We recently had to take our son in for a sleep study. “There is a 50-100% incidence of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals with Down Syndrome, with almost 60% of children with Down syndrome having abnormal sleep studies by age 3.5 – 4 years. The overall incidence of obstructive sleep apnea increases as children grow older.” 1
Children with Down syndrome typically have a form of sleep apnea, whether it be obstructive or central. Explained very simply, obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is just that, your body is obstructing your air passage ways because of tongue or enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Central sleep apnea is different because it means that you brain isn’t communicating effectively with your body while you are sleeping and causes you to stop breathing.
We did it mostly because for about the last two years our son wakes multiple times throughout the night. He doesn’t stay in his room and cry for us, which is rare. Rather, he prefers to awaken, open his door and walk quickly across our place to our room and go to Daddy’s bedside and insist he go to bed with Jack. Doug and I take turns sleeping in Jack’s full size bed. He doesn’t snore, and if he does it’s because he’s sick and therefore congested.
We got the results from Jack’s sleep study and it proved that Jack had mild obstructive sleep apnea. Having been in the respiratory industry, I was relieved that it wasn’t central sleep apnea. A few days later I got a call from our son’s neurologist who wanted to put him on Singulair since his tonsils were enlarged. My husband did his due diligence in research on Singulair and read the side effects, one of them being “agitation including aggressive behavior or hostility.”2
Since we were already experiencing some aggressive behavior at school and sometimes at home, my husband and I agreed after researching the side effects that we weren’t willing to do anything but try a much more homeopathic method.
I immediately discussed my dilemma with my chiropractor who suggested Bamboo extract. We originally started our 5-year-old on half a capsule a day in his apple sauce or yogurt, and after a week upped the dose to a full capsule. I noticed a difference within two days. We had a follow up appointment with the neurologist and within a week’s time she noticed a considerable difference in his tonsil size and remarked, “this is as good, if not better, than Singulair.” She was so impressed she was going to refer another patient, who would rather use a more holistic approach, to our chiropractor’s office so she could get the same product for the same symptoms.
She suggested we keep him on the bamboo extract for one month, stating that it was like he was on antibiotics and didn’t want his immune system to be compromised and not be able to do what it’s supposed to do on its own. After talking with my chiropractor, she asked me, “have any of the antibiotics Jack has been on reduced his tonsils?” The answer was simple, “no.”
What’s most interesting is that my son had a hearing evaluation done back in mid-March, where his hearing in his right ear showed a 30% reduction (hearing loss). We had his hearing retested four months later, in July, as we had started the bamboo extract in the beginning of June. His hearing showed no compromise and tested perfectly normal in both ears. At that doctor’s appointment, the Ear Nose and Throat doctor remarked how “tiny” his tonsils were.
What I have learned about Bamboo extract is that it has a combination of amino acids, vitamins and minerals as its properties which actually helps to build up the immune system and is especially helpful with colds and respiratory disorders. It is now staple in our medicine cabinet whenever any of us is fighting a cold.