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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Do you give your child supplements of any kind? {Vitamins, probiotics, enzymes}

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM
  • 11 Replies

Our 3 1/2 yr old High functioning Pdd daughter has struggled with bm's for about a year now.  Her diet is not terrible, but could be better.  She has never been tested for food allergies because we have never felt the need to do so.  Doesn't seem to be bothered by dairy, or gluten/casein, has never had reflux. She takes Miralax and mineral oil in her juice most days.  If she goes more than 2-3 days without her "poop potion", she feels awful and has painful bm's several times throughout the day often leading to a painful irritated bottom.  She is still in diapers, potty training is a bust and I strongly believe her constipation issues are a primary contributing factor to our lack of success.


Do you give your child supplements?  Vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, etc?  Have you noticed a difference in digestive function and or overall behavior?


I apologize if there has already been a similar post. Thank you in advance :)

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mommy4lyf
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:39 AM

For the supplement part, we are using products from this site http://www.speechnutrients.com/ for almost 3 years now. No side effects, all natural, no allergens and with good results in my son's behavior, diet, speech, I mean...overall... he's taking these products speak, learn and the new probiotic which is a miracle to my son's stomach :D

amonkeymom
by Amy on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

I don't.  My son does get allergy meds, but that's really about it.

hwifeandmom
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this

My 18yr ASD dd has suffered from bowels problems her whole life.  Testing eventually revealed that she has slow bowel motility as well as missing neurological signals in her bowels, which tell the muscles when to kick in and push the poop out.  She will have to be on stool softening laxatives her whole life.

We tried probiotics with dd.  They were helpful, but not enough for the severity of problem that dd has.  My ds also has minor problems with bowels.  Probiotics were mostly helpful for his level of problem.  Unfortunately, he hates taking meds and becomes very forgetful when his bowels are doing well, so we usually have to resort to stool softening laxatives for him, when his problems develop.

We've also tried digestive enzymes and magnesium supplements.  Because of dd various health problems (anemia, bowels, mood disorder, ADHD) and the number of meds she was taking at one point, she became very defiant about taking meds.  We had to cut out the supplements and limit it to only the most necessary meds.  I'm not sure how helpful the supplements were for her since we didn't have a long enough track record of taking them.

We went dairy/casein-free with dd for about 2-months.  I don't know if that's long enough to tell a difference, but we did not see a change in my dd bowel habits.

Here's some more info about poop meds:

We used mineral oil for several years before we got better help from the doctors.  I later learned that mineral oil can prevent the absorption of certain nutrients.  Although it was effective, it is probably not your best laxative.

There are two basic types of laxatives:  stimulant and non-stimulant.  Stimulant laxatives force bowel contractions to semi-quickly eliminate stool.  They are habit forming (the body can become dependent on them), so they are for occasional use only.  They are often senna-based products (such as Senekot, Fletchers, Ex-lax), tho' there are other types, too.

Non-stimulant, stool softening laxatives help hold water in the stool to prevent it from becoming as dry, hard, and difficult to pass.  They are not habit-forming (the body does not become dependent on them), so they are safe for long-term, daily use.  Some good ones are Miralax, Benefiber, Milk of Magnesia, Mineral Oil, Fiber Choice, Fiber Gummies, and Metamucil's new Clear-and-Natural in the BLUE bottle with Inulin powder.  My dd prefered med was Metamucil's new Clear-and-natural.  It is Inulin-based (from chicory root -- in other words, it's plant-based).  It required only a very small dose and was completely tasteless, even in water.  She could still taste the Miralax & Benefiber even tho' they're supposed to be tasteless.  Many of the fiber gummies are also Inulin based and yummy.

With some meds, you can't take too much without overdosing.  With laxatives, that's not the case.  The dose is very individual.  The bottle provides dosing guidelines, but you can increase or decrease as necessary for what your individual body needs.  Some people need half dose, while other people need multiple doses.  At one point my dd was taking six doses of laxatives daily (at doctor's orders) and still having insufficient BM.  You just don't want to give so much laxative that you get diarrhea and get dehydrated, but otherwise, use enough to get the job done.

If your dd is getting constipated with being off laxatives for only a couple of days, then she should not be off of her meds.  Clearly her body needs them.  It is hard on the body to go through the constipation, emptying cycle.  The more often and more severely the body is constipated, the more likely that her bowels will get stretched out and lose muscle tone, making it even easier to get constipated.

You are right that the painful BM will make potty training more difficult.  Both of my ASD kids were delayed potty training, but for them, I think the bigger problem was their low sensory awareness.  They just couldn't feel the urges until it was too late to get to the toilet.   The two problems combined made the job harder, but they did eventually potty train at around 4yrs (tho' dd still had several urine accidents during elementary school).

 

SandyLaxner
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Ds 5yo ASD has had poop problems(constipation) for a few yrs,we have been giving him Miralax every day.  I took him to a GI specialist and he said continue the Miralax.  DS is a very picky eater.  Very active,potty trained for #1,but has huge man sized logs.  Cannot believe that comes out of his lil body.  I tried gummy probiotics,but he did not like them,though he takes the multivitamin and fiber supplements(gummies) easily.  we have never done GFCF,I don't think he has allergies.  He's pooping about once a wk now,I know he should do more,we just keep on keepin on.GL.

newmommy430
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:57 PM
1 mom liked this
Many people do report that GF/CF does help with constipation. It isn't a diet that works for everyone though. If you wanted to try and see, start by removing casein for at least 3 days. Gluten should be removed for at least 3 weeks. I did one at a time because some people report that their child has issues with casein, but not gluten or vice versa. Dairy is usually the most common thing that people have difficulty digesting (autism or not).

Whether or not the diet helps, probiotics and epsom salt baths should help.

Probiotics come in all different forms. Yogurt (I get almond milk and coconut milk ones), gummies, powder, and drops. I mix the powder in my son's drinks.

Epsom salt baths can help sooth muscles and detox the body. It is also a natural laxative. You can start with 1/4 cup in the bath and gradually add more. Epsom salt is natural and safe, however, some people (although it's rare) do have allergic reactions to it. That's why you want to start off with so little.

I do see an improvement with my son. He had reflux, diaherria, and constipation a lot before. Now his bowel movement are pretty regular- usually once or twice a day. He has a lot more energy and is improving in all areas. It's not an instant miracle cure though. It takes time and patience. You have to also be willing to make a lot from scratch and search the different grocery stores for the items you need.
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Nattycakes
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Thank you all for taking time out of your day to give me such thorough advice.  With so much info out there, I tend to stick to what "real" moms have tried and approve for their own kiddos.  Thanks again :)

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Feb. 9, 2013 at 5:54 AM

 just a multivitamin!

philipmommy4834
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Sometimes we try probiotics.  My son doesn't like taking meds so i crush the pill up and put it in his peanut butter and jelly.  He doesn't have a documented wheat allergy but we try just eliminating some gluten from his diet and use almond milk.  The hospital recommended JUICE WITH FIBER.  It has been a lifesaver.  Its juiceboxes with 8 grams of fiber in them.  You have to order them online though and with the shipping it gets expensive.  I think it tastes gross but my son likes it.

ThreeSweetPs
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 6:57 AM
Multivitamin and DHA, Lil' Critters brand- no artifial colors.
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 9, 2013 at 6:57 AM

My son takes several medications for digestion and vitamins...he also has Cystic Fibrosis, Delayed gastric emptying, and pancreatic insufficiency.  He takes Creon 12,000, Reglan, Nexium, Miralax, Vitamin D, Aquadek.  He also takes meds for respiratory purposes.

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