Kids that don’t take pills

Many parents easily teach their young children to swallow pills. The sooner you can do this, the better. However, there are a subset of sensory or oral motor kids that just can’t seem to manage this task. It’s a very stressful for them and their parents.

That is our case. Every time we talk about helping my child learn this he gets very upset. It deeply stresses him because anytime he’s tried, it’s not ended well. He gags and/or vomits. He is very sensitive to tastes and smells. He gags terribly for tooth brushing or dental care.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles and you have to come to terms that your child just can’t do it right now. This doesn’t prevent you from chelating and giving supplements but you will have to be more creative than other parents.

We have so many more product formulations today than we had when I first started this and that has made it easier over the years.

I’m going to share what has worked for us. Maybe it will inspire you and help you find what will work for your child.  All in all, don’t give up, keep trying and make sure you taste the things you expect your child to take. I found out that often when he refused to take something it was because it really did taste horrible. So check!

When we started biomed he would not take a medicine syringe. He would scream, cry and vomit up whatever you gave him. The syringe was a very feared object for him and without any due cause since he did not have any previous experience with them.

How you approach kids like this is going to take some creative thinking and patience. A medicine syringe needs to be introduced slowly and in a fun way if you plan to use that. I detail the process I used in this blog post.

In the early days I was able to take one of those small juice boxes and remove some of the juice (so it doesn’t overflow when you add the vitamins). I would mix all the supplements into it and squirt it back into the box. For the life of me I have no idea how he drank this because it didn’t taste good but he did. Then one day it seemed like his tongue woke up and he refused to take it anymore. It is fairly common to have to adapt things periodically on this journey.

I moved to a variety of flavored and unflavored powders and mixed those into food and juice.

His night-time syringes didn’t last long for chelation either. From that point I moved to using miniature peanut butter cups to give chelator and a few of his supplements. Not all of them of course. He only gets 2 of these on any given day unless he is on a round.

When I use peanut butter cups for chelation, I add some extras things so he gets everything he needs. Vitamin C, magnesium, GSE, vitamin E or milk thistle all have passed the sensory taste test when mixed into the peanut butter filling with chelator. Many might be concerned about sugar on the teeth at night but I had to let go of this worry in order to chelate him. If this concerns you, you will need to work at figuring out what oral/motor issue is preventing capsule swallowing and find appropriate therapy.

What we are using now for supplements:

Bear in mind what I have listed here is just what my son has to be on right now.  These are the products I found that he will take willingly. I am sure they are many others you can use. (look for the best absorbed forms of a vitamin or mineral)

Most important!!! You don’t need all of these to chelate. My goal was to demonstrate that even with this list you can figure out a way to make it work. The essential vitamins for chelation are: vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Those can all be given in powder, gummy or chewable form except vitamin E. It does not come in any of those but the gel caps are easy to puncture and mix the oil into nut butter.

Key Points to Remember:

    • Taste it! Make sure what you are asking them to take is reasonable.
    • Magnesium citrate is bitter and hard to hide.
    • Fish oil is better flavored and cold.
    • Vitamin C powder is tart, best in juice.
    • You can add calcium powder to pancakes and baked goods
    • Vitamin A, C and E are probably best not heated or cooked with.
    • Keep your probiotics at least 4 hours away from your antifungals. (everything else can be taken as it fits into the 4x a day schedule)
    • Zinc is always better with meals. It can cause nausea otherwise although I don’t find the sublinguals to do this for us.

You will find what works for your child. Just start with the basic four because sometimes once you start chelating, taking supplements becomes easier for them. Keep in mind,  zinc deficiency can be a primary reason to refuse food and supplements, so sometimes addressing this first will help.

Most of all, don’t give up! Don’t think you can’t chelate because your kid won’t take pills. It’s simply not true.

 

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More pieces of the puzzle (updated)

I decided to find a holistic physician that works with children to help us sort out what is going on with my son the past few months. While things change with puberty onset, I see things that tell me this is more than just puberty. I wanted to rule out nutritional deficiency and make sure this thyroid was working. I also wanted to see she could help us figure out this mysterious sensory thing.

I’ve noticed he became very tired the past few months even though he was sleeping sometimes 10-11 hours. He isn’t sleeping like he used too either. He’s up until past midnight, wide awake but his eyes are blood-shot (he is tired, but wired). He says his brain is too busy to sleep. Then of course good luck getting him up in the morning if he went to sleep somewhere between 12:40am and 3am. Worse yet, if he was sleeping before midnight, he was waking up sometime after 3am and unable to sleep. Plus..he just looks pale to me.

We spent over an hour with the new doctor going over everything from birth to now. I had to fill out a very extensive list of questions about everything from my pregnancy, his birth, his development, what he eats, his sleep schedule, his mood…etc. I was already impressed because any doctor we have seen in the past has never really looked at the full picture and history.

These are the labs the doctor ordered:

  • Comp Metabolic Panel
  • Ferritin
  • Free T3
  • Insulin
  • Fasting glucose
  • DHEA sulfate
  • Fibrinogen
  • Reverse T3
  • Pregnenolone
  • MTHFR
  • RBC Magnesium
  • Candida IgA/IgG/IgE auto-antibodies
  • 96 Delayed Food Allergy panel.

These are the labs I brought from the primary care doctor: TSH, Free T4, iron, Vitamin D, HCT, cholesterol/HDL.  This is about all they would check for us.  I was told the labs were normal, I got a copy and  he had low iron and low vitamin D. So..NOT normal.

What the extensive testing revealed:

  • He is homozygous (two copies) for MTHFR C677T
  • His adrenals are in wired/tired stage and need more support
  • He needs methylated B vitamins BADLY
  • He needs Phosphatidylserine at night
  • His DHEA is low
  • His Pregnenolone is also low
  • His fibrinogen is low
  • His Free T3 could be a bit higher
  • He has low ferritin and iron
  • He is low in Vitamin D
  • His glucose and insulin are elevated.
  • He needs a higher dose of MB12 than what he is on.

What supplements were recommended:

  • DHA
  • Methylcobalmin-B12
  • Methylated B complex
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • D3- 10,000 IU per day
  • Iron
  • Buffered vitamin C
  • Probiotic
  • Betain with meals or ACV
  • Adrenal Cortex in the morning
  • L-Theanine
  • Pregnenolone
  • A multivitamin with B’s, iodine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Chromium with meals* (my recommendation to help with managing the blood sugar issue)

He was already taking Adrenal cortex glandular, MB12 (non-GMO source), vitamin D, probiotics and iron. We need to continue these but raise the doses.

It seems from everything we discussed at the follow-up appointment that much of the issues we are seeing with low hormones, and deficiencies are related to MTHFR which led to low vitamin levels and adrenal function. She was also very pleased that I had done so much already and that we had already done so much chelation. I found out I had one copy of MTHFR only last year, so I suspected he had at least one. I didn’t suspect it would be two copies though which puts him at a 30% methylation rate. Sigh….

We have begun adding in the new supplements slowly. We do have a problem with tolerating fish oil, so I’m sorting out how to get DHA that won’t cause him to be nauseous. For years he took cod liver oil without issue, but about a year ago it began making him nauseous. I cannot get betaine or ACV into him, due to taste or unavailability in chewable form.

Now if only there was a palatable methylB complex for kids that can’t take capsules…….oh there I go dreaming that again!**

Update: Just a few weeks into adding in these changes and he is falling asleep by 11pm and sleeping the entire night!

Update: January 25, 2017: We discontinued pregnenolone and only supplemented at 5mg which was well below what the doctor recommended. I noticed he felt better on it for several weeks but then we began noticing it was causing anger so we stopped. (I had the same reaction to this supplement even though labs warrant its use). I did find a chewable methylated B that we like by **Jarrow Methyl B12 and Folate. We are also using Smarty Pants for Omega’s and additional B’s. While the dose is far less than the amount of DHA he probably needs, I’m happy to find something he will take so he can get some which is better than none. Perhaps in the future we will find a DHA supplement that doesn’t cause nausea for him.

 

Chelation Update: Round 185

We finished round 185 at his old dose of 50mg of ALA. After the experience with the dose increase on round 184, I decided we need to do a few more rounds at 50mg before we try the increase again. I have never been one for pushing dose increases if it made the child more uncomfortable because often times you need to sort out what will help those symptoms so they can be comfortable instead. Do I need more antioxidants? Do I need to just do a few more rounds at the current dose before raising again? Are the adrenals supported well enough? Is my child sleeping well?

Since I have been at this so long in our own case I know it’s a matter or we need to wait a bit longer at the current dose and then try it again.

I have no gains to report this time either but we don’t seem to have “gains” anymore in the sense that you do early on because most of those ASD symptoms are gone. What we generally see is just a happier child. He just seems more himself on rounds.  We are at a point where we’re are on the tail end of mercury removal and huge gains have already come. So it’s important to remind ourselves there is still a reason to continue chelating. That mercury is not all out yet!

This round was otherwise better than the last. He did not experience the symptoms he did at the higher dose. Something to always remember is pushing the doses up higher to try to “do more faster” is not always going to work because the goal is to be comfortable if possible when chelating.

I won’t even get into how tired I am after this round….I did not get a lot of sleep, since I had trouble falling back to sleep after waking at night. On a good note though I did complete round 125 with little to no symptoms other than the tiredness associated with sleep disruption. (200mg which is above the 1mg per pound limit for adults but at this point it’s necessary to “prove” if mercury is actually still a problem for me)