I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed... I'm so happy to have found this site, but I feel a little scared of what might lie ahead in the healing process. I have a mouth full of dental amalgams and I feel truly toxic. Unfortunately, my 2 year old is suffering along with me. Awhile back, before my pregnancy I got really sick and with the advice of my Naturepath I took a heavy metal test. The results scared the heck out of me. I was practically off the charts with mercury and lead poisoning. Again, taking her advice, I started chelating and became sicker still. So, I stopped and gradually got a little better. I didn't forget about it, but I continued on with my life and became pregnant. The pregnancy was great, but hell broke loose once Kofi was born. My stress level for the past 2 years has been over the top. Kofi never slept or stopped crying for the first 8-9 months of his life. He was posterior in the birth canal and became stuck and in fetal distress so they quickly surgically removed him. He had a HUGE hematoma on his head. And there went my home birth. We came home, in shock, and I couldn't let down or didn't have enough milk supply, so we asked friends for milk and when there wasn't any more we supplemented with formula. Things kept going down hill. At three months he was covered head to toe with oozing, infected eczema. We tried everything from Ayurveda to Chinese Medicine to acupuncture, etc. etc. Then on to steroids, but his allergies became intolerable. He stopped growing at about 1 year and then began to lose weight over the next few months. Finally, he had a feeding tube surgically placed in his stomach. We fed him hypo-allergenic, HFCS formula and he gained weight but became sicker (of course). So now we blend real food in a vitamix and syringe his food into his tumtum. He looks better, his eyes are full of 2 year old rascallyness, but he's still not growing and his allergies are still very much a problem. I know my issues, horrible stomach pain, gas, bloating, eczema, dry, itchy skin, depression, foggy head are all connected to his. We're just starting water kefir and the bone broth is simmering and we're doing lots of the other suggestions for healing our gut, but what about the mercury? I feel poisoned every day. Woah, just reread this and I'm sorry for the stream of conscious writing. I'm a mess. Any help is so greatly appreciated...Diane and Kofi

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Comment by Sarah Thompson on January 5, 2011 at 7:36pm

Diane, I don't have any help, but I want to reach out to you.  This sounds really challenging, and I suspect you know you need to breathe and are having a hard time doing it. 


Breathe, health is out there.  Somewhere.


I think vitamin C is really good for managing mercury.  I supplement with sodium ascorbate, but Pat read something about how food sources of vitamin C deliver many times more effectively - I believe it but I still supplement for a variety of reasons.  My understanding is that rose hips and maybe acerola cherry are terrific sources of C; I think sprouts are also a good source. 


Does your son only get nutrients through the tube?  I would imagine that this would be a serious problem for enzyme production, because he misses out on the first part of the digestive process.  Not sure what the solutions are for that, but maybe adding some enzymes to his food?

Comment by Diane Tantimonaco on January 5, 2011 at 11:30pm

Hi! thank you so much for your response. I appreciate your input very much. I DO believe that health and answers are out there, and thanks for the reminder right when I needed it. I'm having a hard time figuring out the steps that I need to take and you know when you're feeling overwhelmed how much you just really want someone to map it out for you? Argh...


So, I've been reading like mad. I've got water kefir grains on their way and I'm doing a lot of the other things mentioned to keep my (and Kofi's gut) healthy. I'd love to figure out how to incorporate magnesium, zinc, selenium and vit C through food. We're taking epson salt baths and taking a good Vit C powder, but am at a loss with the others. I'll look into rose hips and acerola. 


Kofi does eat some orally, but not much. We're in this tough place of trying to get enough calories/nutrients in him that he isn't always interested in eating orally. We've tried spacing his "feedings" out and getting rid of feedings in hopes of encouraging more appetite, but all that happens is a few extra peas eaten and weight loss. I've been concerned about all aspects of feeding a child with a tube and have thought about adding digestive enzymes, but haven't been sure what to give him. So, that's on the list...


My thoughts are to start with water kefir, start making other fermented foods, and continue with the epson salt baths, bone broth, etc. I also need to keep myself in check when I worry too much about his growth, or lack thereof. It's one of those things, I just can't let it go when I know there are answers for him. If he didn't have all of these health issues I wouldn't be too concerned, but here we are. 


Thanks so much for your time and valuable thoughts, Diane and Kofi

Comment by Francie on January 14, 2011 at 9:12pm

That sounds terrible! I can't help, but I hope you can figure out how to improve quickly! I'd love to hear what works. How many different health professionals have you been through? We've found that TCM/acupuncture and diet heals a lot, although it can take a lot of patience.

Comment by Pam Genant on January 27, 2011 at 10:18am

Diane, do you have an update?  I am just reading through blogs right now, so kind of stumbled on your post.  I was wondering how the kefir and bone broth have helped, if they have?  Also want to hear what else you have tried/researched?




Comment by Diane Tantimonaco on January 27, 2011 at 3:51pm

Pat, thank you so much for your email! I'd love to give you an update since we're still floundering a bit with my son's health. 

As a reminder, my son was "diagnosed" with FTT, has multiple food allergies and absorption issues. He's had a feeding tube for 5 months and his diet is a blended, real food diet and he does eat some foods orally. Since finding your site, we've added small amounts of nettles infusion, bone broth when I can get to it, some sauerkraut/juice and so far my water kefir hasn't turned out, so he hasn't gotten any of that. I ordered grains from someone else, before finding you, and I keep getting syrupy goo. 

Right now, Kofi's stomach is almost always distended and his poops are dark green, smelly, paint-like and profuse. I've cut out some fiber (chia) and the distention is better, but not gone. And, he's still growing very slowly. I believe all of his many allergies are all related to gut inflammation/disfunction. We did travel to Mexico and I wonder if he got a parasite, although testing didn't show anything. I have horrible stomach issues and am basically sick even though I live a very healthy lifestyle. I've got a mouthful of mercury, symptoms of candida, eczema all over my face, I'm depressed, depleted and I can't sleep. I still nurse Kofi, although I've never had much milk and now I can hardly express any at all. Can't think of anything else right now... 

Questions are regarding getting good water kefir going and how much of everything else to give him. I've cut out coconut...Sorry so fragmented. 

Thank you so much!


Comment by Pam Genant on January 27, 2011 at 6:49pm

So is he getting blended "real" food?  Have you tried an elimination diet, I am not even sure it would be recommended with his disrupted absorption.  Just to be sure he hasn't any food allergies?  I am trying to read through your e mails to see if you mentioned food allergies specifically.  I really don't know where I would start?  Is there a natural health professional anywhere near you?  Someone to help you back up and take it a step at a time? 


Just thinking about my own food issues, before I did an elimination diet to find out "what" was actually bother me, I was chasing my tail.  So I just stopped for a minute, backed up and started from scratch.  I did an elimination diet, where you eliminate all common dietary allergies, back to basics.  Then I gradually added one at a time back into my diet to figure out what was triggering my gastric problems.  Although I am not dealing with a feeding tube and other issues.  Once I figured out what was upsetting my diet so much I eliminated those things, and added back in my kefir, kombucha, etc.  One at a time to make sure those were OK.  You may have already done this, so I may be repeating something you already know. 


I tend to not add a whole bunch of things into my diet at once, just in case something does bother me, I am more able to pinpoint it if I add things one at a time. 


Sorry I can't be of any "real" help. 




Comment by Pat Robinson on January 27, 2011 at 9:26pm

You are doing A LOT!


Are you getting magnesium? Epsom salt baths? Molybdenum (beans and legumes). Selenium (Brazil nuts)?  These and zinc all help for stress (anxiety and depression) and sleep.  Zinc sources such as pumpkin seeds are helpful too.   And magnesium supplements. I like Natural Calm or Mag Citrate.  It is hard to get enough from food. These help detox pathways too.


The top food intolerances are wheat/gluten, pasteurized dairy, GMO-soy, GMO-corn. Have you removed those completely?  Coconut is an issue for many mamas on this forum.  Eggs too, unfortunately. 


Freeze the bone broth in small portions to use ongoing. I'd avoid onions and garlic. Which CLO? 


Yippee on the Nettles!!


Here is an informative thread, "Healing Leaky Gut with Food?"


soy and corn? all is GMO unless labeled organic. Soy is about impossible to avoid. Seriously harder than gluten to avoid. Corn is terrible for many mamas. Quinoa is simple and HIGH protein and easy and delcious and feels very satisfying.


Have you tried ghee? Or palm oil?


Are you getting enough greens? Green smoothies? But citrus and berries are often culprits unless organic and vine-ripened. Canned are often more tolerated. Or cooked fruits. But, I'd try for 1 cups of greens a day pureed, smoothies are easiest.


Cruciferous veggies are sometimes a culprit. Tomatoes!! often are an issue, if raw. Cooked less of an issue. We had to avoid cinnamon. For some reason that is a common intolerance. Garlic is an issue for many babies, even cooked.


Asparagus and broccoli and artichokes are great for detox. Romaine too.


You need a fat though. Avocados are iffy for mamas. But are wonderful fats, if you can eat them.


Are you eating nuts?? Almonds are an issue for some. Selenium is critical (Brazil nuts or supplement. But, nettles has selenium).


Epsom salt baths and MAGNESIUM are the #1 priority IMO.


Are you using sea salt? It is very helpful for minerals.


If the chicken has been fed GMO-corn or GMO-soy (all are unless "organic) and even some who are fed any corn or any soy cause issues for some mamas. The chicken can be culprit. Some can't tolerate beef.


Lamb and salmon are the easiest foods to tolerate. I ate a ton of salmon, every.single.day. And asparagus.






Comment by Diane Tantimonaco on January 28, 2011 at 4:58pm

Thanks for the reply!


Yes to many of the things above: epsom salt baths, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds,greens, sea salt, and almost NO processed foods. But, haven't tried ghee or palm oil. Allergic to quinoa (!), Kofi is too. Haven't been eating lamb or salmon, but will soon. No soy and only organic corn, minimally. We only eat organic, range free chicken, so hopefully that's not an issue since it's a big staple. Kofi's allergic to beef. We eat lots of avocados, hopefully they're okay for us. No dairy, no coconut.


Can I give magnesium (natural calm) to Kofi? Right now, I feel like the one who's the sickest. My skin is terrible and I feel pretty awful. Do you think we should have a phone consultation? I really feel that I don't trust very many people/sources with our health issues, so I've been really searching. 


What about water kefir and sauerkraut? I just made my first batch of kraut and had some for lunch. I think it's pretty good. Should I give some to Kofi? He's had Bubbies a few times without any issues, but our store stopped carrying it. 


I feel like I really need some help. step by step. soon.

Thank you,

Diane and Kofi



Comment by Pat Robinson on January 28, 2011 at 5:44pm

I'm checking with our allergy team for back up support.  I would give my baby a teaspoon of water kefir and a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice (separately) at least once a day. If tolerated, could increase by that same amount the next week, and the next...


Definitely whole food probiotics could help both of you! I'd give a smidgen of Natural Calm to my baby, if he would take it. Here are RDA dosing guidelines: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=75



Comment by Kathy Brown on January 28, 2011 at 8:10pm

You mentioned allergies for your son. I'm assuming those are IgE allergies? Have you also been tested for IgE allergies? And have either of you been tested for food intolerances? Or done a food journal to try to track symptoms to find out what foods are causing the most problem for you?


I have a mouth full of metal and heavy metals problems and I haven't started chelating yet. But going off the top 4 foods that Pat mentioned helped me (we have to avoid all corn and soy, not just non-GMO, as well as all gluten and dairy) immensely. I'm going to start chelating this summer.


Cell salts are another thing to look into. And flower essences. They've both helped some members of my family.


Also, where do you live? I'm wondering if there could be other issues as well?


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