Thursday, April 30, 2009

Enhansa/Curcumin: Week 1

At the Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) conference in Atlanta (April 2009), I picked up a bottle of Lee Silsby's much-talked-about new supplement, Enhansa. Lee Silsby's website claims that "Enhansa Has Been Shown to be 7 - 8 More Absorbed Than Standard Curcumin Extracts." I was interested in trying curcumin because I had heard on from Dr. Woeller that it is a good supplement for decreasing inflammation in the gut -- something I was concerned about since my son had come back with so many food sensitivities on his IgG test.

Alan at the Lee Silsby booth told me to work up gradually because there would "definitely" be a die-off reaction. The Lee Silsby's recommended protocol on their website says to start with 150 mg (one cap) once per day and work up from there. Well, I was nervous about starting something that would "definitely" cause die-off, so I decided to work up more slowly than that.

I'll be blogging my experiences with Enhansa here with the hopes it helps somebody out there...


My Dosing Protocol:
Days 1-3: Open up 150 mg capsule and dump out everything but about 1/3 the "bottom" half of the cap.
Days 4-5: Open up cap and dump out everything but about 2/3 the bottom half of cap.
Days 6-7: Open up cap and dump out "top" half of cap + a smidgen of the bottom half of cap.

Overall this week: Much less tantrums/melt downs/break downs (this was noticed by hubbie too, who did not know I had started Enhansa). Slightly increased complexity in speech/comprehension (hubbie did not notice this).

Day 3 he woke up with watery eyes and seemed tired. Also had a bit of a runny nose/cough, so I kept him home from school thinking he had a cold. After dinner on Day 3 he came to show me that his "spots" had come back (pimple-like spots on his torso that I had thought were food intolerance).

Day 5 had a ball at our impromptu picnic at the park and spent tons of time up high on the baby swing -- something I honestly don't think he's done since he was a baby; before all this craziness started! (In the past he would have screamed like it was torture.) He kept saying "wee" and just loved it. [Note: That's my brother in the swing photo, not my husband! :)]Also on Day 5 he tells me he wants Daddy to cut his hair, another first. (haircutting has traditionally been trauma for him. He tolerated his last haircut, but he has NEVER come out and ASKED for one! That is just unheard of for him!) Night of Day 5 he is coughing a lot and crying out in his sleep.

Day 6 he is coughing still to the point that I gave him a nebulizer treatment (albuterol). Day 6 I notice he is playing with his cars, which is interesting to me since he's been "stuck" on dinosaurs for months.

Also this week he had some funky poop - not sure how to describe it and I didn't take photos for the Poop Blog. First few days I saw some thick, white stringy things which I considered could be yeast coming out. Poop this week was very regular, I believe even increased. It was not diarrhea, but they were not "logs" either. More like "fuzzy." Day 7 I saw some of the curcumin in his poop (hard to miss the bright orange dots of color!). Poop on Day 7 was also very dark in color and very uniform in color; I know that's vague, but it was really noticeably darker than usual, but still soft and "fuzzy."

Days 5-7, we noticed he was scratching the back of his head a lot. The front top of scalp was dry/scaly on Day 7; I couldn't see the back where he was scratching. Days 5-7 he also had a rash on his neck and at various times through the day on Day 7 it looked like some weird stuff was going on with his face too. Kind of like a rash but not really "organized" enough; just a general strangeness or difference that made me look closely and determine it was a rash. The rash on his neck wasn't a red rash but more like hives -- little raised bumps the same color as his skin. He didn't have a fever with this, but on Day 7 he did seem warmer than usual, like his circulation was working. I kept him home from school on Day 7 of Week 1.

On Day 7 I let him go to the park with a neighbor boy he knows but does not see often. They were chaperoned by the other boy's nanny, and I realized later that I did not worry once the whole hour he was gone that he would be acting out or would be a handful for the nanny. (Kind of odd, since in the past I would've worried about melt downs, etc, but this week he'd gotten much more controlled and only cried/whined when he actually had something to be upset about.)

One other thing I will note about this week is that he started clicking his tongue a bit. I comment on it because he has never done that before this week. I have no idea what it means or if it's good or bad. I just mention it because it's new.


Ellie said...

Hey Tori!

I'm just starting Enhansa for my almost 3 year old. Yesterday he got 75 mg. I think we're going to do this like you are - slow and steady increases.

Do you think our little guys can handle the full 600? I guess we'll find out!

Thanks for documenting publicly! I'll keep my eye on your trek.

Anonymous said...

One very important thing to bear in mind when you are using curcumin to treat autism symptoms:

Curcumin has a pretty short half-life in the body - as short as 3 hours before half has already left. This means that 6 hours after each dose of curcumin, only about 25% of that dose will remain in the body.

So the trick is to give a does every six hours: say once at breakfast, once at lunch, once at supper, and once before bed, in order to keep the body levels up.

This way, the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin is always at full power, preventing inflammation from arising in the brain. Brain inflammation is thought to underpin many of the symptoms and behaviors of autism. In autism it is NF kappa-B inflammation that is casing many of the problems. Curcumin is a potent inhibitor of NF kappa-B inflammation.

So you need 24 hour curcumin protection, to stop the NF kappa-B inflammation in the brain. Otherwise you will have times in the day when the brain inflammation creeps back.

Note: soya lecithin can increase the bioavailability (absorption) of curcumin by 5 times (500%), so it might be a good idea to include some lecithin as well.

I hope this helps.

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DISCLAIMER. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I'm just a mom who has been implementing the GFCF diet since October 2007 (and soy-free about 5 weeks thereafter). Please do not rely upon my blog as your sole source of information or advice. I only offer my personal experiences for your consideration and can not be held responsible for any adverse reaction or experience you or your child may have should you choose to try something I have tried. Remember that every child is unique, and what works for mine may not work for yours.