This is it guys, it’s almost here, on September the 30th I’ll be of to the “Mad blog awards for the awards ceremony in London’s Soho.
What makes this all the more exciting, is the fact that somebody likes the blog so much that they have agreed to sponsor me!
These day’s it isn’t just footballers and big name brands that get sponsored, but bloggers too!
When looking for a sponsor I wanted to find a brand or company that were passionate about what they do, in the same way I’m passionate about my family, raising awareness for autism and my love of writing and of course blogging. As well as this pretty huge requirement, I also wanted the companies brand/product to fit in with the overall theme of the blog. So, for me this would be a brand that deals with parents but with the added addition of autism.
Well, I’m pleased to say, that I think I found this and a whole lot more in my sponsor. Yes, I’m both incredibly excited and delighted to be working with them!
So, without further delay…
My Sponsor for the Mad blog awards is… Drum roll please …
OptiBac are an independent family run business with a passion for Probiotics almost as big as my passion to create awareness for autism and help families dealing with diagnosis and the challenges it may bring.
For those who have no idea what Probiotics are and how they relate to autism, let me explain!
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms (more commonly known as friendly bacteria) and are something we all have, and need within our own bodies. This bacteria, alongside Pathogens, (Bad bacteria) can be found living in our intestines. It’s the good bacteria’s (Probiotics) that are needed to ensure good digestive health, while playing an important roll in keeping our immunity and energy levels high.
It is important to have a good balance of both good and bad bacteria, and although we produce both, it is often the case that the balance needed becomes fragile. This is a common occurrence what with, Stress, ageing, travelling, high sugar levels and more, all being contributing factors.
When our bodies experience an imbalance of the two, a person may experience symptoms, Such as, low energy, bloating, allergies & food intolerance, skin conditions such as eczema, heartburn, Diarrhoea, constipation, thrush, IBS and more.
Probiotics and autism
It is well documented within the autism world that the link between autism and digestive health is a pretty big One, with hundreds of thousands of children and adults with an autism spectrum diagnosis, having some type of ongoing digestive/Gut problem, that quite possibly requires some form of treatment, medication or diet requirement.
I, myself have heard a mass of stories from other parents of children on spectrum speaking of their child’s poor and problematic digestive health.
Just a few days back, a thread on my facebook page,“A boy with Aspergers” highlighted the high number of children with poor digestive health against a very minute few who have little or no issues, to be rather substantial.
Though my own little study proves little, there has been a great deal of research involved in discovering if there really is a link between the two? Most results indicated that, yes there is!
I have come across many parents and individuals who are trying to improve their child on the spectrums digestive health by changing the way they eat. If you are a parent to a child on the autism spectrum or you yourself are on that spectrum, its pretty likely that you have come across terms such as, lactose, gluten or casein! These naturally occurring proteins, can all be found within the foods we eat and children and adults with autism can be extremely sensitive to such ingredients (food intolerance) however it is thought that such occurrences could be due to the imbalance of probiotics and Pathogens (friendly and not so friendly bacteria).
Most children with autism, already have a very limited diet and although there are plenty of Gluten-free and Casein-free foods now on the market, many parents experience a great deal of problems trying to introduce this to the child with ASD. Another important factor to remember, is the differing finds within scientific studies when it comes to eliminating these food groups and the true benefits for the child with autism.
Little man is a child who has some degree of problems with his digestive health, mainly maintaining his regularity and the stomach cramps this causes him. His diet has improved over the years though not greatly! It lacks a lot of the healthy foods. His eating habits are quite limited and he therefore quite shamefully gets by on chicken or bacon. He also has a great fear of public toilets and certainly wont do a number two anywhere but when at home or when visiting one of his two grandmothers, which of course does nothing for his digestive system. So, of course I put these issues plus his terrible habit of wind breaking down to the above, but lately I’ve been forced to rethink, looking at the whole picture. You see, I don’t really know if little man has any food intolerance, though even if he did, the work needed to change his whole outlook on food would be a great challenge! So, if there is a possibility that a supplement of probiotics could help balance out his good and bad bacteria, I’m up for giving this a try!
You see, it’s not just problems with the gut that children with autism experience, but also a mass of other problems, such as, behaviour problems, poor sleep, anxiety and more! Again little man suffers quite severely from all listed.
Research into the probiotics has found that a daily dose of certain strains of probiotics given to a child with autism can dramatically improve areas of concern such as those listed above (especially poor behaviour and concentration levels).
More about the, ‘A boy with Aspergers’ sponsor, ‘OptiBac’
These guys are awesome, and yes, they know all there is to know about probiotics! They are in-fact the UK’s best selling probiotic range and are unique in the fact they use specific probiotics for specific health conditions, meaning there is a probiotic supplement right for each and every one of us. OptiBac Probiotics are so safe most can be used while pregnant, breast-feeding and some can even be given to children as young as 6 months old. With this and the fact OptiBac offers its customers affordable probiotics, aimed at each ones particular concerns, makes this a really trusting brand.
Strains of Probiotic
Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 is one of the most commonly known probiotics and is actually used within five of the nine OptiBac supplements. The probiotic strain is often combined with prebiotics (prebiotics, is a source of food for probiotics to grow, multiply and survive in the gut) and is a good aid for health conditions such as IBS, reducing the risk of yeast infections and can even minimise the risk of diarrhoea, especially in travellers. Rosell-52 is used within the children’s range (from 6 months-12 years) This same supplement is also safe to take when pregnant or breast-feeding , so is therefore recommend to both children and expectant and breast-feeding mothers. (this is the supplement Alice-Sara and little H started today). The species ‘acidophilus’ can also be found within the premium range, such as, ‘Extra strength’ which consist of a further four strains of probiotic and contains 20 billion live probiotic microorganisms per capsule. This is the species we have started little man on this morning, which is given in the form of a capsule! Little man is used to these as he takes Melatonin to help aid his sleep at night, so, he had no problems taking it!
There are many other strains of Probiotics that OptiBac use in their products and with each strain a different dosage helping to combat a persons health concerns in the most natural and healthy way possible . The above example is just one of many strains and more detailed information can be found over at the OptiBac website within its resource centre, You will also find a full list of the probiotics on offer and what each can do to benefit your health.
You will find that most if not all, probiotics are approved for use, if you are a vegetarian or on a gluten or Yeast- free diet. They all contain no added sugar, (Sugar can actually counteract the benefits of the added friendly bacteria, which is while Probiotic yogurts are not really recommend, due to the added sweeteners and sugars) lastly they are free from artificial colouring.
OptiBac really impressed me, yet we’ve only just began our journey discovering the potential benefits for children on the spectrum, like my little man, and my families health as a whole ( Yes, that’s right we’re all having a go !)
Alice-Sara and baby H are taking the, ‘For your children’s health‘ supplements (for their general everyday good digestive health) £16.34
Little man is taking the, ‘Extra strength’ capsules‘ (to help with digestive health and improve his bloating and stomach cramps, that maybe a symptom of his autism). £22.49
and as for me, Im taking the New, ‘Maintaining Regularity‘ (for my IBS and bloating, though don’t worry, I’m not about to start blogging bowel movement updates). £24.98
Other products that look great are, ‘Flat stomach’ and ‘For those on antibiotics’ (That’s the actual name of the product) which is a fantastic supplement designed to replace the bacteria’s that antibiotics kill, causing symptoms such as trash (it’s happen to me and I only wish I had known about Optibac)! This is just one of the many side affects that can result from taking a dose of antibiotics.
So, there you have it. The brilliant OptiBac are my Mad blog awards sponsor and will be so kindly putting me up in a lovely hotel on the night of the awards.
In the meantime I’ll be taking my daily supplement and hoping my bloating stays away on and before the 30th
Make sure you all look out for updates, to discover how the probiotics are working for little man! Will there be improvement in his digestive health, sleep, behaviour, or very poor concentration? Let’s just wait and see.
Please show some Love and like OptiBac on ‘Facebook‘ or follow them on ‘twitter‘. Also don’t forget to check out the OptiBac ‘website‘ Just pop on over to any one of these and say hi. I would really appreciate it and I bet they would too!
OptiBac in London … Catch OptiBac in London between the 5th-9th September 2011
The guys at OptiBac, have one of their very own Naturopath’s visiting a number of London stores and are inviting you along for some free health advice and special offers. Check out the site for locations.
NOTE: We are not after a cure, we love Little man the way he is. OptiBac nor myself are claiming such nonsense. I’m just pointing out that yes, children with autism do tend to have digestive/gut problems and Probiotics may help improve this and maybe some of the difficulties listed above. If you’re looking for a cure, then I’m afraid you wont find one in probiotics or any other source for that matter!