Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Aside from family, one person who has remained constant in Alex’s life is his doctor, who has been a huge blessing because she has helped him tremendously. After Alex was diagnosed with autism, I began looking for a new doctor for him who would be willing to try biomedical interventions I had read about online. The Autism Research Institute reported good results DAN [Defeat Autism Now] doctors were having with nutritional therapies, and this was something I wanted to pursue for Alex. DAN doctors impressed me because many of them were parents of children with autism and/or treated many of these children in their practices, and I believed that while they would be aggressive in treating the problems, they would not do anything to cause harm. Fortunately, I found a local family practitioner who emphasizes nutrition and preventative medicine and began taking Alex to her in 1998.

While Alex’s doctor is not a DAN doctor, she has been very receptive to trying the DAN methods whenever I have brought her research I’ve found; as she often says, “It’s worth a try; it’s certainly not going to hurt him.” She and I have also agreed that we would only run rather noninvasive tests which would give results that could be addressed, including the following: food allergy panel, organic acids test of urine, analysis of his hair and stool, heavy metals urine test, and blood profiles. In doing these various tests, we discovered that Alex had food sensitivities to glutens and caseins, yeast and bacterial overgrowth in his digestive tract, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as toxic levels of arsenic, aluminum, lead, and mercury in his system. (As a side note, none of these tests were covered by insurance, but that’s another story.)

As each test revealed a new issue, she developed a treatment plan, and we implemented each new intervention one at a time so that we could monitor Alex’s reaction. Like many children with autism, Alex responded well to the strict gluten-free and casein-free diet and has been on it since 1999. In addition, his doctor determined which vitamin and mineral supplements would benefit him. Fortunately, Alex is a good eater, and he has been remarkably cooperative regarding his diet and about swallowing the various supplement pills he needs daily. In addition, she treated his yeast and bacterial issues with a combination of medicine and probiotics. Eliminating the heavy metals involved two years of chelation therapy by orally taking DMSA, a sulfur compound that binds with heavy metals and removes them from the system, on a regulated schedule. Along with these treatments, she regularly performed cranial therapy, a gentle manipulation of his head, which calmed him. Because of these interventions, Alex has made good progress and has become what all parents want for their children—to be happy and healthy.

“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22


K. C. said...

It's so great to have a doctor whom you trust and one who respects your beliefs as a parent.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid we stopped our chelation before letting it run the entire course. We did complete about a year of it. We also had metals showing in our lab tests including mercury while he was taking oral DMSA. I dropped the ball when we needed a blood test to check on liver function before continuing, because of husband's deployment. I need him as a "holder" when getting blood drawn. I need to schedule a new appointment with his specialist to see where we stand on biomedical. The GABA you recommended has been a life saver after puberty ramped up the intensity of his emotions. We think we all will take GABA for different reasons, but it certainly has helped David with his frustration level. We are using both the Kirkman GABA and the GNC GABA at different times/days. I am guilty lately also of cheating on his GFCF diet (he loves pizza as does the rest of the family and we let him have that and questionable restaurant fries-sigh),but keep trying to minimize the damage of dietary offenders. I am currently trying to find new ways to add CMT through coconut oil in foods. I think I need a new approach to the intestinal yeast...hard to know when it is under control and when it is on the come back. He seems better in the summer when swimming in chlorine, which I understand may kill the yeast, but also the good bacteria. Any probiotic recommendations? We try to find probiotics not cultured on dairy.

Mary Hill said...

Hey Pam, I'm enjoying your blog very much. While I never did any of these things with my Alex I'm glad they helped your Alex :-)

Pam Byrne said...

Hi K.C. and Mary,
I really appreciate your feedback,and I appreciate your friendship through the years even more!

Pam Byrne said...

GABA is really good stuff--essentially OTC valium with all the benefits and none of the side effects. Probably most people would benefit from taking it! Glad to hear it is helping David. We get Nutrition Now PB 8 probiotic from the health food store; be sure to get the vegetarian-approved (green cap)if you want dairy-free (since many probiotics are not dairy-free).

I can completely understand having to take a break from chelation, especially under the circumstances. Alex's doctor had him doing chelation twice a day only on weekends for quite a while until she heard that it worked better to be more aggressive. She had us giving it to him around the clock (Ed did midnights, I did 6 AM, we both did 3 AM, and we took turns the rest of the day, depending on who was home with him.) for a week with a week off. It was like using an elephant gun, but it finally kicked out the stubborn toxins. Keep me posted as to how David is doing--I keep you in my prayers.

Etoyoc Rebmos said...


Thanks for letting us know about that doctor all those years ago. It has helpful having a doctor that will listen and try to work with you.

Pam Byrne said...

Isn't she a great doctor? I'm glad that she's been able to help you all, too. :)