Dr Amy Yasko
I am by no means an expert on any of these tests and supplements. I am only sharing our journey and my understanding of this journey. It is your responsibility as a parent to do your own research and find what works best for your child. I am not responsible for any problems that come up if you blindly follow what I have done with my son. Each child needs something different. What might work for my son, maybe damaging to your child.
We have been working with herbs & supplements for years now with Zakari, yet we haven’t yet gotten the results we were looking for. I’ve always felt like I’m been throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that it will stick. Some things have helped greatly, that is for sure. But we always seem to plateau.
However over the last year or so I have heard so much about a different kind of method of supplementation based on the DNA Methylation Pathway. Dr. Amy Yasko states that a one size fits all approach is not the way to go. Using DNA Methylation Whole Blood test alongside another test such as Hair Elements Test, and Urine Amino Acids Test, she personally makes suggestions for each patient.
Failed Genetic Testing
Originally when I decided that I wanted to base Zakari’s supplements around his DNA profile I ordered a kit from www.23andme.com. It is supposed to be a simple saliva collection, and with the proper software, you can process the raw data to give you most of the information needed.
Well, this “simple” saliva collection is not so simple when you are trying to collect it from a non-cooperative child. My good friend and I had to pin Zakari down and using a brand new nasal aspirator we collected all the saliva we needed. It took a good 15 mins of fighting and screaming, but we thought we got it.
However several weeks later I received an email from 23andme saying that our 23andMe Analysis was unsuccessful. They wanted to send us another kit to submit another sample. I contacted the company and explained how hard it was to get that first sample, and that I don’t think we would be able to get a better one. The woman I talked to was so nice, she said while it was usually company policy that test be tried twice before they issued a refund, in this situation they would refund me minus shipping cost.
Was This A Blessing in Disguise?
In the end, it was a blessing that the 23andme test failed. It turns out a few months before the company changed the SNPs that they test for. Many of the SNPs we look for were no longer being tested.
Why We Chose the DNA Methylation Blood Spot ?
In the end, the DNA Methylation Blood Spot test was just a simpler option. Trying to collect blood from a finger prick landed up being a million times easier than saliva from an unwilling child.
While it was more expensive, the actual SNPs I wanted to be tested were just not included in the cheaper saliva test. I was able to learn more and create a more individualized plan going this route.
- AHCY/1 +/- Hetero
- AHCY/2 +/- Hetero
- AHCY/19 +/- Hetero
- MTHFR/A1298C +/- Hetero
- MTRR/A66G +/+ G
- MTRR/11 +/- Hetero
- BHMT/1 +/- Hetero
- BHMT/8 +/- Hetero
- CBS/C699T +/- Hetero
- COMT/V158M +/+ A
- COMT/H62H +/+ T
- MAOA +/+ T
What Are We Were Noticing At First?
We had been using only a few of Dr.Amy’s suggestions at first and we are noticing a huge difference in Zakari’s behavior, attention, and overall well-being. People were starting to comment on how calm he is. When we sit down to work on his homeschooling, he is so much more focused and attentive. He was learning more in his Doman Program.
Additional Testing We Have Run
A few things this test showed us that Zakari had high levels of lead in his body. Based on this I did a lot of research and realized that many soils in the city we live in is contaminated with lead! So I knew we had to work at getting this out of his body.
We also realized his body was leeching out lithium. From what Dr. Amy has shared, lithium is an important mineral to have in Zakari’s body to ensure he is processing B12 properly. By not watching those levels and continuing to supplement B12 without proper lithium, his body was depleting in both minerals. Basically, I was making the situation worse by giving him B12 supplements.
Another thing Zakari had dangerously high levels of was Manganese. Once again I believe this is traced back to the city we live in. Our water system in Winnipeg is known to have spurts of ‘brown water”. We have been told it because of Manganese levels in the water being high, but still at the safe level. Even when the water is not brown, the levels apparently are too high for my son to flush out of his system.
Urine Amino Acids Test: With this test, we were able to tweak his supplements even more. Creating an even more individualized treatment plan.
Comprehensive Parasitology x3: We have run this test twice. Once in January, and we just received results for the test I ran at the end of June. The first test showed Zakari had too much yeast, a nasty little parasite that can sometimes be hard to get rid of, along with a type of Strep. I have not yet met with our naturopath as we are still waiting on a few other tests, but from what I can see we were able to get rid of the parasite and the strep.
Supplements We Started With
Vita D-light Spray: Has an herb which helps the body better absorb the Vitamin D
Second Batch of Supplements and Supports We Started
Zinc Lozenges (Replacing the one we were on with this brand)
Coenzyme Q10 Spray (Replacing Ubiquinol with this)
Lithium Drops Never take this supplement without proper testing! Too much lithium is not good for the human body!
GABA Balance = Life Changing
Prior to starting this program, we were using low dose GABA and seeing some small changes. Once we switched to a higher dose GABA from Dr. Yasko’s site, the positive changes in Zakari were unbelievable! He was overall calmer and happier. GABA Balance also helped Zakari get better sleep at night.
I always make sure I now have a good supply of GABA Balance on hand. I am also very careful how I store it and I only purchase it from Dr. Yasko’s site. If stored incorrectly it can actually go bad quite easily and cause problems. I made the mistake of buying GABA from the local health food store, and it was clearly not stored properly. Zakari went nuts on it. It basically increased the behaviors I was trying to reduce. I will never make that mistake again.
When There Is Not Enough Money To Continue
Sadly after a while, I had to decide how I was going to approach this method financially. Because these tests were being performed without a licensed naturopathic doctor, I could not claim them under our insurance.
I also was unable to get custom made supplements through Dr. Amy. Zakari for example had dangerously high levels of Manganese in his Hair Mineral test. But the supplements that Dr. Amy sold and nearly every trace mineral supplement on the market contained Manganese.
I also did not have a local medical professional that could help guide me through this process. Yes, Dr. Amy makes suggestions on the test, but there are no dosing recommendations. I didn’t always feel comfortable making that decision on my own.
Venturing On Our Own A Bit
We decided to start working with a local naturopath who was very familiar with the importance of methylation in kids with autism. She was able to help me run a few more of the test we needed to be done, and because the labs were done through her, my husband’s private insurance plan covered most of the cost.
Dr. Jasper was able to have a custom compound trace mineral supplement made that did not include things Zakari did not need. We also switched to a Ubiquinol that was a much high dose, and most cost-efficient, but still very high quality. She also custom made him a special B complex supplement that suits all of Zakari’s needs.
Supplements We Are Using as of July 2019
I must stress, I am not sharing this so you can follow it. That would be a disaster for your child. We are on these based on our test results, and every child would require something different. I am sharing this as an example only. I love to see what other families following this method are using.
- Hydroxy B12
- GABA Balance
- Trace minerals (Custom made to not include manganese)
- B Complete Special (Custom made not to include methyl B12)
- Ubiquinol (custom made to be fresh and more cost effective)
- Vitamin D3
- Inflammatory Pathway Support
We just did a whole new set of tests in preparation for our next Doman International visit. We are still waiting for a few results. Then I will be meeting with both our naturopath and the staff at Doman International to figure out the right way to work through the findings.
It is very important to note that this protocol is always changing. When new test results come in we adapt accordingly. This may mean increasing or decreasing the dose, discontinuing, or adding in a new supplement.
I know our plan is not perfect. I feel overwhelmed each time we get a new set of test results back. If it was not for a great group of well educated, fellow parents also doing this, and our naturopath, I would be lost. Because of these wonderful people, we have been seeing great results. As a parent, I feel so empowered that we are now treating the problems my son has, not just the symptoms.
Forum & Other Parents
If you want to learn more about Dr Amy Yasko’s program, check out her forum.
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