thoughtful help for healing the body and family.

Let’s Talk About…What’s Medically Wrong

Whenever I consider a medical approach to treating children with autism, I offend a certain contingent of people.  They may look at autism as a gift or even as a part of what makes them unique, and ask me to stop implying that they are or have a “disease” that must be “cured.”

I certainly do not intend to imply that they are lesser in any way, that cannot be farther from the truth!  Instead, I simply mean that they may have diagnosable and treatable medical disorders which, if addressed, could vastly improve their quality of life.  I do not think I would get an argument about treating a child with autism who has a broken arm.  The child has a broken arm, and nothing else matters.  The arm has to be “set” and casted.  Why would I consider not treating a child with autism who has any other medical malady?  It is my clinical experience that children with autism have many medical issues that demand being addressed.  Here is an abbreviated list of treatable medical issues that I consider and treat in my clinic.  The history from the parents, the physical exam, and the laboratory results will help determine how I may go about forming a treatment plan to address these medical problems.

Gut Problems
•    Inflammatory Bowel Disease
•    Reflux Esophagitis
•    Gastritis
•    Dysbiosis
•    Leaky Gut
•    Malabsorbtion/Maldigestion
•    Constipation
•    Diarrhea
•    Chronic Abdominal Pain
•    Bloating
•    Excessive gas production
•    Abnormal Bowel Motility

Immunologic Problems
•    Recurrent illnesses
•    Allergies to both foods and the environment
•    Chronic Viral Infections
•    Chronic Inflammation
•    Auto-Immunity
•    Immune System Deficiencies

Hematologic Problems (problems with the blood)
•    Anemia
•    Low White Blood Cell Count
•    Elevated Platelet Count or Low Platelet Count
•    Small Red Blood Cells or Large Red Blood Cells

Nutritional Deficiencies
•    Abnormal Vitamin Levels
•    Abnormal Mineral Levels
•    Abnormal Fatty Acids (low Omega 3’s)
•    Protein Deficiency

Metabolic Disorders
•    Elevated Liver Functions
•    Elevated Ammonia
•    Elevated Lactic Acid
•    Methylation Abnormalities
•    Dopamine Defects
•    Sulfation Defects
•    Purine Disorders
•    Serotonin Deficits
•    Melatonin Deficits
•    Impaired Detoxification
•    Impaired Mitochondrial Function

Endocrine Disorders
•    Abnormal Thyroid Panels
•    Abnormal Cortisol Production
•    Abnormal Testosterone Production
•    Abnormal Growth Hormone Production
•    Abnormal Glucose Utilization

Neurologic Disorders
•    Hypotonia
•    Seizures
•    Sensory Dysfunction
•    Brain Perfusion Irregularities
•    Sleep Cycle Disruption
•    Stereotypy (stimming)
•    Visual Impairments
•    Auditory Impairments
•    Headaches/Migraines

I have found that many symptoms of autism like a child not sleeping through the night can be entirely eliminated when the right therapeutic intervention is initiated.  Don’t these children deserve to be healthy?  Of course they do.

There will be those, I suppose, who will disagree with the very notion of even considering the workup of a child who happens to have Autism.  Winnie The Pooh describes these folks nicely, “For I am a bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.”

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