November 25, 2011

Got Camel Milk?
The Staphysagria Duck
If you asked me 2 weeks ago if I'd be writing a blog about camel milk, I would've
looked at you in much the same way as if you'd asked me if I was going to write a
blog about giant flying potbelly pigs.

I mean really... Camel WHAT?  Who?  When? Where?  And for the Love of Pete,

First of all, Caroline has been dairy free for over 2 years.

And second, I'll admit it, we're milk snobs. Rice, almond, coconut, hemp, tried
them all and never finished a cardboard box of any of them.  I realize we're in the
minority and there are many who enjoy alternative milks, but for us their
usefulness has been limited to cooking.*

How did this happen?

Milk from a camel was not even on my radar.  Until that is, I came across a blog
called "You are what you eat!" and specifically the post
Nutraceuticals for yeast,
bacteria, viruses and parasites.

If there ever was a biomedical love at first sight, I was smitten.  That post was spot
on.  Perfect.  Something I planned to write one day myself... just as soon as I
found the time.  

And then there were the rest of the posts -- so well organized and comprehensive,
the more I read, the more I knew this mom, Jessica, was the real deal.  

After reading several entries, I came across one about
Camel milk.  Now, if it were
any other blog, on any other day, I doubt I would've given it a second glance.

But just like a lovestruck teenager, I was willing to follow Jessica wherever she
was going to lead me.

And here's what she said,
"Camel milk does not contain beta-casein. Children
sensitive to casein can drink it safely. The milk is highly anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
The nanoglobulins (particulate in size compared to our immunoglobulins) pass
through cell walls instantly, very much like IVIG and because of the healing nature
of the camel's immune system, it does wonders for those with autism, diabetes (it
contains insulin too), autoimmune diseases, Chron's, and anything intestinal."

Well that answered my why and who questions.  If you're as intrigued as I was,
you may also want to read Julie Matthew's article at Nourishing Hope:  
Camel Milk:
Healing or Hype?

For me, learning about something new that can help both PANDAS and autism is
not an everyday occurrence.  Suddenly, the pigs were growing wings and I had
come full circle.  Now all I needed to know was where could I get some and when
she should drink it.

where was easy enough.  The Camel Milk Association has a website and I
ordered it right online.  Couldn't have been easier.   As far as
when, as with any
new intervention, I planned to start slow.

Like a kid on Christmas

I was so excited for the milk to arrive I practically started counting down the hours.  
As soon as the package was delivered, I tore it open and started thawing the first
bottle.  The ice cream maker was ready and I was not wasting any time.

As it thawed I wondered, worried really, about how it would taste.  A lot was riding
on the taste.  If Caroline hated it, the whole 'experiment' was going to be
immensely more difficult.  

Like a person
(we won't designate an age) taking their first sip of beer, I took a
miniscule taste and..... DRUMROLL PLEASE....  Definitely do-able!  Only slightly
salty (which I expected from reading other reviews) but otherwise very much like
cow's milk.  I found that a little vanilla masks any trace of saltiness perfectly.

So, without further fanfare, here's what we've observed:

Day 1

6:00 pm -- Caroline had approx. 2 oz, of Camel's milk ice cream.  Within 5 minutes,
she was, for lack of a better phrase, "On fire."

Talking more than ever, super engaged, had the barely-takes-her-eyes-off-you
kind of eye contact.  And also stimming like you could not believe.  

She wanted to play a game she had previously refused to play for months and
was glancing from Jay to I and back the entire game as if to say, "this is so cool!"  

She was using longer sentences and doing amazing things.  Right up until
MIDNIGHT.  Ugh...  It was as if she was so stimulated, she couldn't turn off her
brain.  She was awake again at 3am for an hour.

Note:  the falling asleep problem is unusual, but the staying asleep problem is
typical ever since her PANDAS flare.  

I'm tracking it closely since most parents report their children sleep better after a
period of time on the milk.

Day 2  -- Thanksgiving Day

Woke at 9:30 am
More irritable than usual.  Won't wear her dress, doesn't want to do anything...

11:00 am -- ate less than 1/2 oz. of a camel's milk popsicle.  She acted the same
as the day prior - amazing!

3:00 pm -- ate the rest of the popsicle, approx 1 1/2 oz.  Same behavior.  
Sustained eye contact with Grandma, even did a sticker project (usually avoids
stickers and art like the plague) and was very proud to show it off.

Did not fall asleep until 10:30 pm.  Awake at 5 am for an hour.

Day 3 -- Today

Woke at 10:30 am.  (somewhat typical after she's awake in the night)

Laying on sofa, completely vegetative for 45 minutes.  Not interested in talking or
doing anything.

11:30 am -- drank 1 oz.  Within 5 minutes, she was up, singing and dancing.  It
was a shocking transformation.  I was inspired to take a video of part of the

3:00 pm - drank 1 oz.  Same behavior as all previous times with the addition of
some (very rare in our house) spontaneous pretend play!

11:00 pm - she's still awake....

The Verdict

It's safe to say that camel's milk has given us the quickest, most undeniable results
of any biomedical intervention we've tried (and there have been a lot!).

We've had other quick successes (such as homeopathic belladonna and the first
round of chelation) but the results were not as intense.   

I'm incredibly hopeful for what the future will bring.  Seeing these changes with
2 oz of milk per day is something I certainly wasn't expecting.

An important note:  Because we've had many negatives in the sleep department
with every immune booster and/or modulator we've tried, I expected the issues
and plan to proceed very slowly.  And of course, I'll update with our results.

Milk snobs turned camel aficionados

Although I never thought I'd say it, I'm astonished with the results and so very
thankful to Jessica, Julie and the other moms who have publicized the gains they
observed with camel's milk.  If not for them, Caroline would not be benefiting from
it's almost miraculous healing properties.

And so, it seems only fitting to say that in this holiday season, perhaps the Three
Wise Men didn't come bearing 3 gifts after all.

Perhaps they came bearing 4.   

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh and Camels.

See also...
UPDATE: Days 4-8

(*)  For those also on the SCD, you're right, there are technically no commercially
available "alternative" milks allowed on her diet.
Caroline, enjoying a camel milk popsicle on
Thanksgiving Day
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