Using individual amino acids such as GABA and tryptophan can have an incredible impact on children with anxiety, easing anxiety very quickly. I don’t often write or talk about using amino acids with children and since many of you have asked for more resources for children, today I’m sharing an interview I recently did on this topic on The Better Behavior Show. This is a podcast hosted by my colleague and good friend Dr. Nicole Beurkens.
I share specifics on how Amino acids can help to relieve anxiety in children, together with some case studies.
Dr. Nicole sums up the power of the amino acids beautifully – and this is exactly why my clients love them so much – they take the edge off quickly, provide results and help with overwhelm:
I think that the fact that these [amino acids] can work quickly is really helpful. And as you said, it helps to take the edge off, it helps to reduce the symptoms so then we can more effectively address all of the underlying things. Because often, I’ll have parents say, “Oh, you want me to change the diet and do all these things, I just feel so overwhelmed, my kid is having so many issues, I don’t know how we’re going to do any of that.” And then when you can use things like targeted aminos to help take the edge off the symptoms for the parent and the child, it makes all of that other stuff more doable, I think.
Here are some snippets from one of the stories I share – the wonderful results I had with a 11-year old girl who had been adopted, was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder and had explosive anger issues. This young girl:
….also had insomnia, so she was not sleeping well at all. She was very fatigued in the day, had really bad anxiety about going to school and loved colored candies and she was a big bread eater.
This family didn’t have much money to spend so I really had to find an affordable solution with the biggest benefits. She was anemic so we addressed that with iron supplements and getting her eating quality grass-fed red meat again and we figured out that gluten was an issue so she went gluten-free and this made a big difference with the outbursts.
The other factor was to figure out if low serotonin was a factor and address this. The big clues were the anger, the insomnia, the anxiety and the sugary cravings:
I was talking to her about the fact that she loved candies and she loved bread, and I said — how would you feel about giving it up? She was fuming with me. She was in a swivel chair and she turned her back to me and she didn’t want to talk about it.
I offered her a 100mg chewable tryptophan to see if it would help with her sugar cravings and the fact that she was furious with me:
“How about trying this amino acid, it’s called tryptophan and it’s chewable and it doesn’t taste bad… and then we’ll talk a little bit later. Don’t worry about what I said earlier.” So I gave her 100mg of chewable tryptophan.
She chewed the tryptophan and within 5 minutes, she turned around, smiled at me and said, “I think I can do it, I’m ready to do it.”
She was calm and smiling, and ready to give up the candies and bread and other gluten-containing products. These 3 interventions – addressing her low iron levels, having her go gluten-free and supplementing with tryptophan – completely turned this little girl’s life around.
Here is the link to the entire transcript of our interview: Amino acids can help to relieve anxiety in children. You can also find the audio interview at this same link or by going directly to iTunes – simply search for “The Better Behavior Show.”
Do listen in and/or read the transcript and learn more about:
- how I do a trial of the amino acids (this allows for quick results in 5-10 minutes)
- how I’ve worked with non-verbal children
- a simple trick for using the unpleasant tasting tryptophan sublingually
- what low GABA anxiety looks like in a child
- why ADHD symptoms in children may actually be anxiety (I share another success story in this section)
- why I use GABA Calm with children and adults (Dr. Nicole uses this GABA product too and loves that it’s sublingual and tastes great)
- times you may consider using tyrosine or DPA
- and much more
It was a pleasure to be on the show of someone whose work I deeply respect. Dr. Nicole is a unique combination of clinical psychologist, nutritionist, and special education teacher, and shares these resources for help with improving your child’s behavior naturally: her book Life Will Get Better, blog, and the Better Behavior Naturally Parent Program. and tune in to my interview and some of the other excellent interviews.
If you’d like to learn more about these supplements, look at my supplements blog here
There is also a “Liquid and powder options for children” section on this blog – with other products you may find useful for children.
I’d also like offer a caution about the 100mg chewable tryptophan This chewable form is both good and bad. It’s good because it’s a nice 100mg of tryptophan per tablet, is chewable, tastes good and is suitable for children and “pixie dust” individuals who need a very small amount and for when doing the initial trial. The bad aspect is that it does contain sugar and is quite sweet. Because you are continually consuming something sweet you may end up over-consuming them if sugar addiction is your issue. I’ve seen the same with children who want to eat them like candy. So, what I do most of the time is use the chewable tryptophan for the trial and then switch to the 500mg tryptophan after that. We did that with the 11-year old with anger issues, anxiety and candy cravings.
One more thing: Lidtke is the only brand of tryptophan I use and recommend because of its quality. I forgot to mention that in our interview.
Have you benefited from using any of the amino acids and then found they also help your child/children?