This is part 2 of Dr. Jerry’s summary of his talk from AutismOne. If you missed part 1 last week, you can read it here.
There is just so much to say here. It seems the vast majority of children I see in my clinic have significant bowel issues:
- Inflammation of the bowel
That’s a lot of “itis” – but these just denote various areas of the bowel that have inflammation and pain, and must be dealt with. Further description and management strategies are beyond the scope of this summary, but suffice it to say, we would need the input of the gastroenterologist. My approach to constipation and diarrhea is presented with detail on my website: www.mendingautism.com .
Yeast is always a big topic and invariably comes up when discussing the bowels. There is laboratory testing that can be obtained to evaluate not only if yeast is present, but even the types of yeast and relative amount that is present. Behaviors I see associated with yeast overgrowth include:
• Up at night laughing
• Bloated belly
• “bakery smell”
• Hanging upside down
There are natural treatments one can consider:
• Olive leaf extract
• Caprylic acid
• Berberine (very bitter)
Next up: the very large topic of supplements. I was able to give a brief review which I will summarize here:
Primary goals of supplementation:
• Optimization of Normal Physiology
• Improve Function of the Immune System
• Enhance Cognitive Abilities
• Improve Red Cell Membrane Function
• Reduction of Autistic Behaviors
• Improve Gastrointestinal Function
• Minimize our NEGATIVE genetic influences
• Vitamins: Vitamins are micronutrients that are critical for normal cellular metabolism and function. They must be consumed regularly as our bodies are not able to synthesize these vital nutrients in sufficient amounts. Vitamins are required for proper cell signaling, mediators of cell growth, as antioxidants, and even as hormones
• Minerals: The main electrolytes are Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Chloride. Proper levels of these minerals in the body allow the body to have energy, better muscle and nerve function (including faster stress recovery) and improved function in many other areas. The so called trace minerals (such as selenium, iodine, chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, just to name a few) need to be replenished daily, ideally through the diet.
• Digestive Enzymes break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds that can be readily absorbed and put into the blood-stream. The enzyme class of proteases breaks down proteins to amino acids. The enzyme class of lipase is responsible of breaking down fats to fatty acids, and the carbohydrases break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.
• Omega 3 : the fatty acids, maintain the fluidity and stability of cell membranes and protect the body from harmful substances such as bacteria and viruses. They must be obtained through diet or supplementation with EFA-rich food oils.
• They have an amazing affect on behaviors, mood, focus and concentration.
The last BIG topic I covered, and form many, THE MOST IMPORTANT: SLEEP
(so important I have a very complete articleon sleep at www.mendingautism.com). In essence, many children have not only problems initiating sleep, but also STAYING asleep (much to their parent’s dismay). Some simple strategies are outlined here:
• Calcium/magnesium: can really be helpful
• Vitamin D3
• Vitamin B6/niacinamide
• Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)Enhances REM sleep)
• Herbs: milk thistle, valerian,
• chamomile tea
In summary, children who are on the autism spectrum disorder very commonly have medical issues that we can treat. When we are successful, their autistic issues improve, sometimes modestly, but sometimes very, very significantly! I would recommend prioritizing what needs to be done:
• Dietary changes: removal of foods not tolerated, going as organic as possible
• Correcting sleep aberrations
• Improving bowel function/health
• Target particular issues:
• Chronic infections
• Focus and concentration
• Language developments…..just to list a few!