FEATURE — In August 2018, I had an amino acid therapy consultation with a mother who was managing her son’s attention deficit hyperactivity and autism spectrum disorders. Her research led to exploring the benefits of amino acids for children like her son.
Ultimately, she found her way to me.
Children with disorders like this mother’s son require a scheduled and predictable daily routine in and out of the home. They also require diets and social/educational interactions that are structured and maintained.
For those of you who do not have experience with ADHD or autism, this probably sounds a lot like what most parents already do, but for children with these particular disorders, life’s unexpected twists, turns and changes to routines and schedules can feel catastrophic. Their very mental health and well-being rely upon predictability and structure.
As you will read in a moment, a simple 90-day trial with amino acids improved the lives of both the mother and her son.
Meet my patient
My patient is an 8-year-old boy with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. He is in the third grade, and in many ways, he is a regular little boy on the outside; however, on the inside, he struggles greatly with everyday life.
At the time of his consultation, his mother told me the following:
Every day, he plummets into an emotional (non-violent) outburst, lasting up to 45 minutes. He is unable to handle emotional stimuli or even the smallest change to his routine. Afterwards, it takes him hours to recover physically and emotionally. In school, he struggles with concentration and comprehension. The school support staff and counselors are recommending that he repeat the second grade until his reading and comprehension come up to grade-level.
Daily activities, such as preparing for school, playtime, outings with the family, mealtime and bedtime, were all scheduled and structured. Meal restrictions included no processed foods, no red dye, low sugar and no sugar substitutes.
In recent studies, it has been shown that children with learning and developmental disorders should not consume or should have very limited access to processed foods that contain chemical preservatives and processed sugars and that are high in salt and saturated fat.
The patient was not allowed any screen time (TV, computer, smart devices). His mother reported that he could not cope with the overstimulation. Engaging or getting engrossed with content from these devices caused him to react adversely.
During our consultation, it became very clear to me that this little boy’s mother had done her homework. She was extremely knowledgeable about managing her son’s disorders and providing the best care for him. She was also very educated on the topics of alternative medications, supplements and therapies. It was her research that ultimately led her to Fusion Pharmacy for an amino acid consultation.
The amino acid therapy recommendation
Every person is different and should be treated with careful and thoughtful recommendation. Because of this, the exact amino acid regimen will vary from person to person. Those of you who are struggling or have a child who is struggling with learning and developmental disorders deserve individualized treatment plans. At the time of this consultation, five amino acids were recommended and were to be taken daily:
- Two essential amino acids.
- Two nonessential amino acids.
- One conditionally-essential amino acid.
This was in addition to an established routine supplementing with fish oil and a chewable multivitamin.
The 90-day follow-up: “What did you do with this kid?”
In just three short months, our patient’s mother detailed the dramatic changes in his behavior. She reported that even the support staff and counselors at his school were wondering what changes were made to cause such a difference in him. The following improvements were noted:
- His concentration improved.
- His reading improved; he is now reading at grade level.
- His social awareness and his behavior during social interactions improved.
- His emotional outbursts, while still daily, were less severe in duration.
- Most importantly, his recovery time after his physical and emotional outbursts
At the time of our November 2018 follow-up, my patient’s mother reported that he initially had trouble with accepting the new supplement routine. With time, however, they were able to come up with a regimen that was agreeable. Adding the contents of the capsules into applesauce seemed to help a lot.
His mother also reported that, after a period of time, she began to decrease one amino acid at a time so that she could figure out a perfect supplementation schedule. During this process, she said that her son noticed differences in how he felt and asked if one amino acid in particular could be part of his daily routine.
Amino acid therapy can be adjusted. Patients who are on an amino acid therapy frequently comment on their self-adjustments. When a deficient amino acid is introduced to the body, it does not take long for the body to process and utilize its many benefits. This may result in a decrease in need from daily to every other day or as needed.
My child needs help. What can I do?
Please call or come in and see me. The assessment is quick and easy, and the amino acids I carry are professional grade and pure. My strongest advice is to be very cautious about buying amino acids on the internet and from vendors you don’t know. This is why my team and I have done the work and research for you. It is our mission to provide the best for every patient.
Amino acids are essential nutrients found in food, and they are also made in the body. They are not drugs and do not require a prescription.
Written by KOBY TAYLOR, PharmD, a Fusion Pharmacy case study.
This article was first published in St. George Health and Wellness magazine.