worst 24 hours

My daughter found a pill that had been dropped, and ate it. We are doing everything possible to make sure this never happens again, obviously (like having my mom keep hers in her car when she’s watching M, so none can even be accidentally dropped, cause M pops them in her mouth in a second). It was bad. Terrible. The side effects were ataxia (loss of balance and control of motor movements) which alerted me to the problem, followed by loss of bladder control, and then even worse, extreme agitation and aggression, even combativeness. It was so extremely terrible. It went on and on and on. We’re past the 24 hour mark now and things have gotten better, but the drug has a long half-life so we’re still in it. Luckily, the doctor felt it was safe to stay home and let it wear off, but we were very close to going to the hospital for the IV antidote. The most dangerous part of it was that she was throwing her head forcefully into hard objects, walls, and the floor. I was terrified she’d get a concussion. I was in tears by morning, and nearly burst into tears at the doctor’s several times.

She finally fell asleep at 11:30am for a few hours and then again at 5pm. She’s calmer but it doesn’t take much to push her into a rage right now. It reminds me of her behavioral issues this summer except 50 times worse.

In more normal, less terrifying, but also troubling news, I got the lab results back from her blood draws. Her histamine level is off the chart… the 2nd highest this physician has ever seen in a child. The normal range is 30-60 mg/ml, and hers was like 188. Aside from increased mucous production and asthma-like symptoms, the following describes high-histamine children:

The High Histamine Child

Most histadelic children are very self-motivated and achievement-oriented. However, some are so self-directed that they resent giving up their control to a parent or teacher. They can’t stand being told what to do by adults. These youngsters become disruptive within their families and classrooms. Physical discipline only causes their behavior to intensify. They may not easily make friends with their peers, preferring much younger children or adults. If counseling is pushed, it typically will be a failure. A diagnosis of “oppositional defiant disorder” often results. These children tend to get obsessively hooked on activities. This can be advantageous to the child who pursues learning or sports, but will present problems if the focus is on negative activities like playing video games excessively.

Drug use among histadelic (high histamine) teens is five times as likely as with histapenic (low histamine) young people. These drugs steadily worsen their nervous system imbalances. If they start cigarettes, they may become chain-smokers. It is important to channel their compulsive-obsessive tendencies into productive activities.

If you suspect your own child fits this category, a blood test will be able to pinpoint their histamine levels. Usually no drugs are required to lower histamine, as you will see from the formula a the end of this section. To have high-normal histamine levels is a real blessing. The natural energy and drive to succeed in life gives this type a competitive edge. The danger lies in letting histamine rise to such high levels that there is suicidal depression or impulsive sexual addiction or obsessions that are uncontrollable.

-Joan Mathews Larson

The treatment is methionine, which re-methylates and detoxifies histamine (providing it with a methylating ring), as well as magnesium, vitamins B6 and B12, and lithium (also helping to re-methylate, extremely small dose compared to what those with bipolar take). Her copper level is also low (as most undermethylators are) so she gets a supplement of that, too. We are doing them one at a time, so we started the magnesium today, and will add the lithium in 4 days. And so on. Luckily, she loves pills (she’s high high risk to ingest any she comes across), so she’s thrilled that she gets to take some.

The thyroid improved but only slightly, but that was expected as that can take a year or more to show improvement. So she still gets the iodine drops. And the probiotics. You better believe I’ve googled the shit out of all this stuff, everything from wikipedia to published scholarly articles in medical journals. It’s real and it’s legit. I guess I should just be very grateful that we have such a great and thorough pediatrician.

In case you’ve lost count, at the end of the next few months she’ll be taking the following every day:
Lugol’s iodine drop (x1)
Magnesium
Lithium
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Methionine
Copper
Probiotics

Luckily she doesn’t seem to be histamine intolerant, meaning she doesn’t have allergic reactions to histamine, she just has too much of it in her system. So here are the high histamine foods (and histamine liberator foods) we have to avoid:
Strawberries and citrus fruits like pineapple, kiwi, lemon
Aged cheeses, including sharp cheddar and parmesan
Tomatoes, including sauces like spaghetti and pizza sauce
Chocolate
Nuts, including peanuts
Chickpeas and other beans
Vinegar including vinegar-based salad dressings
Smoked meats and sausages
Anything pickled
Wheat germ (um so no wheat breads???)
All preservatives, food additives, and artificial dyes
Canned meat or vegetables
Leftovers

Of course she already can’t have artificial coloring, especially red dye 40, and I have already limited the preservatives as much as possible. She isn’t supposed to have bromides in her breads or pastas so we buy organic or unbromated. The pediatrician really wants her on the Feingold diet, but really other than eliminating salicylate-containing foods (like apples, grapes, cucumbers) I believe I pretty much am doing the Feingold diet with her (no preservatives or dyes), except that I’m not slowly rotating foods in and out to see which one in particular affects her. I can’t handle that level of elimination and craziness, and if that means I just take most of this stuff away most of the time… as long as she’s ok and happy, that’s what I’ll do first.

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Categories: nutrition, parenting

5 Comments »

  1. I take some really good methylated b vitamins. My body can’t methylate b’s on it’s own. I wonder if that would be good in her situation?

    I don’t know how you cope with all those eliminations! It’s great that her Dr is so awesome. I doubt most drs would know where to start. Is her Dr a regular pediatrician?

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a thorough doctor. You got a good one! This diet sounds so time consuming! Will she need to avoid these things long-term or just until her body becomes more balanced (if that’s the proper term?).

  3. You may tell your mum not to put drugs in the car and maybe in a lock box etc. Excessive heat or cold can alter the effectiveness of drugs when not stored properly. I only say this as I stored mine improperly lol. Good luck and keep going!

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