Well, we got the results of our Organic Acid Test back a couple weeks ago, and have made some decisions based on the results. For those folks who don’t know, the Organic Acid Test is a urine test performed by a lab. We used Great Plains Labaratory, and they are great. The test gives you a “metabolic ‘snapshot’ based on those products the body discarded during urination” according to their website. This snapshot gave us our first inkling that Feingold was not the right diet for us.

A few words about Feingold. I have been resistant to the stricter diets because I thought there was no way we could handle the additional stress and preparation. I was totally wrong. Once we decided to do it, it became possible. I won’t say it was easy, but it is manageable. That being said, Feingold is a good diet and works for many kids. We did see improvement, and I attribute a great deal of that to getting the crap out of Raymond’s diet. Without artificial preservatives and dyes, Raymond’s metabolism started getting back on track. However, it did not solve as many issues as we had hoped, so we were still searching.

So, we sent Raymond’s urine to Great Plains, and they sent us back a comprehensive report. Oh, and our insurance company did pay a good portion of this, so it was not as expensive as some tests. At any rate, the report shows that Raymond has increased 3-oxoglutaric acid, which indicates a possible yeast overgrowth. We knew he had yeast, but didn’t realize it was quite so high. Also, a number of the other test results were consistent with leaky gut and issues with oxalates.

So what are oxalates? Naturally occurring substances in foods, similar to salicylates. Vegetables produce them naturally, and they are present in a large number of foods. Some of the indicators that clued us in were high levels of oxalic acid and low ascorbic acid. Low ascorbic acid means you should supplement with vitamin C, right?

Wrong. The way Raymond’s gut is functioning, vitamin C supplements would aggravate the problem. He can’t absorb them, and the oxalate issue will be aggravated by supplementing with C. Other factors in his metabolism show low levels of pantothenic acid, or B-6, and elevated kynurenic acid, which requires B-6 for metabolism. However, we had him tested for B vitamins several months ago and found out he cannot metabolize them properly, so supplementation is not going to fix the problem.

Quite the impasse. Kelly and I have spent the last couple weeks wrangling with it and doing more research. Our pediatrician has been unavailable due to some unfortunate family matters, which has left us to our own devices. We watched his behavior get more “yeasty” and decided to do a yeast detoxification ourselves. We typically treat for yeast with homeopathics, but they were working too well. By that I mean that yeast was pouring out of Raymond, so badly that his skin was cracking open. That is just not sanitary. We almost kept him home from school some days because the tops of his hands were red and cracked open. We put aside the homeopathics and went for a more direct method of yeast killing.

Our choices were limited, especially since Raymond cannot tolerate any prescription antifungals, so we decided to use oil of oregano. Oil of oregano is a powerful antifungal and high in antioxidants. We have used it before with major success but also negative side effects, which I have determined to be my fault. The last time we used oregano oil, we started off with 1 drop per day. However, as it started killing off yeast, I kept increasing the dose. It got up to 2 drops twice a day. We did kill off a ton of yeast, and Raymond even passed what we believe to be a nest of parasites. It was a large clump of what looked like eggs, and it totally freaked his grandmother out. However, the down side is that Raymond began vomiting uncontrollably, and his vomit smelled like sour beer. It was the nastiest, yeastiest smell I have ever encountered. So, we stopped the oil and his behavior and attention improved dramatically. We know it works, but we have to take it slow.

First off, we made sure he was getting his probiotic regularly. That is key when killing yeast. If you don’t replace the yeast with good gut bacteria it will come right back. We gave the increased probiotic a few days to start working, and then we started his Vege Greens. Once you kill yeast, the body has to bind it with something to pass it. We used activated charcoal in the past, but upon further research we discovered we could use concentrated green veggies to bind and remove the die off. Naturally we went back to our old pal Vege Greens, as it has a ton of other benefits. In fact, I’ve posted the label below so you can see what’s in there.

Vege Greens Label

Vege Greens Label

Finally, after a few days of reintroducing Vege Greens and checking for changes, we added the oregano oil. Just one drop every other day. It is pretty strong stuff, so I put it on half a bagel and then cover it with smart balance spread, and Raymond eats it no problem. Then, 45-60 minutes later I give him his Vege Greens. We have been on it for 5 days now, and die off started one day after the first dose. However, it is much gentler this time. We are not getting the crazy runny stools or vomiting, so I think we are handling it well. We may up it to one drop once a day after a couple weeks if he tolerates this, but only if we have no other die off issues.

Also, we are looking into the low oxalate diet, but I’ll have to write about that some other time. We think that might address a wide spectrum of issues, so we are definitely going to try it. We want to be prepared, however, like we were with Feingold, so we are still reading and researching. Hopefully by the weekend we will be ready to roll with it.