So many parents experience the feeling of guilt when faced with a diagnosis of Autism. “What have or haven’t I done “is usually the reaction to such news. When we delve deeper in to the context of what could have caused the disorder parents start to feel even guiltier. Le me pre-empt this conversation by saying that this is IN NO WAY my motivation! We are what we are! Our children are physically made by us from whatever we are made of. Some of these things, like genetics, we are born with and we can’t do anything about. Some were given to us by our parents, like our bodily microbial flora and our eating habits. Some were created by our life-styles and choices. Some were imposed on us my modern society. It is unrealistic and unproductive to concentrate your efforts on feeling guilty. Rather than use our efforts to focus on the guilt follow in the footsteps of parents before you who have focused on learning as much as possible about their children’s condition and what can be done about it!
Gestational Nutrition: Mom’s health prior to and during pregnancy is one of the biggest factors affecting the health of the child as it enters the world. If mom is nutritionally deficient, then the baby will lack the building blocks or raw material necessary for proper development. Pregnancy Stress: baby starts producing adrenal hormones in the last trimester of pregnancy. The adrenal glands are small glands that sit atop the kidneys and produce stress hormones and other chemicals that help the body adapt to it’s internal and external environment. If pregnant mom has weakened adrenals due to physical, chemical or emotional stress, then she may draw upon baby’s stress hormones to help her function better. Toxic Metals: many women have accumulated toxic metals/minerals during their lives and these can be passed from mom to baby through the placenta. These toxic metals/minerals include: mercury, copper, cadmium, arsenic, and aluminum to name a few Birth: The baby’s digestive tract is completely sterile in utero. This means baby has no immune system or ability to digest. This changes as the baby enters the birth canal during birth. The baby is exposed to it’s first microbes through the mom’s vaginal flora. Since vaginal canal is supposed to be acidic, only beneficial micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, and yeasts) should inhabit the area. The baby’s eyes and the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth are exposed to these beneficial microbes. These microbes are essential for mom’s health as well as baby’s. pg 54
What can compromise mom’s vaginal tract: pg 54 Antibiotics : and other systemic antibacterial drugs have a direct effect on the composition of vaginal flora, because they destroy the beneficial bacteria in the vagina as well as everywhere else in the body. If the beneficial bacteria in the vagina are not there then the coast is celar for any invading bacteria, fungus, virus or parasite to take hold and grow. Contraceptive pill: has the same damaging enfluence on vaginal flora as antibiotics. Steriods : steroids in the pill have an ability to supress the immune system and change the composition of bodily flora. Taking the pill on a regular basis has a profound effect on the composition of the bodily micro-flora. NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin) : same effect as above. Diet : What lives in the womens bowel will live in her vagina. For example, women with recurrent thrush, no matter how many powerful anti-fungal topical preparations are used, the thrush always comes back. It comes back because the fungus called Candida albicans, lives in the woman’s bowel. Until she gets rid oif it in the bowel, she is not going to be free from vaginal thrush. Women get an overgrowth of fungi in their bowels due to not having a healthy gut flora to protect them. This is called Gut Dysbiosis. Among Autistic children research shows most of their mothers having gut dysbiosis often due to taking contraceptives for years, etc. This leads to many health problems such as digestive disorders, asthma, eczema, hay fever, allergies, migraines, PMS, arthritis, skin problems, chromic cystitis and thrush. Stress : Personal Care Products Infections What is in the mom’s vaginal tract is a reflection of her gastro-intestinal health. If, because of the above mentioned negative influences, she has an improper balance of good and bad microbes in her gut, her vaginal tract will reflect that. And then baby doesn’t receive an adequate first exposure to beneficial microbes.
Why does this matter? It sets the stage for baby to have a compromised digestive tract and immune system. Children without proper immune and digestive tracts are more susceptible to negative influences such as antibiotics, vaccinations, and toxic metals/minterals.
Breastfeeding: Even if baby isn’t properly inoculated during birth, the next opportunity comes with the initial days of breast feeding when mom is producing colostrum. Colostrum also forms the foundation of the baby’s digestive and immune system. After the initial days of colostrums, the mom’s breast milk continues the process and mom’s immune cells are passed to baby through the milk. However, what is in mom’s blood is also passed to baby. This includes improper microbes and/or undigested food particles. This can set the stage for the baby to have allergies, eczema, asthma, ear infections, colic, and a host of other health problems.
Adrenals: If baby is born with depleted adrenals, then any other imbalance within the body (immune, gut, etc) may be amplified. The baby’s stress hormones help it adapt to it’s environment but if baby is depleted, it will have difficulty adapting and therefore functioning. OXIDATION
Diet : Correct Nutrition is essential for the treatment of autism. Many different diets have been proposed. GFCF not enough : In a GFCF diet processed carbohydrates containing gluten often times get replaced with gluten free processed carbs, made with rice, sugar, potato starch, tapioca flour, soy, buckwheat flour etc. These sort of foods will feed the abnormal flora in the child’s gut just as much as the previous diet died, perpetuating the vicious cycle of a damaged leaky gut and toxicity escaping from this leaky gut into the blood and brain.As long as Candida, Clostridia and many other pathogens populate the gut, the inflammation will persist, the gut will stay leaky, allowing hundreds of different undigested and toxic substances into the body.
Staying away from phenols and salicylates not enough : Proponents of this theory propose the cutting out of pretty much all fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oils. I don’t know why they stop there because there is no food on this planet that doesn’t contain phenolic compounds. Examples of phenols are Vitamin C, K, E, B1, B2, B3, amino acids and more. There is no question that autistic children react to phenols and many other substances in foods. These reactions are very different from the classical allergy and can’t be described as allergic b/c they don’t show the changes in the immune system typical of allergy. There is no explanation, yet, for these reactions but many medical professionals think that the reaction occurs from the following: Before making you feel better, any detoxifier initially makes you feel worse because we all have various toxins stored in the tissues of our bodies. When detoxifying substances are introduced they wash toxins out of storage sites into the blood stream to be conjugated, taken to elimination organs and excreted in urine, sweat or bile. For those couple of hours, while these toxins are floating in your blood they cause symptoms.So , in effect what is happening is the phenols from the food are trying to “clean you up” a process called detox reaction. This is a necessary process. Autistic children are very toxic. They store toxins intheir tissues often times in frightening amts. Therefore their detox reactions are much more severe than normal. Syptoms include sleep and behavior issues, hyperactivity and mood swings. This is temporary though. A proper diet will actually reduce the patients reactivity to phenols…this will be discussed later.
Anti-Candida Diet: Pretty much every chronic degenerative disorder has been connected to Candida overgrowth from arthritis and digestive problems to Fibromyalgia, and neurological disorders to Autism and ADHD. The anti-candida diet aims to remove all food sources for these pathogens: sugar and everything, that contains it, fructose, maltose, lactose and other sugars, including maple syrup and honey. Fruit is excluded as it is viewed as a source of simple sugars. As Candida overgrowth can cause an allergy to other fungi and molds, all fungi and fermented foods are also eliminated: yeast and baked foods made with yeast, soured milk, all cheeses, all fermented beverages, vinegar, malt, mushrooms, tea and coffee, dried fruit and fruit juices. However, grains are not excluded from the diet: corn, barley, wheat, rye, millet, oats, rice, etc. and foods made out of them, as long as they do not contain yeast. Starchy vegetables are not excluded either: potato, yams, sweet potato and artichokes…and this is where the problem is… Candida is never alone in the digestive system. ~500 other different microbes also live in the gut that have the capability to cause disease. Autistic children, when tested, are found to have high levels of many of these pathogens in addition to Candida, chief among them being Clostridia.. These pathogens and their toxins damage the gut lining. The result is that complex carbohydrates, those found in grains and starchy vegetables, do not get digested and become food fro the pathogenic flora, undergoing fermentation and putrificaiton in the gut instead of digestion…becoming a source of toxins. All three of these diets, whether used alone or in combination create a diet full of rice and things mad eout of it, potato, potato crisps, gluten free breads, biscuits and other baked goods. As autisitic children allow their inflamed and damaged gut to stay inflamed and damaged, keeping up with the toxicity in the body…the toxicity that makes children autistic.
There is a strong consensus that modifying the diet and addressing the GI symptoms as initial treatment goals set the stage for the success of other treatments. Dietary modifications include the removal of: Disaccharides or double sugars : can’t be absorbed without quite a bit of work from the digestive tract. Therefore people with autism, who have weakened digestive systems have an especially difficult time. Because they can’t digest them, these disaccharides stay in the gut becoming major pathogenic bacteria, viruses, Candida and other fungi…a literal river of toxins in the gut. Peptidases: Peptidases are the result of protein digestion in the duodenum of the gut. IN persons with autism the gut lining is extremely weak allowing these peptidases to leak through causing malnutrition. It is important therefore that autistic children be fed easily digested proteins such as eggs, meats and fish that are boiled, stewed, poached rather than fried, roasted or grilled. Fats: The digestion of fats requires bile. In a person with autism, the abnormal gut flora produces excessive mucus which interferes with fat digestion and doesn’t allow bile and digestive enzymes to get to fat particles. As a result a lot of fat goes undigested and comes out as pale, greasy stools. This lack of absorption also causes deficiencies in vit A, D, E and K. However, once starch and double sugars are out of the digestive system for a long enough time then the body normalizes and allows for proper fat absorption. Therefore…Specifically the following should be eliminated: All grains and anything made out of them: wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, maize, sorghum, barley, buckwheat, millet, spelt, triticale, bulgur, tapioca, quinoa, couscous All Starchy Vegetables and anything made out of them: potato, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, artichoke, cassava, arrowroot and taro Sugar and anything that contains it Starchy beans and peas: soybeans, mungbeans, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts, chick peas, faba beans Lactose and anything that contains it: fluid or dried milk of any type, commercially produced yoghurt, buttermilk and sour cream, processed foods with added lactose Processed foods, food additives, colorings, preservatives, artificial sweeteners. Do Eat: Meats and Fish: Fresh or frozen meats, game, organ meats, poultry, fish and shellfish Eggs Non-Starch fresh vegetables (list on pg 103 in GAPS) All Fruit including berries Nuts and seeds Beans and pulses: only dried white navy beans, lima beans, string beans and lentils and split peas (dried and fresh only) Honey: Cold-expeller pressed honey is preferable…limit Beverages: water, freshly pressed juices and meat/fish stock Check your handout list for a typical menu and some example recipes.
I can’t stress enough that a proper diet is primary in treatment of autism…however, some supplements are very beneficial and some are essential!
Probiotics are live microorganisms administered to supplement healthy intestinal flora…which as we have discussed is essential for proper digestion of foods and prevention of increased toxin build up in the body. They engage the immune system and stimulate it’s activity They act as a source of nourishment for the body through digestion (production of digestive enzymes) and synthesis of vitamins and minerals They treat various types of GI issues such as diahrrea They are active against pathogens in the gut Probiotics should be administered in a concentrated dose, large enough to see an improvement A mixture of species and strains of probiotic bacteria is more beneficial as they all play specific roles in the gut.
Omega3 and6’s are the parent fatty acids. From these two fatty acids the body can make other fats to be used in pretty much every function in every cell. Autistic Children also need these derivative fats supplemented in their diet with fish oils. We need both but most people consume more omega-6’s as a result of the pervasiveness of sunflower oil in our diets. This imbalance can lead to inflammatory diseases. The ideal ratio is 2:1 of Omeg-3:Omega-6 Summary: ASD children need: A good seed/nut oil blend Cod liver oil Fish oil with higher ratio of EPA to DHA
Autistic Children can’t usually absorb forms of Vit. A commonly found in supplements so Natural forms such as Cod-Liver Oil are really the only form they can digest and use. One of the functions is immunity. A is an “anti-infective” vitamin. Dosage depends on age and health status.
Betaine HCl is a good source of supplemented digestive enzymes. Dosage depends on age and other factors. A proper balance is ESSENTIAL as not to overdose with acid that will destroy probiotic bacteria.
As we have seen Autistic patients have many nutritional deficiencies…so how do we get rid of them? Choose supplements without any ingredients which may aggravate the gut. Supplements in liquid form are better than in powder, tablet or capsule. Substances, which aren’t allowed on the diet, should also be out. Choose supplements with a high absorption rate. Fulvic acid is produced by bacteria in soil. Supplements with Fulvic acid are digested easier Soil bacteria in your probiotic will provide your gut with acid. Keep supplements to the minimum…don’t overdose with megadoses!
Hair Analysis to test for Nutritional Deficiences: Hair Analysis : Involves a non-invasive process of cutting a small amount of hair from the child’s head and then analyzing it for common quantities and ratios such as the following: Calcium/Magnesium Sodium/Potassium Manganese and Iron Aluminum Lead and Zinc Through an individualized hair mineral analysis, a custom program can be set up to help to slowly detoxify and rebuild the body, a child’s first hair mineral analysis reflects the top layer of metabolism and will not show all the imbalances. We address what is revealed on the test with diet, supplementary nutrients, lifestyle modification and detoxification procedures. After a number of months a retest is administered and will reveal a deeper layer of metabolism, uncovering and reversing layers of adaptations and compensations, a process called retracing, requires time and some persistence, but it is far more permanent and health-producing than simply removing symptoms. The results are: Enhancement of absorption and digestion of all nutrients Nutritional balancing programs facilitate the removal of mercury, copper, manganese, iron, lead, cadmium and other metals that are commonly p resent in excess Improve the organs of elimination Provide natural toxic metal antagonists and chelating agents: You have a copy of a case study done on an autistic boy in your information packets. If you have any questions about this please contact me.
Life Style Changes Personal care products/ Avoid cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes and other personal care products because they are poorly regulated and contain various carcinogenic and toxic chemicals are widely used in them. Avoid/eliminate as much as possible: Talc or Talcum powder: can cause ovarian cancer Flouride: poisonous Titanium dioxide: carcinogenic TEA and DEA: form carcinogenic substances Lanolin: often contaminated with DDT and other carcinogenic pesticides Saccharin: carcinogenic Formaldehyde: toxic and carcinogenic Propylene Glycol: carcinogenic Lead, aluminum, and other heavy metals are present in personal care products, particularly deodorant and make up. Use water and a cup of cider vinegar in the bath to clean your child instead of soaps. This will help to normalize the skins microflora. On alternate days add epsom salts to aid in detoxification. Air your house regularly and let yoru child spend as much time as possible outside in the fresh air. cleaning products Reduce the general toxic load on your child as their toxin level is already high and they have a harder time detoxifying. All widely available domestic chemicals are toxic. Bathroom detergents, floor cleaners, polishes, etc. all stay in the child’s detox system. These can be replaces with bio-degradable alternatives from various conscientous companies or by using natural homemade cleaners such as water and vinegar or lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and olive oil. You can clean your wood floors with strong tea. You can polish your furniture with a mixture of 1C olf olive oil and 1/2 C of white vinegar…etc. Avoid swimming pools as they are toxic and full of chemicals such as chlorine. Swim in natural waters. Keep your house full of house plants to filter the air…keep them healthy so as to not attract molds.
Natural Treatments for Autism
Natural Approaches to Treating Autism Dr. Jennifer Greenfield
Before We Begin… <ul><li>Let Go of The Guilt!!! </li></ul>
More on Birth… What Can Compromise the Mother’s Vaginal Tract? <ul><li>Antibiotics </li></ul><ul><li>Contraceptive Pill </li></ul><ul><li>Steroids </li></ul><ul><li>NSAIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Diet </li></ul><ul><li>Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Care Products </li></ul><ul><li>Infections </li></ul>
Why does this matter? <ul><li>Compromises the digestive tract and immune system. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaves children more susceptible to negative influences such as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>antibiotics, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vaccinations, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>toxic metals/minerals </li></ul></ul>
Prevention <ul><li>Breastfeeding & Colostrum </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to Focus on Your Nutrition as Well as your child’s! </li></ul>
Prevention <ul><li>Adrenal Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mother & Child </li></ul></ul>
…Diet <ul><li>Anti- Candida Diet is also Not Enough </li></ul>
Conclusion on Diet <ul><li>What should Autistic persons avoid in their diets? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbohydrates: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>disaccharides (double sugars): sucrose, lactose, maltose </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proteins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>peptidases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fats </li></ul></ul>
Supplementation <ul><li>Essential Supplements Include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An effective therapeutic strength probiotic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential Fatty Acids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vitamin A </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digestive Enzymes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vitamin and Mineral Supplements </li></ul></ul>
…Supplementation <ul><li>Probiotics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage the immune system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nourishment for the body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat GI issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fight off pathogens </li></ul></ul>
…Supplementation <ul><li>Essential Fatty Acids: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omega-3 (LNA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best sources: flax seed oil, hemp oil, and other exotic oils </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omega-6 (LA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best sources: safflower, sunflower, walnut, hemp oils and all seeds and nut butters. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Autistic Children also need Fish Oils (Good sources of the derivatives of LNA and LA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>* Ideal Ratio is 2:1 LNA:LA * </li></ul>
…Supplementation <ul><li>Vitamin A </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Sources : Organ Meats, Dairy Products, eggs and oily fish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Richest Sources : Liver oils from marine fish such as cold, halibut and shark. </li></ul></ul>
Supplementation… Digestive Enzymes <ul><li>Digestion of Fats, Vitamins and Minerals Requires sufficient digestive enzymes. </li></ul><ul><li>Autistic Children are deficient in these enzymes and therefore require supplementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good source: Betaine HCl with added Pepsin </li></ul></ul>
Supplementation…Vitamin and Mineral Supplements <ul><li>Wrong : Using Megadoses of Supplements, Using the “one size fits all” model for supplementation </li></ul><ul><li>Right: Testing for Nutritional Deficiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hair Analysis </li></ul></ul>
Hair Analysis <ul><li>Analyzes common nutritional ratios </li></ul><ul><li>Results are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhancement of absorption and digestion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nutritional balancing facilitaties detoxification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthens organs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides natural toxic metal antagonists and chelating agents. </li></ul></ul>
Lifestyle Changes <ul><li>Personal Care Products: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce Use to Absolute minimum. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cleaning Products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use biodegradable products and natural homemade combinations to clean. </li></ul></ul>
Questions? <ul><li>For more information please visit the sites given to you in the information packet. </li></ul><ul><li>Also check out the literature recommended. Gut and Psychology Syndrome is an excellent resource as well as Nourishing Traditions </li></ul>