The Journey Continues

You may remember from my last post that I am on a new journey, please read A New Journey.  I am researching the brain’s role in the causation of and recovery from common childhood illnesses.   It is taking me places…provoking new thoughts and ways of thinking.  As I am walking this new path, I find myself contemplating where I’ve been.  How my views of Autism and childhood illness have evolved over time.

I remember back to the early days.  The Traditional Medicine days.  Those days when the diagnosis was brand new.  The child psychologist had shared with me that my child has Autism.  “It is an incurable neurological disease that has its roots in genetics.  You can do speech, occupational, physical, ABA therapies and they may help a little.  No one recovers from Autism.  As he gets older, he may need SSRI’s to regulate his mood.”  That’s it.  That’s all I got from her.  Basically, something is wrong neurologically.  Something is wrong with his brain.  Sorry, there’s nothing you can do about it.  Nothing.

I didn’t stay long in the Traditional Medicine view of Autism.  I discovered the GFCF diet and I never looked back.  It was the beginning of my Functional Healing view of Autism.  I began to look at symptoms with an effort to discern functionally what was happening inside his body, medically.   I studied the intertwined nature of the digestive and immune systems.  How the state of systemic inflammation, disordered metabolism, chronic cellular toxicity, and pathogen imbalance manifests itself in a variety of different physical, mental and behavioral challenges.  I would do my best impression of Jane Goodall, closely studying him.  His behavior gave clues to what is not right inside him.  Medically.  Functionally.

In this Functional Healing view of Autism and childhood illnesses, there is a constant battle.  A constant battle for balance.  The yeast beast will rear its’ ugly head with night wakings, goofy laughter and frothy poop.  We bomb the yeast beast with our current antifungal protocol-of-choice.  We’ll have a few days of peace and then BAM!  Here comes bacteria.  Rage. Anger.  A big, bloated belly.  That’s bacteria in our house.  We hit it with the then-current favorite natural antibacterial.  Peace ensues for a few days until the full moon where I’ll see a very good impression of a werewolf.  Parasites.  Damn.

And so it goes.  We pound down the current offender du jour like a gopher in the ‘bang the gopher’ game at Chuck E Cheeses until another gopher head pops up.  We pull metals.  We detox.   We kill pathogens of all kinds.  Given enough time, enough detox, enough immune system support we can get to managed recovery.   That place where we are practically NT, held together by supplements, forever in fear of another gopher.

This new path is giving me a new point of view.  Functional Neurology.  This concept takes pieces from both Traditional Medicine and Functional Healing, adds in a greater understanding of the brain’s causative role in childhood illnesses.  The practical application Functional Neurology is a process where you stimulate the weak parts of the brain while supporting nutritional deficits, eliminating stress-causing foods, and reduce toxin exposure.  In doing so, you are increasing activity in the lower-functioning parts of the brain to form new neurological pathways.  The result of which is the melting away of not only the ‘neurological’ symptoms but also the digestive and immune issues as well.  It gives us a path toward lasting, permanent recovery.

To really ‘get it’ that childhood illnesses maybe –just maybe – BEGIN in the brain, it helps to go back to sophomore biology.  Remember the parasympathetic nervous system?  That’s the part of the brain that controls involuntary bodily functions.  The stuff that we don’t have to think about but our body does anyway.  Breathing.  Digestion.  And yes, fighting off pathogens….our immune system is controlled by the brain.  Once you ‘get it’ that your brain controls your digestive and immune systems, then it doesn’t seem so improbable that the chronic constipation, gut permeability, nutritional deficiencies and various immune dysfunctions including autoimmune issues could be caused by brain dysfunction.  It may be possible that the brain imbalances cause the digestive and immune issues that are the common thread in Autism.  It is possible that these brain-created digestive and immune problems create inflammation which in turn creates additional neurological symptoms and makes everything worse.  And if these problems BEGIN in the brain, then in the brain is where they’ll likely END.

What do you mean by that, Sugah?

I mean that you can battle yeast, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens; you can take all the supplements in the world; you can take all the probiotics under the sun, but until you fix the imbalance in your brain function, those problems and your child’s illness will never really go away.

So here I am with my antifungal in one hand, antibacterial in the other, sipping my kefir through a straw.  Pondering the various brain training/re-wiring options.

My journey continues……




P.S.  Thank you so much to all those who left comments on my last blog post.  This process and your comments are life changing.  xoxoxox

To read more blogs by Sugah, Click Here.

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16 Responses to The Journey Continues

  1. Pingback: Brain Function Deficits | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  2. Caara says:

    I just recently found this BLOG. I’m reading with great interest. My son has AS/ADD and Anxiety. He’s an amazing kid but his behavior issues really get him! We are now on a GGCF diet and also Soy Free! You can’t believe how many things they put soy in. On a few occasions after having soy (after we had already gone off GFCF), his behavior was off the charts. We didn’t know if it was “coincidence” or not… but decided to give it a try. Soy is genetically modified so we figured it’s couldn’t hurt to take him off and see what happens.

    We’ve found a great doctor and we’ve tried all the things that normally help kids… such as zinc, magnesium etc. He has had a MAJOR reaction to everything! it’s so frustrating. I hate to see him go through all of this. I also believe there has to be a solution.

    I’m interested in this book — and finding more about it. It sounds similar to what they do in the “Dore Program”. We haven’t been able to look into it further because there isn’t one close to us and it’s not covered under insurance. So we have to figure out how to come up with the money.

    I’m going to look into the Brain Balance to see if they offer similar help — an maybe this will bring some relief for him!

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  3. Pingback: The Next Step in the Journey | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  4. Pingback: I’m Cuckoo for Coconut Oil | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  5. Susan says:

    A few things that are not publicly out there in the mainstream press could contribute to autism. The rise in genetically-altered foods – there are links found. Vaccines, most of which contain mercury, which does great neurological damage. MSGs (glutamates) hidden in food under 50 different names. MSGs are excitotoxins which damage brain cells, and are prevalant in our modern industrial food.

    Today’s conventional medical system is useless. There to treat symptoms but never find the cure. I could probably cure a lot more people than a doctor would. I helped my dad get over bladder cancer, by researching alternative cures. The surgeon almost killed him.

  6. Tammy says:

    I too am looking forward to hearing where this will lead. We have done every biomedical and educational therapy under the sun. With every new thing we try, we have progress for a week or two and then it’s stops helping. I can’t help but think we’re missing something. I will have to go back to your 9/25 post, as I must have missed it. Please keep us posted on the journey, I think your onto something with the brain. Thanks!

  7. BlazeTMR says:

    This is what Dr. Melillo from the Brain Balance Program says. Many say it starts in the gut….he says it absolutely starts in the brain. Cross that midline! Thanks for this Sugah!

  8. Nancy says:

    Thank you. This is an excellent post. I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. Unlike most ASD kids, my daughter never really had a lot of digestive/intestinal issues, never had an ear infection nor an antibiotic, yet she has the autism and the behavior issues. Boy does she have the behavior issues! We’ve done LOTS of supplements, but the only ones that seem to help are the neurotransmitters. Maybe autism doesn’t always start in the brain, but I believe it does in her case.

  9. Saint says:

    …and I can’t wait to hear about each step of this journey. xoxo

  10. Dawn Loughborough says:

    Beautiful description of the value of creating new views of Autism…I wish you could come speak in DC and help make a shift with our government, research, funding, maybe submit to IACC in public comments…I think today is the deadline for submissions to the Oct 29-30 meeting. I had studied this years back with my son’s experience which mimics what you are saying here to a T, shugar! I had also read a theory that the gut nervous system is as large (maybe larger) and complex as the central nervous system and the two are connected via the Vagus nerve. So that’s why you might hear it referred to as the gut brain…and the gut nervous system communications goes both directions to and from central nervous system. Thank you for revealing the wonderment of the human body…its sad that arrogance of medicine gets in the way of creating what’s possible for human being!

  11. Carrie Elsass says:

    Definitely curious to see where you end up on this knowledge quest! I still feel that my son’s issues are neuroimmune, and that there is definitely something I am missing. He has unexplained mood swings, has had impulsivity and agression…but we see some real Jeckyll and Hyde stuff, which speaks to me of brain issues. Pathogen control can feel like Whack-a-Mole! So what is the general process for strengthening these embattled areas of the brain, and do you have a doctor supporting you? Best,

    • Sugah says:

      Hi Carrie. If you read my blog posted on 9/25 you’ll see the long list of books I’m researching. Also read all the comments to that post. There were lots of good recommendations of different programs. I am still searching/researching…..

  12. Ruth Setlak says:

    A few suggestions for creating neural pathways for development. DIR/Floortime, neuro-fit in CA and neuro feedback. All will build important pathways for social interaction, regulation, and attention.

  13. Mom says:

    We fixed our daughter’s bowels and intestines by finding out she had an undiagnosed thyroid problem. It’s amazing how much the thyroid controls. She was 3 or 4 when I figured it out (the pediatricians kept saying impossible) after a major meltdown (by me) in the office they decided to humor me and do the $10 blood test on her. Sure enough. It WAS her thyroid. Puzzle piece#1 solved. Not to give TMI but the poop situation in our house is now under control.

    Puzzle piece #2 for us was IGF – insulin growth factor – it was throwing my daughter way off. After the doctors thinking it was a brain tumor on her pituitary gland and doing a bunch of horrible tests with NO results I Googled and on YouTube found a seminar on IGF. Milk was the culprit. Milk. Yes, milk. The “Does your body good” stuff. I stopped milk and her IGF factor went back to normal. The doctor’s said that is not possible but that s what happened. Can’t tell you how many things that fixed with her body, but it was a lot.

    And the whopper – she was deaf and no one caught it. Her adenoids were crushing her ear canals. One amazing thinking outside of the box ENT did an ABR while she was on the operating table for her adenoids – automated brain stem response test on her and found out she was moderately deaf. Yes, she had been tested in the sound booth MANY times. Saw at least 3 ENT’s before this guy that said she could hear. One was a Harvard graduate and one was Baltimore’s “Best”. Those stories are to long to tell here.

    Basically there are layers and layers of things going on with these kids and you just have to figure out each one and fix them.

    • Professor says:

      I’m intrigued about this ABR. How do they do it? My son always passes his hearing tests, but sometimes I wonder about it. For him, it seems to be “clogging” more than something pressing on them.

  14. Sue says:

    I like it- turn the whole problem upside down. Bound to get some new insights

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