Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Michael's Enzymes

I've been talking with a lot of people lately about the enzymes that Michael takes and why he takes them. I thought it would make the most sense to just write this out here and hope it reaches as many people as possible.

When Michael was first diagnosed with autism, we heard about the Gluten free/Casein free diet as a possible treatment. He was so limited in the foods he was willing to eat, and so underweight, I wasn't willing to further limit his diet at the time. I heard about a book, Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions, and decided to try the enzymes instead of the diet. There is a wonderful yahoo support group for people reading the book and using enzymes.

There are three enzymes that we give him: AFP Peptizide, Zyme Prime, and No Phenol, all produced by Houston Enzymes.

AFP Peptizide helps break down gluten, casein, and soy proteins. It is really the enzyme that can help instead of removing these foods from the diet. However, if your child is allergic to any of these proteins, or has celiac disease, the enzymes cannot replace removal of the foods.

Zyme Prime helps with the digestion of carbohydrates and fats. If your child is lactose intolerant, this enzyme can help digest the lactose (a sugar/carbohydrate).

No Phenol helps digest fruits and vegetables. Michael has a strong hyper reaction to bananas, but if we give him this enzyme with bananas, he can tolerate them just fine. It also seems to help with any food coloring in his food.

When we first started, Michael was unable to swallow capsules, so we bought the powdered version of the enzymes and mixed it with juice. You have to be careful to only mix right before giving the enzymes to your child. Otherwise, the enzymes will act on the juice and spoil it.

Now that Michael can swallow capsules, we get one product, Trienza. Two capsules of this product combines one dose of AFP Peptizide, one dose of Zyme Prime, and a half dose of No Phenol. If Michael is eating a lot of fruits/vegetables with a meal, we will give him an additional No Phenol capsule.

I love that Dr. Houston is so responsive to the needs of our children. His products are safe, and he is responsive. The website is great resource to understand how enzymes work for our kids, and he is a genuinely caring person. He came out to a parent group meeting I attended at his own cost, gave a thorough presentation, and answered all our questions. It was just obvious that he cares about our kids. I appreciate that.

After taking the enzymes for over 3 years, we decided to try Michael on the GFCF diet. Most children who have problems with Milk also have problems with soy, so we eliminated that as well. We also started to see Dr. Megson. We saw wonderful results with the diet, and Dr. Megson ran blood tests that indicated Michael is allergic to Wheat, Egg, and Peanut. Since the enzymes cannot help with physical allergies, it made sense that Michael was so responsive to the diet.

Since there seems to be a yahoo group for everything, I highly recommend the GFCF Kids group, for information about the diet and pretty much everything biomedical/autism related.

The last question people ask is why Michael still takes the enzymes even with the diet. The short answer is to be safe. His digestive system is such a fragile thing, we don't want to take any chances on cross contamination, or him eating something he isn't supposed to. By taking the enzymes before eating, we have an extra level of digestive safety.

I hope this helps with any questions you have about Michael's enzymes. If not, please leave a comment or send me an email. Michael is always my favorite topic!

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