Edited to add: I apologize to the Nemechek followers this post has apparently offended, however, you need to understand a few things about me before you critique me and our unique journey to health in the comments.
First, since you're into natural healing, please read my other blog posts and go to our Publicity page to see our story in the News along with the other families we've been blessed to be able to help with donkey milk, don't just read this one. We all know that different things work for different kids. If Nemecheck works for you, wonderful! Just don't discount the possibility that it may not work for everyone. Our daughter was dealing with PANDAS, not Autism. Now, onward ho!
- I use sarcasm and humor to get my point across. My children are not actually guinea pigs. It's called humor.
- I don't discount all Protocols and Experts, just the ones that I think may be fishy. (Sorry, humor again. It's a problem I have.) You ask why I have a distrust of experts? Perhaps if you had sat in as many expert's offices and had to explain to them 1) what PANDAS is and 2) current accepted protocols for how to treat it, you would be a bit wary too. Or heard "Our best guess for treatment is antibiotics every day until your child is 18 or 21. Oh, and would you like to apply to have your child be a part of our latest research study on IVIG vs placebos?" Hmmmm. No thank you National Institute for Mental Health. (Since we're on the subject of guinea pigs and experimenting on our kids...)
- I'm quite sure that many of these protocols are amazingly beneficial for the majority of children, however, that doesn't mean it's a good fit for ALL of our children. (Donkey milk is the same way...it's amazing for some kids, but not all react the same way.)
Now, back to our regularly scheduled, controversial mom post....
It’s about fish oil, and my lack of trust in Protocols and Experts. My girl has been doing great, marvelous, and I’ve been thankful for it, and possibly taking it for granted. Then I happened to read about this guy and his Nemechek Protocol, and how he is having great results with giving Autistic kids Fish Oil (Nordic Naturals Gummies) and Inulin (prebiotics.) And, being paleo, we eat a lot of nuts, so I figured that adding a gummy fish oil to our diets might not be a bad idea. Balance out those EPA’s and DHA’s and all that. I also told a friend about it who has a son struggling with some behavioral issues.
A few days into it I noticed that my girl was struggling with anxiety during the day, having worried thoughts, etc. And, worse yet, she was waking up at night scared. I attributed it to a new tooth breaking through (loose teeth and naturally occuring streptococcus "good" bacteria in the mouth can affect PANDAS kids) and figured it would pass. Then I saw my friend at our homeschool co-op. She had jumped on to the fish oil wagon and, oddly enough, her son’s behavior went from bad to worse. Maybe it was die-off? Maybe it was too much, too soon? I hate to admit it, but I still didn’t put two and two together. I still blamed the offending tooth.
Another week goes by, and more of the same. Then we ran out of fish oil. Suddenly I thought, “Hmmmm, what if it’s the fish oil?” So I didn’t buy any more. And guess what? Within about 48 hours she stopped having the anxiety and started sleeping again. The tooth still hasn’t broken through. We haven’t changed anything else. Just those stinking Fish Oil Gummies.
Now, I know what you’re going to say, “Those Gummies are full of junk! It was the Gummy!” And you may have a point, but we eat a totally paleo diet and for my girls, taking a vitamin C in Gummy form is their one “treat”. When other kids get candy and daily doses of junk, mine get an expensive gummy vitamin. And gummy vitamins have never bothered them before now.
Turns out, that friend that had started her son on the fish oil gummies? He wasn't doing so hot either.
So, I shared this story in my favorite crunchy mom's PANDAS facebook group, (Saving our PANDAS), and one of the mom’s shared that Fish Oil is high in Histamines, and they can’t tolerate them either. (Hmmmm. So is Kombucha, and it makes me instantly phlegmy. Gross, but I love Kombucha, it’s my healthy alternative to Pop, so I drink it and hock snot. It’s a trade off.) As it turns out, there is something to this histamine thing. More mom’s started saying their kids can’t tolerate fish oil either. And when I looked into the histamine response, turns out if you happen to have a strong histamine response, it can trigger anxiety, etc. AND, if you’re one of those unlucky people with either a genetic predisposition to this histamine intolerance (Mast Cell something or other), then you should avoid fermented foods (high in histamines), like….Kombucha….cheeses….and Fish Oil, among other things.
So, for goodness sake, if you are one of us in the unlucky club, you might want to save your $49.99 and stop giving your kids fish oil. And perhaps reconsider the Fermented Cod Liver Oil. (I know, I did it faithfully, gagging it down like a champ.) And maybe replace that Kombucha with a cup of Joe. (I can’t believe I even typed that…my fingers might fall off.)
So, Mr. Nemecheck, you might want to re-think your Protocol, or at least give the small percentage of us that react badly a fair warning.
I hear there are some good plant based EPA and DHA supplements. Hemp, anyone? Purslane? Ahi-Flower? Here is a great article by Chris Kresser that goes into way more detail about it. Definitely worth the read. And then look into Daimine Oxidase Enzyme, which, interestingly, is naturally found in the Thymus (go back and search for my post on the Thymus and it’s immune modulating properties.)
Here's another interesting article about healing histamine with sprouted plants. Let me know if you try it! We've been considering feeding the donkeys sprouted grains, so this theory is especially intriguing to me.
PS. See how I linked up Mr. Nemechek's book club to this post? You're welcome. And no, I'm not getting a kick back for that.
Post taken from my private blog, written Jan 17, 2018.
Lovely fish photo credit tohttps://www.instagram.com/matt_henry_photo/