There are a lot of opinions about “treating Down syndrome” out there. It’s easy as a concerned parent to get wrapped up in all the therapies, supplements, treatment plans…
I always worry I’m not doing enough for Eli: I didn’t work him out enough, I didn’t get him the proper nutrition, he’s not growing properly, I didn’t practice flash cards today…the list goes on. I know you can relate.
My husband and I do work hard to make sure Eli has everything he needs to be as successful and healthy as possible. For our family, that has included adding vitamins to Eli’s food.
Now don’t confuse me- in no way shape or form do I believe Eli needs to be “cured” or “treated” for anything. Down syndrome is not something he is suffering from. It’s just part of who he is.
Nor do I fall into the group of families who feel that Ds is the best thing to ever happen to their family and they love Ds. I’m in the middle. I love my son and everything that makes him who he is- Down syndrome is a part of that. But I seek to understand how that affects him and how I can help him achieve his full potential.
Through my research it’s clear that the extra chromosome Eli sports does change what we know about the human body- how he processes information, nutrition, how he grows, how his internal organs function. It’s just different.
So it makes sense to me that he would need different nutritional care as well.
There are programs out there that are aimed at a “cure” to Ds. Because every single cell in Eli’s body has the extra 21st chromosome, I fail to see how the “cure” these companies claim to offer is possible.
I’ve read where parents report miraculous changes and gains their child experiences after starting these protocols. It’s tempting to want to try them. But I have a hard time believing some of the claims, and an even more difficult time putting my child on prescription meds like Prozac.
But you know me- I like the more natural approach. So I began to look into how his body processes things differently and what I can do to help him be healthier.
I started taking bits and pieces of what I had found and made them work for our family. What we decided was that vitamins and a clean diet would benefit Eli the best.
How do you get started on something that big?
I don’t want something like this to take over or change our lives. Adding more special instructions or routines can seem overwhelming for anyone- especially with all the extra stuff we already do with Eli.
So I started small. I got onto Ds forums and asked questions, I searched the web, spoke to our pedi, and naturopathic doctor. With all that help we were ready. We started small, with one supplement at only 1/3 the dosage and waited to see how he tolerated it. Then we went from there…
Here is our current protocol:
1- Baby ProBiotic
2- Coconut Oil
3- NuTriVene D
4- Omega DHA Fish Oil
5- Longvida Curcumin
6- Liquid Folate
These are listed in the order that we began them. All of these vitamins were started one at a time with 1/3 the recommended dosage. I mix these into his breakfast every morning. A few of them are spaced out throughout the day to make them more effective, so some of them go into his lunch as well. I do not have any supplements added to his dinner, as I have found he has trouble sleeping afterward.
Please please please consult your child’s doctor before beginning any vitamins or supplemental treatment. This post is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any illness or disease.
I have been reading a lot about memory and antioxidents. We plan to add ginkgo and coQ10 to his supplements when we feel ready. We are also going to begin working with a nuerodevelopmentalist to help with cognition and memory. The brain needs to be worked just as much as we work his body in OT and PT 🙂 Busy little boy, huh?
These are two resources that I visit often. My other research has been so spread out that I can’t even recall the exact location of it all, so I apologize. Please look into this further- do your own research and decide if this is something that you want to explore for your family.
DS Day to Day
Some of the things we have noticed since beginning supplements:
Better growth and more consistent weight gain, reducded puffiness under his eyes, better digestion and consistent bowel movements, better memory, less bloated belly (but lets face it, kid’s got a good milk tank), better sleep at night, generally healthier than pre-supplements.
I’m not going to claim that Eli is suddenly more intelligent than any other child. In fact, I feel like with or without the supplements Eli is right on target with milestones and doing what his peers with Ds are doing as well. Our goal is to make sure Eli is as healthy as he can be and that his brain/body are functioning to the best of their ability. This also means a clean diet- we make all his food, organic (check your labels people!!), avoid sweets and juice, remove plastic when possible, go for non-GMO products…etc.
We have seen some positives in his health as a result of these vitamins and that is the intent.
We only want the best for him, and because of the results we have experienced we plan to continue down this path. I take vitamins, so it only makes sense 🙂
I hope that this post can help someone else who may be curious about beginning supplements or not sure where to begin. If you have any questions, please contact the companies directly (especially NuTriVene- they have GREAT information behind their products, why they are recommended and actual research behind them. They also send FREE samples!!), or feel free to comment here and I will do my best to answer your questions!!