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We have our little girl back

Published on July 22nd, 2016 by Dr. Meghan Haggarty

A mother brought her 5 year old girl into the clinic because the child was experiencing extreme sensitivity to clothing and texture. At 2.5 years old she was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. She was also having approximately 5 tantrums per day and recently began having night terrors. Her behavior was getting worse as time went on and she was now getting upset very easily. Separate of behavioural issues she was having tummy aches and frequent ear and throat infections.

The following naturopathic tests were done to identify potential underlying causes for the behaviour:

  • Thyroid function
  • Iron and other vitamin levels
  • Presence of strep antibodies and PANDAS
  • Food allergy and celiac testing
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Comprehensive stool testing
  • Gluten/casein peptide testing

The first thing detected was elevated levels of the peptide casomorphin in the urine. Some children are unable to break down the proteins in casein completely, which leaves peptides that have a neurological effect on the body similar to morphine. After removing dairy from the diet within a few weeks there was a significant decrease in outbursts.

Neurotransmitter testing detected elevation of many of her neurotransmitters-the chemicals in our brain that control mood and behavior. When these chemicals are being overproduced it can lead to overstimulation of the nervous system resulting in bad behavior and sensitivity to texture. Naturopathic stool testing also found the yeast candida and a parasite. In children GI infections have also been shown to affect mood and behavior.

In addition to the removal of dairy from the diet, the girl was given supplements to balance her neurotransmitters and antimicrobial herbs and probiotics to treat the GI infections. After 4 years of increasingly worse behavior a 70% improvement was noticed within a month.

I first started noticing that something was wrong with our daughter when she was around 18 months old. She would scream for hours and nothing could console her. She would cry out to me to help but nothing I did seemed to work.  Clothes bugged her so bad that she would spend 90% of her time naked. I knew in my gut that this was not normal behavior and took her too the doctor, thus starting the endless diagnosis that seemed to change at a whim depending on who we were seeing for treatment. We got told everything from, she is just acting out, to she had textile sensitivity disorder, to sensory processing disorder, and even talk of Oppositional defiant disorder. We saw doctors, specialists, and therapists. We tried diets from sugar free to gluten free. Nothing seemed to help. As the years went on, there were moments when things got better but she would still have these massive break downs, which we call episodes. As she started school the episodes were horrible starting as soon as she came home from school, so I took her back to the doctor. They started to tell me she might have some other kind of disorder and started to talk about medication options. The thought scared me of drugging my 5 year old and I was not ready to go there. I decided to bring her to Dr. Nardella with hopes that she would find something, anything else that could help us.

Dr. Nardella was so understanding, never making me feel like it was all in my head. The best thing she said to me was that it was behavioral but something medical was causing it. We did a series of tests and waited for the results. We got back some surprising results and took action right away. The change I see in my daughter is night and day! She no longer has episodes of screaming and crying, she is able to wear all kinds of clothes without them bugging her, she is able to focus and concentrate 100% better, if she does get upset she is able to calm down with out it lasting for hours like it used to. Even teachers have been telling me of the difference they see in her. I love that even though my daughter has to take pills, they don’t turn her into a spaced out zombie that some prescription drugs can do to a child. She still has her wonderfully expressive personality. We have our smart, sweet little girl back and could not be happier! I am so grateful to Dr. Nardella and the Nardella clinic for finding the cause to my daughter’s behavior and not just writing her off as another child with behavioural issues that can’t be fixed.


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