Of course I am not talking about bravery or determination but a healthy digestive system.
As well as Autism, I also include ADHD, ADD and Asperger’s – these are all other manifestations of a Gut/Brain disorder. The knowledge of this is not new (how the brain is linked to the gut). Hippocrates in ancient Greece said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
There have been many studies on Autism and the digestive system. James Adams — director of just one Autism/Asperger’s Research Program said “One of the reasons we started addressing this topic is the fact that autistic children have a lot of GI problems that can last into adulthood,” and Krajmalnik-Brown (a researcher for the program) said: “Studies have shown that when we manage these problems, their behavior improves dramatically.”
There is no possible solution without a full diet change and this is especially difficult for Gut/Brain disorders as the determination needed to achieve a healthy gut is undermined by an abnormal fixation with unhealthy foods. Change is difficult for most human beings but it seems almost impossible for those with a Gut/Brain disorder or those caring for sufferers.
It is estimated that 15 years ago, around 1 in 10,000 kids had autism in the U.S.
Now it is estimated to be 1 in 50.
At this rate, what will it be in another 15 years’ time?
I know I’ve suffered from many of the symptoms of a Gut/Brain disorder and still do if I fall off the ‘healthy food wagon’. Many people feel like they are suffering, but also find it isn’t easy to change their diet – even if their life depends upon it. That’s because it can be difficult for some to change a lifetime of poor dietary choices.
A guy was juicing for 60 days. Not only did he lose lots of weight, get off his prescription drugs and look much healthier but one of his employees in his business pointed out his thinking and clarity of decision making had considerably improved.
I have no doubt that since he was only eating (juicing) raw fresh foods he was also taking in friendly bacteria as well as feeding the existing friendly bacteria which would accelerate his recovery (plus he had cut out dairy, carbs etc). Maybe the simple solution is to do anything we can to improve our gut, then everything after that may become much easier?
Easy steps for a healthy Gut/Brain (all supported by studies), include:
- Taking a powerful Probiotic which can be opened and mixed with any food. Studies show the brain is affected positively with this
- Taking specific relaxation supplements to help with the anxiety that change causes and for a more relaxed sleep (opened and mixed for easy use).
- Taking critical nutrients missing from the diet including Nascent Iodine Drops (4 drops x 4 times per day in a little water), and a good multivitamin containing selenium as a critical co-factor of Iodine.
- Taking Coconut Oil for its effective MCT’s is helpful and is good for mixing in foods.
- Krill Oil, Fish Oil complex or Hemp Oil for vegans.
- Ancient Minerals Magnesium OIL Lotion
- A better alternative is Magnesium Oil with added plant derived Melatonin (see studies at end)
Diet is the one solution that will make the biggest change. The diet that makes a dramatic difference. There are lots of other recipes on the internet and you can find them by searching on ‘Ketogenic’ recipes and ‘Paleo’ recipes.
Treating Autism With Nutrition
Many children with autism are plagued with gastrointestinal abnormalities such as imbalances in gut bacteria and leaky gut syndrome. This can lead to allergies that exacerbate physical and behavioral symptoms. The most common dietary allergens are casein in dairy products and gluten, which is found in wheat, spelt, rye, and barley. Studies show that eliminating these items from the diet usually leads to improvements in symptoms.
Sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring agents, and hydrogenated oils are also problematic and should be off limits. Avoidance of mercury-containing fish and eating only pesticide-free produce is also recommended.
Because these kids often have poor nutritional status due to digestive problems and limited food choices, targeted nutritional supplementation is very important. In a landmark study of autistic children, more than half were found to be deficient in vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, biotin, selenium, zinc, magnesium, essential amino acids, and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. In addition to a good multivitamin and mineral supplement, positive results have been noted with additional vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc, and fish oil, as well as digestive enzymes and probiotics.
Other Natural Treatments for Autism
Speech therapy and a range of sensory and behavioral interventions are also recommended, and the earlier they are started the better. Other effective yet overlooked therapies include glutathione and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Glutathione is a crucial antioxidant and detoxifier that’s in short supply in children with autism. Levels can be increased by administering glutathione intravenously, through the skin, or with special oral preparations. HBOT, which involves breathing 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber, is a highly effective treatment for brain and neurological disorders. Its popularity for children with autism is growing as parents report sometimes dramatic improvements in speech, behavior, and sociability.
The initial cause of Gut/Brain disorders arises from lack of friendly bacteria available at birth or in the first year. It is also likely to be compounded by vaccinations, the latest studies confirm. The good news it is a dysfunction – not a life sentence.
Iodine Deficiency Linked to Autisim In a number of countries with reported increases in autism there has been a concomitant increase in the prevalence of iodine deficiency.
(3 4 5) Another line of evidence is the effect of iodine deficiency on brain development and the findings in some children with autism. Iodine deficiency during the prenatal period has been associated with a number of adverse effects on the brain resulting in a continuum of effects from mild to severe depending on the degree of iodine deficiency, from lowered IQ to severe mental retardation, i.e., cretinism. The mechanism of iodine deficiency is that insufficient levels of iodine lead to an imbalance in thyroid hormone metabolism with a decrease in circulating thyroxin (T4) in both the pregnant mother and the fetus. This results in irreversible changes in brain architecture such as less dense neural connections.
(6) It has been reported that some children with autism have “under connectivity” in certain regions of the brain.
According to World Health Organization, in 2007, nearly 2 billion individuals had insufficient iodine intake, a third being of school age. … Thus iodine deficiency, as the single greatest preventable cause of mental retardation, is an important public-health problem.”
Sleep Disorders Division, Department of Neurology and Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org Supplemental melatonin has shown promise in treating sleep onset insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Twenty-four children, free of psychotropic medications, completed an open-label dose-escalation study to assess dose-response, tolerability, safety, feasibility of collecting actigraphy data, and ability of outcome measures to detect change during a 14-week intervention. Supplemental melatonin improved sleep latency, as measured by actigraphy, in most children at 1 or 3 mg dosages. It was effective in week 1 of treatment, maintained effects over several months, was well tolerated and safe, and showed improvement in sleep, behavior, and parenting stress. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on supplemental melatonin for insomnia in ASD.