Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rambling on about --Digestive Enzymes

     I remember when we first went gluten free, and what a struggle it was.   We did it for a year and honestly, we didn't see any real change in our Autistic son.  Many doctors said that if we weren't seeing any real change then we didn't need to continue.  Looking back, I wonder why he wasn't specifically tested with a Celiac panel, but maybe it wasn't a common practice back then.  Sometimes, I think that they just didn't know what to do.
    Three years later, we went gluten free again.  This time it was when we were undergoing treatment using the Tomatis Method at the Spectrum Center.  I listened to mother's chat in the waiting room.  Conversation whirled around about, who had tried what diet and what therapies. Everyone had a resume of regimes under their belts. (I was still building mine.)   Mothers were trying every diet, including the ever popular Gluten Free/Casein Free, and Feingold.  Many mothers had tried ABA, Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy, and Greenspan's Circle Time, all with varied success.  It reminded me of playing carnival games and hoping this time, this therapy would be the winning ticket.  Again after a second time on the GF/CF diet, there was still no big change in my son.  I wanted to note here, that this time while on the GF/CF diet they recommended using digestive enzymes and counseled that if I didn't want to continue the GF/CF diet, to consider using digestive enzymes while he consumed gluten and casein foods.  We did that for awhile.
     Now years later, we have undergone treatment at the Care Clinic in Austin, TX and Fort Lauderdale, FL where we were again put back on the GF/CF diet and a number of supplements, including the digestive enzymes.
    We have continued on the GF/CF diet to this day, but this time I actually think it is working.  Why?  Because we are finally at a place where we are treating the whole person and not just picking off the buffet line.   Before, I didn't feel like there was any improvement with my son, because we only treated the diet and not his gut issues, his reactions to certain shots, parasites, or sleep issues.
    Now, I know that was a long story, just to get to my opinion on digestive enzymes.  I use them in conjunction with the GF/CF diet, and the supplements, but where I have noticed that they have really worked is with my son who was gaining two to three pounds a month.  I have mentioned before that we had an allergy test done on him and he showed up mild to moderately allergic to gluten and milk.  We now rotate him on the foods that he tested moderately allergic to, and with digestive enzymes, he can eat them and not gain weight.  We did have an incident where he did consume wheat without having his enzyme and he gained some weight back.  We went back to being totally gluten free for two weeks before reintroducing it again.  He tried again with the enzymes and we were able to even him back out again.
     As with anything, you should consult with your medical doctor to see if they might be beneficial with your child's Autism or digestion and allergy issues.   I wanted to share what has worked in our family.  I have included here the website for Houston Enzymes, Peptizyde Enzyme.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see the explanation of how to use them with Gluten and Casein.  We personally use the Tri-Enza and the ZyCarb.  I use these with both my Autistic and allergy sensitive kids.

Happy Health.

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