and we aren't just talking about Activia folks...probiotics are ESSENTIAL for kids with Down syndrome. We didn't know this before Parker's surgery. By luck (really God's grace) I landed on this right after Parker's surgery and we had heavy doses of Probiotics started immediately after surgery. Antibiotics are necessary, but they create havoc on the gastrointestinal tract which in turn causes a host of issues. It will cause bacteria and yeast to thrive. Common medical practice is to give drugs when gastrointestinal issues arise, but the more natural and safer way is to use probiotics and enzymes. Parker wasn't have GI issues as many kids with DS do, but I am so glad we started probiotics when we did. As an aside, the rest of family started them too. One of our daughter's who has had chronic eczema (and we have seen every specialist know to man, tried every RX under the sun, you name it we tried it)..suddenly it went away. DUH, it was a yeast overgrowth manifesting itself in her skin. I shudder to think of all the money I wasted on a simple answer.
What are probiotics? The term comes from the Greek "for life." When injested these living microorganisms replenish the microflora in your intestinal tract. Even science embraces the use of probiotics. Here are some intersting facts from Dr. Mercola:
-About 80% of your immune system lives in your gastrointestinal tract
-500 different species of bacteria live inside of you
-about one hundred trillion bacteria live inside you - more than TEN TIMES the number of cells you have in your whole body
Here is a summary from one of my favorite internet resources. This group is an informed, armed, researched group of men and women. The site is top of my list on internet resoures for new parents (post to come another day)
After dealing with serotonin, a second step is to provide healthy probiotic bacteria to populate the gut wall. Until the last century food preservation and storage involved extensive use of cultured foods. Sauerkraut used to be cultured. Cheese was made with bacteria. Apple cider was cultured into hard cider and vinegar. Every people in the world had ancient food preservation techniques which involved foods filled with friendly bacteria. When a new baby was given these native foods, the baby’s gut received its starter cultures for a lifetime of health.
Nowadays, our foods are sterile. Cheese, cider, sauerkraut and other traditionally cultured foods are pasteurized before sale. Unless we are intentional about it, friendly microbes may may be introduced late or never to our babies’ guts. If I had it to do over again, I would have begun giving my daughter probiotics, sprinkled on her tongue, from her first days of life.
The widespread use of antibiotics is also causing problems. Babies with DS can expect to receive multiple courses of antibiotics in the first years of life. These drugs are not specific; they kill both friendly and unfriendly bacteria. However, they do not kill yeast. This leaves the unfriendly yeast with no resistance to moving in and taking over.
The result of yeast overgrowth can be lesions along the wall of the colon. Through these lesions, partially digested food escapes into the bloodstream, leading to a host of illnesses and allergic reactions.
So, the second step to keeping the gut healthy in DS is to provide plenty of probiotic foods and supplements, and to limit the use of antibiotics. If you must use antibiotics, follow immediately with a course of probiotic supplementation
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