Puberty Setback Update

I am happy to report that we seem to have gotten a handle on this issue. During puberty a lot can change with hormones and this is often when an adrenal or thyroid problems shows up or gets worse. In our case it got a lot worse. Treating his thyroid with prescription desiccated thyroid and raising his adrenal support really helped a lot.

Something I’ve noted over the years is that you can’t really make a dent in reducing adrenal symptoms if there is a low thyroid condition that isn’t treated. Thankfully we found a practitioner willing to work with us in doing that.

Puberty Setbacks…it’s real tho

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Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that is more common than most people think. It’s isn’t  diagnosed often because it is not Addison’s Disease which is adrenal failure. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about adrenal fatigue because I was diagnosed with it by my functional MD after suffering for years with symptoms.

Prior to diagnosis I had begun learning about it because it is such a common facet of having mercury poisoning that both my children also have it. It was rampant on the forums and it was being missed by many practitioners. That’s easy to understand when it’s not something most people, even doctors know a lot about. It seems to be a modern ailment attributed to our toxic environments and stressful modern lives.

Certainly I didn’t know anything about it either until I began researching it. When I did was surprised how many symptoms it causes and how many health conditions are linked to having poor adrenal function.

I also learned how to naturally treat it which alleviates symptoms while you work on other health issues like getting that mercury out safely. (Andy Cutler chelation)

Most children and many adults with mercury toxicity have low cortisol and suffer from adrenaline related symptoms like high histamine/allergies, anxiety attacks, shortness of breath, asthma like symptoms, and panic attacks. They may also suffer from insomnia, or wake up at night sweating with their heart pounding.

Adrenal function is almost always taxed in anyone with a low thyroid, and this becomes more evident when they start thyroid medications. The symptoms they experience make them think they can’t tolerate thyroid medication but really, it’s their adrenals that need help.

Basically, life is just miserable for all involved. Having a child that melts down over nothing, is sensitive to everything just isn’t fun for anyone including the child.

My son was sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, smell. He was prone to anxiety that would cause him to hide in a stressful situation. We called this “turtle mode” because he would just crawl under a blanket and hide. Other times we would see him completely freaked out before bed and he would not know what was wrong. He would not eat in the morning. He was either “queasy” as he said it, or simply said he didn’t feel hungry. This would go on until lunchtime and I would have to give him a bit of something sweet to alleviate the nausea enough so he could eat. I later learned what was really going on was that he was sick to his stomach in the morning.

Like all those mornings when I was in my 20’s driving to college or work with my head sticking out of the car window while driving to ward off the overwhelming urge to vomit. That was every morning. I woke up sick, every morning…. for years simply because my adrenals had tanked and no doctor I had seen recognized that.

I figured out a few months into starting chelation that both of my kids had bad adrenals, just like I did by symptoms and charting body temperatures.

We began adrenal cortex extract glandular, or “ACE” as it’s called on the forums.

Wow! Tantrums gone, no bedtime panic and he was hungry in the mornings!

I also used Bach’s Rescue Remedy for acute symptoms like that bedtime panic attack. I learned to keep this in my purse because it also soothed sensory meltdowns that would happen in noisy public places. Our primary intervention for this problem is adrenal cortex extract glandular. What adrenal cortex glandular does is provide nutrients for your own adrenal glands so they can rebuild. This improves their functioning.

My son has had several lengthy periods in our chelation journey where he was off of ACE for months and did not have any symptoms return. But unfortunately we have not been able to stay off ACE yet. He was doing well on one 350mg capsule in the morning until he entered puberty and his low thyroid status became glaring prominent.

He really seemed to be regressing slightly, his sleep was a wreck, he was tired during the day but all in all what had happened was chaos in the endocrine system with puberty. He began to need thyroid medication and more adrenal support. It took some time to get things balanced out but once you get enough thyroid medication, the need for adrenal cortex glandular is reduced but usually still needed.

Many are often afraid to use this glandular thinking it will somehow affect hormones or that it contains hormones but it is not the same as taking hydrocortisone or prednisone. I’ve often seen articles on doctors websites warning about the use of ACE and talking about it like it’s hydrocortisone. I think the key to understand is that glandular is freeze-dried animal gland, similar to eating meat. Cultures have eaten organ and gland meats for many centuries knowing they nourished the body and helped provide nutrients to rebuild and strengthened our own bodies. This is what ACE does.

I’ve found it rare to be able to skip using ACE and still effectively support adrenal fatigue in most people/children. It’s been my experience that adaptogenic herbs simply don’t work the same in everyone. They help some, but they don’t target the adrenals specifically and sometimes they cause side effects instead of alleviating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. There are a few other support options but if they don’t cut it, ACE really should be considered. (B5, B6, vitamin C, cordyceps, rhodiola)

 

Dear Plebotomists and nurses….

We had labs drawn today. Every time we do I see a problem that is facing most of us with older children who might be either on the spectrum, developmentally delayed or have sensory issues that interfere with their response to medical and dental treatment. (trust me, sensory kids are terrible when it comes to dental or medical things and you can’t really blame the. They feel everything a hundreds times more than we do)

For my child blood work is rough. It elicits nightmares days before it is going to be done. Unfortunately this all comes from a bad experience in a hospital ER when my son was young. I’ve been told by some lab techs that they hear this story all too often and it doesn’t have to happen with the right training to work with children. I agree because it’s left him with a life long fear of needles.

I do tell each tech ahead of time that my son has anxiety with blood draws. Sometimes they listen to me and sometimes like the least time, they say stupid things like “you’re a big boy, there isn’t any need for this” while my child is hyperventilating. Then I must step in and talk to him and calm him down.  Anxiety is anxiety folks regardless of how “big” one is, otherwise adults wouldn’t get it. Once you have been traumatized by something….fear is a normal expectation.

So what I wish to convey to those in the this field or the medical community is not to judge what a person can handle based on their size or age. Don’t assume. I’m there with him for a good reason during this process. He might look like he’s nearly an adult, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a valid terrifying fear about the experience.

Thankfully, I can get him through blood draws but you must let me do that because I know him better than you do. I know what works. I  talk to him and distract him with an in-depth conversation about something he has an interest in. Distraction is your friend on this one!

What does help:

  • Distractions! Please talk about anything but needles and blood work
  • Make it a point NOT to show him all tubes and the needle unless he asks
  • Please go step by step verbally and tell him what you are doing before you do it and leave out terror words like “poke”, “stab”, “pain”
  • Keep the tourniquet on the LEAST amount of time you have too, this is a very disturbing pain sensation for sensory kids. He says it’s worse than the needle stick.
  • Use a butterfly needle, it hurts less because it’s not moving around when you change tubes.
  • Please don’t assume or judge when a 14-year-old (or older) needs mom in the room. Trust me, you want me there. I know how to calm him down.

None of our jobs are easy and it is hard for medical personnel to know our kids have these issues when they might otherwise look “OK” until they are in the blood draw chair.  Labs could help by keeping their ped specialized techs in the same locations instead of rotating techs. A trust of sorts get build when you have the same lab tech each time. You know what to expect!

We’ve had some great and very patient labs techs, but we don’t always get the same one. This time was not the best experience for him because he had a different tech and she put the tourniquet on and then says “I’ll be right back” and runs out of the room. Then I’m left with a panicking child that is losing control because it’s hurting a LOT.  Then he’s all worked up and we haven’t even done the puncture yet or collected the blood.