well-formed plans. Bright light going through the eyes increases serotonin production sunglasses block this effect- and sunscreen blocks the vitamin D3 formation in the skin." This is why I recommend Nordic Naturals Arctic D cod liver oil that contains both Vit. A and Vit. D3 in addition to omega 3 fatty acids for brain myelination.