In this episode I share key nutritional considerations for anyone wanting to improve their health, however, they are particularly important for anyone on the autism spectrum or who has a diagnosis of ADD / ADHD to consider in order to mitigate symptoms and help them thrive. This content is for educational purposes only, if meds are involved in someone’s treatment plan, please always discuss with your pharmacist before adding any supplements in order to ensure there are no contradictions.
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About the Host:
Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner and Master Practitioner in NLP and Timeline Therapy and a Board Designated Hypnotherarpy Teacher Trainer, helping people get to the root cause of their health issues and then get lasting results. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Melissa is the winner of the 2021 & 2022 Quality Care Award by Business From The Heart and is also the recipient of the Alignable “Local Business Person of the Year “Award 2022 for Whistler.
Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, the Aim Higher Summit and many more! She has also guested on over 60 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get started.
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Imagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be? Like?Melissa Deally:
What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you? Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system, or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today and all your tomorrow's don't wait for your wake up call.Melissa Deally:
Welcome back to another episode of The don't wait for your wake up call podcast. I am Melissa Deally your host. And today I want to talk to you about how good nutrition benefits those on the autism spectrum and those with ADHD and ADHD. And of course, good nutrition can benefit all of us. But I just want to share with you some information around common deficiencies that may be helpful to you if you know someone or have someone in your family that is on the spectrum or has a DD and ADHD. And as always, any information that I provide here is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are already using pharmaceutical medications, you will want to check with your pharmacist first to make sure there's no contract indications with any of the vitamins and minerals that I recommend using and do your own research. And I just hope this information is helpful to you because we do live in a world of nutrient deficiencies. And you may not be aware of this. So first of all, the rate at which children are being diagnosed with autism or ADHD, ADHD is escalating at rapid rates. And so that's why I really want to focus on how nutrition can improve, improve the outcomes for people that have these diagnosis. But let's go back in history a little bit first. The reality is that 20 plus years ago, in fact, going all the way back to 1976. There was no ADHD, and now one in 10 kids are on drugs for ADHD. And yes, some might say that back then they weren't testing for it. And there is a factor to that, however, so much has changed in terms of our food and the quantity of processed food and the deficiencies in our soil, the nutrient deficiencies that are triggering ADHD. Now that didn't exist back in 1976. Back in 19 719 9719 98 25% of children going to a therapist were prescribed Ritalin, and just four years prior to that it was only 5%. So in four years, we went from 5% of kids being prescribed a pharmaceutical drug to 25%. And that is astronomical growth in just four years. And that happened over 20 years ago. So my question is why? And in my research, what I learned is that the companies that designed the questionnaire that therapists use in order to make this diagnosis are in fact Big Pharma. And the kids are diagnosed if they have six of nine behaviors such as failing to pay close attention to details, not listening when spoken to failing to complete their homework, forgetting things, being easily distracted, speaking out of turn, can't sit still they fidget or squirm and they have difficulty playing quietly. Well, I don't know about you, but as a parent to have six of nine of those Raichu as being a DD or ADHD. To me, those are very normal childhood behaviors, and they don't warrant putting a child on a drug right off the bat. And the purpose of this episode really is to have you start to question Do I need I need to put my child on a drug right off the bat or do I need to look at what we can do nutritionally, to support the deficiencies, and then see how the behavior changes if there are behaviors that you're concerned about. And if your child begins to thrive, and the behavior improves simply from adjusting their nutrition. Another fact that I find quite horrifying is that between the years 2002 1003, there was a 369% increase in kids not yet old enough to go to kindergarten, that were being prescribed Ritalin and other similar drugs. And I just questioned the side effects of putting such young children on drugs that they're taking every single day for however many years, and those side effects might not show up until adulthood. And meanwhile, there is very good research out of the UK that has been around for a number of years that shows that putting kids on omega threes rather than middling proves to be equally as effective without any of the negative side effects. And omega threes are good for the brain, as well as the heart, eyes, skin, hair and cell health. And the best source is wild, fatty fish. And a lot of kids don't want to eat that. So they become deficient, they may be born deficient as mom might have been deficient through her pregnancy. And it's so easy for us to get omega sixes in our diet, because they're in everything. And so that increases our inflammation levels, because omega sixes are inflammatory essential fatty acids. And it puts our body out of balance with the Omega threes, such that we're in a deficient state in terms of omega three, relative to the level of omega sixes we have in our body. And this research show that after one year on omega threes, the kids did just as well as the kids on Ritalin with no negative side effects, as assessed by both their parents and teachers. So if your child is given a diagnosis of ADHD, there may not be a need to start with Ritalin, you might want to start with an Omega three supplement. instead. nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting individuals on the autism spectrum as well. And there is no one size fits all dietary approach, several key nutritional factors should be considered. And as I said, I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice. This is this information is being offered for your education. And for you to be able to do some more research into this. And this information also applies to those with a DD and ADHD. So first of all, let's look at a balanced diet. What are our kids eating? Are they getting enough fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats in their diet. We want to be avoiding the consumption of processed foods as much as possible, including sugary snacks and fast food. And of course, those are designed to be addictive and the flavors delicious and so kids want more of them. However, if that's negatively impacting their behavior and how they feel, can you start making more meals at home to allow them to get what their body truly needs, which is the seven to nine servings of fruit and vegetables in a day, and good quality nutrient dense meals. I've already talked about the benefit of omega three fatty acids and some great sources our salmon and mackerel in fish as well as flax seeds and walnuts if you're vegan or your kids simply won't eat fish. And they do have such a positive impact on brain health and cognitive function. There's also very good supplements today that you can use and ones that no longer leave that fishy aftertaste that kids wouldn't want to have that you can look at as well. If you're relying solely on plant based sources, you need a lot more of that in order to bring your Omega three levels up because your body has to go through an additional process in order to be able to turn that plant based Omega three into a usable form. So another aspect of your child's diet that you want to look at is protein. It is absolutely essential for the development and function of their brain and you want to be ensuring that they are getting an adequate amount of protein and good sources. is our lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu and beans, and that they're getting some protein during every meal. Next we have vitamins and minerals. So vitamin D is really important for overall health, particularly immune health, brain health, respiratory health, as well as bone and teeth health, and it regulates insulin levels. And supplementation is recommended as we simply do not get enough hours of sunlight exposure on our bare naked skin for enough hours a day and enough days of the year, with kids sitting in classrooms sitting inside playing video games, etc. and not outside playing enough and for adults as well who are in offices all day long rather than out tending to the farm as our forebears did for our forefathers did.Melissa Deally:
So when it comes to vitamin D supplementation 100% of Canadians are deficient if they're not supplementing, and that's true in the northern part of the US as well, just with our colder climates. And even in the sun belts. Because of spending so much time indoors, we can be deficient. If we're not supplementing, and it's very easy to get a liquid vitamin D supplement, you put a few drops under the tongue, and it doesn't taste like anything you want to do it in the morning because it can give a little bit of a a energy kick. And that can make a huge difference in boosting the health of your child and particularly their immune system and brain health. Iron deficiency is also very common, and again, kids can be born deficient in iron and it can affect cognitive function and energy levels. And so eating iron rich foods such as lean red meat, poultry, beans, and fortified cereals can help although Be careful with the fortified cereals, because there's a lot of marketing hype in that where the label shows all of the wonderful minerals and vitamins that have been added to that cereal to make it excellent. However, when you read the label, you also find that it is loaded with sugar. And you don't want to be doing that. In fact, there was research I heard about that I just shook my head at that came out in 2022 from one of the big Ivy League universities that said that lucky charms are the healthiest cereal, you can feed your child in the morning. And the whole reason that it was saying so healthy is because it's fortified with all of these vitamins and minerals. But it doesn't talk about the downside and impact of all of the sugar that is in Lucky Charms. And I will come back and talk about sugar in a minute. First though, I want to talk about magnesium. This is a mineral that plays a role in over 300 cellular functions in the body including neurotransmitter function and it is important in helping the body calm and a stress state will burn through our magnesium supply and leave us deficient and this deficiency can cause hyperkinetic behavior anxiety irritability, irregular heartbeats. While an excess of magnesium can cause confusion, depression, fatigue, diarrhea and lethargy. And clinically speaking, I rarely see anybody who has too much magnesium, I always see people who are deficient. And typically 80% of the North American population is deficient in magnesium because it's harder to get it through our food because it's not in our soil systems to the degree that it used to be. And a good quality magnesium supplement taken a bedtime can help your child Calm down, get better sleep. better sleep then results in more stress resiliency. You can also put Epsom bath salts into their bath put one cup into a standard sized bath in order to help them get more magnesium at bedtime because the skin absorbs it very well. And they could then take a supplement in the morning before heading off to school if needed. Zinc plays a role in neurotransmitter function. And low zinc can cause the weakened gut lining and bedwetting. It is also the partner or the antagonist of copper. So if zinc is low, then copper is high or vice versa. The risk when copper is high is that we can have copper toxicity, which can result in an anxiety or racing mind and it is often present in those diagnosed with ADD ADHD, Asthma, Allergies and other mood based disorders. And many babies are being born with copper toxicity passed to them via the placenta. foods like nuts, seeds and whole grains. Leafy greens are great sources of both magnesium and zinc. We can run A test to determine your mineral levels with a simple hair sample and it will also show us heavy metal toxins in the body as well, which are often present in people with ASD add and add HD, B vitamins, V vitamins or something else that you want to consider as well, especially B six and B nine which is folate and B 12. They are important for brain function. And they can be found in foods like leafy greens, lagoons, poultry, and again those fortified cereals, so be careful of those. And we can run a lab test that is a simple urine test that will assess the levels of key vitamins in the body as well as look at gut health. And our B vitamins also help our body cope with stress. And during periods of stress, we burn through them. And so it's important to then be able to make sure we're putting them back into our body. Are you a practitioner or a coach listening to this? If so, I would love to ask you. Do you use hypnotherapy in your practice working with clients? And if not, would you like to the power of hypnotherapy is limitless. And so often we experience our clients struggling to reach their goals. It's because they're coming up against their own brick walls and getting stuck that you can help them through the power of hypnosis, break through all of that, working with their unconscious mind to put the suggestions in to have them taking the action to achieve the results that they want. They are thrilled with your coaching techniques, they're getting the results they want, you feel amazing because you are helping your client get the results they want is a win win. And another win is that it's an added revenue stream for you in your business. So if you like the feel of helping your clients get the results they want. If you like the sound of that, then definitely reach out Melissa at your guided health journey.com or click the link tree link below for my unlimited power of hypnosis class. To learn more. It's a weekend designation program that I teach valid in 42 countries you write an exam after taking the experiential course and you can be admitted to the American Board of hypnotherapy and start using hypnotherapy one to one with your clients and have them achieving the results they want.Melissa Deally:
Probiotics are something else to consider. And we do know that kids with ASD have 25% less variety in their gut flora than what is typical. And as such their gut health is compromised. And we know there is a very strong gut brain connection and when our gut health is compromised, so is our brain health. And so it is worth running labs to assess if there is a Candida or bacterial overgrowth, so we can address that. And what we want to do is address any candida overgrowth first before we start using a probiotic because if we just go straight to the probiotic, it can actually feed a candida overgrowth and make things worse. So we first eradicate that overgrowth, and then we use a probiotic in order to support the ongoing gut health. Next, I want to talk about food sensitivities and allergies because some individuals with ASD or ADHD may have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. And many people do even if they don't have these diagnosis and identifying and eliminating trigger foods from the diet can lead to symptom improvement. And again, we can run a lab tests that will show sensitivities to 190 Different foods. The three most common foods that people have sensitivities to are dairy, gluten and eggs. Dairy and gluten are also highly inflammatory. And most people do better by eating less of them. In fact, with gluten is actually acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the body, which can leave the adult or child feeling overstimulated and acting out and not acting as the best version of ourselves because they're under the influence of gladden, and gladden is the protein in gluten. gladdened and gluten can trigger symptoms such as headaches, inflammation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, the beginning phases of dementia and Alzheimer's, Ms neurological issues lupus, auto immune issues in general, skin rashes, mood issues in general tantrums, tics in children, ATD and ADHD. As you see, when gladden breaks down in the body to an amino acid called glutamate, it wipes out or lowers your natural anti anxiety, neurotransmitters, which can lead to an anxious child or adult, which leads to higher levels of stress. And that can throw off your hormones in your body and your immune system. So we have a double whammy going on because it's an excitatory neurotransmitter already, and wipes out your anti anxiety neurotransmitters. And over time, glutamate, which is also inflammatory begins to affect the nervous system, your gut and your brain. And what we put into our body matters, it does impact our microbiome balance, and that impacts our overall health. So here's another thing you may not realize about gluten and gladden, and glutamate. gladden, as I said, breaks down to glutamate. And glutamate is exactly the same as MSG, and many people know to avoid MSG, particularly in Chinese food. However, they don't realize that when they're eating gluten, they're getting it as well. And not only is gluten in our breads and our muffins or pastries and our pasta, it's also an ice cream and toothpaste because it's a thickening agent. So how much gluten is your child getting in a day? And could it be could be the cause of some of their behaviors or moods? And can you reduce the amount that they're getting? And just to note, that simply buying gluten free foods may not be the answer either. You will need to read the labels as a lot of those foods are filled with sugars as well as other chemicals to enhance the shelf life. Which leads me to my next point, my daughter is gluten free, and we switched to rice pasta. I started baking muffins from almond flour and spelt flour in order to provide her other options. It does take a little more effort initially. However, once you get into a routine and with some conscious meal planning, it will feel like you've done this all along. And the benefit will be seeing your child thrive. As it was for me because she was no longer getting tummy aches every day and was getting back to enjoying life. The doctor had told me she would grow out of the tummy aches and I didn't have to do anything. But those tummy aches were debilitating, and No parent wants to watch their child suffer. So when she couldn't tell me how long it would take for her to grow out of the tummy aches, I wasn't willing to sit around and wait. And so we did some testing and found out she had this sensitivity to dairy and gluten. We remove those foods from her diet and saw profound impacts in just three weeks of removing them. Now everyone is individual so her experience will be different to everyone else's. However, having that knowledge from the lab tests helped us feed her in a way that worked for her unique body. So next I want to talk about sugar and artificial additives. Sugar isn't everything these days, and excessive sugar intake and artificial additives such as food colorings and preservatives may exacerbate hyperactivity and attention issues in some individuals, and reducing or eliminating these from the diet may be beneficial. This really helped my other daughter she'd never had a diagnosis. However, at the end of grade two, her teacher told me that her ability to sit still and focus had declined over the course of the school year as had her handwriting. I wasn't in health and wellness. And this is 18 years ago. And I didn't know what I now know. I had no idea how to support this. And so I asked the teacher and she said, you know, it may be a food sensitivity. And sure enough, when I reached out to my naturopath to ask her if she could help she suggested some testing for food sensitivities. And we did that testing and discovered she was sensitive to both sugar and yeast. We remove these from her diet as best we could. And when school started the following September she had the same teacher for the first week. And that teacher told me she was a different child. I had also seen the difference in her behavior very quickly because the tantrums while crying out. I don't know why I'm crying Mommy had stopped for her sugar amped up her body's so much she felt out of control and no one likes to feel that way. And so she would feel out of control and then she would crash with the insulin crash and it would end up in a meltdown when she couldn't handle it anymore. And a point here that you need to not only read the labels of food to see how much sugar is in it but also drinks sugar is in so many of Are drinks including fruit juice, you might think fruit juice is healthy because it comes from an apple it comes from an orange, and it's natural sugar. However, when we remove the sugar from the fruit, we're leaving behind all the fiber, and it's a straight spike of insulin to your child's body. And one apple juice box has 28 grams of sugar in it, that is equivalent to seven teaspoons, you would never feed your child seven teaspoons of sugar, and yet, they will drink it in one juice box. So, look at what are is your child drinking because pop and energy drinks are also full of sugar.Melissa Deally:
Something else to consider in terms of drinks is caffeine. Caffeine can affect sleep and exacerbate hyperactivity and anxiety in some individuals with ADHD. We all have a varying degree of sensitivity to caffeine. And so limiting caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening is advisable. It is a stimulant, and we all have varying degrees of sensitivity. As I said, I'm very sensitive to caffeine. I've never drank a cup of coffee in my life. And if I have any caffeine after 2pm, I will be awake for hours. I take my clients off coffee for three weeks while we do the detox program, just so they can have awareness on how it's impacting them during the day, and their sleep at night. And for those who are sensitive. To be able to make other choices as often the very thing we are drinking to switch our brain on is actually the problem as it's robbing us of good sleep at night, and having us wake up tired feeling like we need it. And when we give it up, we find we sleep better and we don't actually need it. So hopefully your children aren't drinking caffeine, but I recommend thinking twice before introducing it to your teenagers as well. Hydrated hydration is the next key point I want to talk about. We need to ensure proper hydration throughout the day as dehydration can affect cognitive function and behavior. Our brain is largely made up of fat and water. Therefore it needs good hydration. And properly hydrated means drinking half your body weight in water. So if your child weighs 50 pounds, they should be drinking 25 ounces of water, which does not include energy drinks and pop fruit juice or milk. It includes water, which can be flavored with the juice of half a lemon or half a lime or half an orange or herbal teas, or fruit teas or greens and fruit smoothies. Next up is meal timing and encouraging regular meal times that are spaced quite evenly apart during the day in order to maintain stable blood sugar levels. And that can help with mood, as well as providing structure and kids do well with structure it gives them boundaries to work within so they know what is coming next. So ideally having your meals three and a half to four hours apart. With a breakfast or lunch perhaps an afternoon snack and a dinner is ideal. It allows the food to be eaten to be digested properly to then have the body be able to do a little bit of cleanup, which is what it's designed to do between meals before the next meal goes in. And individualized approaches are very important. As I explained with my family, one child couldn't do dairy and gluten and another child couldn't do sugar and yeast. And I choose not to eat red meat because my body does better without it. Every single one of us needs to find the right way to eat for our unique body. And that's something that I teach in my programs as well. And we've often been raised to eat what's put on the table in front of us. Obviously, for convenience, it's easier to make one meal for the entire family that we all share. And it doesn't always work that way. And for adults, we might do that, because that's how we were raised. And also we might have been told eat what's on your plate because there's people starving in Africa. And as children that caused us to suppress our own body's ability to let us know when a food wasn't what it wanted. We had a sensitivity to it. And it might have given us a symptom. But when we had parents telling us to hurry up and eat it and we were forced to eat it couldn't leave the table till it hadn't been eaten. And that happened night after night after night. we overrode our own innate signals. And so as adults, we've lost a little bit of that. So it's really important to recognize that individual approaches are needed. And if a child is really not wanting to eat a food to be asking deeper questions, how is it making you feeling what is it about that food that isn't working for you? They may not have the language to say anything more than I don't like it until you start probing a little bit more with questions. So, the next topic that I want to share is supplements. Supplements can be very beneficial in supporting our nutrient deficiencies and allowing us to get to a place where our body can thrive in life in the classroom where our brain can also be thriving. But I know the supplement industry can be very confusing, because there's supplements that are cheap that have maybe not enough of the ingredient in it for the body to actually do something with or perhaps it's not the most bioavailable form, it's the cheapest form instead. And if it isn't bioavailable, it's hard for your body to absorb it. So understanding brands that you can trust, and what supplements your body might actually need is really important. And that's where working with someone like myself, a health care practitioner, that you already have in your life can be helpful, as well as running the lab so that you know which minerals you might be deficient in which vitamins you might be deficient in. So that you know and you can support your body and coming back into balance so that it can thrive physically and mentally. So I really hope this information has been helpful to you. I'd be happy to have a chat with you. If you feel you need support and making some dietary changes in your household and or getting lab testing done. Simply go to your guided health journey.com and click the Book button to book a complimentary call with me. And if you know someone that this episode can help, please send it to them and invite them to listen. Thank you as always for tuning in to the don't wait for your wake up call podcast. And come back and join us again next week when I have another fabulous guest on the show for you.Melissa Deally:
Thank you for investing this time with me on the don't wait for your wake up call Podcast. I'm so glad you joined in. If you can take two minutes to share this episode with someone who you think can benefit and have a positive impact on their life. That would be wonderful. Please leave a review by going to your favorite podcast listening app. And let me know what you enjoy or would like to hear more of it will support me in my effort to bring the possibility of natural healing to a wider audience and help disrupt the sick care system we have today and make human health a global priority. Health is your true wealth.