Monday, June 27, 2011

Save Your Kids...Save Their Lives! Part 2

by Glen Depke

In part 1, you understood some of the basic aspects of brain development for your kids:

·         Basic nutritional needs for this development
·         Basic lifestyle choices for proper brain development
·         Simple time frame guidelines for this development
·         Some of the needed brain functions for a healthy child

If you missed part 1, click here first, prior to reading part 2.

Let’s first start with nutrition for your child’s brain. I mentioned in part 1 that you need fatty acids, glucose and oxygen for proper brain development. Specifically, it is important to address this with proper omega 3 supplementation. I know you have heard this before but wait; I will address this on a much more specific level. Understand that your typical omega 3 contains the fatty acids EPA and DHA. Did you know that the aspect of your omega 3 supplementation that ties directly into your child’s brain function is the DHA? There are supplements on the market today that will provide either a 14:1 or a 24:1 ration of DHA to EPA for proper brain development and for children with brain development disorders; I recommend the 24:1 ratio supplementation. Adding healthy fats such as avocado, olives and flax seeds are another important nutritional choice that honestly, most kids love.

Glucose was also mentioned as an important nutritional factor with proper brain development. No, this does not mean that the consumption of processed sugars or processed carbohydrates is the food of choice for brain development. I am talking about feeding your children higher amounts of fresh vegetables on a consistent basis and fresh fruit on occasion. It is often best to add a quality fat with this fruit consumption to slow the release of glucose so insulin levels do not spike. This will provide the longer sustained energy without the spike and crash that we often see with children these days.

Nutritionally, it is not only important to add the proper choices to enhance brain development, it is also important to reduce or eliminate the nutritional choices that are hindering this development. Here is a list of foods to be significantly reduced or eliminated.

·         Gluten containing foods
·         Processed sugars
·         Processed carbohydrates
·         Pasteurized dairy products
·         Fruit juices
·         All sodas

I have had many parents in the past share that if they eliminate these foods, they are eliminating most of what their kids eat. If this is true, this is exactly where a significant challenge lies for your child’s brain development and you know where the responsibility lies. It lies with you as the parents. I get that this can be tough to hear, but do you really want to hinder your child’s brain development? Are you willing to take responsibility for multiple challenges for your child’s health for the rest of their life?

Remember that the brain is developing well into the late teenage years, so this is extremely important.

Often I will hear parents say that they are only feeding their kids what every other parent is giving to their children. Remember from part 1 of this series, 1 out of 8 children in the United States has a brain development disorder and some even suggest 1 out of 6. So is it really OK to feed your child what everyone else is? You know what I am hoping your answer is.

If your child is already consuming all the challenging foods and not consuming the brain healthy choices, this may take some time to create this shift but it will be more than worth the effort. Remember, it is your responsibility as a parent to supply the nutrients needed for your child’s brain development.

Let’s also look at the lifestyle choices to assist with your child’s brain development.

If you remember from part 1 how important the frontal cortex is in inhibiting the limbic system, understanding that a limbic system out of control will lead to impulsive behaviors, quick temper, poor decision making, saying things out of turn or the inability to wait your turn. If you recognize your child in this description you can take the nutritional steps above as well as these lifestyle choices. Dramatically decrease passive activity such as computer game and television. These activities are far too limbic dominant. Instead focus on activities that stimulate the frontal cortex such as play and movement. You remember what we used to do as kids. Run around, be active and focus on activities that also require balance.

Also focus on activities that stimulate the brain. If you child is very young, you can play the game that I can remember playing as a kid. Place a deck of cards face side down and pick up two cards, looking for cards that match. Take turns going around the table and when you pick a match, you get to keep the cards. You will be amazed that these simple shifts can create a dramatic improvement.

If your child is a bit older it would be a good idea to get them interested in a musical instrument and enroll them in learning a second language. These are very stimulating to the brain and assist with brain development.

From a clinical perspective, it is important to note that you want to make these changes right now. The older your child becomes, the more difficult it is to make changes. The older your child becomes, the more permanent his/her disabilities become. Once they reach teenage years, the brain’s potential for positive change is dramatically reduced.

Time and urgency matter!

To add from part 1, you want to look for certain characteristics for clues of brain development disorders. Is your child inattentive with their head in the clouds, are they hyperactive and bouncy, are they depressed, anxious and easily startled, or are they inflexible, rigid and always want their way? If you are answering yes to any of these, it is up to you to address this and address it soon.

Another factor that has a very high level of importance in assisting with your child’s brain development happens when your child is simply a glimmer in the eyes or yourself and your spouse. Focusing on your own health as a parent into an optimal state prior to conception is also extremely important. Not only from the factor of healthy parents typically conceive healthy babies but it will also be much easier for you to teach your newborn healthy habits if you are already following these habits yourself. If you ask you child to eat well, play, move and stimulate their brain; you should be too.

It is also recognized by many in the field that very often children with developmental delay are born from a pregnant mother with alcohol abuse, hypothyroidism and/or autoimmune challenges. This is one of the reasons to address your health as a parent prior to becoming a parent.

To end, if you already have a child that was diagnosed with developmental delay, Autism,
ADD, ADHD or if you simply recognize the symptoms discussed earlier; you very likely stand a very positive chance in assisting your child in creating a very positive shift in brain development. Once again, remember that time and urgency matter.

If you have any comments or questions on this article, I welcome you to post these below for me to answer personally.

If you would like to discuss my protocols for children with any level of developmental delay, I welcome you to register here for a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation to understand this process.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Save Your Kids...Save Their Lives! Part 1

by Glen Depke

When we talk about a child’s developmental delay, we often think of challenges such as Autism but this delay can often go on unnoticed for so many children. Often symptoms such as tics, fidgeting, poor digestion, poor bladder tone, poor stool control, floating stool, poor coordination or sensitivity to environmental stimulants, can be signs of developmental delay with your child.

If you want to create a significant impact on your child’s life, it is a must to understand the neurochemistry of your child’s development…so here we go.

First let’s understand that approximately 1 out of 8 children in the United States have a brain development disorder. Some estimate 1 out of 6.

The current convention treatment for this is to medicate with amphetamines, sedatives, antipsychotics, beta blockers and the use of behavioral therapies. Understand that the first three on this list are actually addictive. Yes, these are given to our children.

Oh, and the other way this is addressed is to simply hope they will grow out of it…good luck!
None of these are the answer and they fail consistently. Medications, hope that they’ll grow out of it and behavior therapy is not the answer. So what is the answer? Nourish the brain!

Think about what the brain needs to develop. The brain’s requirements for proper development include glucose, oxygen and fatty acids. These are not options, they are essential for proper development. Another key is eliminating the nutritional and lifestyle choices that are adding to this delayed brain development.

The brain is in a constant state of development from conception well into your child’s late teens and these needs continue through this entire time frame. Once the development ends, you have what you have, so you better make this time frame of utmost importance for your kids.

One of the early keys to proper brain development is tied into the frontal cortex. This will play a significant role in your child’s ability to stand up, walk and the development of their personality. This frontal cortex will assist in focused concentration, enable alertness, planning, learning and remembering. The frontal cortex will also dampen the limbic activity, which addresses impulses, rage, anger and arousal. Often children with levels of developmental delay have a suppressed frontal cortex which leads to an over active limbic system and the symptoms listed above. Understanding of the role the frontal cortex plays in balancing the limbic system, you can see why it is often mentioned that 70% of the brain is there to inhibit the other 30%.

Early on, the milestones in development will include these results.

·         Sits alone
·         Crawls
·         Stands
·         Walks alone
·         First word
·         Two-word phrases
·         Responsive smiles
·         Finger feeds
·         Drinks from cup unassisted
·         Uses spoon
·         Bowel control
·         Dresses self – unassisted

These milestones should begin at approximately 5 months and run through 3.25 to 5 years old.

So besides the nutrients mentioned earlier, what else does your child need? Physical activity and stimulation for their brain is another must. Toys should be everywhere for your kids, but not toys such as computer games and television. Toys that make them think and create stimulation of their bodies and their minds. When your child is old enough, get them involved in a musical instrument and learning a second language to continue this stimulation. Playing, whether this is organized sports or just having fun with physical activity. The physical activities should also be those that require a demand from a balancing perspective.

Did you ever notice how an infant’s pupils are generally huge? This is due to the fact that the sympathetic nervous system is dominant. As the brain is nourished on many levels this will assist in the further development of parasympathetic activity. If this does not develop, it will lead to difficulty sleeping, constant sugar cravings, decreased intestinal motility, decreased enzymes and digestion, poor intestinal permeability and an inability to control the bowel and bladder.
A major key to consistent brain development is neuron migration which will continue through late childhood and into adolescence. This neuron migration is just one factor; we also want to recognize the importance of myelination, synaptogenesis and apoptosis. Remember, as mentioned above, these processes are continuing throughout all of childhood and into early adolescence. At the risk of getting too technical, I am not going to go deeper into all of these processes; just understand that all of these processes play a huge role in the development of your child’s brain.

Next week in part 2 you will learn some of the factors to address with your children, what you can do prior to conception and some of the possibly surprising factors that can lead to your child’s lack of proper brain development.

If you have any questions or comments to this article please leave your post below for me to answer personally.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are You Full of Poop?

by Glen Depke

So what do you feel would define healthy bowel movements (BMs). So many feel that this is having a bowel movement once per day. One per day will keep you full of poop and so much more.

It is amazing to me how our culture gets caught up in the norm, not recognizing that the norm would be sick and unhealthy. I like to think that the followers of our newsletter do not desire to simply to survive; our followers truly desire to thrive. So what is thriving on a bowel movement (BM) level?

Fist let's see what one BM per day will give you. If you have one BM per day, this means that you are more than likely holding the residual of 6 meals in your GI tract at all times. wonder you feel bloated, right?

There are many challenges created by this. First of all the colon is not designed to be a storage unit. If your waste is not moving through adequately, the contents of your colon will leach through the colon walls and enter the tissue around the colon. From here, these contents will reenter the blood stream and circulate through the body. Recognize the the liver is pulling toxins out of the body for release through the colon. To add, women will often be ridding their body of some extra estrogen via the colon also. With this said, many of us are circulating toxins, hormones and waste through the body because we are happy with one BM per day. The other challenge is that our food will begin to putrefy if it does not make the complete trip through the GI tract in 18 hours or less, especially our proteins.

All this for those that believe that they are having healthy BMs. How about those that do not have even one BM daily. Some are holding the residual of 9, 12 and sometimes more meals in their GI tract at all times. Wondering what that little pouch is in the lower abdomen. You can see that it is not always fat. Yikes!

So what would I define as healthy BMs? This would be a minimum of 2 BMs per day. Generally the most substantial in the morning and another in the late afternoon or in the evening. This way you would be releasing your breakfast with your afternoon or evening BM and the next morning you would empty the waste of your lunch and dinner from the day before. This would achieve the goal of less than 18 hours and you would allow your colon to act strictly a transport unit. Optimally speaking you would have a BM after every meal, like a baby being fed. You know, feed a baby...poop, feed a baby again...poop again; you get the picture. At least get to 2 BMs per day and you have made a significant positive change for yourself. A deeper understanding for health BMs would allow for an easy release of your BM, very little odor and they would not float. They would actually slowly settle to the bottle of your toilet. Add into this, they would be about the consistency of soft serve ice cream and there would be little if any residual to wipe. Let's hear it for health BMs!

If you are not here, there are simple tips you can follow for improvement.
  • Take a quality probiotic daily
  • Take a digestive enzyme with each meal
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Stay properly hydrated
  • Move your body - go for a walk 
  • Deep breathe through your day and especially during meal time
Follow these tips and watch your BMs change for the better. No s_ _ t!

If you have any questions or comments on this article feel free to leave these below and I will answer them personally.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Should Have High Cholesterol?

by Glen Depke

Really, there are people that should have high cholesterol? In the perfect world this would not be the case, but I do not know of anyone that lives in this perfect world. So yes, there are individuals that absolutely need higher amounts of cholesterol production within their bodies are here is a list of those that you would typically see this higher production.

Those with a higher than normal cholesterol production would include but not be limited to those with:

       High stress life
       Hormone imbalance
       Physical, mental or emotional  health challenges
       Brain and nervous system challenges
       “Sick” people
       Extreme athletes

The reason these people would typically require a higher production of cholesterol is due to the positive factors that cholesterol plays in your body. Here is a list of these positive benefits.

       Essential to the function of the human body
       Prevents some types of Cerebrovascular Diseases
       Essential component of Cell Membranes
       Key constituent of the Myelin Sheath that insulates Neurons
       Cholesterol’s byproducts are essential components of Bile
       Protects the Skin against infection by detrimental bacteria and fungi
       Cholesterol possesses Antioxidant properties
       Essential to healthy Brain function
       Assists in preventing Depression
       Low cholesterol increases risk of Cancer
       Precursor for the formation of Steroid Hormones
       Increases the number of receptors in the brain for Serotonin
       Essential precursor for the production of Vitamin D

With this said, you can see that your body needs cholesterol. If you fit into one of the categories of those that need higher cholesterol, your body may require a higher production of cholesterol to assist in balancing and healing the body.

Think of it this way. Prior to having your blood drawn to assess cholesterol levels, are you ever asked any of the questions below?

       Are you under a lot of mental emotional stress?
       Are your hormones imbalanced?
       Do you really “push it” with your exercise?
       Have you been chronically ill?

These are the questions you need to be asked to assist in understanding where you fall in regard to a cholesterol need.

Also understand that about 70 – 80% of your body’s cholesterol is produced in liver or the cells of your body. The other 20 – 30% will come from your nutrition. Only about 50% of your nutritional cholesterol is absorbed by the body while most of the remainder will be released in your bile. If you consume higher amounts of nutritional cholesterol, the body will adjust its own production accordingly. Recognize that consuming cholesterol in your food is not this issue.

So if your doctor tells you your cholesterol is high, this does not mean the next step is a statin drug. The next step is to understand where your bodily imbalance may be and address this. When your body no longer needs the excess cholesterol, your production will decrease. I see this so often in my years as a Traditional Naturopath. Often you will see cholesterol levels rise during healing, only to fall again once you reach a state of balance.

For further information on cholesterol feel free to visit this link to another blog post earlier in the year.

If you have any comments or questions, please post these below and I will answer them personally.

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and you would like to understand where your challenge may lie, register for a FREE 20 minute phone consultation here.