Autism and Lyme Disease Link?

Melanie Melanie Hohman Friday, May 13, 2016
Is it possible that there is a link between Autism and Lyme Disease?

Or could the symptoms be similar, and the treatment effective for both? This issue has been brought up at the bakery several times. In 2012 a news report in France discussed the results of 200 children being treated with antibiotics for Lyme's. My son Luke is 10 and is diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. He has progressed greatly from a strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet. I am constantly searching for answers to help my son. Please share your experiences.

Here's the link to the video: https://www.lymedisease.org/news-treating-autism-antibiotics/

Also, here's a great article from the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine at http://www.arizonaadvancedmedicine.com/Articles/2013/June/The-Link-Between-Autism-and-Lyme-Disease.aspx

Spices Can Reduce Inflammation

Melanie Melanie Hohman Monday, September 08, 2014

Spices can reduce inflammation for some with autoimmune disorders. For our son Bradley (who has severe food allergies and asthma) we use a small amount of Turmeric, Cinnamon and Ginger in his meals. Be sure to talk to your doctor before using. The following two quotes come from webmd.com

"Turmeric is a plant. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomachbloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems and gallbladder disorders. It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, and cancer. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems. Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eyeinfections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside of the mouth, and infected wounds.”
Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil. Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nauseacaused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite. Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used forchest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.”

Veggies and Fruits In Season - Listed by Month

Melanie Melanie Hohman Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Vegetables and Fruits of the Season

It's tough to get some kids to eat lots of different veggies. BUT, I try to sneak these into our fruit shakes as much as possible. Spinach and squash work the best!

January

broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas, tangelos, tangerines, turnips

February

broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas, tangelos, turnips

March

artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, pineapples, radishes, rutabagas, turnips

April

artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, pineapples, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas

May

apricots, artichokes, asparagus, cherries, lettuce, mangoes, okra, pineapples, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas, strawberries, swiss chard, zucchini

June

apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, swiss chard, watermelon, zucchini

July

apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, green beans, kiwi, kohlrabi, lettuce, mangoes, okra, peaches, peppers plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini

August

acorn squash, apples, apricots, blueberries, butternut squash, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, green beans, kiwi, kohlrabi, lettuce, mangoes, okra, peaches, peppers plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, winter squash, zucchini

September

acorn squash, apples, beets, butternut squash, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, figs, grapes, green beans, lettuce, mangoes, mushrooms, okra, peppers, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes

October

acorn squash, apples, beets, broccoli, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cranberries, grapes, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, turnips, winter squash

Natural Insect Repellent from RonAndLisa.com

Melanie Melanie Hohman Friday, November 01, 2013

RonandLisa.com wrote a terrific article about Mosquitos. These annoying little insects carry lots of diseases, and since our kids have allergies, we can't use over the counter products. A lot of our customers here at Sensitive Sweets have the same issues. We want to provide a cleaner environment for our kids but we still need something to protect them from pests.

Here's a great recipe for repellent from Ron and Lisa:

DIY Insect Repellents. There are also some effective, homemade natural solutions to mosquitoes. These can be particularly valuable when you are camping or in other places where oscillating fans are unavailable. For a completely natural insect repellent, Vinegar of the Four Thieves has been a strong, effective insect repellent for centuries! This concoction has not only warded off unwanted insect visitors, but has been known to fight off diseases as well.

You will need:

  • a 32 oz bottle of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons each of dried rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, and mint
  • a large jar or spray bottle

To make, combine all the ingredients in a large jar with a screw top lid or a spray bottle. Shake daily for 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, apply liberally to the skin as needed for insect protection.

Additionally, oil of eucalyptus products may offer longer-lasting protection, studies reveal. Endorsed by the CDC, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (not to be confused with natural lemon eucalyptus oil) offers protection similar to low concentrations of DEET and is available under the Repel brand name. It’s also safe for children older than 3 years but can cause allergic skin reactions.

Thank you Ron & Lisa, we love your advise! Clean, simple, and better for all of us!

Why Our Bakery Uses Aluminum Free Baking Powder

Melanie Melanie Hohman Monday, October 28, 2013

Our youngest son Bradley has life threatening food allergies and asthma. Our oldest son Luke is diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. There is NO doubt that a strict GFCFSF (gluten-free, dairy/casein-free, and soy-free) diet and intense ABA therapy has helped him improve greatly. He is in mainstream school, and now has full eye contact, improved focus, better bowel movements, no more horrible tantrums, and he's happy. We are still working on his social skills, sensory and improving his sleep. We believe that diet plays a critical role with autistic kids and allergic kids.

Many autistic children show high amounts of heavy metals in their system. It's best to minimize exposure, and when you think about how much bread, or baked goods our kids eat...we can make an easy switch. When cooking or baking its best to use glass or line your pans. Try to avoid metal pouches like Capri-Sun, and do not wrap food in aluminum foil. You can find Aluminum-free baking powder at almost every grocery store. Here's why we use Aluminum-free Baking powder at our bakery:

This article comes from Age of Autism:

In August, 2011, the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry published a study by Lucija Tomljenovic, and Chris Shaw and the title asked the question that demands an answer, Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?

The research took a close look at the amount of Al kids are getting and at what age. Several statements are hard to forget:"To the best of our knowledge, these results are the first to show that Al, a highly neurotoxic metal and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, may be a significant contributing factor to the rising prevalence of ASD in the Western world.

The researchers went on to say:

”It is also of note that the FDA requires limits on Al in parenteral feeding solutions and requires warning labels about potential Al hazards while setting no safety limits or issuing warnings for Al in vaccines.”

For more info check out: http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/03/the-aluminum-threat-a-interview-with-chris-shaw.html

Also check out: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/20/david-ayoub-interview-february-2010.aspx

Avoiding Asthma Triggers

Melanie Melanie Hohman Monday, September 02, 2013

According to AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)

”185 children and 3262 adults died from asthma in 2007. More than half of those with asthma had asthmatic attacks in 2008.”

Asthmatic Triggers:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Allergies to dust mites, pollen, animal dander, mold/mildew, or cockroaches
  • Exercise
  • Cigarette and other forms of smoke, strong odors and perfumes, fumes from wood stoves or kerosene heaters, and air pollution
  • Changes in the weather

Limiting Asthmatic Triggers

Dust Mites

Dust mites, tiny insect-like) are found in mattresses, carpets, and upholstered furniture. They thrive in warm, humid conditions and feed on the shed scales of human skin. The best way to prevent allergy symptoms caused by dust mites is to limit your child's exposure. Be sure to pay special attention to the bedroom where your child spends the most amount of his/her time.

Beds

Every bed in your house should have wooden or metal frames. Do not allow your child to sleep on a couch, sofa, or hide-a-bed. If your child has asthma and sleeps in a bunk bed, he/she should sleep in the top bunk.

Mattress and box spring

Place all mattresses and box springs in a zippered, dust-proof cover and tape over the zippers with electrical or duct tape.

Pillows

Encase pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers. Pillows should be made of Dacron or other synthetic fiber. Do not use foam, feather, or "Down" pillows.

Bedding

Avoid wool or down blankets. Wash all bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) in hot water. Cold water will not kill the dust mites. Dry all clothes and bedding in the dryer to avoid pollen sticking to them when on a clothesline.

Floor coverings

If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting. If not, vacuum the carpet frequently (at least twice a week). If your child has asthma, only vacuum when your child is away and will not return to the room for several hours after you have finished. Substitute multi-layered vacuum bags for regular single layer bags. Small, washable cotton rugs may be used if washed often. Wood, tile, or vinyl flooring without a rug is best, and they should be mopped at least weekly.

Closets

Remove all stored toys, boxes, and other articles from closets. The closet should contain only clothing and should be as dust-free as the room. Keep all clothes in closets, never lying around the room.

Furnace (heating)

Electric or gas heat is recommended. Do not use wood stoves or kerosene heaters. Change the air filters on the furnace every month. Cover all furnace outlets in the room with special filters or cover the outlets with ten thicknesses of cheesecloth or muslin. This will catch dust in the furnace air. Change the cheesecloth when it gets dusty underneath (about every two weeks).

Air purifier

A HEPA filter unit of the proper size can effectively remove airborne allergens.

Air conditioners

Window unit or central air-conditioning is ideal. Change or clean all filters every month. Windows should be kept closed, especially in the summer.

Doors

Keep bedroom closet doors and bedroom doors closed as much as possible.

Walls

Paint walls or use washable wallpaper. Avoid pennants, pictures, wreaths, flower arrangements or other dust catchers on the walls.

Window coverings

Avoid heavy curtains and Venetian/mini blinds. Use window shades instead. If curtains are used, they should be washed monthly in hot water.

Humidifier

Avoid the use of humidifiers, dust mites grow best in high humidity. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity in the home less than 50 percent.

Furniture

Remove all upholstered (stuffed) furniture and replace upholstered furniture with wooden or plastic furniture. Avoid open bookshelves, as they are great dust catchers.

Sleeping and napping

Your child should nap or sleep only in his/her own bed, which has been made dust free. When your child travels or visits, he/she should take a non-allergic pillow with him/her.

Playing

If your child has asthma, do not allow him/her to jump on furniture or beds nor wrestle on carpeted floors. Avoid fabric toys or stuffed animals. If your child has stuffed animals they should be machine washable and washed in hot water or placed in the freezer overnight at least weekly. Store toys in a closed toy chest.

Pollens

In many areas, pollens can be a problem from February through November each year. If your child is allergic to pollen, during pollen season it is important that you keep all car/house windows closed and use the air conditioning.

Animal dander

Pets that have fur or feathers often cause allergy troubles. If your child is allergic to animal dander (the "skin" of the animal), it is best not to have pets and not to visit homes where these types of pets are kept.

Mold/mildew

Mold and mildew grow in areas that are dark, humid, and have poor ventilation.

Outdoors

Avoid damp, shady areas. Remove fallen leaves and avoid cutting the grass.

Bathrooms and kitchens

Always use the exhaust fans when cooking or bathing. If you do see mold/mildew, clean the area with cleansers made with bleach.

In the house

Use the air conditioner. Avoid using humidifiers, as mold/mildew can grow in the water tank. If you must use a humidifier, clean it daily with a bleach and water solution. Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50 percent or use a dehumidifier, if needed. Empty and clean the dehumidifier daily.

Cockroach droppings

Some people are very allergic to the substance the cockroach leaves behind. Cockroaches are very common in warm climates and in homes of people living in the city. However, even in climates with much cooler temperatures, the use of central heat allows the cockroaches to live. To avoid exposure to cockroaches, it is best to use roach traps or a professional exterminator.

Exercise

Even though exercise is a common asthma trigger, your child should not limit his/her participation in sports/exercise, unless directed by a physician. Exercise is good for your health and lungs. Some forms of exercise such as running long distances and playing basketball may be harder for your child to do. Activities such as swimming, golf, and karate are good choices for children with asthma. However, persons with asthma should be able to participate in most physical activities. Always make sure your child has a warm-up and cool-down period before and after exercise. Using a reliever medication 15 to 20 minutes before starting exercise can be very helpful, as directed by your child's physician. Consult your child's physician about exercise and asthma if this is a problem for your child.

Foods

Certain foods, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish, and food additives can trigger asthma symptoms. It is best to avoid these foods if they trigger an asthma attack.

Smoke

Do not allow family and friends to smoke anywhere inside the house. Do not allow smoking in the car at any time. Smoke is very irritating in an enclosed area and its odor may be trapped in the car's upholstery for a long period of time and continue to trigger symptoms. When eating out, always sit in non-smoking sections of restaurants. You should also have non-smoking childcare providers.

Strong perfumes/odors

Your child should avoid things that have a strong smell such as cleaning products, perfumes, hair spray, tar, fresh paint, gasoline, insect sprays, and room deodorizers.

The information presented above is from Chicago Kids Hospital. For more info check out www.uchicagokidshospital.org

Is There a Cure for Autism and ADHD?

Melanie Melanie Hohman Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Is it possible to cure or improve Autism and ADHD?  Many believe it is possible.  There are several different forms of therapy....but what we did for our son is working.  It takes a lot of work, but it is 100% worth it!  

How it all started for us: DENIAL!!!!!

When my son Luke turned 2, we were given the Regional Center phone number, and I threw it away.  I was completely shocked, because I didn't think my son had issues.  Sure, he was delayed, and a bit "corky" but I thought...he'll catch up and he's shy.  At pre-school, his teachers and the director at his school told me they were concerned.  He completely lacked social skills, no eye contact, no friends, and he would run the perimeter of the fence everyday, while the other children played with trucks in the sand.  Finally, just before he entered kindergarden, we had several private assessments done, an IEP, and a final diagnosis from a neurologist.   That's when I finally accepted it and jumped into action.  Two major changes helped my son greatly: diet and therapy.

Step 1, DIET!!!!!

My husband and I changed his diet immediately.  We started off by removing wheat/gluten.  Then we went to a strict GFCFSF diet (gluten-free, dairy/casein-free, and soy-free).  The first few weeks were awful.  It was like we were living with a drug addict who was detoxing.  We had to remove wheat, dairy, and soy from our house, because he was climbing the cabinets to find it.

I can tell you exactly what autistic kids eat (just like my son), they are addicted to chicken nuggets, breaded fish sticks, ritz crackers, yogurt, milk, cereal....basically wheat, dairy, and soy! They will outright refuse to eat anything else, because of their addiction.

Well I can assure you that once you break the addiction (which took us over 2 weeks) they will start to eat things you never imagined.  Several months later we saw major improvements in his behavior, sensory issues, and focus...because his gut had healed.  Please keep in mind that you have to be completely free of these foods, since it take about 6 months for the gut to heal.  So don't start this diet unless you are going to follow it 100%.

Step 2: Therapy:

My sons school provided OT and Speech which was terrific.  He also gets in-home services for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis).  ABA has greatly improved his social skills, eye contact, appropriate behavior, flexibility, and basically getting him to do day-to-day tasks like putting his socks and shoes on.  It is exhausting because there are bad days, but ABA really works.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I would love to help.

IBD - The Crohn's and Colitis Diet

Melanie Melanie Hohman Friday, June 07, 2013

I am not a doctor, but our Gluten-free bakery (Sensitive Sweets) seems to be a hub for people with several autoimmune disorders. I can't tell you how many customers suffering from Crohn's and/or Colitis have told me that a strict gluten-free and casein-free diet has helped improve their conditions.  Here's some info about these diseases:

There are two types of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases):

1) Crohn's Disease.  It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.  Symptoms include persistent diarrhea, bleeding, cramps, and constipation.  Diet and stress play a major role.  

2)  Colitis.  Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic disease of the colon.  Symptoms include urgent bowel movements, persistent diarrhea, loss of appetite, low energy, fatigue, delays in growth for children, and cramping." 

For more information please take a look at http://www.ccfa.org. Let me know what your experience has been.

Creating a Healthier Home with Lisa and Ron from Healthy Home Dream Team

Melanie Melanie Hohman Thursday, April 11, 2013

Simple steps to create a Healthier Home

I met with Lisa and Ron from the Heathy Home Dream Team, and they provided our moms group with some excellent advice! I purchased their book called Just Green It and inside there are several great tips. Here are a few:

  • Get an Air Purifier, and be sure to replace the filter seasonally.
  • Replace toxic cleaners with simple homemade ones. Their book has great tips such as using Vinegar instead of Windex.
  • Use a reverse osmosis or distillation Water Filtration System to remove metals.
  • Use Essential Oils instead of synthetic air fresheners. They also mention in their book about certain indoor plants that can remove toxins.
  • Get rid of Dust Mites by using organic barrier covers. They also suggest all natural rubber and wool mattresses.
  • Use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap mites, mold spores, and pollen.
  • Use zero or low VOC paint.

For more information….

The Healthy Home Dream Team®, Ron & Lisa Beres, are healthy home experts - Certified Green Building Professionals (CGBP),Building Biologists (BBEI), and published authors of several books including, Just GREEN It! Lisa is the author of the children's book, MY BODY, MY HOUSE. In addition to testing the health of homes, their consulting business includes celebrities and Fortune 500's. They are dedicated to helping others create healthier homes in which to THRIVE...and not just SURVIVE! The duo has appeared as experts on The Rachael Ray Show, The Suzanne Show, The Doctors, Fox & Friends, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, Discovery’s Greenovate + Chelsea Lately on E! Learn more at www.RonandLisa.com!

Eosinophilic Esophagitis Diet

Melanie Melanie Hohman Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE or EoE) is a disease that affects the esophagus and symptoms may mimic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms can include: Poor weight gain, difficulty or pain when swallowing, refusal to eat, vomiting, heartburn, and/or food impaction. One dietary option for EE is the Common Food Elimination Diet. This diet requires the removal of the most common food allergens (wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shell fish).

"Removal of these foods resulted in an 88% resolution of disease in children with eosinophlic esophagitis (Six Food Elimination Diet Trial).”

My son Bradley happens to be on this diet, not because of EE, but because of his food allergies. It's tough at first, but once you figure out what you need, it's simple. Be sure to rotate their diet every 4 days (or more if possible). He eats black, pinto, and white beans, Organic poultry and grass-fed Organic meat, Organic squash, carrots, and potatoes, lots of fresh Organic fruits, turkey and ham sandwiches made with our Sensitive Sweets bread.

You can also sneak flax seed, chia seed, and pureed veggies into our mixes to make muffins, cupcakes, and pancakes. Bradley is a healthy eater, and I do spoil him with our goodies because they are FREE of the most common allergens.

For more about EE info: http://www.eosinophilicesophagitishome.org.