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how to boost/protect immune system?


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has anyone been successful with doing things to protect the immune system of their child?

any books that are helpful, diets, vitamins, hygiene, etc????

my son will start a new school in a week and he can become symptomatic just being around sick people (his immune system is probably fighting whatever he came into contact with from them)....but, of course, most of it is invisible.

except when this summer he had poison ivy rash and miserable behavior and tics triggered by it!

thanks!

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Yes...we've had some good success by going to a DAN!/Biomedical dr and getting testing done which showed up Vit D and Zinc deficiencies - significant for immune function. Testing also revealed DS had gut issues, so we all went on a gut healing diet to support him and he was put on a number of Vit supplements and probiotics etc. No "wow" moments, just slow and steady improvement over the past two years. The gut, the immune system and neurotransmitters are all linked, so healing the gut was fundamental. DS is so much better and healthier...he catches far fewer colds which he now sheds quickly and the last couple have not turned bacterial so he hasn't needed antibiotics this year!!! Yay!

 

Have a look at Dr Ken Bock's book: "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies" It's a few years old now and I know he'd like to update it, but it's still a very good read.

 

Edit for pesky typos...

Edited by Ozimum
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That has been my goal for the past few months. I have my son on a multi-vitamin, omega3 fish oil and probiotic. Plus I have totally revamped our diet. Cut out all processed foods and eliminated grains. Our doctor told us grains are very inflammatory. This has not been easy, especially for bread for lunch. I have gone with a gluten free, wheat free bread made from tapioca flour and my kids like it. Also trying to have them eat onions and garlic every day. Plus if possible kale and collard greens. I have found a recipe for buckwheat pancakes they like. Even though the name says it, there is no wheat in it. I have to become very inventive with cooking but it is well worth it if it keeps them healthy. It really is a full time commitment and I know in todays world that is hard.

 

Research as much as you can about immune boosting foods and supplements. There is a lot of information out there in cyber world. If you have any questions this board is the best, great bunch of parents.

 

Linda

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Another big vote for Omega's here, as well as some medium-chain fatty acids, like coconut oil and/or palm kernal oil. It seems from some posts here, however, that some kids with tics have a negative response to fish oil (Omega 3's), so you might want to try something like evening primrose oil (EPO), instead.

 

I'd also make sure to supplement with a good probiotic, since a healthy gut is a key to the body both absorbing the nutrients it needs and keeping down inflammation throughout the body, as well.

 

I can't recall . . . is your DS still taking an antibiotic? If not, then I might consider some olive leaf extract which is a natural anti-microbial. But I've read that it can interfere with the efficacy of abx, so I wouldn't take them simultaneously.

 

So much information and so many opinions on this topic, it's hard not to be overwhelmed, I know. I, too, like Dr. Bock's book a lot, and it has some great ideas in it. In the end, you sort of have to do what works for your child, your family and your lifestyle.

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basilbeth-

 

Hi! I look at this a little differently.

 

My kids have never been sickly. They get one or two illnesses (that are going around) per year, and recover quickly and easily. The do, however, react pandas- wise. They have also reacted at times to illness exposure.

 

I see it as my kids are almost hyper immune. They do not seem to need a boost in immunity, rather they need their immune systems to be calmed. It seems to me that time, and rounds of immune dampening steroids, have helped us in that department.

 

I do try to maintain good health for them with a healthy, varied, organic (as much as possible) diet, good amount of sleep, and minimizing stress. They take vitamin D (not mega dose) and probiotics (one capsule) during the school year.

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Vitamins D and C and zinc are all important to the immune system.

 

Dr Amy Yasko has some videos where she discusses lecithin to strengthen the BBB. But I don't know if there's research to support that or not.

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Vitamins D and C and zinc are all important to the immune system.

 

Dr Amy Yasko has some videos where she discusses lecithin to strengthen the BBB. But I don't know if there's research to support that or not.

 

 

 

Thanks....I will try to get the videos.

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Your son sounds similar to mine. Does he feel 'normal' if not around others? My son has not felt 'back to normal' for 20 months of treatment [really for over 2 yrs. now when this started] (and sometimes worse). Two years ago we started an on-line school with him because he was just not well enough to attend public school. Last year, his dr. said he should be ready to return to school so we started him in Jr. High and he did not get sick, just kept feeling worse and taking longer to feel back to baseline. After 1 month, I decided to do the on-line school again (not an easy decision because it is challenging). He still had not had a breakthrough with his health, just a slow healing. Then about 2 months ago we found and removed, what we hope is, the last of the mold in our home (attic). Within 2 weeks (along with Refampin and other new supps) he actually admitted to "starting to feel better."

 

During this last 21 months he has caught a cold and had a stomach flu and recuperated just like anyone else (except it was on top of not feeling great as well).

 

Asked doctor when we would know that his PANDAS was getting better. She said when he feels good again. So with this 'feeling better' we were very hopeful that he was on his way. During this time of feeling better, he had a bad bike accident (concussion/broken arm etc.) and had 2 dental appts. for the first time in 2 yrs. Then he was around a lot of people sight-seeing with relatives. I was not sure of his reaction, but he seemed to do ok. Then we decided to go camping and on the way his PANDAS came out. Afterwards, noticed that my dh had put a moldy life preserver in back of car! :o

 

A lung infection (which I believe is his trigger) ensued and he was back to his first 'PANDAS' episode in all these months. I was not prepared like I had been at the start of this with abx ready to go. We were out of town and he was already on Rifampin so did not know what to do. His dr. took him off this and set up an appt. 3 days later. Ibu/Benedryl did not help much during those days and it made his PANDAS flare in ways I had not seen before. His dr. says he cannot go back to school right now (had been planning on starting high school part time).

 

Dr. did say that because his health is pretty good otherwise, that healing should be quicker than in the past. Still not sure how he will react when around others. Thinking now that we may try 1/2-time at mid-term if improvement continues after this flair is over.

 

Trying to problem-solve all of this, in addition to figuring out school, is very difficult so hopefully this has given you some information that you can use in your decision-making.

 

Before flair he was on: detox/thyroid-hormone meds/probiotics/rifampin (ear infection)/Vit. D/A/Chia.

 

Now during flair he is still on the above plus---Amox (3 weeks); Azith (6 mos?); TravaCor (Neuro Support); Breathe Free (lung support); Ketotifen (stomache support); Itraconazle (fungal-tested high for mold again); Transfer Factor multi-immune. Also going to do full-blown parasite protocol again when we get all meds in just like we did in the beginning. This dr. believes there is a connection between parasites and PANDAS.

 

Best wishes on treatment/healing.

Julia

Edited by JuliaFaith
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Another big vote for Omega's here, as well as some medium-chain fatty acids, like coconut oil and/or palm kernal oil. It seems from some posts here, however, that some kids with tics have a negative response to fish oil (Omega 3's), so you might want to try something like evening primrose oil (EPO), instead.

 

 

From what Dr. M had told me in the past, many commercial Omega 3 supplements also contain Omega 6 - which can actually CAUSE inflammation in some folks. So she recommended that we check the supplements and avoid any with Omega 6.

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Some things we had implemented in my daughter's class that have been helpful - if the school is open to it:

 

-She's allowed to carry a water bottle - no drinking from the water fountains!!

-She has her own small bottle of hand sanitizer in her seat sack, as well as in her pencil case, and attached to her back pack, etc...and is encouraged to use it frequently

-She does not use the "community supplies" if possible. (She's in 1st grade and in K and 1st they have tables with baskets of common supplies - glue, crayons, pencils, etc... in the center of the table for everyone to use - she has her own)

 

And the most important (to mommy anyway) - they've notified the parents in her classroom, as well as the classroom adjacent that shares a bathroom with them, that they have a child with and autoimmune deficiency sho responds negatively to strep and they are required to tell the office why their child is absent and to notify the teacher/school if their child has strep.

 

It worked wonderfully last year, and the principal and school nurse outlined PANDAS in a staff meeting and told the staff that anyone who came into contact with my daughter must notify if they have strep.

 

This year, the letter just went out Friday (4th day of school) but on Thursday morning her teacher emailed me to tell me that 2 kids went home sick in the class. (one with a headache, one with a tummy ache). That afternoon, my daughter came home with a report of being "impulsive" in science class, and her seperation anxiety went into full force on Friday - wouldn't even get out of the car at school. Sure enough - Friday afternoon, she tested positive on a rapid for strep. If the teacher hadn't notified me of kids leaving sick - I would've written those two blips off as being first week of school jitters - but we got her on abx right away and she did fine getting out for school this morning (school was closed yesterday because of Hurricane Issac - which missed our area entirely!)

 

The school has to be willing to work with you - but these were the things that we did to help.

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