We had a wonderful week at AutismOne. It truly is a time where professionals working with special needs children from many different backgrounds present their clinical findings that improve the life and function of these children and their families.
I had the privilege and pleasure to present not only the co-morbid conditions that many of our children live with from day to day but also many of the medical treatments that are available but so often overlooked by the medical community. I would like to take the opportunity to summarize my discussion of my medical approach to medical interventions in theses children.
I usually start my discussion with first, describing the problem: Autism. Now you may have already had this diagnosis and met some criteria that the physician checked off in the box. But what does it all really mean? Basically, autistic behaviors stem from inappropriate responses to every day stimuli. And the more inappropriate responses the child makes, the more “severe” he or she is on the spectrum. I used the example of my son Joshua walking on hot gravel in bare feet without making a peep. He was just fine with that. But it could also be to sounds, being called, responding to food in a very unusual fashion, and the list goes on and on.
Let’s take a look and some common issues that we MUST take care of if we are ever going to get our children to improve:
• GUT ISSUES
• SLEEP ISSUES
• ALLERGIC ISSUES
• IMMUNE ISSUES
• NEUROLOGIC and PSYCHIATRIC ISSUES
• ENDOCRINE ISSUES
• INFLAMMATORY AND OXIDATIVE ISSUES
• TOXIC ISSUES
To go along with these issues, here is a partial list of many biological conditions that can attribute to all these issues:
• Gut Problems
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– Reflux Esophagitis
– Leaky gut
– Persistent Viral/bacterial Infection
– Food allergy
– Recurring illnesses
– Auto immune
– Seizures/Sensory Issues
– Low muscle tone- especially trunk
– Perfusion Defects- SPECT
– Opiate effect
• Metabolic/Detoxification Pathway Disruption
– Purine disorders
– Elevated ammonia
– Omega 3 deficits
– Sulfation defect
– Methylation disorders
– Serotonin/Melatonin deficit
– Dopamine defect
– Heavy metal burden
• Chromosomal issues
One of the metabolic aberrations we find commonly in are clinic is a defect in what is called the “Methylation Pathway” (see www.mendingautism.com for a more comprehensive description). Problems with this cycle often come with a family history riddled with:
• Bipolar disease
• Attention deficit disorder
• Cardiovascular disease
• Thyroid dysfunction
• Multiple sclerosis
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Parkinson’s disease
Now the reason I present the metabolic condition is to demonstrate to the reader that there are specific ways to improve on the biochemistry, and thus, MINIMIZE the impact of this defect:
• Methyl B 12 appears to work best when given sub-cutaneously, by the parents (this is a prescription). We tend to add folic acid and N- acetyl cysteine to the injection.
• TMG or DMG
• Folic/folinic acid/leucovorin
• Glutathione transdermally twice daily is prescribed as well
We then moved from an example of potential metabolic dysfunction to a discussion of Allergies and some of their symptoms. We like to manage allergies at our office and divide them into 2 broad categories: foods and environmental exposures.
For food allergies, sometimes referred to as sensitivities, we need to do some lab work to help us figure out what each individual child is sensitive to. The treatment, as you may surmise, is to remove the foods. Often, without any testing, we can recommend a TOTAL removal of all dairy containing foods as well as all gluten containing foods. Again, if the parents are going to remove foods, without testing, next up to remove would be all soy and citrus containing foods.
For environmental allergies, again, testing would be optimal to obtain, but we may just need to settle on daily treatments of over the counter allergy medications such as zyrtec, claritin, or even Benadryl.
Next up: The gut!
We’ll be posting part 2 next week, so stay tuned!