Sunday, November 20, 2011

Biomedical and Nutritional Intervention For Autism Spectrum Disorders

Biomedical research suggests that food and supplements may affect a child with autism, sensory issues, learning disabilities, attention issues, social withdrawal, eye-contact avoidance and perseverative behaviors. In particular, it may be attributable to an inability to break down certain food proteins to the detriment of a child's developing brain. The foods that appear to cause the most harm are gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, rye and barley) and casein (the protein in milk).

Many parents, doctors and nutritionists have reported improvement in behavior, attention and relatedness after eliminating foods containing these proteins from a child's diet.

GF/CF diet helps 85% of the children out there in improving overall well being. This includes speech, better bowel movements, better sleep patterns, less cranky behaviors, less stimmy behaviors, less in a fog / daze look and more ready to attend.

SCD diet - The Specific Carbohydrate diet allows the intestines to heal. Only carbohydrates that are easily digested are allowed. No grains or potatoes. Fruits and vegetables are to be peeled. Nuts are allowed but peanuts, can be moldy. A child might also have an allergy to a particular nut. Additionally, most nuts are too high in linoleic fatty acids to be healthy in large quantities.

Low Oxalate Diet - Oxalate is a highly reactive molecule that is abundant in many plant foods. In human cells found in excessive quantity, can lead to oxidative damage, depletion of glutathione, and the igniting of the immune system's inflammatory cascade.

Soy - Soy is too closely related to casein and the phytoestrogens in soy will put an additional load on the PST enzyme.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) - Modified Food Starch and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. These are very hard on a person who has been subjected to yeast overgrowth.

Low Sugar Diet - Many children have a problem with yeast overgrowth. Sugar feeds yeast and needs to be monitored or eliminated in one's diet.

Food Chemistry Issues: Phenols, Salicylates, Amines are chemicals found in basically all foods. For some children have difficulty processing these natural food chemicals into useful, non-harmful substances. This condition is called PST deficiency.

Some typical symptoms indicating your child may have a problem are [not all of these need be present]: dark circles under the eyes, red face/ears, diarrhea, hyperactivity, aggression, headache, head banging or other self-injury, inappropriate laughter, difficulty falling asleep at night, and night waking for several hours.

Supplements that may be beneficial: Probiotics are beneficial living microorganisms that support healthy gastrointestinal and immune systems.

Digestive enzymes assist with food intolerances - poor digestion. An enzyme test can reveal what the child has trouble digesting, absorbing or assimilating, such as protein, sugars or fats plus certain nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin C and calcium.

Minerals, Vitamins for Proper Methyl Metabolism, Amino Acids, Fatty Acids, Antioxidants, Herbs, and Epsom Salt Baths are other very important natural supplemental regimes to explore.

Chelation is the process of removing toxic metals from the body. Toxic metals are said to come from many sources including; our environment, fish, and vaccines. There are natural chelators found in supplements and there are medically prescribed chelators available as options.

Cleaning up the Environment Check for hidden toxins in Carpet, Paint, Bedding, Household Chemicals and Mold.

Helpful lab tests from Great Plains Laboratory:

Organic Acid Test helps identify yeast and bacteria overgrowth, vitamin deficiencies and many other problems often found in people with autism. The Yeast Culture with Sensitivity Test should be done in conjunction with the Organic Acids Test to get the most accurate reading, and identify which antifungal agents are most effective for the detected yeast strain.

Metals - hair - Hair is most useful for the detection of toxic metals such as lead, aluminum, mercury, and cadmium extremely harmful for the development and neurological functioning. With increasing levels of pollution, toxic metals are constantly becoming more significant factors in disease and developmental disorders. Mercury has in the past been used as an additive in children's vaccines and is still an additive in flu shots. Mercury has also been found to be high in fish such as tuna and swordfish and may also be high in persons with many mercury dental fillings. Treatment of heavy metal exposure usually involves the removal of the heavy metal source and/or treatment with chelating agents. Children with autism as a group also have low values of essential elements like calcium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, which can also be assessed in the hair test.

The Gluten/Casein Peptide Test helps evaluate problems with digesting wheat and dairy products, common in people with autism and certain other conditions.

Helpful hints:

a) It is important to keep a food and behaviors journal. Track all intake and outake (BM).

b) Do not introduce things all at once, Go slow! It is easier to track down a problem when they are introduced slowly - one at a time.

c) Read all food labels. When in doubt - make it your self. Any unquestionable ingredients are probably not good for them.

d) Watch for withdrawal reactions, rashes, positive progress.

Nancy Guberti, Certified Nutritionist
Defeat Autism Now Practitioner
GFCF Diet Counselor

Office at the Holistic Learning Center
571A White Plains Road
Eastchester, NY 10709

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