We all know about Autism Spectrum disorders by now. The National Autistic Society quote figures of over 1:100 statistically, some other statisticians quote 1:88. That’s more than 1% of the population and a 5-fold increase since 1998. Gone also are the days when this was a male only condition. This should tell us something about our environment. 1% or more of our species are isolated due to difficulties with social interaction and communication. Restricted interests, activities or behaviours further isolate them. While our loved ones vary enormously from each other these are the core features shared by all. They may be so insidious as to be missed by the undiscerning or so obvious the family is isolated as a result. This has led to the development of a whole raft of therapies eclipsed by confusion.
Nutrition and Gut Health
We believe that whatever therapies you choose to undertake you will gain more benefit if nutrition and gut health is optimised. How much calmer and more receptive would your little one be if less pain, better sleep, fewer hormone fluctuations, less itching, no constipation and/or diarrhoea and so on were the order of the day? Nutrition is a really powerful tool, the body has this innate ability to heal and repair when given the right nourishment. After all you wouldn’t run your prize car on Cola or Lucozade so why run a body on it?
The gut is an essential component to grasp in autism. It assimilates the nutrients from foods that support our individual biochemistry. It houses many thousands of bacterial residents that can help or hinder digestion and health. The largest part of the immune system is housed in the gut but this can be imbalanced leading to inability to fight Bacteria, viruses and yeasts. We call this Dysbiosis and the toxins from these pathogens can create inflammation that can affect the gut and the brain. In fact Michael Gershon spent many years researching the gut brain axis. This is now becoming very much mainstream medicine.
Other factors that can affect the brain are Poor Methylation. This is a key biochemical process in the body. We need to methylate to produce new DNA, for cell replication and division, for removal of heavy metals and metabolic waste, for methylation and breakdown of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). Without adequate methylation anxiety, depression, ADHD and sleep issues may be prominent alongside further inflammation.
Inflammation is our defence mechanism to encourage blood cells to surge to the injury for protection and healing. It becomes a problem when the mechanism doesn’t switch off as he danger passes. Permanently switched on inflammation might result in behaviour such as head banging, self-injurious behaviour or eye poking as these might indicate pain.
Poor detoxification may also be a problem. Toxins from foods such as MSG and Aspartame, salicylates; and environmental toxins such as Mercury and aluminium can build up acting like drugs on the brain. A little known condition called Pyroluria can also impair detoxification so we often screen our clients where the is deemed appropriate. Please click through the Pyrroluria section for more information and to watch our video.
Opiate toxicity from inadequate breakdown of gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley and sometimes Oats), casein (dairy protein), and soy can lead to signs of opiate excess. Foggy thinking, insensitivity to pain, opiate addiction and withdrawal or irritability may be the result. Paul Shattock and others have written extensively on this subject. We will review some of their work as we develop our blog and invite you to join us.
What Options are available?
There is no “one size fits all” approach. Each person is an individual and should be afforded a plan to meet their personal needs and goals. Our Functional Medicine approach really lends itself well to understanding and planning a unique approach for your special person. You will see a host of diets on the Internet including – GAPS, Body Ecology, Paleo, Neurolipidketo, Ketogenic and Atkins. All have their risk/benefit ratio so our task is to work out what would work for you.
A final word here is just to say nutrition will not cure Autism. It’s not about changing your special person. It’s about quality of life and potentially being able to function as optimal as possible in a confusing world. Here is a lovely letter from a young man who had biomedical intervention.
I am writing this to encourage you to consider biomedical interventions for your child. I hope many other people encourage you as well, because biomedical interventions are life changing. Working with a physician trained by the Autism Research Institute or MAPS www.medmaps.org , parents can help their kids with many health related issues like diarrhea, constipation, sleep, ADHD, anxiety, depression, tics, speech issues etc. You may be skeptical that these treatments can affect so many areas…but I am living proof that they work!
I have to be honest with you here. Biomedical interventions can be hard. This I know firsthand. But what I also know firsthand is that biomedical interventions are worth it! Before “biomed” I was physically weak and exhausted all the time. I couldn’t focus and had regular acid reflux. Life was, for lack of a better word, disinteresting. The main feeling I had was apathy. Nothing mattered to me except video games. This extended to having friends, doing fun things, and even eating. I never paid attention to my future. In fact, I paid no attention to anything, except gaming.
Then one day, for seemingly no apparent reason, my mom just took all the wheat and dairy out of the house. I did not know why, neither did I see it coming. There was no end in sight to my mom’s medical madness. There were pills to swallow, lab tests, and even shots. I made things incredibly difficult for my mother, and I don’t know how or why she kept pushing through, but she did.
Today, I am strong and healthy, and all of my health issues have practically disappeared. There is no way I would have believed it, but now that I have lived through biomedical interventions, my life has really taken a positive change. I’m energetic and athletic, and even received a blue belt in Jujitsu at 15. My focus has gotten so much better. My weight has doubled in 4 years, mostly due to muscle mass increase. In addition, I now have friends and care about life. I feel like I can make a difference.
Here is what you should know. For most people, biomed is not a short term, quick fix. If you want to get results for your kid, it will take some work – for you and for him. If you are in, you need to be in 100%. While the effects of biomedical treatments can be apparent in short periods of time, often results are gained slow and steadily.
There may be times when you will have doubt. You might be uncertain that biomed is helping your child. You might question whether your child can stick with a special diet – especially if he is a big wheat and dairy fan. You may wonder if other families judge you. You may worry about how much it will cost. Know that if you face these challenges or any others, there is a community of amazing people in TACA who are ready and able to help. They know the uncertainty you are feeling and will support you through this process.
Are biomedical interventions easy? Well, nothing worth doing is easy… and biomedical interventions are very worth doing. The hardest part by far is the first 3 months because it requires a lot of lifestyle change. During those three months, you and your child will find out what you are made of. Perhaps your kid is not 100% dedicated to this cause. What is important is that you ARE 100% dedicated, and that you inspire your child to feel the same. As a result, you may end up bribing your child to keep them on track. My mom paid me $10 per month not to complain and stick with the program. How you motivate your kids is up to you.
Biomedical interventions may feel like harsh tasting medicine. It can be hard to follow the directions and swallow. But if you keep at it, you will get positive results. With thousands of recovered kids, including myself, biomedical interventions have a history of doing its part. Are you going to do your part?
Well? Are you ready?
Source: Talk About Curing Autism