Tuesday, May 26, 2009

allergies, asthma, adhd and autism

Whenever I start talking to someone about my oldest son's severe peanut allergy, the inevitable question always arises: Why do you think so many kids today have allergies? We never heard about allergies when we were growing up.

I have mentioned in my last two posts a book that I am reading, which, for the first time, answers that question in a way that makes sense to me. The book is called Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies by Kenneth Bock.

Bock asserts in the book that the dramatic rise in the incidence of all of these 4-A conditions began at about the same time. He believes that the same factors that contribute to the increase in autism also could be causing the other "A" conditions that are plaguing this generation of children: toxins in the environment, immunizations, weakened immune systems, as well as genetics.

And if the causes are the same, could it be that the cure also is the same? The author definitely believes this is true.

And for the first time, I feel like some of those motherly instincts I have had for the last eight years are validated by an independent source.

I mean, why is it that only one of my three children has allergies?

He not only is allergic to peanuts and nuts, but also to EVERYTHING outdoors: trees, grass, mold, pollen, ragweed, dust mites, cats and dogs. If your child has ever had a prick test on his or her back or arms, just imagine if every single one of those little dots turned into a bright red welt and came back positive.

I also have wondered if all of this goes back to his first day of life outside the womb. The day when I pushed for two hours, but he didn't move an inch down the birth canal. The day when his heart rate started dropping and they rushed me to the emergency room. The day he was born almost blue from lack of oxygen and had an APGAR score of 2. The day they placed him in an oxygen tent and fed him through a tube in his nose.

Now, I'm reading that on THAT day, the first day of life, doctors also give newborn babies their first vaccine. I don't know if that happened to my son. I was out stone cold after the doctor sliced me open before I was fully anesthetized. They had to put me completely under, and I didn't see my newborn baby for about 12 hours.

Before I go on, let me just tell you, that this kid is a delight. He is truly one of the sweetest, most caring, compassionate kids you will meet. He is highly creative and can run like the wind. He is a leader in his class and has a great group of friends.

But I have always suspected that the same forces that are causing his allergies could be causing some of the other struggles he has had throughout his life. When he was little, these played out in the form of constant crying as a baby, followed by uncontrollable tantrums as a toddler.

Then came the fears of swings, slides, bike rides, tunnels, anything at an amusement park. He couldn't handle loud noises. He actually refused to go in our back yard for an entire year because he was afraid of the sound of the neighbor's dog barking. He hated getting his hair cut, new shoes, brushing his teeth and even at 8 years old, he has never put his head underwater. This kind of makes swimming lessons impossible.

Although he is very intelligent in his school subjects, he also has problems understanding certain concepts or figuring things out. We have been on a journey the past few years to determine what is causing this. He has been to therapists, reading specialists, an audiologist, an eye doctor and an occupational therapist, but we still don't have a good answer.

Could it all be related?

Could it be that the author of this book is correct?

He says that whether your child has autism, ADHD, asthma or allergies, the root of the problem lies in what is inside their bodies. Maybe it's a high concentration of metals. Maybe he is eating foods to which he is allergic, and we don't realize it. Perhaps he needs supplements, such as Omega-3 or Amino Acids.

When my son was first tested for allergies five years ago, the initial test showed that he was allergic to wheat and soy. His allergist told me not to worry about those. She said the levels weren't high enough to eliminate them. So, my son lives on a diet of bread, pasta and cereal. But this book also says that kids tend to crave the very food to which they are allergic.

Could we be filling his body with foods that are irritating him from the inside out?

I have a lot more research to do to determine our next step. If anyone has any experience with alternative medicine or holistic doctors, I would love to hear what you have found, both good and bad.

We have been on a journey the past eight years. If it were a marathon, I would say we have made it to the one-mile mark. But I am excited about this new information and where it might lead.

1 comment:

Krista Jiroutek said...

I grew up with horrible allergies myself! I had the testing done and then shots for many years. As a kid, I struggled with fears like your son.
Amazingly, after college I grew out of most of my allergy problems. The fears didn't go away until medication helped with that. Let me know what else you find out... little one has major allergies!

Related Posts with Thumbnails