Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun with supplements

In our ongoing effort to treat Little T we're seeing a "whole wellness doctor" who ran some tests to see what supplements he needs. The theory is he gets enough calories between what he eats by mouth and his g-tube but his body is so depleted from destroying his tumor and rebuilding his arm that he runs out of nutrients he needs to convert fat into energy.

As always we tried to balance what he'll actually eat versus what he needs

So yesterday we bought

  • Cod liver oil - Not just any cod liver oil but tested for mercury and other containments with a lemon flavor. It tastes like lemon oil with a hint of fish. It's actually quite nice. Today Little T asked for a second teaspoon even though his daily dose is one.
  • Gummi Vites -2 Gummi Vites provide not as much minerals and vitamins as his doctor wants but he wants it. His sister asks for them everyday.
  • Organic Carrot juice - a great source of beta carotene aka vitamin A which he needs more of and loves
  • Grapeseed oil for high heat cooking - apparently canola oil aka rapeseed oil is bad for you at high heat. Who knew?
  • Bifidus - We bought this earlier. It's a probiotic powder. We had to experiment a while to see how he'd eat it. It's a tasteless white powder but very goopy so it won't go down the g-tube and he doesn't like the texture. Today it went down easy in cream cheese.
Things we're still having trouble with
  • Zinc - The Gummi Vites provide some but he needs more for healing. I thought we had some good zinc lozenges from Trader Joe's that also provide Vitamin C. However today I discovered they also provide slippery elm aka aspirin. He refused it today so we need something else he will eat. Probably another trip back to Whole Foods to see if they have zinc lozenges without slippery elm that are more palatable to him.
  • Whey protein - He needs it to help him build more muscle mass. All his muscles are small and underdeveloped. We may have to keep searching for the right whey powder. The whey powder industry seems largely unregulated and I'm concerned about growth hormones and toxicity. So far he didn't like it in milk. I'm not sure if it's the whey powder or the medium. Special K said "it tastes bitter."
We'd also supposed to give him more nuts avocados and beans.

Being a complete geek I have a google spreadsheet to keep track of which supplements we're all taking each day.

Anyone have any tips for kid-friendly zinc or whey powder?


Batshua said...

I'm 97% sure Slippery Elm is just fine. From what I know, Slipper Elm is for soothing the throat. It's Willow Bark that's a precursor to aspirin.

Thida said...

You're right Batshua! Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Sam's mom said...

Will he drink a milkshake? Throw some ice cream, milk, and whey powder in a blender.

Ovaltine has a lot of vitamins, and can make a shake (or just milk) kind of chocolaty malty. Some like it, some don't.

Or, just juice up the whey milk with chocolate syrup. Choose your battles.

You can probably find body builder recipes for putting extra protein powder in pancakes, muffins, brownies, etc. And, I think that those "bars" that body builders eat are full of whey.

I actually use rice protein as a protein powder rather than whey. For years I'd get diarrhea from whey. Now, mysteriously, I don't.

I don't know how rice protein powder stacks up nutritionally, though. All those powders are heavily supplemented, so it's probably still pretty good. Whole Foods carries it in vanilla.