Monday, June 29, 2009

The train-wreck amino acid results... and on I've mentioned on this blog that we were preparing to test Jennica's amino acid levels, with a promise that I would explain more later. But later has never arrived. Until now. Just before we left on vacation, we received amino acid test results. To sum it all up, pretty much a train-wreck. Oh goody. But at the same time, it gives us some hope that if we can correct some of these imbalances, perhaps some other things will also fall into line for Jennica. Like the ability to handle sensory overwhelming situations in a more logical manner, and the ability to correctly read body signs of hunger/thirst/cold/etc. before they cause out of control behaviors. So......this all could be a good thing. But its going to mean tackling another set of dietary interventions and supplements and......ugh........which is why we waited until AFTER vacation to fully address it. But here goes on what we know at this point:

In a perfect world, your body is properly nourished from the foods you eat. You consume the food, and your digestive system extracts the nutrients to be utilized as fuel for virtually all types of bodily functions. In a way over-simplified format, the term used to describe when a digestive system does not have the ability to extract the nutrients from food/vitamin intake is called "malabsorption." Malabsorption can be caused by a huge variety of things, but hypothetically-speaking, a person with a severe case could literally starve to death, while eating a very healthy and balanced diet. Does that happen? Probably not. But milder cases are very common. And an amino acids test can be used to help diagnose this condition.

Let me stop here for just a minute and state that Jennica has been proven with blood tests to have IgG food allergies to gluten, casein, peanuts, and eggs, right? Allergies are a type of auto-immune disorder, so the years that she consumed those foods prior to our knowledge of her allergies likely were damaging her digestive tract. The possible damages? Malabsorption! Do you see where I'm headed?

So........Jennica's amino acids test came back with a few areas of significant concern. The nutrients that control physical body functions (growth, muscle strength, heart health, eye health....all that stuff) are all good. But the nutrients that affect neuro-function are deficient! And the nutrients that the body uses to remove toxins from the body are deficient! Holy cow!!! There is a THEME here! This is a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (a NEURO condition) with high levels of specific toxins in her body! The dots are beginning to connect!

There are two specific nutrient deficiencies that came up throughout all areas of this testing: Magnesium and Vitamin B6. Why? We don't know........yet. There are other areas of deficiencies that will also require correction, but those two were consistent through all areas. what do we do about it? We're not sure yet. Our naturopath will be involved in that decision. If her body doesn't absorb magnesium from food sources, will it absorb it in pill form? Or is it going to have to be given in shot form? (Like my own B12 shots.....which I'm still doing, by the way.) And what about that B6, which tastes brutally nasty in pill form. We've already been down that road with her and had to remove the B6 from her menagerie of supplements, as we found out that she could smell it a mile away. (Anyone remember the post about a year ago about a nasty little yellow pill that she REFUSED to take? That was B6!!! I took it and about vomited myself!)

But anyway, all this is really fascinating to me. As much as part of me wants to pull the covers over my head at the thought of attacking a whole new supplement routine, I have to admit that these results show some real consistencies with other results from completely separate tests ran several months ago. For example, her metals tests last winter came back showing high levels of toxins, and now her amino acids tests show that she's lacking the nutrients in her body that perform toxin removal. A coincidence? I think not! So.....I have some hope. We have roughly two months to "fiddle" with her supplements before school starts, so now is a great time to experiment. I'll keep you all posted!


Dako said...

No need to use supplements. The main source of amino acids missing from the modern diet is wheat germ. This is removed from wheat to extend shelf life, even from whole wheat. You have to buy 100% whole wheat to get it. Simply add wheat germ that has not been defatted to your diet. Prior to the 19th century we would have eaten about 10 pounds of wheat germ a year as part of our bread intake. We are also losing certain amino acids in our meats due to commercial animals feeds.

A good source for information about the changes in the modern diet is Why Diet and Exercise Fail. There is a preview at

Beth Stevens said...

Thank you for your contribution. However, if you read more of this blog than just this simple post, you would know that my daughter that is short on amino acids also has a very severe food intolerance to gluten. Giving her wheat germ is not only not an option, but would put more holes in her digestive tract and worsen her amino acids levels even worse. Sorry........but thats not an avenue here.

Dako said...

Actually wheat germ has very little gluten. However, people with celiac disease can eat oat germ. No glutten.