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Larry Newman is the Chief Operating Officer, Technical and Regulatory Affairs of Kirkman Group, Inc. (Kirkman). Contact Kirkman at 1-800-245-8282; 6400 Rosewood St., Lake Oswego, OR.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Scientific Model for Approaching Special Needs Conditions

By Larry Newman

Physicians' and nutritionists' opinions on how to approach special needs conditions are always changing. Some of the current clinical work centers on developing a certain basic model as the most logical way of implementing biomedical and nutritional interventions.  This model should help parents just getting started to set priorities and initiate a plan.

Defining a Poor Nutritional Profile and Steps to Improve It

By Larry Newman

Basically a poor nutritional profiles is a series of nutritional deficiencies that may be present in an individual. It is very prevalent in sensitive individuals for numerous reasons. A balanced diet for these individuals is usually not the rule. First, special diets, such as gluten-free/casein-free (GF/CF) or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), may be in place that are not balanced nutritionally. Second, a person's tastes and attitudes can be such that their diet is very deficient in vitamins, minerals, or other nutritional necessities. Or a facet of biochemistry can be irregular, making the absorption of nutrients suboptimal.

Scientific Model for Special Needs Conditiions

By Larry Newman

Last month we looked at the most recent scientific model for approaching special needs conditions.  Reviewed and prioritized in the following order were:
  • evaluating gastrointestinal health;
  • using special diets;
  • improving nutritional status;
  • addressing sleep disorders;
  • addressing behavioral and social skills issues;
  • improving immune status.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gastrointestinal Considerations in Special Needs Individuals

By Larry Newman

The Importance of Gastrointestinal Health

Physicians have known for centuries that a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract and digestive system are crucial to good health. When digestion is working optimally, other organs and systems in the body have a better chance of working optimally, as well.  
This is because the digestive system is responsible for processing the nutrients in our food, which in turn are used for all of our biochemical processing including growth, reproduction, development, tissue repair, healing, and for the optimal functioning of every organ in the body. Therefore, the digestive system is very much responsible for supporting the health of the body as a whole.

In addition to providing fuel for the body through nutrition, the intestinal tract also plays an integral role in the operation of our immune and nervous systems.  This association is often referred to as the gut-brain connection. 

Behavior and Sleep

By Larry Newman
Challenges for Individuals with Special Sensitivities
Behavioral and sleep disorders are very common in sensitive and special needs individuals. Because each individual is different and displays different forms of the disorders
, it is challenging to find the right interventions for a given person.  Often laboratory test results are of no value here as what causes one child to behave in a certain manner, may have no effect or a different effect on another.  Sometimes doctors and parents are forced to use trial and error evaluations of various interventions until the correct regimen is found for a given patient.

How to Support Biochemical Pathways in the Body

By Larry Newman

Special needs individuals tend to exhibit abnormalities in several biochemical pathways. Each of these individual pathways has a unique purpose and an abnormality can lead to numerous health issues. A description of those pathways most often disrupted follows.

How to Support Digestive Health

By Larry Newman

An Introduction to Digestive Function 

The primary function of the digestive tract is to break down the large particles of food that we eat into small
molecules that can cross over the intestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and become fuel for the various metabolic processes in the body. In order to accomplish this function, the intestinal tract is involved in four primary activities: digestion, absorption, assimilation, and elimination.