Any ASD families using oxytocin? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

Our holistic doctor has suggested getting our oldest son (9 1/2) tested for what she suspects are low oxytocin levels. She would then suggest a prescription treatment of natural oxytocin (nasal spray). Anyone have opinions or experience with this? His diagnosis is PDD-NOS.

He also does high-nutrient therapy and GF (as TF as possible) diet. We do green smoothies and juicing, as well.

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:51 AM
 
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No we haven't used this but I would be wary of using pure oxytocin in isolation.  If his Oxytocin level is too low you may want to consider addressing root causes.  I think homeopathy is the gold standard in addressing health and encouraging the body to right itself and find it's own balance.  This can be done with a combination of detoxification remedies, miasmic remedies and constitutional remedies that will change as the person changes and sheds symptoms. 

 

Since you are already interested in alternative approaches it isn't that big of a stretch to consider this.  India and many parts of Europe consider homeopathy to be a viable and important aspect of health care.  I would guess that homeopathic oxytocin is either easily made or already being made by helios the homeopathic compounding pharmacy in the UK.  (taking it homeopathically would encourage his body to produce enough on it's own) 

 

I would also add that a VERY important homeopathic remedy in my son's healing process from PDD-NOS symptoms, has been the homeopathic remedy Lac Maternum, the remedy made from mother's breast milk.  In Tinnus Smitt's Cease protocol for autism, it is considered a very important remedy, one of his "universal miasms" addressing the current state of human condition. 

 

I am always wary of taking too much of any "pure" substance unless it's food based or a vitamin.  A brain chemical....I get concerned that our children's delicate systems since they have a hard time regulating themselves, will be unable to work well to metabolize it.  Homeopathy encourages the body to make it itself and use well what is already available in the body.  In this way, it is gentle and does not overwhelm.

 

The remedy Lac Materum, would likely help recreate the conditions in the body, where oxytocin was exchanged or should have been exchanged, by mother and child...the trusting loving relationship that breastfeeding fosters.

 

I am just sharing my predisposition and what has worked for us.  Maybe your wholistic doctor has a very helpful approach, I don't know....I've always found however that homeopathy, has worked brilliantly, when we found a dynamic practitioner who was trained in european approaches of detox and isopathy (not basic constitutional care).  Maybe your wholistic doctor is willing to use homeopathic oxytocin instead? 
 

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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I received a Google Alert this morning about your thread, and as a researcher and PhD candidate who has been studying oxytocin for the past 5 years, I felt it necessary to share my knowledge and to caution you against the use of oxytocin as a treatment for behavioral symptoms of ASD (or any other disorder for that matter).  Currently, there are a handful of academic studies that have investigated the effects of intranasally administered oxytocin, and some of these have shown quite promising effects, citing improvements in social cognition (Hollander et al., 2007), emotion recognition (Guastella et al., 2010), and social behavior (Andari et al., 2010).  While it is tempting to jump to the conclusion that oxytocin is a cure-all for symptoms associated with ASD, there are a number of issues with its use therapeutically.  

 

Before describing these issues, let me give you a brief description of how intranasal administration of oxytocin works (or is thought to work).  To administer this hormone, you have to squirt a large quantity of the substance (from 24-40 IU is typical for research) into each nostril a number of times.  In our research on oxytocin, we typically do 4 sprays in each nostril a total of four times per nostril.  This is an awful lot of fluid, and if you think about it, intranasal administration of anything is really not the most enjoyable experience, as a majority of the substance drips down the back of the throat!  We administer this quantity in hopes that some of it will enter the brain to have the behavioral effects we are investigating.  Because oxytocin is a large molecule, it cannot cross the blood brain barrier, although there is some evidence that a bit of it does get into cerebral spinal fluid.  Thus, the the hope is that if enough is administered, it will get into the brain to act as a neurotransmitter and exert behavioral effects (oxytocin as a hormone circulating in the blood does not directly affect behavior, although it can have anxiolytic effects which could in turn affect behavior).  Anyway, now that I've given you a brief summary of administration, on to the potential issues with its use as a treatment.

 

The first issue is the absence of clinical research testing the effects of this hormone for use as a long-term treatment.  To date, published academic research conducted on oxytocin has only tested the effects of single administration rather than repeated use.  Further, these academic studies are often conducted on small samples of specific groups, meaning the results may not generalize to larger and more diverse samples.  Currently, academic research is really in the early stages of testing oxytocin as a treatment, and results are in need of replication before consideration for clinical testing.  Having noted these things, oxytocin available via prescription, but only because it is an integral part of labor onset (if you were induced, you received the synthetic form of oxytocin called pitocin) and milk letdown, but note that oxytocin has been medically tested and approved regarding these things.

 

The second issue is that there is little to no knowledge about how long these behavioral effects would last in alleviating symptoms of ASD.  Research has shown that when OT is administered intranasally, it completely clears the body within three hours.  Thus, effects would only be expected to last for a short time after this.  There's word that a pharmaceutical company is working on a longer-lasting synthetic form of oxytocin; however, as I mentioned, it's not even clear how much intranasally-administered oxytocin enters the brain, so it seems as though there's some basic "how it works" knowledge that should be acquired before turning to use of longer-lasting forms.

 

The third issue with the use of oxytocin as a long-term treatment is that regular administration of any hormone will, over time, lead to decreased natural production of that substance in the body.  Flooding your son's system (which, as you say may already produce lower than normal amounts of oxytocin) will cause it to turn down production of the hormone even more.  This means that over time you would have to continually increase the dosage of the prescription for the same effects (as with any drug), and without the treatment you might see even more severe behavioral symptoms.  In the same vein, lower baseline circulating levels of oxytocin could occur for a number of system issues: too few oxytocin receptors, dysfunctional receptors, or dysfunctional neuronal projections for oxytocin release.  We currently have little to no knowledge about what each of these system issues looks like in humans (they've been well studied in rodents); therefore, it is premature to assume that low levels of oxytocin in the blood means we just need to add more to the body.  

 

Based on all of these details, I would strongly advise against the use oxytocin as a treatment, at least given our current state of knowledge regarding its long-term use.  It is possible that with more research and discovery, oxytocin may be deemed a useful treatment in the future, although I predict that they only effectual method will be via gene therapy or receptor-based treatments.  I am not an MD, and I highly encourage you to look to other resources regarding oxytocin as a treatment; however, I do hope that you take time to cautiously consider your doctor's recommendation, and I hope the information I provided was helpful!

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Old 03-01-2013, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your very helpful posting! Homeopathy is actually my first line of defense, in general, and I am really hesitating about this oxytocin plan. When DS was under two, he had many more severe signs of autism, and at the time, I had no idea. He was seeing a homeopath for various issues, and was treated with Apis for some time. This effectively eliminated his random, unexplained bouts of anaphylaxis, as well as some pretty significant language issues! I really believe that without the various remedies over those years, he would have had severe autism.

I can look into homeopathic oxytocin or lac maternum myself. What a great idea. I feel that DH and I decide how to help our kids, the doctors are just on our team (usually on the sidelines, LOL!)

I have heard Tinnus Smits' book is great. Will surely give it a read.

Thank you!!

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:39 AM
 
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Hi Velveeta, nice to meet you!  I feel the same way about doctors, they give us advise, run tests or give a diagnosis and we usually take treatment elsewhere! 

 

I'm glad you've already heard about Dr. Smits.  I read his work on-line and tried his universal miasmic remedies a few years before learning about CEASE.  In combination, the detox remedies (isopathic/homeopathic preparations of anything requiring detox) and universal miasms worked very well for us.

 

We also used constitutional care and it took us far but not as far as CEASE goes.  It is unbelievable what effects our emotions thinking and behavior in today's world.  Right now we are detoxing flouride (my son got it in his water/formula as a baby) and I had it in my drinking water and toothpaste growing up as did my husband.  My daughter has only had it in her drinking water at school.

 

Taking the remedy caused a big rash on my ankle where it had broken when I was 10.  I suspect that my bones absorbed the flouride in that spot when it was healing and my body is pushing it out.  My thinking is more clear, my emotions more level.  My daughter who is NT is sleeping better, my son, is more organized and calm.

 

It's nice to meet another mom who pushes the boundaries.  Read up on his work.  You can easily find him on-line.  While he passed away a few years ago there are many people who trained in his work.  He was a visionary.

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:40 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a portuguese parent and my son has been using it for 6 months (for caution, the optimal dose was only reached about a month and a half ago).

 

You should inform yourself a lot before taking this road. We are happy with the results. We don't know what the future will bring but we weren't pleased with common prospects on current therapy's.

 

Our son is much younger than yours.

 

I hope everything goes well, what ever you decide.

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Old 03-16-2013, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, everyone. I agree, it is important to have a good understanding of homeopathy before getting started. And I feel I do.

I am getting the oxytocin test, and doing MTHFR testing, as well. I feel that is helpful info to have. And then proceed with homeopathy.

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:06 PM
 
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Velveeta, would you mind PMing me the name of your holistic doctor? I've been considering going that route.
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