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1. Bring down the toxin load.
Toxins are anything that creates stress on the body because they are challenging for the body to excrete. Unfortunately, we have not evolved as human beings fast enough with all the toxins we are now putting into our environment. This is particularly true for children, and especially for children suffering from heavy metal poisoning. The following list is representative of the things you can do to bring the toxic load of your child down. It includes removing dietary toxins including dairy, wheat, trans fats, artificial ingredients, and sugar; reducing household toxins; and avoiding toxins from vaccines and dental fillings. No parent is able to do everything on this list. No parent is able to make a lot of changes overnight. We encourage you to work with your doctor to see which of these make the most sense for your child:
Remove casein (dairy) and gluten (wheat) from the diet. Much has been written about the “GF/CF” diet. Our experience is that this diet tends to benefit most children. The simple explanation is that wheat and dairy proteins are very hard for the body to digest. They often permeate the gut of children with environmental toxicity, get into the bloodstream where they do not belong, and serve as a neurotoxin creating “brain fog.” Most parents see faster results when they remove dairy. If this feels daunting, perhaps experiment with dairy removal first and look for any changes in your child. Removing dairy will not deplete your child of nutrition, particularly if you follow the guidelines under step 3, below.
Remove other food allergens from the diet. The most common allergens are dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, and corn. Most children who are sensitive to dairy are sensitive to soy. (Use rice milk as a milk substitute, not soy milk). An ELISA blood test measuring IgE and IgG anti-bodies will help you determine your child’s food sensitivities.
Get rid of “bad” food and sugar. Trans fatty acids (anything with the word “hydrogenated” in it), artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, nitrates (in hot dogs), and aspartame (Nutrasweet) all add stress to the body. We highly recommend you switch to only natural and organic foods and try to limit sweets as much as possible.
Remove conventional household cleaners. There is a natural version of every household cleaner you own available at natural food stores and some large supermarkets. Conventional cleaners like 409, Ajax, etc. are filled with toxins that your children ingest and have to process. Natural cleaners are significantly less toxic.
Add a HEPA air filter to your child’s room. This will help keep airborne toxins in your house down.
Cook to keep toxins down. Cook only on stainless steel; non-stick pans contain aluminum. Don’t cook on or with aluminum foil. Never microwave plastic; it leeches chemicals into the food.
If your child needs dental work, never use “silver” fillings, as they contain mercury. If your child has mercury fillings, get them removed with a mercury-free dentist. A list by state is available at www.iaomt.org.
If your child needs a vaccination, ensure they are thimerosal-free.
Don’t renovate while you live at home. A renovation project in the middle of trying to reduce the toxic load will put a lot of stress on your child’s body. New paints, new carpets, and sealants all produce volatile organic compounds that are very hard for the body to process.
Use fluoride-free toothpaste. Flouride is a potent neurotoxin. Natural toothpastes do an effective job at preventing tooth decay without being poisonous. There’s a reason fluoride toothpaste has to say on the label “contact poison control” if swallowed (see for yourself ).
2. Help the gut heal.
Environmental illness typically causes gastrointestinal distress and food sensitivities. When the gastrointestinal system is compromised, the immune system suffers as well. Some ways to help the gut heal include:
Removal of food allergens: gluten and casein seem to be the most common allergens.
Cod liver oil: a critical supplement for that provides much needed vitamin A and also helps to heal the sensitive walls of the intestine.
Probiotics: natural supplements that provide the stomach with “good” gut flora.
Digestive enzymes: assist the body in breaking down foods, which can help eliminate large proteins gaining access to the blood stream.
Colostrum: a natural supplement that provides many gut-healing and immune-system boosting properties.
3. Get the nutrients up.
A broad vitamin and mineral supplement is critical for restoring health. Minerals are particularly important because many toxins like mercury directly impact mineral transport within the body. Zinc, selenium, and magnesium are particularly important for restorative health. Also, the use of certain chelating agents may deplete minerals which means the build-up of mineral levels in advance of chelation or other forms of detoxification is very important. Your doctor will work with you to design a nutrient plan tailored to your child’s unique biochemistry.
4. Get the toxins out.
Detoxification is critical to restoring your child to proper health. Some of the more popular forms of detoxification include chelation and natural detoxifiers.
Chelation requires the care of a qualified doctor and involves using a prescription chelating agent in an oral or transdermal form. The most popular chelating agents include DMSA, DMPS, and EDTA. Please note that EDTA can be purchased without a prescription. A popular form of EDTA is in a suppository, made by Detoxamin.
There are a number of natural products for removing heavy metals and other toxins including Natural Cellular Defense, PCA-Rx, and NDF. There are parent discussion groups online for parents using both Natural Cellular Defense and NDF. Anecdotally, we have heard of parents who have had great success with these products and there are some doctors who use one or more of these products within their own treatment protocol.
About the Author:
This article was contributed by Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization. Visit them here: www.generationrescue.org
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #21.
To purchase this issue, Order Here.