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#1 of 20 Old 01-13-2010, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS1 is 4 1/2. Neither DH nor I have any allergies (nothing very significant in the extended family either).

DS1 has always been high energy. He sleeps amazingly well (3 hour naps, still, with 11 hours at night). He has always been exhausting for me. But within the past 6 months, he has become ANGRY.

DD was born when DS1 was 21 months old. He didn't seem to even notice her until she was about 9 months old. Then he began interacting with her a bit. DS2 was born this past March (when DS1 was 3 1/2). Not right then, but between then and now things have gone way downhill.

It really started with preschool (3 mornings a week) this year. He "hates" it. The reason - "because I miss you." But he doesn't miss me when he's with nana and papa or when he's with DH alone. I believe he believes that. But I don't think it is true. He is difficult to get there. I NEED the break. He has hit teachers, spit in one's face, threw a chair across the room. Last year, he was going 2 mornings a week and he loved it. Same school, different teacher, different classroom, mostly different classmates.

At home, he has become unmanageable. He is so rigid, so inflexible. He only wears certain clothes (not because of sensory issues, I've looked into that and I'm pretty sure he's not a "sensory kid"), will only eat certain foods (though they shift) despite the fact that he used to eat anything and everything, is the very definition of contrary (I say up, he says down, I say black, he says white... for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.). If things are not what he was expecting, there WILL be a tantrum. By tantrum, I mean him yelling, calling me "idiot" or "butthead," kicking toys, slamming doors, hitting DD, hitting me, crying.

I noticed a few months ago that when he was about to lose it, I could see it in his face. Dark circles under the eyes. I began to think about hypoglycemia. He gets so unreasonable, like a crazy person. Reminded me of a diabetic friend who would get drunken-like ornery when her blood sugar got low. I just came across the term "allergy shiners" yesterday and really wonder if that's what's going on.

I took him to a psychiatrist yesterday. Provisional diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I'm heartbroken. I'm a psychologist & I have had depression for most of my life, myself, so I know what a diagnosis like this means. I don't really agree with it, but I don't know if it is just because it is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted the doctor to tell me to suck it up and be a better parent, that he'd behave better. The doctor didn't prescribe anything yet, wants to see him again to get a better assessment.

Another thought the psychiatrist mentioned was that it was like DS1 went into emotional hibernation when DD arrived and that he woke up when DS2 arrived, picking up where he left off, so that he's emotionally behaving more like a 2 1/2 year old than a 4 1/2 year old. That makes sense to me.

So many of our battles are about food that I'm really really hesitant to try an elimination diet. But if I thought there was a good chance this would fix things, I would absolutely do it. It just is not going to be pleasant nor easy for us.

So I have a few questions for you knowledgeable mamas:
1. Could it be an allergy/ intolerance/ whatever if he relatively recently just started acting up so severely? He's been on all foods since he started solids at 6 months, basically, so could it still be possible that he is just starting to react to them now?

2. Do you think I really should eliminate lots of foods or can I get by with just eliminating one to see if it helps first? If so, gluten or dairy first? I assume those are the biggest two. And if we go dairy free is soy milk a no-no because of a potential soy allergy?

3. How long until we might see results if this is the case (that it is a food allergy)?

4. Allergy shiners - I can't seem to pinpoint what happens before he gets them (i.e. what he's eaten). I just know what happens after he gets them - he explodes. He looks like he's possessed with those crazy eyes. If they are really allergy shiners, do they stick around all of the time? Only after contact with the offending food? How long afterwards would the show up? I remember one incident when we got to the haircut place and they no longer had lollipops out for the kids. He got the crazy eyes. He was really mad that he couldn't have a lollipop first. It didn't seem like it was food-allergy related. So maybe it's not that.

5. How long after particular foods is it typical to see reactions in behavior? Like he had a grilled cheese sandwich with cream of tomato soup (yeah, an elimination diet is going to be miserable around here) for lunch. While he was sitting there, having just finished eating, he got the crazy eyes. I asked what was wrong, he grumbled something about how he wasn't "expecting" DS2 to be right there (that's how he says it when he's being inflexible & is not happy with how things are going). Not an explosion, but definite sullenness.

I'm just really grasping at straws here and need input from all the different arenas. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome, please!

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#2 of 20 Old 01-13-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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1. Could it be an allergy/ intolerance/ whatever if he relatively recently just started acting up so severely? He's been on all foods since he started solids at 6 months, basically, so could it still be possible that he is just starting to react to them now?
absolutily! I hate to use this reference, but dd's allergist used it with me. Ok, you know how a heroin addict can shoot up 400x and not overdose, but on the 408th time, they do.. the body can handle so much, but I guess there is risidual..so you eventually overdose. The SAME thing can happen with foods!
2. Do you think I really should eliminate lots of foods or can I get by with just eliminating one to see if it helps first? If so, gluten or dairy first? I assume those are the biggest two. And if we go dairy free is soy milk a no-no because of a potential soy allergy? I would eliminate both milk and gluten if possible. Here is some info:Sensitivity to proteins and high intestinal permeability have been associated with a number of neurological and behavioral disorders in groups of adults and children (e.g., Pfeiffer, 1996). In a group of adults with neurological dysfunction of unknown cause, high readings of antigliadin antibodies were found in both those with confirmed celiac disease and those with normal bowel mucosa (Cooke & Smith, 1966; Hadjivassiliou, Gibson, Danies-Jones, et al., 1996; Luostarinen, Pirttila, & Collin, 1999). In adults with epilepsy and with psychological problems such as depression, celiac disease also appears to be frequent (Corvaglia, Catamo, Pepe, et al., 1999; Cronin, Jackson, Feighery, et al., 1998; Gobbi, Boquet, Greco, et al., 1992).

Positive IgG antigliadin antibodies but no negative IgA antibodies were found in 13% of a group of children who had neurological dysfunction of various types (e.g., ADD, Migraine, epilepsy, motor abnormalities) leading the authors to conclude that there was little association between celiac disease and neurological problems in children (Lahat, Broide, Leshem et al., 2000). However, others disagree and provide evidence of such a relationship. For example, brain white-matter lesions was found in 20% of children with celiac disease (Kieslich, Errazuriz, Posselt, et al., 2001) and a higher prevalence than expected (14%) of confirmed celiac disease was found in a population of children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Down's syndrome, or slow psychomotor development (Salur, Uibo, Talvik, et al., 2000). Moreover, intestinal permeability has been associated with psychiatric disorders in adults with schizophrenia (e.g., Dohan, 1988; Singh & Kay, 1976; Wood, Hamilton, Axon, et al., 1987) and in children with autism (D'Eufemia, et al., 1996).

3. How long until we might see results if this is the case (that it is a food allergy)? IMO, you should see improvements within the week. Also, if you can sneak some flaxseed oil into your son's diet, it will most definitily help.

4. Allergy shiners - I can't seem to pinpoint what happens before he gets them (i.e. what he's eaten). I just know what happens after he gets them - he explodes. He looks like he's possessed with those crazy eyes. If they are really allergy shiners, do they stick around all of the time? Only after contact with the offending food? How long afterwards would the show up? I remember one incident when we got to the haircut place and they no longer had lollipops out for the kids. He got the crazy eyes. He was really mad that he couldn't have a lollipop first. It didn't seem like it was food-allergy related. So maybe it's not that. That's an allergy. My dd has this.

5. How long after particular foods is it typical to see reactions in behavior? Like he had a grilled cheese sandwich with cream of tomato soup (yeah, an elimination diet is going to be miserable around here) for lunch. While he was sitting there, having just finished eating, he got the crazy eyes. I asked what was wrong, he grumbled something about how he wasn't "expecting" DS2 to be right there (that's how he says it when he's being inflexible & is not happy with how things are going). Not an explosion, but definite sullenness. Allergies are weird, sometimes you can see a reaction within hours.. my dd has delayed allergies, and her reactions are usually 3-5 days after eating the food.

Hope that helps some. I also think you would benefit from a second opinion with a developmental ped, or even a pediatric neurologist.. somebody who is familiar with children on the spectrum.

familybed1.gifnovaxnocirc.gif nut.gifMommy to my amazing 6 yr old dd, we homeschool.gif, and  27 weeks belly.gifpuke.gifand have been sick the whole time so far, grrrrr!!!!!!!

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#3 of 20 Old 01-13-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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The first step I would take is to look at possible nutrient deficiencies. Some of us have higher needs for certain nutrients than others. I'm not an expert on your son's area of issues (my son is autistic), but start reading about magnesium deficiency and behavioral/mental issues (including depression, by the way). Other possibles - folate, methyl b12, and likely others. The other thing is to do some research on where you live - we have very low lithium soils here, and we are supplementing lithium (at nutritional levels - it's a trace element that is essential to our bodies on low levels, and we supp a different and safer form than what is used in prescriptions). Black circles can mean low methylation, and methyl b12 and folate support methylation, amongst other things.

He may also be reactive to salicylates, which is a naturally occurring chemical in foods (and also in flavorings, colors, preservatives, etc).

He may well have food allergies/intolerances in addition to these, but with that kind of aggression, I'd look at deficiencies and sals first. Partly because they're quick to test (with most supps or removing high sals from the diet, you'll see changes within days). Taking out dairy and gluten can take longer to see effects, and will likely be harder to implement, so I say try the easier stuff first.

I know there's a lot in this post - I'm trying to give you the start of some threads that might be useful to explore concerning your son, and I'm sure others will be along to add to it. You might also find it useful to use yourself as a guinea pig - it's possible that the same genetics that lead you to depression present as these different symptoms in your son. My husband and son share a lot of similarities in terms of their nutrient needs - but my son gets more autistic behaviors, my husband gets migraines.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#4 of 20 Old 01-13-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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My son gets allergy shiners from being low magnesium. When he has eaten something that he is "allergic" to, it tends to use up his meager magnesium stores and then he gets the shiners. But, I believe shiners can mean a multitude of mineral deficiencies. Magnesium is quite successful for use in mental health. My brother just started taking it and was able to stop using his anxiety meds. He is thrilled. A google search will bring up some results.

Both my DH and I have mental health issues and my oldest his emotionally "touchie". His emotions swing quite crazily.
Just his week I made the connection that my boys have extremely low (DS2) or undetectable amounts of lithium in their bodies. (We did a hair test this fall to find out some pieces to our puzzle). There are a couple fo approaches to lithium - the kind of scary therepeutic usage that has gotten a bad rap (for good reason) and nutritional usage, where you are using small amounts. I saw places where the government is suggesting a RDA for lithium. I just ordered lithium ororate to help us along. It should help with sleep also. My oldest is a terrible sleeper. It turns out that lithium moves nutrients along in the body that are essential for sleep. So I believe that this will be a major piece to our puzzle.

I agree with mamafish about thinking about chemical reactions: histamines, sals would be the ones I would think of before an elimination diet. On top of that I would start getting supplements in him.
priority supplements would be:
magnesium
high quality b vitamin (thorne makes a great one) or high quality multi (thorne make a great children's that require swallowing a small capsule)
lithium (we've just been talking about this on the chat thread, look a few pages back)

what else for sals??? I get them mixed up.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#5 of 20 Old 01-14-2010, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of the input. I truly appreciate it. I'm glad to hear that there may be an intermediate step to take with supplements & the like (as opposed to jumping right into an elimination diet). I'm going to pore over this stuff ASAP.

In the meantime, I forgot to ask if you all thought I should be getting further evaluations done. I have a PPO so if I want, I can just go straight to the source. Do you think an allergist visit would be useful? I suppose I'd need an open minded allergist. But still, is this something worth pursuing?

My ped is not very supportive of alternative treatments. I can't bring myself to break up with him but I know he'll think this is all craziness (my complaints about DS's behavior, the possible links to foods, etc.). I know I should find someone I am more compatible with, but I'm working on it.

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#6 of 20 Old 01-14-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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I would also look into carbs/sugar reactions (since it's not a particular food). A friend of mine's DD1 had it. She'd have a tantrum within 30 minutes of sugar or a high carb meal/snack. My DS starts having tantrums within 30 minutes of having soy and they remain for 10 days. So it's possible to have both immediate and extended reactions. Good for you for looking for options. Start keeping a journal and write down EVERYTHING (food, drink, supplements, moods, tantrums, sleep, poop, eyes, everything) and you'll have a record and may be able to discover a trend, or some particular combination that works. Good luck!

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#7 of 20 Old 01-14-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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You may be interested in this - It is well cited.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome

There are recommendations for a GAPS diet, so just another route to consider.

My ds just happens to be in that small percentage that has very adverse behavioral reactions to medications (particularly allergy meds) and is more sensitive to his diet than other children. I didn't figure this out for many years after conventional wisdom of what works for *most* people was really not helping us, probably hurting my ds, and I knew that I needed to start doing my own research. We still see our ped, but not very often because we are healthy.

This type of sleuthing can be very time consuming and frustrating - but there are a lot of mamas here who are more than willing to help. Don't give up!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#8 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been doing the epsom salt baths for the past few nights. No miraculous changes yet. I'm wondering how long it might take to see some improvement if that's the problem.

And which of the Thorne B vitamins would you recommend? There are so many and it is all greek to me. Or should I just stick with Thorne kid's multi.

Is it possible/ likely that he needs more B vitamins to better absorb the magnesium?

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#9 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Is it possible/ likely that he needs more B vitamins to better absorb the magnesium?
Yes. It's also possible that oral magnesium will work better (Epsom salts baths didn't do much for my son, even though he was profoundly mag deficient). Ideally spread out during the day as well (in the early days of my son's deficiency), he only got about 1-2 hours of impact from a mag infusion, so your son might be sleeping better the first couple of hours at night, for example. But if you want to see changes during the day, try morning mag?

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#10 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Take a look at this from Dr. Fink.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipola...olar-disorder/

OP, have you thought about getting a 2nd opinion? Diagnosing a child so young as BP is controversal.



My husband was diagnosed as BPII in June.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#11 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just ordered some of the thorne kid's multi vitamin.

We already have a 2nd opinion visit scheduled.

I just started reading "Bipolar Kids" by Greenberg and it's bumming me out. It sounds like my son. I'm so hoping that this supplementation helps him because this is heart breaking. To think that he is suffering so much, internally, breaks my heart. I'm anxious for her to start really talking about differences between typical preschooler tantrum/ moodiness and bipolar explosions.

I'm also going to be asking the psychiatrists how often they send parents away, telling them that their child is experiencing "normal" stuff. Do they always see behavioral problems as severe psychopathology?

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#12 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
You may be interested in this - It is well cited.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome

There are recommendations for a GAPS diet, so just another route to consider.

are a lot of mamas here who are more than willing to help. Don't give up!
i was also going to recommend this book... it does a great job of explaining HOW unhealthy gut flora results in a multitude of physical, behavioral and learning problems. It really cleared up the situation with my own ds and myself. The book also specifically addresses bipolar...

peace
jen

jen mommy to dd1 (11y), dd2 (6y) and ds (3y)
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#13 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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RE: the GAPS diet. I just read the document linked. I was breastfed, DS was breastfed. I don't think he has ever been on antibiotics. Maybe once at age 3. He doesn't appear to have any digestive problems (certainly no poop issues, very regular, doesn't ever complain of tummy pain). The GAPS thing looks daunting. Totally all-encompassing. I don't want to embark on that unless absolutely necessary. The author says you need to commit 2 years to it!

Without evidence of digestive distress, is it really likely that he's having gut flora issues? Maybe just mild ones that can be corrected with probiotics?

And does anyone have the book that they'd be willing to lend to me? I will pay shipping, treat it kindly, and return it to you.

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#14 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Behavioral stuff can be evidence of gut issues without any "GI" symptoms. I wouldn't try GAPS until I'd explored a lot of other things, but we have your same story (3 generations of bfing and no antibiotics), and DS has some gut bacteria issues. My sister, also no abx, has a daughter with bigtime yeast issues that show up primarily as behavioral issues (now that she is 11, they are seeing some more physical signs of yeast as well, but not when he was younger).

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#15 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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RE: the GAPS diet. I just read the document linked. I was breastfed, DS was breastfed. I don't think he has ever been on antibiotics. Maybe once at age 3. He doesn't appear to have any digestive problems (certainly no poop issues, very regular, doesn't ever complain of tummy pain). The GAPS thing looks daunting. Totally all-encompassing. I don't want to embark on that unless absolutely necessary. The author says you need to commit 2 years to it!

Without evidence of digestive distress, is it really likely that he's having gut flora issues? Maybe just mild ones that can be corrected with probiotics?
And I echo mamafish. I was breastfed; DS was breastfed. He's never had antibiotics. I can't remember the last time I had antibiotics. And yet it seems I have gut problems, and DS has alleriges that are at least somewhat connected to gut problems.

I think a psychiatrist will turn first to bipolar and rx meds. Not likely to get a traditional psychiatrist to discuss/know about gaps. Same with an allergist. If you go to a traditional allergist, they will look for IgE reactions, most likely. If you find a progressive allergist - one who is willing to look for and discuss IgG reactions, probiotics, etc. - then that might be a good fir for you.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#16 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, mamas.

this stuff is making my head spin. i keep hoping to just wake up from this bad dream.

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#17 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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Mama, have you been following the discussions about the MTHFR polymorhphism? Basically, specific nutrients can help for depression and bipolar.
Here are some threads discussing these issues: ...

Gut healing
Where to start? Help 101

There are so many things you CAN do nutrition-wise, you will feel challenged and empowered! Many mamas here have affected behavioral issues with nutrient-dense foods.


Pat

I have a blog.
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#18 of 20 Old 01-20-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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Hey cidercat - just wondering how you are doing with all this information overload. It is a lot to process, but, as Pat points out - so hopeful and powerful and full of potential. With that comes potential responsibility and guilt and....exhaustion. I'm hoping you'll check in.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#19 of 20 Old 01-20-2010, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hanging in there. So far, just doing epsom salt in the bath, but every night for a week now. I am cautiously optimistic. He is a bit more pleasant & seems to be able to recover from a tantrum a bit quicker. Still throwing fits, bad ones, but with a quicker rebound afterward.

I'm waiting for the thorne multi vitamins to arrive in the mail. If after all of this, we're still far from good, then I'm going to start more closely examining the diet.

Still overwhelmed, but really trying to just keep my head down, one foot in front of the other, and not look any more ahead than my next step, kwim? The next step is to reevaluate after we've been on the vitamins for a bit.

We see the psychiatrist again next week. A second opinion in mid Feb. I'm not even considering meds until after the second opinion at the earliest.

Thanks again for all of the information and support. So many resourceful mamas!

--amy
DS1 is 5, DD is 3, DS2 is 2.
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#20 of 20 Old 01-20-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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Glad to know that the Epsom salt baths are having a nice effect!

I did want to post this for you -- I know that you said that the GAPS diet seemed really overwhelming. I came across this today and a mama talks about her journey with implementing GAPS. She only made an initial one month commitment, and even then, made some adjustments to work for her family.

How the GAPS Diet is Helping Our Family

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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