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  1. It feels like lately, my role is to help others learn from my "mistakes" and that my poor kids are little science experiments. First, I overdose my DD with too much methylfolate and watch her turn bipolar on me. Now, I seem to have forgotten my promise to keep an eye on balance and through my laziness, caused a bout of OCD for my DS, For those who don't know or remember, my son has battled Pandas since 2008 and Lyme since 2010 (tho he probably had undiagnosed Lyme before Pandas - it just took us 2 yrs of Pandas treatments - with mixed results - to find it). He had a great school year and really seemed to be recovering from all the years of illness. School work was coming easily (which as a huge improvement), friendships were blossoming, he was hitting his stride. I was starting to think we were done with the horror story. But then in Feb, he started having OCD issues - but with no recent illness, no swollen glands or congestion or any physical signs of illness. No brain fog or muscle pain or any other symptom other than OCD, which was very strange for him he has always suffered from the whole Pandas package while in a flare. Already on zith+rifampin for lyme, we added augmentin. No change either way. Just this "mild" OCD - maybe a 3-4 on a 10 pt scale. For the past two months, I've been wracking my brain. We tested for yeast - negative. We tried a homeopathic detox remedy - no change. We rotated probiotics, stopped many supplements, tweaked others - no change. I even stopped abx, feeling like we might be done with lyme and that they might be contributing to some gut imbalance. Still no change. Then I looked at his 23andMe results - he has three gene mutations that conspire to make him very high in dopamine and serotonin. So I started looking at one of the genes - MAO-A (you've heard of this gene on the drug commercials that say "don't take this medication if you use an MAO inhibitor" - which means an anti-depressant). And I started looking for the opposite of an MAO inhibitor, something that would help him use up dopamine faster, not slower. What I found is that copper plays a role in MAO-A's ability to degrade dopamine. DIng, ding, ding. My son also has a condition called pyroluria - a condition that makes his body excrete zinc and B6 at a higher than normal rate and creates a zinc deficiency not easily detected in regular blood tests.. This is likely a life-long condition for him, as it is for me. So he takes a very high dose of a zinc/B6 supplement called CORE every day. Zinc and Copper are ying/yang metals. If one is high, the other is usually low. For the first 18 months we treated the pyroluria, I was good about supplementing copper in addition to the CORE to keep things balanced. But if my son takes copper with any other meds, he throws up. So as he got busy with after-school activities, which was our copper time slot, we started skipping the copper. It's probably been months since he took any. On a hunch, I re-started copper. After 4 days, he says the OCD is far milder. Not gone yet, but hardly had any compulsions at school and it only bothered him once he got home and wasn't busy. Hoping this is it, that the copper is helping him degrade neurotransmitters faster. So I post as a reminder to everyone using supplements - remember to keep an eye on balance. Happily, the past few months forced me to stop and re-evaluate supplements that at one point served a purpose but now aren't needed any more. I've cut out about half of the daily pills, including antibiotics. (I was the Queen of Supplements for a very long time). Hoping to only use abx at the first sign of an infection, as a kind of triage, but to remain off of them for as long as we can manage. Fingers crossed.
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